Friday, January 20, 2006

jan 9 issue: deluged

I liked this piece on the New Orleans Police Department. More than personal stories and more personal stories, this kind of investigation gave me a sense of what the chaos might have meant and mean. Still, the New Yorker seems obsessed with the Montana family - a young girl and her mother from this New Orleans family were profiled in Talk of the Town when they relocated to Brooklyn maybe right after the storm, and the same family history was used in that profile and in this article - an account of how Chief of Chiefs Allison Montana "recounted forty years of NOPD mistreatment" of African-American Mardi Gras crews at a public meeting and then dropped dead. In the end, emphasis on individuals sometimes obscures the extent of the problems (located conveniently, for the rest of the nation) in New Orleans . . .

If you've been reading recently, you know I was thinking of Katrina in terms of the film Jezebel . . . well, we were watching Treasure of the Sierra Madre on DVD and among the extras was some newsreel footage from, I guess, around 1948. This included footage of the aftermath of a gulf coast area hurricane. Maybe 20 people were killed . . . but the images were so conventional, identical even, to these sensational-domestic "world turned upside down" photos from the New Yorker . . . Again, not to say, "Nothing ever changes,"

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