The Vine

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Too Terrible

I am so sorry. When I first saw the radar pictures of Katrina in the gulf, I was awed by the beauty, the raw force of nature. Raised on the Gulf Coast myself, a BOI, growing up with stories of the 1900 storm, which my great grandmother survived to tell, and tell...and telllll....and TELL about over and over again, I developed a fondness for destructive weather. I dreamed of tornadoes and The Big Wave, and of drowning, over and over, all my life. I was actually acutely disappointed that for my first 18 years of life there I never got to experience a full force hurricane (unless you count Carla which hit while I was still in the womb). The storms we get here in Central Texas thrill me with electricity. In a post last year I even published a friends poem that fantasized the eradication of Houston by way of hurricane. But I even said to friends that this romanticism would end only when such powerful destroyer forces of nature killed someone or something beloved to me.

When I saw Katrina pointed at New Orleans, I knew that the dream was over and I wept for the nightmare that was to begin. For the first time ever, I prayed for a storm to weaken, and even though it did, what I did not know was how this government, and George W Bush had worked to weaken New Orleans' defenses against the storm that was sure to come, eventually. I am able to forgive myself for my fantasy because I never had the power to cut the Army Corp of Engineer's funding for levee mainenance, nor the power to emasculate FEMA. It took a president in thrall of rightwing conspiracy anti-public-good wingnuts to do that. I might have Wizard-of-Oz dreams of storms, but these people are actually, idealistically, seriously willing to use one to kill a whole lot of people as a result of bringing about a fascist state where government is all about who you can't have sex with or what you can't smoke and all against basic functions of public service.

If Bush et. al. conspired to launch a premeditated genocide, how would it look so much different? As far as I can see, his response has been to let a a lot of mostly poor, mostly black people die. There is blood of thousands (more) now on his hands, and I hereby name George Bush "The Man Who Killed New Orleans." Or tried to, if WE THE PEOPLE have anything to say about it.

The rightwingers who continue the keep the wool on say lame ass stuff like "Now is no time to point the finger of blame." Well I sure am proud of how the American people are rushing to help. But I am afraid that blame and punishment are a part of justice, and that you do not get to kill a bunch of people with incompetence and not stand trial for that. This is not hidden away on Gitmo, this is live on TV and when all is said and done, the whole neocon conspiracy has to explain their actions and inactions. They are not going to get away with it this time.

Please refer to PastPeak in my sidebar. Jonathan is really putting the case together about this.

As a professional Witch and potioneer, I and my kind owe a tremendous debt to the magical and spiritual traditions of New Orleans and the Deep South. If you start prying apart the ingredients of even the simplest of mojos, what you find is a lot of history encoded in these traditions that in many ways tells more than any history books. History of slavery, racism, survival of spirit, and even hidden and open cooperation among classes and races. I became interested in this a few years ago, and I found LuckyMojo and Cat Yronwood who has done a lot of this research already, interviewing old root hoodoo practitioners and transcribing rural blues lyrics to find the pieces. How does it come about that the story of High John the Conqueror, an African slave, who uses a root native to Mexico and used religiously by preColumbian Indians there, in ways traditional to ceremonial magicians in the European Western traditions using (Jewish) Kabbalistic structures of magic? You begin to suspect that many different sorts of people were talking and trying to help each other in a dire situation where slavery threatened the moral fabric of society.

It is really now a time for some kind of transformation, here ther is a direct order from God, if you will, for us to look at our racism and the deep scars that slavery has left on our souls, and beg for mercy and the grace it takes to heal. It is now time to admit to ourselves that racism is not about "nigger jokes" and that those words and feeling eventually add up to killing people. In magic we teach that "thoughts are things" and "words have power." Eventually a lot of racist (and misogynistic) thoughts, words and actions/inactions will come together in murder, in tragedy, where we are forced to look at the carnage, hear people screaming "Help Us!" and realize, "There is a part in me that did this." It is too terrible, but we have to do it. I hope George Bush and Co. are willing to do this sort of scary soul-searching, and if Love can not motivate Reparation, maybe Guilt will. Time to pay for the sins of our ancestors. Time to say "I Am So Sorry," and do everything you can, and give all the money you can to prove it.

In a few days I will talk about my own confrontations with racism, how it has come through my family line, and how we have dealt, or not dealt with it.

7 Comments:

At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Con't count on either Love or Guilt to lead to soul-searching on behalf of the Frat Boy in Chief. Or the CEO in Chief. Or whatever the fuck he is, exactly.

But We the People - yes, We the People - might actually get it done. The more people who wake up *and stay awake,* the better chance we have of this actually happening.

Love to you, Miss Ivieee.

- morrigandaughtr
who is Crow
who was Moonwing
who is chewing bubble gum

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger princess poysen ivieee said...

Oh, Crow! Thanks for the fly-by! Caw!

 
At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For the first time ever, I prayed for a storm to weaken"

What? Please explain?

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger princess poysen ivieee said...

Seriously, like I said, I used to love violent weather. I've been huddled under an interstate bridge to get out of the hail, in a car with a window broken, clutching the original manuscript of a publication, trying to keep it from being ruined, all the while thinking, "Kewl! Bad-ass!"

Preceeding and during a thunderstorm, I feel great, a big body high. It may be the electricity, other people have done studies about thunderstorms, you are actually more intelligent during a storm, by two or three IQ points. Probably it is just adrenaline, a natural response so that you have the energy to get to safety. Some people like to argue, some people skydive or drive unsafely, maybe this is just my way of juicing up.

I had previously never witnesses weather that was a serious threat to life and limb, so the adrenaline high was a fairly innocuous thrill.

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks, not sure I understand, but I appreciate the explanation. My wife and I worked our whole lives, now we are retired and our house is paid for. When ever I see a news story about a storm, I think of those in harms way and what they stand to lose. Must be an age thing.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful, and thought-provoking, post Ms. Ivieee.
x0x0
d-fly

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger princess poysen ivieee said...

Hey y'all may be right about it being an age thing. And maybe this is the event(s) that make me "grow up" in this particular regard!

Anyway, I sure appreciate y'all dropping in and leaving comment, Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous! Got a handle for us to call you by? Blog yourselves?

 

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