Thursday, September 1, 2005

Summer Blockbuster

A couple of weeks ago I watched last summer’s big disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow, and the weekend before last I watched Independence Day, the big blockbuster from a few years ago. Both were about wholesale destruction with screaming headlines of impending disaster and shots of people desperately trying to escape devastation. Well, just scrolling through this afternoon’s headlines, you’d think they were pushing the 2005 summer blockbuster.

  • The New York Times: Residents of New Orleans Struggle to Escape an Increasingly Chaotic and Desperate City
  • South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Fights, fires, gunfire slow evacuation of thousands from Superdome; more soldiers sent in
  • As Congress heads back to Washington to deal with this, House Speaker Dennis Hastert wonders whether it’s worth it to re-build New Orleans.

    Lawmakers have to ask themselves if it’s worth sinking possibly billions of federal dollars into rebuilding New Orleans, a low-lying city which would remain a vulnerable hurricane target even after clean up, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Wednesday.

    “It doesn’t make sense to me,” said Hastert during an interview with the Daily Herald editorial board. “And it’s a question that certainly we should ask.”

    Congress’ most powerful Republican undoubtedly wasn’t the first to think such a thought, but as the man at the head of a chamber charged with approving federal disaster aid legislation, he knows the potentially taboo topic won’t go away.

    Well, in every summer blockbuster, there’s always a subplot with a villain who has to get the audience riled up; I guess Hastert is the guy, and he fills the bill.

    There’s also a subplot with a ditz who cavalierly goes about her day and her pursuit of her own agenda while the world is falling apart and gets all put out because the bad old aliens or the terrible weather have just ruined her day. We’ve got that, too, according to the New York Post:

    SECRETARY of State Condoleeza Rice, here on three days’ vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central…

    Word is that she also caught a Broadway show (Monty Python’s SPAMALOT) and picked up some new shoes on Seventh Avenue. Well, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping…

    So while the Gulf Coast drifts into anarchy, the administration that promised a “rapid response” to every act of terror has, in the last 72 hours, proven that it has all the usefulness of a Nerf vibrator. This is one bad movie we can’t walk out on.