Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Difference Between A Blizzard and A Hurricane

In the last few weeks, I have received numerous copies of an email that is circulating the way annoying emails tend to circulate. If you haven't had the pleasure, I am an envious, and I won't glorify the author's self-aggrandizing ideas by reprinting them here. I do, however, want to take the opportunity to disassemble some of the complete garbage logic contained within it. The point of the email is simply that the recent blizzards in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska were as devastating as Hurricane Katrina, and unlike New Orleans, citizens of Colorado were somehow better people than those in New Orleans, because they didn't blame President Bush or FEMA or white people.

The whole idea that a blizzard, no matter how severe, is somehow on the same level as a hurricane in which thousands of people died in three states, is laughable only if it weren't so disgusting. The author of this email obviously lacks perspective in addition to intelligence, as he or she contends that much of the problems in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina were somehow related to the lack of work ethic of the people whose entire lives were destroyed in a matter of hours.

Don't get me wrong. Denver got a fuck ton of snow (which is a lot, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the unit of measure known as the fuck ton). A lot of people in Colorado and Nebraska were without power. Thus far, fortunately, people haven't been killed as a result of these storms, thousands of homes were not wiped off the face of the earth or completely uninhabitable. Thousands of livestock have died, but I would be a hypocrite if I felt bad when cows and pigs die, since I enjoy eating them nearly every day.

The saddest part, in my opinion, is that people still have this perception that the people of New Orleans, particularly the poor black people who couldn't leave the city, are somehow at fault for their situation in the months following the complete devastation of their city. Some Americans obviously lack empathy and the ability to see the difference between a really terrible snow storm, and perhaps the most significant weather disaster in recent US history.

The ironic part is the while the author of the email's premise is that people in New Orleans had a sense of entitlement following that disaster, I'm not sure how that's clearly different than the sense that somehow having the resources at your disposal to deal with a natural disaster makes you a better person. It's as if the people from New Orleans had all the resources they needed, they were just too lazy or dumb to access them. It's such a disgusting sentiment, and yet based on the number of times I have received this email, it's obviously prevalent enough that some people have felt compelled to forward it to me.

1 comment:

Lord Bling said...

Cue the kid on Wonder Showzen who screams out, 'THAT'S RACIST!'

I also like the word 'fuck ton.' Gabe on Penny Arcade busts it out once in a while, and I laugh every time.