Friday, September 02, 2005

" Crazy Politico said... Exactly why was "your boy" in an area under an evacuation order?
I feel for the folks who are suffering for lack of means to leave, for those who "stuck it out", and are now suffering, you deserve it, and I wish I could direct my Red Cross donation to those who heeded the evacuation warnings. "

I was not going to comment on this comment. I originally thought that the person who wrote this as well as the others who have written similar comments exposed themselves to be what they are all by themselves and did not need my insight into their state of mind and moral proclivity.

However, my fellow blogger gave me permission to use the word "asshole" in this instance and I simply could not pass up the opportunity.

What this stupid asshole, who is no doubt from a long line of really really stupid and stinky assholes, has, in his assholey way, presumed is that everyone who lives in harm's way understands their situation.
This asshole has assholely not realized that his asshole mind has blocked out what the meaning of "home" is. Well, if my home were an asshole, I wouldn't want to cling to it either.
As a sympathetic reader of our blog has already pointed out, home is a more powerful draw to people than danger is a deterent. As Africans don't leave the Sahara, as Eskimos don't leave Alaska, as Californians don't leave California even though it may slip off into the sea, you cannot say enough about a sense of place.
As for the two of us staying behind, this is our home now.
And, we are journalists.
It is our job to help and give comfort by providing information. We have done that in innumerable ways to officials and citizens alike. We were among the very first to do it.
And the gratitude from those we have help gives me joy far more than the aforementioned comments by the asshole make me mad. Asshole.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The on thing that really bothered me about the news reporters I saw on TV is how they would ask someone in terrible need a question or two and then just move on. I never saw or heard them offer help. What has happened to these reporters to make them so blind ot their own insensitivity? They are right there in a position to help and yet they do nothing. I think it's worse to be there and do nothing than to not be there at all! Ahole reporters! I'm sure there are good ones out there though... we just don't SEE them on TV for some reason. Perhaps they are not cut-throught enough!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Echo Mouse said...

If not for you guys, a lot of information would never have made it out to the world. You had two reasons to stay, home and wanting to help. Anyone who thinks those are stupid reasons truly is an asshole.

Great post.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Tasha said...

Not to correct the writer, who I gather writes professionally..but...

Wouldn't assholey worked better as asswholly as in asswholly not realized?

Sorry...I think after a week of mourning and heartsickness, I've finally found my sense of humor. :)

Keep up the good work and don't worry about those who consider themselves above you. They aren't Coasties, will never be..we're like the Goonies man...we're a breed of our own.

I'm glad you got that out of your system, but don't give him more attention than he's worth :)

Keep writing, keep posting pictures. Like the other commentor to this post, I've found information in your blog that I've seen nowhere else. You've become one of my links to home...

Thank you.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Miss Templeton said...

Sir! As one of those Californians, all I can say is "Damn Straight!"

But it does take a bit of Dixie Brew for Miss Templeton to use a word like 'damn' though. And I'll go that second pint and use the word 'asshole' as you have applied to the commentator here.

Will link on my site which is temporarily devoting the homepage to all of this, blog to you, keep checking back on your story, keep you in my thoughts, etc. etc.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Razzy said...

Several days ago I left a comment on this blog complaining about your lack of attention to our Fantasy Football draft, Josh. I would never have written such a cavalier, insensitive, and overly casual comment then had I any idea what you would be facing.

You guys are really doing something to help people who need it, by providing desperately needed, accurate information about this MAJOR disaster. Unlike our federal government, and all the people who continually appear on the news to congratulate one another for a shitty job well done, you are telling those of us who can't be there to help you what is actually going on. I really wish that at the very least I could run down there and fix you some tacos and pour you some whiskey.

I really cannot believe that people are taking the same stance as the COMPLETELY inept FEMA director, saying that you somehow deserve to be in the situation that you are in, when in reality you have the courage and commitment to not only weather the storm, but to stand up in the aftermath and do your goddamned jobs. I can assure that even from my removed perspective in NYC, I can't say our government has done the same.

I know you won't, but don't let these bastards get you down.

You guys are f-ing rock stars. Stay strong.

PS-Josh your photos as usual are amazing. Breathtaking and terrible, but amazing.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Stacie Myers said...

Let us not forget that some or even many of these people had no means of transportation by which to evacuate under the mandatory order. Forget loyalty to their home, but face the reality of the poor socioeconomic class of people who have no transportation or no money to find transportation in an emergency. We should have been more proactive in the beginning once the warnings were made.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

"...Assholely..." ?!?! Didn't you mean "assholishly"? Thanks for the reporting, Josh.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Hunter said...

