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"It really makes us look very much like Bangladesh or Baghdad"

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  • Aija Veldre Beldavs
    so far, silence in the list on what s been on many minds the last few days. subject: quote in NYT by 84 yr. old historian David Herbert Donald. seems the
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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      so far, silence in the list on what's been on many minds the last few
      days.

      subject: quote in NYT by 84 yr. old historian David Herbert Donald.

      seems the fundamentalists are having a hay-day:

      <Just days before "Southern Decadence", an annual homosexual celebration
      attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters section of
      New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.>
      <http://www.repentamerica.com/pr_hurricanekatrina.html>

      though i'd think even a city full of monks and nuns or their equivalent
      from all the religions of the world living in a bowl below sea level with
      an outdated levee with no real water outlet, would need a real miracle
      against the kinds of hurricanes that are going to increase with global
      warming.

      otoh the tragedy could be viewed as one more sobering test of how humans
      respond to crisis: if they can learn and get their act together, or
      history just has to keep repeating until humans either learn or die.

      isn't the existential response responsibility?:)

      aija
    • trop_de_simones
      aija, Thank you for this. It is very troubling to contemplate the economic prioritization that takes place daily around the earth, where the value of human
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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        aija,

        Thank you for this. It is very troubling to contemplate the economic
        prioritization that takes place daily around the earth, where the
        value of human life always less important. Oh, the chances that
        leaders take when they fail to lead. Think of the responsibility each
        and every person must bear that decided not to warn, not to spend,
        not to care for the future of real people in real danger, the
        tsunami, NOLA, global warning, etc.

        I was reading a book review of Beauvoir's *All Men are Mortal*
        earlier this morning...

        Power at its most vicious is a riposte to powerlessness. Killing, not
        just a cause of death, can also be its frantic, grief-stricken,
        reply. Fosca is a conqueror with the blood of centuries on his hands.
        Because he is immortal, he can fight with impunity (he repeatedly
        dies and revives). Impervious to any ethics, he unleashes conquest as
        orgy; gutting cities, massacring peoples; looting, pillaging and
        raping sometimes without even declaring war: `I was without law and
        could dispose as I please of poor human lives that were doomed to
        die.' Without law and without limit, Fosca dreams of – and comes
        close to – ruling the whole world: `Nothing less than the whole world
        was worthy of eternity.' `No one', he insists more than once in the
        novel, `can govern without doing evil.' Later he says to the Emperor
        Charles V, `Your only mistake was to reign.' If it is the fantasy of
        all rulers to transcend their own moment, such a fantasy, this novel
        suggests, is the true license to evil (evil resides not on the
        outside, but at the very heart of power). Immortality sanctions the
        worst historical crimes. In All Men Are Mortal, first published in
        1946, Simone de Beauvoir immerses herself and her readers in horror.
        Barely out of the Second World War, she chooses to write a cautionary
        tale, not about the awfulness of death, but about the greater peril
        of being unable to die.

        Fosca's female counterpart is the actress Regina to whom he tells his
        gruesome tale. Regina – Régine in French, which makes her name a
        virtual anagram for `reign' (`reigner') – is imperious, manipulative
        and cruel. Regina is the narcissistic woman par excellence who makes
        the fatal mistake of assuming she can achieve transcendence through
        her own person. `The paradox of her attitude,' de Beauvoir writes in
        her chapter on the narcissist in The Second Sex, is that `she begs to
        be valued by a world which she deems worthless because only she
        counts in her own eyes.' Existing solely in her own mirror, Regina
        cannot bear to sleep for envy of those who remain awake; she so
        dreads her own mortality that she will destroy anything, including
        her life's work, in order to feel alive. Her nonchalance is a type of
        hate. The very idea that others could exist without her is an
        affront. One taste of the other's autonomy fills her with rage: `Is
        there no way of preventing them from existing without me? How can
        they dare?' For both Fosca and Regina other people are dispensable.
        Worse, de Beauvoir seems to be suggesting, if people are dispensable,
        you will have to dispose of them. To be careless about others is in
        fact an intense, potentially brutal, form of connection. Narcissists
        are tyrants. It is more than a moral platitude to suggest that being
        self-centred is 0a crime. In different ways, both Regina and Fosca
        seek to make the world their stage. All Men Are Mortal is a stunning
        indictment of the delusion of omnipotence, but it also shows just how
        magnetic monstrous people can be.

