Tag: <span>Hurricane Katrina</span>

America has been on the receiving end of some harsh criticism recently, and a lot of it has been warranted. But who are we to criticise? What do we really know about America?

For a lot of us, the occasional trip to a big city or a holiday resort, for others you only know what you see or read, filtered through news networks or blogs. What do we REALLY know about America?

How many people live in poverty? What’s the rate of child deaths? How many people die of starvation? Will Brad and Jen get back together?

Then there are the calls for charity, for donations to help the sick and starving in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The images still fresh in the mind, the looting, the violence, the death, are interrupted by another appeal, this time for the starving people in Niger. Drought and locusts killed off last years crops, and the people have no food. They are not in a rich country, they do not have neighbours who can take them in, they have not looted and violated. Who deserves?

The culture in America has created a “winner takes all” society, and the richest country in the world is asking for help. Billions of dollars are required to rebuild houses and lives, and Americans are pitching in, doing their bit, helping their neighbours. But why do they need my help? My charity? Where will my money make a difference? Africa or America?

There is no right or wrong answer of course. Yet the internal conflict remains and I struggle to balance my own thoughts on the matter. America has been treated harshly, yes. Their government has failed to act appropriately, yes. They have the resources they need to solve this themselves, yes. Have they helped out other countries when similar has happened? Yes. The good and bad sides of America are at war, and the country seems to be stretching itself, slowly awaking from its slumber with the realisation that only whilst it is sleeping is it truely the land of dreams.

* Insert deity of choice

News Writing

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I seem to have a mental block at the moment, so I thought I’d “blog” about it with the hopes that it would break and release me from my “draft post” hell.

You see there are a lot of posts that I start, but never finish. They range from thoughts on the gender split in blogging, to the proposed M74 extension (Glasgow residents take note), my continuing dalliance with the River Clyde, how boring I am, and a couple of meme-like things that I can’t be arsed finishing.

That’s surely a sign that I have bloggers block, not even a meme or two can help me, woe is me indeed (if the was something important enough to inspire woe but it’s not so please don’t feel sorry for me, I have a good life, on the whole, and this little site is increasingly less/more of it).

So I’ve been doing what I normally do when this kind of malaise strikes. Re-design time! Haha. Kidding. Sort of…

Anyway, a couple of things to clear up.

1. As AnnMarie rightly points out, there has been a lot of USA bashing recently, and as is now being demonstrated the people of America ARE helping each other now that they are able to. From my previous post I’d like to clarify that, as was oft heard in my school days, “there’s always one that spoils it for the rest”. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina is what should be focussed on, helping people piece together their lives is THE most important thing. Let’s keep the political ramifications for later (but let’s also agree that they shouldn’t MUSTN’T be forgotten).

2. Er… dammit. I’ve forgotten already. Ohh hang on, just remembered. I’d just like to say that this is not a “please convince me that I’m worthy” post, I’m not looking for sympathy, in fact I’d ask you all to forego any “don’t worry, I get that too” panderings and instead tell it like it is. Go on, be honest, name ONE thing about this site, or what I post on it, that really REALLY annoys you. C’mon you bunch of cowards, come and have a go if you think your hard enough!

And finally I’d just like to say that my new Sennheiser PX100 headphones are the dog’s nads. Especially when PJ Harvey is pounding my eardrums.

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Right, where were we?

Ohh yes, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is still reverberating and is proving surprisingly long in the tooth. Bombarded by images both from the media and from “real people” via internet, we watch and absorb and wonder if we are the only ones who can see the political spinmeisters hard at work in the background. Conspiracy theories lap at our ankles like floodwater, and we are starting to get annoyed that our shoes are getting wet…. hmmm a metaphor too far.

Let’s change tack.

If you had the opportunity to change careers/jobs, and could do anything you wanted, what would you do?

Chatting with my brother-in-law at the weekend, discussing is imminent redundancy package from HP, he mentioned that as he’ll be receiving a lump sum equivalent to almost a year’s salary (tax free) that he was considering doing something completely different. It would certainly be an ideal opportunity, and as he is soon to sell his house and move into his girlfriend’s flat it would seem like the perfect time. But what to do? He mentioned going into the ‘trades’, and I have to admit that doing something other than sitting at a desk for most of the day does have some appeal.

Me?

I think I’d like to do something that involved the outdoors a little more. I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to work with animals, but the more I think about it I think I’d like to try being a wildlife ranger or somesuch. Alas the bank manager may protest (as well as a few other people to whom we owe money) so I’ll have to make do with maintaining our garden and dealing with the cat from across the road.

So, if you had that chance, what would YOU do?

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