[xmca] Katrina and Tsunami

From: Phil Chappell (philchappell@mac.com)
Date: Sat Sep 03 2005 - 08:11:27 PDT

I in no way wish to detract from the immediate and immense problems in
the gulf, but I have just spent a couple of days in Phuket, Thailand
(on an educational kind of visit) where thousands died 8 months ago in
another natural disaster. 8 months on there are dispossessed and
traumatised children who lost all family members, street vendors who
cooked and sold bbq chicken and salad to put their kids through school
whose carts were destroyed and who are still working out how to return
to their villages over a 1000 km away, homeless adults wandering around
with ragbags (a very unusual sight in this international playground
where everyone prospered), and endless, endless, endless restaurants,
bars, and other entertainment joints empty except for the few staff who
are dozing on tables. The "west" has shunned its former playground. An
island that once owed its existence to the various fishing communities,
many nomadic, that plied its waters; a playground that now owes its
existence to western "fly and flop" tourism, and James Bond.

The 4 and 5-star hotels remain unaffected, apart from having no guests.

Several people complained of the government's slowness in providing the
reconstruction support that they felt was due months ago. And the
government complains that the millions pledged by other countries are
still to be received.

I don't have international TV at home, but I watched it in my hotel in
Phuket. I saw Americans echoing the words of Thais, albeit 8 months too
early. And I read in a local English rag the complaints that "the Bush
government is spending all its money on the war in Iraq and doesn't
have enough to support this latest disaster". (I didn't bring the
article back with me and it's not available electronically).

My hope is that the spin can stop for long enough to help those who
need - in the latest gulf area, in Thailand, in Sri Lanka, in Banda
Ache, on the bridge in Iraq............

One poignant moment for me was the entertainment place (half bar/half
restaurant) that we passed by. A cable tv (cnn) was showing looters up
to their necks in water. The viewers were slumped on tables asleep -
the wait-staff for the evening, waiting.

This is not a terribly eloquent post, but one I wanted to write as I
ponder humanity's latest issues with nature and itself.

And from another list:

"In such a terrible situation as the one that thousands of people are
experiencing now in the USA, I believe it is not time for refined
exercises of discourse analysis (at least, I would be unable to do
them) that, for the sake of academic "rigor" and self-complacency
(which too often are one and the same issue) would obscure the
fundamental issues at stake in this crisis. The simple issue is that
the bodies and minds of poor people always DIE in greater quantities
and SUFFER more than other economic classes under critical
circumstances. If you have an opportunity, do search for and listen to
these speeches, for example. I doubt that CNN will make them available
on line.

And to the international academic community (particularly the US
scholars) I can only suggest, with all due respect and humbleness, to
consider anew or review the role that the material bases of society,
and particularly objects such as "class", "class relations", "poverty",
or the like, play in the models (?) that inform (?) their respective
forms of discourse analyses."


On 03/09/2005, at 2:01 AM, Vera Steiner wrote:

> Hi,
> The only small step that I am aware of is that the U. of New Mexico is
> letting undergraduates enroll with no
> records and providing them with tuition, etc. But no steps thus far at
> the
> graduate level or assistance to researchers,
> Vera
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peg Griffin" <Peg.Griffin@worldnet.att.net>
> To: "'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 10:46 PM
> Subject: RE: [xmca] Hurricane Katrina-LSU Student Relief Fund
>> Thanks for the info, David.
>> Do you know if any of the colleges and universities to the south and
>> east
> of
>> Baton Rouge have any temporary web homes?
>> Does anyone know of anyone keeping track of ways to work with
>> students,
>> teachers, researchers who have been displaced from the gulf?
>> Is anyone getting a database about displaced doctoral candidates who
>> need
> to
>> replace months of data collection, students who need certain
>> requirements
> to
>> graduate, junior faculty who have to rewrite their almost finished
>> manuscripts and so on?
>> Is anyone trying to get them together with university people who can
>> help
>> them work out reasonable next steps?
>> So far the evidence from Yale and UC seems to say that those
>> institutions
>> haven't yet recognized they might be the someones with the expertise
>> to do
>> these sorts of things...
>> PG
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>> [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
>> Behalf Of David Daniel Preiss Contreras
>> Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:12 PM
>> To: 'xmca@weber.ucsd.edu'
>> Subject: [xmca] Hurricane Katrina-LSU Student Relief Fund
>> A secular way to help, from the site of www.lsu.edu
>> David
>> Hurricane Katrina-LSU Student Relief Fund
>> Hurricane Katrina has had a terrible effect on our state and there are
> many
>> LSU students from South Louisiana who could use your help in this
>> time of
>> need. The LSU Foundation's Hurricane Katrina - LSU Student Relief
>> Fund
> was
>> created in response to the far-reaching damage caused by Hurricane
> Katrina,
>> and all donations to this fund will directly assist students whose
>> lives
>> have been greatly affected by the storm.
>> To give to the relief fund by credit card, simply fill out the
>> information
>> here. If you would like to donate by check, please make the check
>> payable
>> to the LSU Foundation and indicate on the check that it is intended
>> for
> the
>> LSU Student Relief Fund. You can mail your check to:
>> Hurricane Katrina-LSU Student Relief Fund
>> c/o LSU Foundation
>> 3838 W. Lakeshore Dr.
>> Baton Rouge , LA 70808
>> Thank you for giving to the LSU Student Relief Fund, and, as always,
>> thank
>> you for all you do for LSU.
>> David D. Preiss
>> home page: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
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