Okay, so as I was coming back in from a completely uneventful walk on a nice dry tidy path along a tamed river, I glanced at my in-laws' TV set and was horrified. I had heard the phrase "American Tsunami" being tossed around but I didn't really buy into it, until I saw these pictures. Naturally, they were being run through in a slide-show format, narrated by the obligatorily grim voices of anonymous reporters, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. There were aerial clips of roofs barely visible in the water like turtlebacks in a dark pond; colossal piles of lumber wreckage; the words "Diabetic and Heart Problem" spray-painted in red on asphalt roofing, with an overweight black woman dangling from a rescue helicopter line above them. These people are fucked. Of course there are still nine-odd thousand folks stuck in the Super Dome with no air conditioning (and let's not forget it's August), no power, and of late the toilets, apparently, have also shit the bed--so to speak. The plan is to hoist these people out of there and into the Astro Dome in Texas, where they will surely be much more comfortable.

When the Tsunami hit on the other side of the world, the world jumped into action. My own sister hiked halfway around the planet to help with getting things back together. I hope like hell that the world will help us too, even though we tend to be remarkably arrogant and nearly hysterical about our independence. We need help now. Our oil supply is reduced by a quarter, our National Guard is tangled up in some unGodly mess somewhere else, and a big healthy chunk of the country is underwater. May our global neighbors take pity and at least say a prayer.

I don't know anyone in New Orleans, or Mississippi, or Arkansas, any more than I know anyone in Thailand. But my heart still goes out to them, and our wallet is going too. We are all one. We're still working on remembering that, but when this kind of shit hits the fan, it's time for a crash course in unity.

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