The news is everywhere. You can’t get away from it. Visual scenes of death, destruction, and survivors. Hurricane Katrina left a mess.
But the visual picture isn’t the whole picture. Jacob Appelbaum’s wordpress.com blog is documenting his hand’s on stories of Hurricane Katrina upclose and personal. A traveling photographer working with NGO and non-profit groups, he is right in the middle of the catastrophe.
His stories tell of finding dead bodies, dealing with the bureacracy, and what he is finding on the streets of New Orleans.
On the drive into the city I swore I was in some horrible science fiction movie about doomsday in America. Army Humvee after Army Humvee. Check points, automatic rifles, helicopter after helicopter.
As I’m sitting here, the only light I can see is the light of my laptop illuminating my fingers. My cell phone would light up if people could call in. Only rarely does that work, no one has left voicemail but when they do get through they tell me they’ve rung for hours, upwards of two dozen times.
We didn’t have to pass through a single check point to enter the city, we simply went around them. There was much debate about the amount of danger we would be in by coming here and so far I feel pretty safe. We didn’t bring a gun, partly because we didn’t want to believe it would be so bad that we would need one and because it was probably impossible to get one at such short notice. I don’t think that was a mistake, we don’t need firearms. I do find it pretty surprising that the American government has recently hired Blackwater security forces to patrol the streets here. At the same time they’re removing firearms from citizens who rightfully feel they need them. It’s a strange future we’re living in and have no doubt about it, we’re living in the future. It’s too bad that we’re living in that other future, the dystopian one. The one with terrorists, murderers, corruption at the highest government levels, global wars and a world with an environment being destroyed by serious pollution. A world where people are now literately drowning in it.
Some Thoughts on My First Night in New Orleans by Jacob Appelbaum
There is something about reading the words that makes it more real than seeing it on television.