Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Civilization suspended?

Oh, man. Leonard Pitts returns to form in a spectacular fashion this morning, with so much hand-wringing that I barely even know what to tackle. There was one thing in this column that jumped out at me more than anything, though:

Can-do fell apart, civilization fell apart, New Orleans drowning and its trapped people turning feral and mean while those whose job it was to rescue them bungled, bickered, pointed fingers and otherwise acquitted themselves with all the smooth efficiency of the Keystone Kops.

"Those whose job it was to rescue them." I wonder if it ever occurred to Pitts how illuminating of a commentary such a statement is on how far we have fallen -- that the federal government was expected to shoulder the responsibility of getting those people out of New Orleans, as opposed to the local and state governments, or -- horror of horrors! -- the people themselves to get out of harm's way via assistance from their friends and family. Why was it that we saw the horrors of Katrina as an example of government dropping the ball, as opposed to seeing it as the result of multi-generational dependence on government on all levels (hence, perhaps, family members being unable to help the downtrodden get out) to do things the Founding Fathers never intended government to do? Things like that only make it that much easier for civilization to fall apart; yet Pitts has yet to address that phenomenon. I wonder why that is?