[percy-l] hurricanes

Robert_Pauley at oxy.com Robert_Pauley at oxy.com
Thu Sep 8 00:54:59 EDT 2005

You have seen through my clever and condescending manipulations of surnames, Mr. Rivas-Pita. Hat's off. Or may I call you Julio? I don't wish to exclude you from the "fraternity." 

But really you may be assured these surnames you find so troubling are either an excess formality on my part, ignorance or uncertainty about what to call people I've never met. So I admit to inconsistency. In any case, you may call me Robert. 

"Third-world" was used as a synonym for inefficiency and corruption, not as a defamation of unnamed countries. I agree that such conditions may obtain anywhere, including the United States, as we have seen in New Orleans. This is to be deplored. What may be even worse here, however, beyond the breakdown of efficiency and transparency, is a "first-world" phenomenon involving a sick collusion between the media and those skilled and audacious enough to exploit it, that is to say, when the corrupt make preemptive attention-grabbing attacks in order to distract from their own corruptions and derelictions, and the media lap it up. They lap it up because it serves their need for antagonism and controversy as a "substantive" narrative to their ghoulish and pandering images (a narrative they're perfectly happy to see degenerate a la Maury Povich). Once this narrative departs from the course they would like to see it follow, they lose interest. This collusive spectacle serves the ulterior political agenda of both. 

Mostly I lament the slow death of Good Faith. I mean the spirit to unite in the aftermath of a disaster, the resolve and stamina to examine thoroughly and fairly, but at the proper time, what went wrong and who failed their civic charge, and the collectively apolitical determination to make things right no matter the public relations consequences. I think this did exist once, to some extent. The reason this should exist is because corruption and incompetence are very bad for free society, far worse than any storm. 

Unfortunately, I don't see a return of good faith for now. Instead I have a dismal vision of how this all will play out: a deepening mire of recrimination, with shrill charges and counter-charges, each citing one or another "official report" as evidence of their own righteousness and the other's malfeasance. Meanwhile, corruption and incompetence will whistle merrily along. 


 -----Original Message-----
From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of J Rivas-Pita
Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2005 8:59 AM
To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion
Subject: Re: [percy-l] hurricanes

	Mr. Pauley, I've seen often that when some members of this list subtly want to dismiss as irrelevant something posted by some other member, they -quite politely, á la Anglaise- address the mentioned member as "Mr. -----", while the rest of the time it's just Tom, Willie or Jack -more brotherly fashion, that is to say, "We", as opposite to "They". Just some food for thought, á la Percy... 
	This said, Mr. Pauley, your remark of "inept, third-world city hall" is extremely peculiar, given the fact that all over he world we are watching with utter dismay -via CNN, for instance- the grossly inept (not to say criminal) reaction or lack of reaction of Mr. Bush's administration and the also grossly inept (not to say criminal) lack of preparation to cope with what was for weeks an announced disaster -not something unexpected as a tsunami or an earthquake. 
	Among those who are doing something for the victims is, Mr. Pauley, Venezuela, which has already donated $ 1 million dollars via Citgo and which is still waiting the approval of Mr. Bush's administration to fly in a highly experienced and skilled rescue team, an offer that was made the day after Katrina struck. 
	So perhaps Mr. Pauley you'd do well to think twice in the future when you emply the term "third world" in such a stereotyped way. You might find yourself surprised to discover that you too are living these days in a third world country -if you still have doubts about it, please turn on your TV set... 
	With all best wishes,
	Julio Rivas-Pita
	On 9/2/05, Robert_Pauley at oxy.com <Robert_Pauley at oxy.com> wrote: 

		Agreed, Mr. Mitchell. And while we are human and fallible, some of us also are exceptionally corrupt and incompetent, as, for example, the entire political infrastructure of New Orleans, which knew about its weak sea walls for years and did nothing, and which tolerated also for years a violent and increasingly brazen criminal element (a violent crime rate 10 times the national average). New Orleans cannot manage itself on a good day, and so if one wants to know why it could not coordinate a swift and effective response on a sequence of very bad ones, one may of course look for blame to the distance as it one's predictable political cant, but it would make more sense to look no further than an inept, third-world city hall. 

			-----Original Message-----
			From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of KMitch2626 at aol.com
			Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 7:56 PM
			To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
			Cc: peirce-l at lyris.ttu.edu
			Subject: [percy-l] hurricanes 
			well since both list are talking about it, and since both share common readers... why not chime in a piss people off. 
			yes your all correct. did you know that our federal government, has strict guidlines on how it must respond to the suffereings of african-american people. the lack of help, was actually due to a specific wait time, we must follow, whenever there is a crisis involving poor black persons such as just happened. our governing officials actually sit and watch and chuckle at their suffering. then at the last moment, decide to send in help. oh wait, actually, they knew what was going to happen, and could have prevented it. 
			we are human and fallible, and im certain mistakes were made and will be. but if you think this is race driven... call me cold, kick me off your listserves, but your full of shit! 
			my rant amidst a time of great sadness for those hit by a hurricane, 
			ken mitchell 
			"It's the first week of school and I am utterly haunted by the horrors  
			of the Gulf Coast area (Why is help taking so long? Why isn't the  
			media asking the class or race questions?) I know these are not  
			direct Percy points, but I think there are parallels. Your point  
			about mimetic desire would be a lovely thread at which to pull.  
			Surely this applies to Tom More and the man on the train (pre-crash)  
			and even Will Barrett." 
			"IMHO the most significant anachy assoicated with the disaster in New Orleans is the US Federal government's woefully indifferent and criminally inadquate  response to the suffering of poor black americans.  As an american I'm ashamed of our religious and racial bigotry.  First Iraq and now this.  May god forgive us. " 

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