Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Five days in this motherfuckin attic


I watched parts 1 & 2 of Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke last night and it's really quite good. You really get to hear what was going on with Nagin and Blanco and all the other players, as well as hear some amazing fucking shit from the people who lived through the damn thing.

Plus, I knew that First Lt. Army General Russel Honore, aka the Black John Wayne Dude, came into the city (after the federal government finally decided to DO something and sent him in) and kicked fucking ass, but I never understood until last night how much he changed the attitude of the troops on the ground. Many citizens of New Orleans complained in the days following the breach of the levees that the Army and National Guard troops were acting as though NOLA were an occupied city, and they were the enemy.

In his documentary, Lee shows footage of Honore striding through a barricade and yelling at one soldier after another: "Lower your weapon!" They comply, hesitantly, looking confused. He yells some more: "I said, lower your weapon, soldier!" More soldiers slowly comply.

And you realize that the city was full of barricades just like the one they have shown, where soldiers are standing, or sitting in fucking tanks, immobile, with their weapons raised against U.S. citizens who had done nothing. Citizens who needed their help, for chrissakes.

It was an almost devastating moment of understanding. Understanding of both sides, and why it got fucked up, and why it took so long to help the people.

Part 3 & 4 are on tonight. All parts will be played on the 29th, the first anniversary of Katrina.


And for those of you who don't get my Legendary K.O. reference in the title of this post, where the fuck have YOU been?

3 comments:

Chris said...

Vikki- I saw it, too. I thought it was very well done. Unbelievable the ineptitude of those in power. I'm looking forward to the rest of it tonight.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I thought 3 & 4 were very good, too. Not as dramatic as the flood footage, but really good at getting you to understand the nuts and bolts of what was going on in NOLA in the aftermath and months later.

I love the lady who gave her phone number for Barbara Bush to call.

Grant Miller said...

Goddamnit. I cancelled HBO.