Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Why Not Me?

New Orleans is drowning and I’m sitting here sipping coffee and puttering about on the Internet; my feet are dry, my lights are on, and I have nothing to worry about other than whether I should buy a Daily Racing Form so I can risk a few dollars playing the ponies online later today. People all over the Deep South are thankful just to be alive while I’m all pissed off because the video store is two weeks late repairing my DVD player.

So I wonder: what have I done or not done to deserve having it so easy while others—especially in the Big Easy—have it so hard? Could it be my ongoing commitment to cycle commuting? The fact that I don’t eat meat? Or is it my consistent willingness to separate all my trash into recycling, compost, and garbage?

The obvious answer is that it’s none of these and that I’m just naturally a better person than those millions of folks who’ve been displaced and destroyed by the storm. God or nature or Krishna or the space aliens have simply recognized my moral superiority apart from anything I do or don’t do and consequently have allowed me to stay warm and dry while visiting those scores of sinners down South with wrath from above.

Yeah, that’s it, I’m sure.

Seriously, how can there by any explanation whatsoever for my good fortune in light of the catastrophe experienced by others? How could anyone (other than a paranoid schizophrenic religious fanatic tripping his brains out on STP) imagine that I’ve done anything to warrant my experience? Or that others have done anything to deserve theirs? How could anyone possibly surmise that the universe is doling out rewards and punishments such that I hit the jackpot while my Southern brethren simply get hit?

All I can figure is that it’s simply a matter of pure chance, just dumb luck on my part with the emphasis on dumb.


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