We knew Scott Ott was brilliant, as his many parodies have so deftly illustrated. But this thoughtful and non-satirical post in response to an editor’s query about a Katrina parody is something everyone should read. Ott’s reply to the editor is a sensitive, thoughtful, and damning indictment of society, government, and the media. Here’s a sample:
The victims of Katrina are not really the victims of Katrina herself. The tragedy began long before the hurricane hit.
Natural disasters have always happened and always will. While, mercifully, they don’t occur every day in every place, they are common enough that we ought to have an expectation that bad things can and will happen. We need to cultivate the inner resources in ourselves, our children and our neighborhoods to cope with the inevitable. When we cede that power and responsibility to the federal government, we surrender a part of what makes us human and leave ourselves more vulnerable to the tempest.
I can’t agree with the editor’s statement that Katrina survivors are heroes, simply by virtue of having survived a natural disaster. I think Ott’s response to her was very restrained. Many people did perform many acts of heroism during and after the storm. But I really do believe that those who stayed when they could have left, including some dear friends, were idiots, not heroes. I understand that not everyone had the capability to evacuate for various reasons, and I’m not talking about those folks. I’m talking about those who chose to “ride it out” out of some sense of personal invincibility or magical thinking. Those people were a burden that others had to carry, and I can’t call them heroes. Precious resources were spent rescuing people who could have evacuated, and others suffered because of it. And the others, who had to stay because they lacked options, are not heroes. They were victims of a natural disaster. Nothing more. To call both of these groups of people heroes cheapens the word.
A Hat tip goes to the Anchoress for this story, in a post which also includes info on the real chill wind that could silence free speech, as opposed to gasbag Tim Robbins’ chill wind.
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