Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Their Shoes

This week marks the 5th year anniversary of the devastating hurricane - Katrina - that rocked the Gulf coast. I remember, like yesterday, how I watched on TV as the elements so utterly ravaged the city of New Orleans and was speechless and angered when I saw how callously the Bush Administration was in its response to the aftermath. If anything, the hurricane peeled back the layers of how truly uncaring those bunch of morons really were. Nice work, Mother Nature!

While, it's tough to leave aside all of the horror and outrage that Katrina wrought, it is even tougher to realize that a mere 5 years later with an entirely new administration (Obama) and an entirely new natural disaster (BP oil spill), we are straddled with a similar response: utter indifference.

Which is why I was almost flooded with relief when I picked up the latest issue of Esquire at the library and read a piece about the oil spill that put its cost into perspective. Written by Tom Junod, the piece recounts the night that Deepwater Horizon - the rig that started it all - exploded claiming the lives of 11 men ranging in age from 22 to 56. It has been a long time since I read an article that so poignantly made an attempt to connect readers in a tangibly human way to an event that due mostly to media saturation and confusion, leaves the average brian reeling. Junod shapes the lives of these 11 men into a touching eulogy and manages to do what the 24-hour news cycle has somehow managed to evade: make sense all the images of gushing wells and oil-drenched birds that have pounded us into senseless submission.

Eleven men with stories died on that day and it will be impossible for me now not to see the story of this disaster a little bit through their eyes.

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