[percy-l] hurricanes

Tommy Armstrong tfa at brickengraver.com
Thu Sep 8 09:16:23 EDT 2005

Agreement = 100% 
Tommy Armstrong
PO Box 484 
Lillington, NC   27546
http://www.brickengraver.com <http://www.brickengraver.com/> 
...with the method of science one beholds what is generally true about
individuals, but art beholds what is uniquely true.
Walker Percy
Signposts in a Strange Land

From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of
Robert_Pauley at oxy.com
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 12:55 AM
To: juliorivas at gmail.com; percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [percy-l] hurricanes

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. 


, OSB, 1924-1996) 

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