Many people still don't get it. Everyone doesn't have a means to go. There aren't majical buses that show up at everyones home in the inner city a day before a disaster. Everyone doesn't make $50,000 a year and drive an SUV. There are many sick and ederly. Sad to say that there are much, much, more people below the medium income range than above. People that say....why didn't they leave? Obviously they are living in their little "me" worlds, and have no idea what the real world is all about. Come visit my blog at http:readthiscommonsense.blogspot.com/

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say, my heart goes out to all who suffer in this tragedy. I used to live in Long Beach, then moved on to Gulfport, MS back in 99'. I now live in a different part of the US, but I thought it was beautiful there. I've seen the devastation, and everything breaks my heart. All the loss of life, the suffering, the loss of people's homes and businesses. I for one am sick of the criticism like some assholes have to say. I know that NO ONE deserved this! I also know how hard it can be living from paycheck to paycheck all the time. Some people are forgetting, you need money to travel, and when you don't have it, what else can you do but to trust the local shelters! I'd just like to point out, that I'm tired of people bringing up racism in all this. It just creates more chaos, that's not needed. There are just as many white communities that have to live the same way, that no one hears about. I for one, don't care about skin color. My heart breaks for everyone, because it's abolutely disgusting to see all the suffering, and yet we can get straight over to a tragedy that happens overseas! I'd like to also say, that whatever has went wrong with this mission, I highly doubt it's due to being mostly black people. I can't even imagine what everyone is going through, but I cry everyday & pray for everyone who are victims of this tragedy.
May god bless all of you & be with you in this time of need!

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, can I just say, that for those who couldn't actually leave their homes. We need a system set up, to be able to evacuate, the elderly, the poor, the sick. Why don't we have anything available for these people? It troubles me to know this.

7:27 AM  
Blogger gingerivers said...

I couldn't agree more. Bravo for having the guts to say it.

This is a time to pitch in and help, not criticize.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Crossbow said...

What seems to bother me most is the total lack of any combined effort of the victims we see on tv. Either the news crews would rather report the "Poor Begging Victims looting the Walmart" or there is very little co-operation among the victims to report. When we are bombarded by images of looters, reports of roving gangs, and people being raped in the Super Dome, the end result is a bad taste in the mouth. Is the veneer of society so thin that all human morals are thrown to the wind as soon as the offical authorities are too busy to hold the lid on the boiling pot? Any man who loves his family would do anything in his power to assure their survival, but only someone who is thriving off the chaos would shoot at the relief helicopters. For anyone to say that these people deserved their fate is redicules. Those people who could have left and didn't made a very poor decision. As the old adage says "a poor decision on your part should not make an emergency on mine" By staying in place they have endangered themselves as well as the men and woman that need to come to their rescue. As far as people staying with their homes. WHY? Did they think that they could somehow redirect the wind and water around the house by their presence? A hurricaine is not something any man or woman can stop. Grab the dog and cat, pack the family photo's, and get the hell out of Dodge! Everything but life can be replaced.

6:29 PM  
Blogger eaglewizdom said...

We don't have any systems set of for these people becuase they are poor and the majority are black. Since when has this country gone out of it's way to ensure that this population of people will be safe and taken care of in the face of unpredictable danger. If this storm had ravaged any semi-wealthy, predominantly white town, I would bet my own house that people would not be waiting still to this day, almost a week later, for rescue. And people would not be accused of "looting" grocery stores closed indefinately when it was there only source of food. Let me state this: NOBODY deserves this. NOBODY. Regardless their decision to stay or go, whether they had means to leave or not, whether they had a faith that allowed them to believe it wouldn't be so bad, NOBODY deserves to suffer and any person who can think, let alone say outloud, that we should divert aid to those who decided to heed the warnings deserves to be left stranded in a 20-ft deep flood while rescuers are diverted from them to stop people from finding food at washed out grocery stories for their families. Then you see if you think you deserve to be left. I've never seen asshole used in a better way.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's become obvious that it's necessary for media information to be available after an event like Katrina, and I'm really glad you guys stayed and are keeping the information flowing.

I do feel strongly , though, that other than local media, police, fire, rescue workers, etc., anyone that was able to evacuate should have done so. I know several people on the Coast that could have and didn't, and now those same folks are taxing the too-little rescue/relief resources that are available in Hancock County, not to mention doing their bit to help poop the area into a potential disease epidemic.

I've lost my home (leveled), possessions (washed away), boat (smashed to splinters), etc., in Clermont Harbor, but I had sense enough to get out while the gettin' was still good. I'm not draining food, shelter, water, sanitation, and medical resources of those in real need. I'm actually in a position to aid relief efforts, and am doing so, but it's a bit of a fish bone in my throat that the job is bigger than it has to be.

