Sep 11 2005

Hurricane Needs New Theme Song


If I have to hear that goddam Randy Newman flood anthem one more time I’m gonna go medieval.

To no one’s surprise, I suggest "Kill The Poor" instead.

Lying Media Bastards recently commented on a couple of stories that completely curled my hair (which is lucky in a way, because according to Real Simple, the magazine of complicated ways to simplify your life, curls are "thrilling!"). The first is a Raw Story piece so Onionesque I was obliged to doublecheck that I wasn’t at a parody site. You’ve heard of the 52-billion-dollar hurricane relief bill that no politician in his/her right political mind would fail to support, at least while cameras are rolling? The Republicans have not only written this bill, they have voted to prevent Congress from discussing it, or amending it, or apparently even reading it. "No one," according to Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), "has even seen a copy of the bill."

Here is my question: In what bizarro-world do our "democratic" processors vote to suspend democratic process?

In this case the danger, given the bill’s nefarious Republican origins, is that all kinds of embedded bloodsucking, screw-the-poor crap will attach. Lying Media Bastards expects a rider requiring Halliburton to become Chief Justice. I, on the other hand, predict a provision making the practice of poverty illegal, requiring civil servants to shoot the poor on sight with red-white-and-blue Jesus-shaped guns.

It’s already happening, if you believe this firsthand account by a couple of socialist EMS workers who were apparently shoved around pretty brutally by assorted law enforcement assholes during their attempt to escape from New Orleans, viz. "Just as dusk set in, a sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces and screamed, "Get off the fucking freeway." A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water."

A wholly depressing article in Grist ties this most recent episode of government-sponsored human suffering to the highly popular indifference to global warming. The godbag denial and fucktardism of our elected officials will ensure the rapid return to smug American soil of conditions we have thus far been content to endure only by proxy in the Third World (or by smothering in etouffée in New Orleans). According to Bill McKibben, New Orleans is our future:

"Because so far, even as blogs and websites all over the internet fill with accusations about the scandalous lack of planning that led to the collapse of the levees in New Orleans, almost no one is addressing the much larger problems: the scandalous lack of planning that has kept us from even beginning to address climate change, and the sad fact that global warming means the future will be full of just this kind of horror."

H. sapiens got one shot. We blew it.

The cosmos, of course, doesn’t give a fig, but I have one regret about the impending extinction of our species, and it is this: that it’ll probably take out the dogs, too.


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  1. Mandos

    Lack of planning is one of my favorite subjects. I’ve become lately addicted to arguing with libertarians about it. They’re pretty optimistic about the future of humans.

  2. Tony Patti

    Extinction is for poor people, darling! It’s the Republican way of thinning the herd! I’m sure that the phrase ‘thinning the herd’ has been a sure-fire sycophantic guffaw-getter around the Bush homefires upwards of a week.

  3. Former Jose

    There’s also ties to the construction of levees all up and down the Mississippi. They’ve prevented the river from jumping its banks and flooding – good for the residents near the river, bad for the delta at the river’s mouth, which has historically served as both a first line of protection against hurricanes and an area where floodwaters could be “released.”

  4. ehj2

    Thanks for the excellent Grist reference. Certainly no flinching from reality here.

    The answer to the question “How come us liberals/progressives are so depressing” is “You Republicans are so pathologically divorced from the horrific consequences of the reality you cause with your mendacity and greed … we, the mature people, have to clean up your messes.”

    Twisty, glad you’re out there working so hard to keep us cheered up.


    ps. an excellent site maintained by actual working real climate scientists is:


  5. Chris Clarke

    They’re pretty optimistic about the future of humans.

    They also couldn’t grow a fava bean in a pile of cowshit.

  6. Kate

    Sometimes I can understand the wilful ignorance displayed by most of my fellow human beings. When one starts contemplating climate change, global poverty, the coming peak oil crisis, and the possibility of an Avian superflu transmitting to humans, (add more disasters both on-going and potential as you see fit), a sense of hopelessness seems inevitable. And if one feels hopeless, why not live in the most wasteful, destructive way possible? Nihilism indeed.

  7. Mandos

    That’s the thing. Take Peak Oil. If the production capacity truly is going to be declining with no replacement, then there are two options:

    1. Life will become so miserable that you may as well enjoy the oil while you still have it.

    2. Someone will invent an alternative, the libertarians will be right, and will live happily ever after. In which case, we may as well enjoy the oil while we still need it.

    Either way, it makes perverse sense to extract the maximum value to *yourself* of the oil while you still can. There’s only a case for conservation if the truth lies between the two.

  8. yami

    Eh, we survived the Black Death and the Toba supervolcano, didn’t we? We should make it through superflu and superhurricanes okay – especially if by “okay” you mean “all descended from a tiny handful of lucky mutants”.

  9. alex

    Twisty, you needn’t worry about the future of the human species–it will be around for a very, very long time. Civilization, on the other hand, may be in for a tougher time. There’s enough refined metal lying about to keep an Iron/Bronze Age going for a thousand years. But a modern, high-tech society with cheap global travel and good medical care and glossy four-color magazines? Well, enjoy it while you have it…

    Dogs will feralize much more effectively than humans will. At least the ones that haven’t been eaten.

  10. Twisty

    Alex, you rain on my parade. I actually enjoy prophesying the species’ impending doom, for reasons of poetic justice.

    As for the ease with which humans can feralize: according to what I’ve been seeing on TV for the past two weeks, it looks like it only takes about 2 days without electricity for the process to complete.

  11. StealthBadger

    Nice Editing work! o.o

    I already GIMPed up my candidate: They Call Me Guitar Hurricane. It’s a visual thing.

  12. StealthBadger

    As far as feralizing… We had the power go out twice here, once for two days and once for almost a week (Hurricane Katherine?). Everyone was pretty nice, actually. Occasional grumbling, and the police substation in the complex bailed out for the duration, but it was actually pretty quiet.

    I suspect it’s that added dimension of “we’re being left to die” that makes people trade in that veneer of civilization for a nice thick coat of berserker.

  13. Wordlackey

    I wholeheartedly agree about the theme song. “Kill the Poor” strikes me as at least an honest expression of intent. Yay DKs! I was particularly annoyed that Democracy Now! even managed to dig up cover versions of the Newman song just to grind it in. Arrg! Please kill me before the Aaron Neville rendition comes on.

    Yah, not being able to read the bill… Now where did I hear about that happening? Could it be… SATAN?!? I mean, could it be the PATRIOT ACT of 2001?

    Why is it that I think national politicians are necrophiliac assholes? Because they are, Blanche, they are!

    (sorry for the venting. i’ve obviously got some issues i’m working out.)

  14. nolo

    How about Bad Religion’s “God’s Love?” Especially in light of what the Baptists have been spewing?

  15. Rebecca

    You can listen to the entire interview with the EMS folks who got to live their very own version of Escape New Orleans on This American Life, if you haven’t already found it. Scroll down to After the Flood.


  16. ice weasel

    I don’t know what theme song you’re talking about but perhaps you losers should watch les TV or something. Holy shit. Picking on Randy Newman because some assholes overplay a song is a bit wrong, eh?

  17. Twisty

    No, Ice Weasel, it is not wrong. It is right. I don’t know what rock you’re living under, but over the past two weeks Randy Newman has personally appeared on every talk show and self-serving Hollywood flood tribute there is, yakking about water and personally playing his water song. The guy’s been a general nuisance for 25 years.

    Meanwhile, thanks for the link, Rebecca.

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