Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

Dystopian Dixie

My entry from earlier this evening on the "cinematic" reporting of the madness in New Orleans bows in admiration to the ones on interdictor's LJ, drawn to my attention by _luaineach, which demonstrates the power of blogging to give a sense of reality that standard journalism only rarely achieves. I suspect that I would disagree with him on almost every point worth arguing, were we to discuss politics in the friction-free environment of some think tank. But I'm awed by his persistence in getting the word out under absurdly trying circumstances and can even live with his less-PC moments because I've never believed that looting constitutes a viable politics of resistance.

Maybe I witnessed one-too-many privileged, white frat boy wander out of the Berkeley Gap with a pile of new chinos during an "anarchist" uprising. Maybe the petty Bürger blood I inherited from my grandfather the camera-store owner still flows too freely inside me. Maybe I'm too much of a fascist law-lover. Whatever the reason, I have a hard time having sympathy for anyone taking advantage of a situation where people are dying in large numbers to raid stores when they could be contributing to the relief effort by simply not looting.

As I've said already in comments, the impoverished neighborhood underneath the Cypress Structure in West Oakland did not take its collapse during the 1989 Loma Prieta quake as a call to loot, but as a call for help. The only looters I know of were the "radical" German Autonomen -- one of whom stole my checkbooks and left scabies on the clothes of mine he'd borrowed without asking -- who, upon seeing the television coverage at Jeremy and David's place, said, "How zou vie get to zies road? Vie can take zair vallets if zay are dead." Pardon me if, even fifteen years later, I still haven't managed to wash the taste of that brand of anarchism out of my mouth.
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