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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > The Monkey Hole > Entertainment
Donnie Darko
So I finally got to see the full version of Spike Lee's documentary on hurricane Katrina (was given an advance copy at work). The first part airs tomorrow night on HBO.

For all of you whom, when you heard Spike was doing a doc on Katrina, rolled your eyes and thought "great, a movie about how Whitey killed all the black people in New Orleans", you're going to be surprised. I myself even thought that's what it might be, and I'm a fan of Spike Lee, but it's not that at all.

Spike doesn't interject himself into the movie, he stays behind the camera refraining from voiceover. The victims are the ones who should (and do) do the talking, as well as various experts and commentators. This is no Fahrenheit 911. No one is spared blame. Mayor Nagin is in fact portrayed as indifferent and inneffective as he was prior to the hurricane hitting. Yes, the administrations shocking indifference is laid bare, but what is most shocking is the very real loss Spike manages to artfully convey through the movie. It's not often documentaries elicit much emotion, but you'd have to have no soul for this one not to punch you in the gut.

I normally hate it when docs use music too, it seems manipulative to me. But this one uses the music very artfully. Besides, how could a movie about New Orleans not have music?

See it, you won't regret it. But you will deeply regret what happened.
grey boy
On rare occasions I wished I had cable,
this is one of those occasions.
Donnie Darko
It's one of those rare occaisions that I use the cable I have.

The important point that the movie gets across is that the hurricane didn't hit New Orleans. It went east of the city. During the hurricane, yeah, there was some flooding, but it wasn't anything extraordinary. What killed the city was the levees. This was a man made disaster. And if the flooding wasn't bad enough, we had a sluggish and completely incompetent government response from top to bottom that made really bad flooding into deadly flooding. In those first days Sean Penn did more to help New Orleans than our President, and when a douchebag like Penn does more to save people than the person in charge of the country, you know it's bad. The Canadian mounted police showed up to provide assistance in New Orleans before FEMA did! The Hosers!

Somebody needs to be fired. A lot of somebodys.
It's in the hands of the voters to do the firing, and they've been content since Huey Long to do the laissez faire thing as long as they get thrown a few crumbs. They had a chance to fire Ray Nagin and he's still the mayor. The latest debacle is the opening of the federal treasury to some of the most experienced and professional white collar thieves on the planet. It's quite a job to figure out how to steal all this new taxpayer money - you can't expect them to get 'er done overnight. But they will have a new roof on the Superdome in time for the Saints to lose their customary 13 games.

For as long as I can remember, there have been things in New Orleans called Levee Boards. This is an appointed position. The people on these are of course appointed by the elected thieves, and on what basis? It's sure as hell not anything to do with knowledge of levees. It's called patronage. A similar situation exists in Chicago, and probably other places, but New Orleans is the major league in that game.
Wild Bill Turkey
Funny, in the documentary, patronage also got credit for Micheal Brown's ascension to the head of FEMA.
grey boy
QUOTE(Artemis @ Aug 22 2006, 05:28 PM) *

It's called patronage. A similar situation exists in Chicago, and probably other places, but New Orleans is the major league in that game.

Boston is fairly skilled in this area too, like the Turnpike Authority that opperates tunnels that kill people.
Though we are minor league when compared to New Orleans.
I don't think it was mentioned here, but it was much in the news a while back - some of the things for which FEMA cash handouts were used:

Tickets to see the afore-mentioned Saints
A trip to Hawaii
Services of a divorce attorney
Sex toys
A sex change operation
A trip to Puerto Rico or some other tropical island
Gambling in Las Vegas

Auditors also set up multiple fake addresses and used the names of dead people and had no trouble collecting multiple payments. But the vote has been suspected of being carried in NOLA using the same tactic, so if it ain't broke, why fix it?
Donnie Darko
There's no shortage of corruption on either side. There was a mountain of rampant fraud, plenty of it by people who weren't even in NO when the hurricane hit. I'm sure plenty of people did use the aid for necessary things, but anytime the government says "here, have some free money, pretty please don't vote us out of office", there's going to be assholes who cash in. A lot of people who lived north of 14th street got a free air conditioner after 9/11 even though they didn't fit the criteria for it.

I'm not condoning any of these actions, but I don't think the government should stop giving out aid because of fraud either. If anything it's just proof that FEMA needs to be flushed down the toilet and rebuilt from scratch with competent people who give out timely aid and who monitor and audit the aid given out. Handing out government debit cards that can be used for anything at all is one of the most clueless things I've heard of in awhile, but I guess those in charge were desperate to look like they were doing something as quickly as possible once the public peeked behind the curtain and caught them napping.
They lose either way. Screen people & they get press that it takes too long, give it out fast & rely on people to do the ethical thing & you get sex change operations. It's bad press either way. I'm sure they calculated a certain amount of fraud, I wonder how much they calculated.

"here, have some free money, pretty please don't vote us out of office"

Ha! If there was a truth in advertising, that would be the disclaimer on all political ads.
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