Who By Fire?

"As I understand it, into the heart of every Christian, Christ comes, and Christ goes. When, by his Grace, the landscape of the heart becomes vast and deep and limitless, then Christ makes His abode in that graceful heart, and His Will prevails. The experience is recognized as Peace. In the absence of this experience much activity arises, divisions of ever sort. Outside of the organizational enterprise, which some applaud and some mistrust, stands the figure of Jesus, nailed to a human predicament, summoning the heart to comprehend its own suffering by dissolving itself in a radical confession of hospitality."Leonard Cohen, October 2nd, 2001

"We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday — yesterday — FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these lines...

I want to give you one last story and I’ll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I’m in, Emergency Management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” and he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you.” Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday… and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody’s coming to get us. Nobody’s coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody’s promised. They’ve had press conferences. I’m sick of the press conferences. For god’s sakes, just shut up and send us somebody." Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish, New Orleans, on Meet the Press yesterday, from the transcript.

Nothing left to do when you know that you've been taken. Nothing left to do when you're begging for a crumb Nothing left to do when you've got to go on waiting waiting for the miracle to come. Leonard Cohen, Waiting For The Miracle

If you were a heroin addict, you'd be smashing shit within a day of a New Orleans.

If you were a boozer, maybe a little longer.

If you were just anybody, two or three days would do it.

If you were a baby, or an old person in need of medicine, you'd just die quietly, in the piss and the shit, like a good citizen.

I hear Condoleeza Rice went to see Spamalot the other day, while our people rotted. She didn't get to see it, though. She was booed out of the place.

So it goes.

I fell asleep this morning to the sound of genocide, coming out of the computer, and the television.

And I awoke today to the sound of protest, coming through my window.

I heard When The Saints Go Marching In, and repeated chant: "Drive out the Bush machine. New Orleans can't wait. The world can't wait."

Out my window, marching down Broadway, were a hundred or so people. I put on a hat and some trousers and went outside. They waved banners, sang, and shouted as they marched along the road, into the oncoming traffic, to Union Square. I was overcome, and wept, quietly.

I talked to some people, and helped hand out flyers. There is to be a march on November 2nd. Soon sirens waliled and blooped, and the Square was surrounded almost entirely by a wall of police. Their mood was not as ugly as I have seen, in the main, although something happened behind a tree which I did not see, and two ambulances soon came.

Jokingly, a few days ago, I quipped that they'd be getting in Haliburton for the New Orleans "clean up."

Guess what?

They are.

I got an email from someone calling themself "trueplaya", that read

"Akira... would you shut the fuck up about depressing shit and write about Jimmy Ivine [sic] or something?

Oh, the hilarity.

You cannot stand what I've become. You much prefer the gentleman I was before. I was so easy to defeat. I didn't even know there was a war." Leonard Cohen, There Is A War

One of the lucky ones, who only lost the contents of their home to the floods, noted last night - at the end of a missive adding to The Red Cross' report that the National Guard are refusing to let supplies into in New Orleans:

"...part of the reason our house flooded is they dynamited part of the levee after the first section broke - they did this to prevent Uptown (the rich part of town) from being flooded. Apparently they used too much dynamite, thus flooding part of the Bywater. So now I know who is responsible for flooding my house - not Katrina, but our government ."

The picture, if you're wondering, I did earlier, and it made me smile, and it made me a bit sick. It's from the animated Clones video, marching on. We started filming the live action video yesterday. I was running round the Bronx in a huge orange jumpsuit. So it goes.

I saw you this morning. You were moving so fast. Can’t seem to loosen my grip On the past. And I miss you so much. There’s no one in sight. And we’re still making love In my secret life.

I smile when I’m angry. I cheat and I lie. I do what I have to do To get by. But I know what is wrong, And I know what is right. And I’d die for the truth In my secret life.

Hold on, hold on, my brother. My sister, hold on tight. I finally got my orders. I’ll be marching through the morning, Marching through the night, Moving cross the borders Of my secret life.

Looked through the paper. Makes you want to cry. Nobody cares if the people Live or die. And the dealer wants you thinking That it’s either black or white. Thank g-d it’s not that simple In my secret life.

I bite my lip. I buy what I’m told: From the latest hit, To the wisdom of old. But I’m always alone. And my heart is like ice. And it’s crowded and cold In my secret life.