Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Saturday, September 03, 2005

NOMINATE THIS ONE FOR A PULITZER: Scott Gold of the Los Angeles Times begins his story with the hell inside the Superdome:
A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered the restroom. Blood stains the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.

The Louisiana Superdome, once a mighty testament to architecture and ingenuity, became the biggest storm shelter in New Orleans the day before Katrina's arrival Monday. About 16,000 people eventually settled in. Within two days, it had degenerated into unspeakable horror. A few hundred were evacuated from the arena yesterday, and buses will take away the remaining people today.

"We pee on the floor. We are like animals," Taffany Smith, 25, said as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. ...

At least two people, including a child, have been raped as the arena darkened at night. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for. ...

There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming. The city's water supply, which had held up since Sunday, gave out early yesterday, and toilets in the Dome became inoperable and began to overflow.

"There is feces on the walls," said Bryan Hebert, 43, who arrived at the dome Monday. "There is feces all over the place."
Then he concludes with a triumph of the human spirit.
Suddenly, incongruously, the first notes of Bach's Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, the Adagio, pierced the desperation.

Samuel Thompson, 34, is trying to make it as a professional violinist. He had grabbed his instrument ... as he fled the youth hostel Sunday where he had been staying in New Orleans for the past two months. ...

Thompson closed his eyes and leaned into each stretch of the bow as he played mournfully. ... A National Guard soldier applauded quietly when the song ended, and Thompson nodded his head and began another piece, the Andante from Bach's Sonata in A Minor.

Like most in the shelter, Thompson's family in Charleston, S.C., has no idea where he is and whether he is alive. Thompson figures he is safe for now and will get in touch when he can. Meanwhile, he will play, and, once in a while, someone at the sports complex will manage a smile.

"These people have nothing," he said. "I have a violin. And I should play for them. They should have something."
When I posted these quotes, the whole story was reprinted by the Seattle Times at this site, but may not stay there. I found it linked at ypsi~dixit. Thank you to both Thompson and Gold for the reminder of how art can transcend tragedy.


Post a Comment

<< Home