        by Jacqueline Rose
        2003

        http://www.virago.co.uk/virago/meet/debeauvoir_extract.asp?
        TAG=&CID=virago

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@i...>
        wrote:
        >
        > so far, silence in the list on what's been on many minds the last
        few
        > days.
        >
        > subject: quote in NYT by 84 yr. old historian David Herbert Donald.
        >
        > seems the fundamentalists are having a hay-day:
        >
        > <Just days before "Southern Decadence", an annual homosexual
        celebration
        > attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters
        section of
        > New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.>
        > <http://www.repentamerica.com/pr_hurricanekatrina.html>
        >
        > though i'd think even a city full of monks and nuns or their
        equivalent
        > from all the religions of the world living in a bowl below sea
        level with
        > an outdated levee with no real water outlet, would need a real
        miracle
        > against the kinds of hurricanes that are going to increase with
        global
        > warming.
        >
        > otoh the tragedy could be viewed as one more sobering test of how
        humans
        > respond to crisis: if they can learn and get their act together, or
        > history just has to keep repeating until humans either learn or die.
        >
        > isn't the existential response responsibility?:)
        >
        > aija
      • goeswithness@insightbb.com
        Hello everybody, This is my first post, so let me say I m looking forward to this experience. I think this event is exposing our feelings and beliefs about all
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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          Hello everybody,

          This is my first post, so let me say I'm looking forward to this experience.

          I think this event is exposing our feelings and beliefs about all sorts of
          things: most profoundly, as individuals or collectively, do we think that some
          people are expendible? Are there people in the world we can't identify with to
          the point that their suffering and deaths, while "officially" tragic, honestly
          don't bother us very much? How we feel about race and poverty are the two big
          ones being discussed, but, as in this example, how we feel about New Orleans
          culturally is in the mix as well. And it's pretty clear how this group in the
          article feels about New Orleans culture, isn't it? And personal freedom as
          expressed through sexuality, obviously.

          I've never been there, and some of my selfish thoughts are about the fact that
          I'll never be able to experience it as it was. Anybody see that benefit
          concert on tv last night? I just caught the end, where Winton Marsalis was
          leading the Dixieland band and Harry Connick Jr. was singing "When the Saints
          Go Marching In." That music is so happy, and just sounded wonderful to me at
          that moment, but in my head I was envisioning the whole culture kind of
          marching out the door to this tune. But that's what a New Orleans funeral is
          all about, isn't it?

          Rebecca W.






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • trop_de_simones
          Hello Rebecca, I wonder how many that have marched out onto the highway and out of NoLa are wondering when they ll be able to return and have those hauntingly
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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            Hello Rebecca,

            I wonder how many that have marched out onto the highway and out of
            NoLa are wondering when they'll be able to return and have those
            hauntingly raucous jazz funerals.

            Isn't it marvelous that they no longer blame such horrifying natural
            disasters upon Mother Nature, Notre Madame de la Mer? Well, almost.
            Though many attribute these to some mysterious and masculine divine
            retribution, hurricanes still have feminine names.

            Simone

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, goeswithness@i... wrote:
            > Hello everybody,
            >
            > This is my first post, so let me say I'm looking forward to this
            experience.
            >
            > I think this event is exposing our feelings and beliefs about all
            sorts of
            > things: most profoundly, as individuals or collectively, do we
            think that some
            > people are expendible? Are there people in the world we can't
            identify with to
            > the point that their suffering and deaths, while "officially"
            tragic, honestly
            > don't bother us very much? How we feel about race and poverty are
            the two big
            > ones being discussed, but, as in this example, how we feel about
            New Orleans
            > culturally is in the mix as well. And it's pretty clear how this
            group in the
            > article feels about New Orleans culture, isn't it? And personal
            freedom as
            > expressed through sexuality, obviously.
            >
            > I've never been there, and some of my selfish thoughts are about
            the fact that
            > I'll never be able to experience it as it was. Anybody see that
            benefit
            > concert on tv last night? I just caught the end, where Winton
            Marsalis was
            > leading the Dixieland band and Harry Connick Jr. was singing "When
            the Saints
            > Go Marching In." That music is so happy, and just sounded
            wonderful to me at
            > that moment, but in my head I was envisioning the whole culture
            kind of
            > marching out the door to this tune. But that's what a New Orleans
            funeral is
            > all about, isn't it?
            >
            > Rebecca W.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Aija Veldre Beldavs
            ... someone on the latvian list sardonically riposted to the sin city punishment take, maybe God is tired of the blues and jazz. jazz of course represents a
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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              > Anybody see that benefit concert on tv last night? I just caught the
              > end, where Winton Marsalis was leading the Dixieland band and Harry
              > Connick Jr. was singing "When the Saints Go Marching In." That music is
              > so happy, and just sounded wonderful to me at that moment, but in my
              > head I was envisioning the whole culture kind of marching out the door
              > to this tune. But that's what a New Orleans funeral is all about, isn't
              > it? Rebecca W.

