the apocalypse of the abandoned

--- stranded in the jungle ++

In New Orleans, the end of George W. Bush's term begins. It exposes his morally empty politics of abandonment.
[ jeff chang: politics of abandonment ]


Wordflow over @ A-F, respected, & prayers for the dead --
[remix of post 02.sept.05 ]

> White people across the country are turning on the TV and saying, "Typical nigger shit."

An in-situ analysis -- the response is complex : restrained base sympathy, careful not to think as if black folks can't take care of themselves. It is far more nuanced and I think a large portion of white (north) America -- I am Canadian, which may or may not be a factor as well -- grasps that this is what you get when you have such a disparate society with such deeply ingrained race / class hierarchies.

I've been to New Orleans in the past, I've seen the conditions, which were terrible, on the brink of madness, repressed, and violent -- at least for this Canadian boy. Yah, black society is as divided, stratified, hierarchized as any, albeit the entire mass has been through so much systematic oppression .. that criminal organisation and the drive toward vengeance, anger and violence is a foreseeable response to prevailing conditions (which places the place of pardon & forgivenness at their limits -- a paradox, a contradiction, the state of things in this zone of statelessness, under Martial Law .. a state of exception). And just like the armed opportunists living out their warlord fantasies (black and white, police and military, criminal and repressed) I am sure there are white people who unfortunately are seeing this as a "black problem."

.. which kinda' misses the times & places where this has happened before -- whenever certain structures break down under duress and where underlying economic conditions are the shits, the downward spiral gets its claws into our skins, pushing us humans toward what no animal would ever do -- this isn't "animalistic" -- this is what we humans call radical evil .. a seeming taste for death, destruction, horror .. that, like a cannibal, once we've tasted our forbidden flesh, we can't turn back ..

.. & aren't those cops happy too, badges turned in, guns turned out, proclaiming their own ? What a trip. Kurtz in the jungle with the "natives" -- Apocalypse Now or Conrad, take your pick ..

Katrina, in this context, becomes a problem of landscape design. The "hurricane" as an atmospherically-interactive, military-hydrological landscape problem. [Paul D. Miller on Nettime ]

I'm not sure the response is "slower" only because we're dealing with these race and class relations. The logistics are insane -- anyone can see that. But I think what we are witnessing is also a quagmire attributable to a greater truth: that US might & power rests on a charade (or, a ritual performance cemented in the repetition of representation, which at times likes this noticeably cracks, reporters forgetting political bylines and rewriting the script from the floodZone).

We are seeing a massive relief effort now, but imagine -- imagine right now if this is only the first in a catastrophic chain of global warming events. Imagine if an earthquake struck SF or LA, for example, or plain and simple, and now, quite probable, another mid-sized hurricane hit the Gulf Coast. We're talking economic collapse of parts of the US, collapse of the State in affected geographical areas and a sustained if not ultimately destructive influence upon the US economy.

This is a war on two fronts -- Iraq & @ home ..

.. like Germany before it, Napoleon, and so forth, if it remains sustained it will test the very limits of US integrity.

:: "Today, there's a post-apocalyptic sensibility in the air. "[ Katrina-Baghdad : Initial Iterations of a Strange Attractor / Dion Dennis in CTheory ]

Leave New Orleans, or else!

> This is not Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this scenario is closer to John Carpenter's Escape from New York than to anything else we have ever seen.

.. scenes outta Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow,
I'm thinking of Bellona, & the massive destruction hinted at in Delaney's Triton during interplanetary warfare..

in partibus.

** In case you are wondering, the bottom images are from Falleujah, although their interchangeability with New Orleans and the filming of Apocalypse Now, like that of Bellona as the inner skin of Escape From New York, cannot be undone. New Orleans is the live Apocalypse Now, the ultimate film-maker's fantasy of American psychology wrought awry on the unconscious, urban landscape.

posted. Thu - September 8, 2005 @ 09:57 AM           |