I've been walking around feeling extremely anxious about the start of school, more than usual. But I know this has more to do with the awful gift Hurricane Katrina brought into my world, the painful awareness that I, we, my family, the have-nots of America are on our own should we befall any calamity or trouble.
Katrina blew away many layers of my left-over illusions I've had about what I can expect to in case of an emergency. Since we're in earthquake country, I live with low-level worries, usually not surface-breaching, but now they're out, exposed. Witnessing the federal response to Katrina makes me sick to my stomach.
I identify with all those in New Orleans and elsewhere, who were literally abandoned to drown in their attics or to wait in futility at the Superdome, and if not immediately abandoned, to be herded away like cattle to be abandoned elsewhere. It's clear this could happen to my child in the future, my child's family in the future, my friends and relatives if nothing changes.
Perhaps Katrina blew away the same illusions for many other Americans. It's a horrible hope but I hope the collective whole of Americans will wake up and realize how far down the path we've come in letting the powers-that-be wreak havoc on our poor country such that it seems we live in a Third World nation, no resources, no money, no help.
It's like the shock of finally coming to the full realization our parents are immature, narcisistic and destructive, not the parents we wanted them to be, hoped that they were, wished that they were. Maybe we caught glimpses of it, maybe we denied it over the years, but one day, the realization hits, and it hits strong. They can't be trusted. They will betray and abandon us, and they've been pretty consistent on this matter, from day one.
The reality of today, brought to us by Katrina, is we're truly on our own. This is a message BushCo doesn't want us to realize. But this is a strength.
The other side to this is BushCo doesn't want us to realize we have a vacuum here, friends, and it's our urgent perogative to fill this vacuum: get more voters registered, increase media literacy, run for school board, get our interests elected, help people connect the dots and understand the economic consequences of their vote, you know the rest. Being a strong opposition party. Fair and honest media. Honest elections. A vision and an agenda would be nice. A revitalized Democratic party would be nice. A real progressive thinktank to develop real progressive policy (esp. in education) would be nice.
Oh, and a leader would be nice, like the one who once told us, and, I feel so wistful writing this, we have the power. We really do have the power. Let's remember and go forth, fill the vacuums. Help us all.