Looking for a short respite from school-related work, I got sucked into a multi-hour Katrina-centric reading frenzy.
Take five minutes to watch this incredibly well-delivered, stinging critique from MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Or read it (scroll to the September 5, 2005 8:58 p.m. ET entry). Is Matt Wells right? Has Katrina saved the US media? Got some more time? Watch this compilation of media actually doing their job.
Harper's has posted an essay from their upcoming issue for free on their site. "The Uses of Disaster: Notes on bad weather and good government", written by Rebecca Solnit before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, is thoughtful and illuminating.
Naomi Kline is advancing a great idea, "Let the People Rebuild New Orleans". She reasons that disaster relief money rightly belongs to those victimized by the disaster rather than the no-bid contractor buddies of government officials. So, the people affected most should lead the effort of reconstruction. She also cites two relevant examples of how it can go terribly awry when business interests supplant human interests: the 1995 Mexico City earthquake and last year's tsunami.
Just as they did with 9/11, The Onion finds a way to make me laugh when all I could manage before was tears and rage.