I saw a picture of a woman being cradled in the current President's arms with a comment about how he would ensure that she got help, which was not forthcoming as cameras are a "spot in time" with no conscience about following up. Not counting the MSM photographer having no conscience about this coverage, not bothering nor caring if he followed up or even tried.
Once the photo op is over, the moment is over as well.
"Yeah baby, I'll call you . . ."
So what? So, I've watched several of these scenes unfold. I remember Kanye West saying "President Bush hates black people" because the folks in New Orleans weren't getting help fast enough. We're in the second term of the first black president and a lot of neighborhoods and homes in New Orleans are still uninhabitable. Seven years have gone by, billions of dollars spent, now into the more understanding president's second term and they're still left hanging.
Fast forward to Tropical Storm Irene. It's been over a year and Vermont has still not recovered, homes are still vacant, state facilities still not restored. Promised funds won't be forthcoming. The President promised but those funds won't come. The moment was over a long time ago for Irene, but not the victims of Irene.
This was driven home to me Monday night while out running, repeated two nights later while out running again. I ran in an area that I haven't run in since before Irene came. I crossed the river and turned left, down the neighborhood in the dark. On one side of the street, houses, lights, life.
On the other side of the same street, the side of the street with the river, only two houses are still alive. The rest are zombie houses, vacant staring eyes looking lifelessly out at the street. Those houses are no longer alive, but they're not quite dead either.
No trespassing signs. For sale signs.
Families gone, dreams gone, lives interrupted and ripped asunder.
For all of the promises, the government just doesn't have enough money. Not for everyone. Not for all the dreams and hopes that have been promised. The fact is, when the rent is due, everything else has to wait or get skipped.
I watched and have read about the cost of Superstorm Sandy and it's impact. The burned areas, the flooded areas. People who now understand that previous coverage of storms like this in areas normally far removed wasn't of stupid Rednecks down south, but of people who got caught in a storm of immense power. One that is heading one way one minute, and another the next. That can dump unimaginable amounts of water propelled by similar winds. People who found that they just couldn't bear to leave their homes, where their children took their first steps. Where they raised or are raising a family. Or left and came back to find that their life is gone. Wiped away in a manner that they never imagined could happen to them. Literally unimaginable to them in that part of the world.
Once it happens in New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, Staten Island, it changes the narrative. It suddenly becomes real and different. Suddenly the victims aren't some ignorant rubes, but civilised folk who live in the civilised part of the country. Folks who are about to learn that the government can't do everything that it's CEO has been promising. Can't do everything that they thought that they were getting when they re-elected the smartest President ever.
Though I can think of one president that actually was a Rhodes Scholar. For real.
I thought of this as I ran along that street both nights. Especially the second night when I observed something that had escaped my notice the first time.
It's late November and temps lately have been only in the 30s during the day and low 20s or less at night. This has been the weather for awhile now, yet I hear chirping. From several houses comes the sounds of smoke detectors with low batteries chirping.
No one is coming to change those batteries, no one cares anymore. Not FEMA, not the President who, having been re-elected, no longer needs those photo ops to remind folks of one more thing that he has not accomplished.
Many of those who suffered from Sandy are facing a similar future. Sadly, this is likely to be a fate still to play out for many of them.
Ask not for whom the house chirps. It chirps for thee.