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The Cody Blog: Passionate About Feeling Dispassionate About Katrina

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Passionate About Feeling Dispassionate About Katrina

I guess having been so close to 9/11 and having had my whole life turned upside down (and not in the good "flip it" kind of way) in its aftermath, I might not understand how the rest of country felt, acted, and continued on immediately following those events.

But as I'm sitting at the very trendy (and yes, in Meatpacking District) Bumble & Bumble salon today getting my haircut by a very attractive woman looking out on at a beautiful view of downtown NYC and, frankly, enjoying myself, I kept wondering if people were doing this on September 16, 2001. To be clear, it is extremely important for our economy that we do continue to do these things, but it does make me feel strangely dispassionate and uncaring.

As I'd run from the WTC back on that fateful day in 2001, I, along with so many other people, was just hearing snippets of the newsflow -- the Pentagon was hit, the Prez is hiding, etc etc -- and I was sure that the US had gone into war and that I'd soon be off to fight it. When I finally got to midtown and secured a bike rental (not that the guy was open, I traded my credit card itself for a bike -- which was later stolen from me off the street in midtown, but that's another story) and rode into midtown off of the West Side Highway, I was absolutely flabbergasted to see stores open and people milling on the streets, and sitting at bars. Again -- that is the right thing to do, it's just that I was shocked to see it.

In so many ways this tragic Katrina event is far different from 9/11. But as I'd noted in the "Commercializing Katrina" post below, I'm having a hard time understanding all the differences in the aftermath.

5 Comments:

Blogger D.2.O said...

I don't think what you're feeling is either odd or bad -- there's no instruction manual for interpreting events or processing them logically.

Besides unimaginable suffering and devestation, however, I find myself struggling most with are a couple of things: 1-grasping the disconnect between federal/state/local govt, 2-what that means for our ability to handle terrorist acts (levees, damns are targets themselves), 3-whether people will actually learn from this experience.

You being a man of finance, I have to ask if you've thought through yet the 'rebuilding of New Orleans'. I say to myself here is a city that is sinking at ~2 inches per year, does it make sense to put its folks in harm's way?

9/06/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous JB said...

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9/06/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure you really feel "dispassionate and uncaring" or are your comments perhaps reflecting that our culture/society seems to have established what are considered 'appropriate' outward manifestations of concern and caring and you feel like you aren't following those?

Because I would tend to say that your postings here on the topic very much reflect compassion and empathy for the people suffering from this tragedy, regardless of whether or not you got a haircut today.

After all, life is a precious gift of uncertain duration. So I don't think that choosing to enjoy your afternoon is necessarily callous or disrespectful to those who are suffering...for me personally, in the wake of events such as Katrina, I tend to find myself appreciating those kinds of moments more deeply and with a profound sense of gratitude. (And living in a city located on a major fault line, I guess there is also a recognition that the next natural disaster could very well be very close to home.)

9/06/2005 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger jason said...

its normal. But I think hurricane katrina is much much much bigger. 911 involved one building, katrina involved 3 states and millions of people. thousands dead, and still dieing. I think this is the problem, we dont get the all encompassing view like we did during 911, if we could get a panaramic view, I think we would be shocked.

9/06/2005 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Neil Young and Led Zepplin.Did you get your blogin. Keep on rocken in the free world? or bloggin? in the free world from Neils song? I think you are to young to have seen them in person , but they were the greatest in person, so i don't know ,it is just fun to have all these and the new ones. We all need to keep this muisic going on forever no matter what it is. We need to treasure the past and keep the futuire going.

9/10/2005 10:34:00 PM  

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