Thursday, August 2, 2007

Impressions of Catastrophe

Watching the footage of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, I couldn't help but think: why do the folks being interviewed in this city look and sound so different from those interviewed in New Orleans two years ago? Granted, the scale of the calamities are different, but even so, how can we pretend that these two cities are even in the same "America"? At times like this, this country seems more a concept than a place with any cultural or social coherence. And is this one of the things that makes America interesting and sort of cool, or is it a scandal? Would we erase these differences if we could, seeing that the differences are so great? Not a rhetorical question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You didn't expand on this by talking about the background of corruption in Nola (I've never been there, but I get this from new stories and Dave Robicheaux novels), and the more uncorruptible background of the Scandinavian Minne-so-ta and Wisconsin folk (I had a great time a while ago reading a book that was just on Minnesota--Minnesota Politics and Government (Politics and Governments of the American States) , I think.

It fascinates me how states really ARE different-- even Oregon vs. California, or Virginia vs. North Carolina.

I don't know if it was the interview with Pawlenty (?) you saw, but I was impressed when he interjected that global warmning was something on his and many Minnestoans when it came to future transit investments. Wish that was true here, too.
-- Creekside

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