              someone on the latvian list sardonically riposted to the sin city
              punishment take, maybe God is tired of the blues and jazz.

              jazz of course represents a blend of the musical culture of three
              continents - created by Afro-Americans in an American setting African
              musical traditions using European marching band models:

              "Jazz is something Negroes invented, and it said the most profound things
              -- not only about us and the way we look at things, but about what modern
              democratic life is really about... jazz has all the elements, from the
              spare and penetrating to the complex and enveloping. It is the hardest
              music to play that I know of, and it is the highest rendition of
              INDIVIDUAL EMOTION in the history of Western music."
              /Wynton Marsalis, jazz trumpet/

              aija
            • goeswithness@insightbb.com
              Hi Simone, It s interesting to me that in efforts to understand why things happen, they have to be pinned on a god or goddess at all. I m not being
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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                Hi Simone,

                It's interesting to me that in efforts to understand why things happen, they
                have to be pinned on a god or goddess at all. I'm not being disrespectful
                towards belief. I don't firmly believe or not believe myself. But all that is
                kind of beside the point when it's so clear that we as human beings could have
                made some bad decisions all along the way that allowed this hurricane to be as
                destructive as it was. God we can only speculate about. Environmental
                policies are our responsibility.

                Rebecca






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • roderik vaught
                well said goeswithness@insightbb.com wrote:Hi Simone, It s interesting to me that in efforts to understand why things happen, they have to be pinned on a god
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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                  well said

                  goeswithness@... wrote:Hi Simone,

                  It's interesting to me that in efforts to understand why things happen, they
                  have to be pinned on a god or goddess at all. I'm not being disrespectful
                  towards belief. I don't firmly believe or not believe myself. But all that is
                  kind of beside the point when it's so clear that we as human beings could have
                  made some bad decisions all along the way that allowed this hurricane to be as
                  destructive as it was. God we can only speculate about. Environmental
                  policies are our responsibility.

                  Rebecca






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                • louise
                  Hello Rebecca. Thanks for helping me imagine I might cross the pond one day. At least the juggernauts steer clear of the ocean. Louise ... experience. ...
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 9, 2005
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                    Hello Rebecca.

                    Thanks for helping me imagine I might cross the pond one day. At
                    least the juggernauts steer clear of the ocean.

                    Louise

                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, goeswithness@i... wrote:
                    > Hello everybody,
                    >
                    > This is my first post, so let me say I'm looking forward to this
                    experience.
                    >
                    > I think this event is exposing our feelings and beliefs about all
                    sorts of
                    > things: most profoundly, as individuals or collectively, do we
                    think that some
                    > people are expendible? Are there people in the world we can't
                    identify with to
                    > the point that their suffering and deaths, while "officially"
                    tragic, honestly
                    > don't bother us very much? How we feel about race and poverty are
                    the two big
                    > ones being discussed, but, as in this example, how we feel about
                    New Orleans
                    > culturally is in the mix as well. And it's pretty clear how this
                    group in the
                    > article feels about New Orleans culture, isn't it? And personal
                    freedom as
                    > expressed through sexuality, obviously.
                    >
                    > I've never been there, and some of my selfish thoughts are about
                    the fact that
                    > I'll never be able to experience it as it was. Anybody see that
                    benefit
                    > concert on tv last night? I just caught the end, where Winton
                    Marsalis was
                    > leading the Dixieland band and Harry Connick Jr. was singing "When
                    the Saints
                    > Go Marching In." That music is so happy, and just sounded
                    wonderful to me at
                    > that moment, but in my head I was envisioning the whole culture
                    kind of
                    > marching out the door to this tune. But that's what a New Orleans
                    funeral is
                    > all about, isn't it?
                    >
                    > Rebecca W.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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