I'm not trying to be smug, but it seems to me that when a category 5 storm the size of Texas is drawing a bull's-eye on the mouth of the Pearl River, the decision to leave isn't exactly rocket science - it becomes more like 1+1=2, right?

I wasn't here for Camille, but I've seen the pictures, and when I moved here in '98, I saw lots of bare concrete slabs and steps that lead nowhere in Pass Christian and a few other places, and figured it out pretty quickly.

For those having been through an event like that, why would any sane person who didn't have to stay NOT evacuate for another hurricane of that magnitude? It boggles my mind, really.

OK - I do understand sticking out MINOR tropical storms - it's actually kind of a weird rush, and hurricane parties can be fun. I was here for Ivan (knew the storm was tracking to the east of me, having learned which side of the tropical cyclone was low-powered), Isidore (upgraded to a hurricane only after the fact), and a couple of others, but I didn't exactly camp out on the beach to watch, either.

The I-was-here-for-Camille-and-I-ain't evacuating-for-this-one-either Coastal bravado is bullshit, and the aftermath of Katrina is proving it. When you get right down to it, a lot of stories of how folks had to swim for it (or whatever) are really public confessions of vain foolishness or outright stupidity when told about people that had the means to evacuate and didn't.

We're all learning lots of very hard lessons right now, and at least some of this post-storm misery could have been prevented if folks that could have would have gotten out ahead of Katrina.

I think when all is said and done, in the future, the (especially TV) media need to review their shared responsibility to give the public accurate information (instead of sensationalizing a storm's potential impact in the quest for ratings), and EDUCATE and warn them in a timely manner exactly how and when to evacuate before major hurricanes strike. In time, there'll be more...maybe this year.

I won't get started right now on FEMA, MEMA, MS, and US government planning and relief efforts (or obvious lack thereof). All that's for later, when we're out of survival mode, and I can rant louder.

Y'all at the Sun-Herald are doing an awesome job. Keep up the good work!

9:08 PM  
Blogger fredhead said...

Amazing blog. I've passed it on to everyone I can think of. Not sure why I chose this entry to comment on other than it's comforting to know that someone who is willing to call an asshole an asshole is obviously putting this information out for mostly pure reasons. And I say mostly only because I don't know you. But you certainly don't strike me as an asshole.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALL I CAN SAY IS, IF I WERE THE PEOPLE OF NEW ORLEANS, I WOULD BE ASKING THERE MAYOR..MR. NAGINN WHY HE DIDN'T HAVE A PLAN, FOR ALL OF YOU? HE LET BUSES SIT IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AND LET THE FLOOD COME, AND HE COULD HAVE...GET THAT....COULD HAVE, USED THEM TO GET PEOPLE OUT OF NEW ORLEANS. MAKE HIM ANSWER TO ALL OF YOU. I WANT TO HEAR FROM THE PEOPLE OF NEW ORLEANS ON THIS ONE...THEY DESERVE A VOICE HERE...DON'T YOU THINK??? EVERYONE THAT WENT THROUGH ALL OF THIS DESERVES A VOICE IN THIS MATTER...NEW ORLEANS MAYOR KNEW THE LEVIES WOULD NOT WITH STAND A 5 HURRICANE. WHY DIDN'T HE GET OFF HIS BUTT AND HAVE A PLAN???...DON'T BLAME FEMA, FOR ALL YOUR MISTAKES MR NAGIN. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU WHO MADE IT OUT ALIVE...LET'S HEAR FROM YOU NOW!....IT IS YOUR TURN...LET US KNOW, WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH TO STAY ALIVE...THANKS!

11:45 AM  
Blogger tempus_fugitive said...

A bit late to comment on this post but just found this informative blog. You are right on about 'home'; it's instinctive to stay regardless of danger. Even rescued horses know this and will try to run back into their burning barn regardless, because it is home, a place of safety.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Cath said...

I have never seen the word "asshole" used in so many different ways. Truly impressive. This is, obviously, why you make your living at writing, and I don't.

I am living in Europe, and a long way from my home in Tennessee, and I'm so tired of everyone asking me why people in New Orleans and Mississippi didn't just leave. As someone who is incredibly homesick, it's so hard to explain the concept of "home." You did a beautiful job.

I have a link to your blog on my blog. Thank you for providing the rest of us a link to see just a piece of what you are going through.

Our prayers are with you, and we're doing what else we can to help from far away. Thank you again.

8:11 AM  
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