September 06, 2005

Cue the Tragically Hip ...

I'm currently in Newfoundland, where anyone complaining about the weather this past week has earned a quick reprimand and a referral to the news about the major disaster in New Orleans.

Mike Hoye put it dramatically but, sadly, probably quite accurately:

"I had really hoped to see New Orleans someday. It won't happen, though. I would be stunned if there will be a New Orleans left, after this. It will never be what it was."

I have to say that I'm pretty shocked by the lack of "emergency preparedness", to use the lingo. I know people who have been to New Orleans in the past year and were describing how this very kind of disaster could unfold. Bottom line: the breachability of the levees, particularly in Category 4/5 hurricane conditions, was not top secret. I'll get on a longer rant about this later, but in the mean time I'll leave you with two words: scenario planning.

Posted by anatole at September 6, 2005 04:06 PM

I was browsing through the iTunes top 100 list yesterday and found, to my... surprise?, that a certain Tragically Hip song from the 80's was half-way down the list. "New Orleans is Sinking" is one of those songs that was played at every dance and party throughout high school and beyond. Leaves a different impression now.

So... who brought up this song in recent context to a new buying audience I wonder? I mean... if you already had the song, you wouldn't be buying it on iTunes. So obviously someone "re-introduced" the tune to the public conciousness. Are people actually out there saying "Hey.. man... check out this tune... it's all Nostradamus and shit!"

Smacks of morning commute commercial radio... but I'll try not to be that cynical. Maybe it's just innocent bloggers mentioning the Hip in passing. ;)

Posted by: Amos at September 6, 2005 10:30 PM

There's no doubt recent events have bumped that song up the virtual playlists, but it's been lurking in the background pretty much constantly for me. Maybe not in Ottawa, but it [used to/will again] be played on Toronto radio semi-regularly anyway.

As for emergency preparedness, I'd just like to point out that al-Qaeda has not taken responsibility for Katrina, so we *must* be winning the war on terror!

Posted by: Alasdair at September 7, 2005 02:30 PM

I'm betting the "chaos" was actually a careful ploy by the goverment to get in a pre-emptive strike... on themselves. I mean, when God and bureaucracy are so clearly bent on screwing over millions of Americans, what is there left for Al-Qaeda to do?

(Yeah, a long shot, I know, but I can't think of many other reasons for FEMA to be so pleased with themselves right now.)

Posted by: Tyla at September 7, 2005 08:54 PM