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  • Friday, September 16, 2005


    Still Pissed at Bush

    It happened that I was driving when Pres. Bush gave his speech from Jackson Square in New Orleans. Perhaps this is why I listened to it. Generally I can't stand watching him speechify on TV. The everpresent smirk and the fleeting nasty expressions which constantly flicker across his face actually make me ill. I'm not sure I've ever watched a whole speech of his. I change the channel or turn off the TV in disgust.

    Somehow having to only hear his voice kept me from changing the channel. And I wanted to hear whether he would pull a rabbit out of his hat/ass, really say something comforting or noble. To my surprise he said a few good things about assistance and aid to the people of the disaster area. I don't know if any of it will actually appear but they were sound like good steps in the right direction.

    Yet my anger flared up at regular intervals during the speech. It usually wasn't any point in particular which set me off. It was that I couldn't let him off the hook that easily. Making the effort in this particular case isn't enough for me to forgive the tremendous horrors he's visited on the country and the world.

    Even if he handled everything related to Hurricane Katrina perfectly from this moment forward (and he won't), I would still be overwhelmed by the oppressive misery he has, with all due deliberation (and prayer), spread far and wide.

    It was the fourth paragraph of his speech that brought a snarl to my lips:
    We have also witnessed the kind of desperation no citizen of this great and generous nation should ever have to know: fellow Americans calling out for food and water, vulnerable people left at the mercy of criminals who had no mercy, and the bodies of the dead lying uncovered and untended in the street.
    I thought: Great numbers of Americans call out for food and water and shelter every day, every hour, every minute. The grand disaster of American capitalism befell them. It wasn't the starkly visible and obvious event of Hurricane Katrina but it is just as deadly. It's the tidal fear driving so many Americans attempting to stay ahead of creeping poverty and striving to dodge harrowing debt. This dark nightmare side of the American Dream is visible everywhere.

    I'm still pissed at Bush.

    P.S.: Does anyone else get creeped out at the phrase "armies of compassion?" The militarism juxtaposed with empathy doesn't win my heart, it makes me shudder.

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