On aging

Well, it’s finally happened. I don’t know if it’s my basic math skills or my memory that is going, but I finally forgot exactly how old I am.

However, I can now shuffle twenty poker chips at once with my left hand.

Thoughts on disaster

I talked with my mom today, and I was surprised when she told me “we have cable”, when I was simply hoping to hear they had power again. My grandfather’s house in Louisiana was mostly spared any significant damage, and he and my aunt will return to my parents’ house in a day or so.

Stories of people being contacted via email for phone numbers, mothers’ letters hand-delivered and read to daughters over the phone. Modern telecommunications are not just gears for business, for sure.

I’ve mostly be wondering about my friend Roy from college, a born and bred New Orleans boy with no desire to go anywhere else. I hope he is safe. I want to know if his family is safe. I haven’t seen him since I left Oxford.

This is not meant to be argumentative; I have a particular opinion of human hypocracy, and my opinions of how we all get along together best definitely come from the left. However, with my very limited exposure, the following quote from an article I just read sums up many of my feelings:

The disaster, it seems to me, is the failure of a philosophy. A philosophy of small government, tax cuts, deficits, and privatization. The federal government should have arrived sooner but the federal government was doing other things.

The night of the hurricane, there was a rush for gasoline even in Charlotte; cars wound the blocks as stations emptied. The same thing happens with any weather threat. Fuck the rest of the community, the neighborhood, the city. Give me my gas, my bread, my water.

Modern power and communications infrastructure is magic to most people. The more advanced it is, the harder it is for people to comprehend, and people are forced to take magic for granted. When it’s taken away, it’s even more of an emotional blow? Does the failure of more and more advanced technology throw us faster and faster back to chaotic selfishness in times of complete disaster?

I usually don’t try to be very specific with my social criticisms to my mother, more out of general feeling of politeness than out of any threat of disagreement. I guess it’s more that I’m looking for simple sympathy from parents these days, rather than any answers. I wish I believed there were answers to all of these issues.