Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pressure Cooker

It's quite unbelievable to see how bad things are in the southern states. Besides the total mayhem that the storm brought about, there seems to be anarchy settling in with mass lootings, arson and all out chaos. There are stories floating around the wire about police looting and helping looters, hospitals being bunkered because of looter riots and people shooting at rescue helicopters. WTF?? In Montreal, about six years ago (maybe 7), the city got shut down by a week long ice storm that covered us in 8 inches of ice. Power was out everywhere and everything was shut down. Instead of looting, we had a massive outreach of compassion where everybody seemed to help everybody else out. I had electricity through it all and had half a dozen people living in my tiny apartment and then we moved into my office when the power went out. So why is it that things are so different down south? I would guess that the biggest reason is that poverty is so pervasive there that losing everything doesn't mean all that much if you don't have much to start with. The one time that I did spend in the bayou, I saw things that were impossible here. There were people living in shanty towns set up in ditches and underpasses. There were families frying food out of the back of their cars with kids playing barefoot in the muck. It's too cold for that here and for the most part, the homeless people here are mostly kids, alcoholics and out patients, not functioning families.

It's easy for us here to say how great we were to each other during our disasters as none of us grew up in a steel hut under an overpass. Here, we're too rich and fortunate for looting and arson, we only do that after hockey games.

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