Friday, September 19, 2008

After the storm: a wind whisperer & a Bible thumper weigh in

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, two of the hurricane hustlers to whom I most recently paid tribute (September 17 and September 11) have been strangely silent about the storm. Not a peep so far from Mr. Fire (at least not in any public forum that I could find), nor is there any word from Glen Stewart, the Father of Hurricane Reduction. But Phoenix/Spirit Diva has stepped up to humbly claim credit – which she magnanimously shares with other individuals and groups worldwide – for changing Ike's course to a path of lesser destruction. I received an email from her today:

Although there has been widespread loss to human life, animals, property and the land itself, I know that our prayers were heard and made a difference. I thank you for continuing to send prayers, your love to all affected by the Ike, Gustav and the rest, especially whenever you hear about or see photos of these areas and people...

...As American anthropologist Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." I'm not saying that our prayers and meditations individually and collectively changed the world, anyways yet; however, we made a significant difference along with the many, many other individuals and groups worldwide, in shifting the impact of Hurricane Ike.

* You may recall that last Friday night prior to our holding the meditation the National Hurricane Center was projecting that Ike was expected to grow from a Cat 2 to a 3 or possibly even a Cat 4 just before his eye made landfall in Galveston. Thankfully that was not the case. Ike's top sustaining winds remained near 110 mph.
* Also, the NHC advisories warned that storm surge could reach up to 25 feet. Amazing, even though Ike's eye arrived at Galveston's coast at high tide the surge was about half the projection. According to tidal guages, the highest surge Saturday morning was about 13.5 feet at Sabine Pass in Texas. The surge at Galveston was 11 feet.
* Ike destroyed at least 10 petroleum production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, but the damage was to only a fraction of the 3,800 platforms in the Gulf.
* Oil prices closed below $100US a barrel for the first time in six months Monday following Ike, tumbling more than $5. If prices were up at gas stations it was only due to human greed and fear factor.


Tell that to the folks who lost their homes and everything they own. Tell that to the million-plus souls who still don't have lights or running water (some areas aren't expected to have power back on till October). Tell it to the people waiting in lines stretching out for four blocks or more to get basic necessities. Yeah, I know, it could have been much, much worse. But my intuition tells me that thousands of folks never got that memo.

So maybe some of those top-notch hurricane communicators need to go out to the streets to spread the good news and conduct post-hurricane group meditations for the folks most afflicted by Ike. Here's a great idea for any of you wind whisperers who really want to make a difference: visit one of those hundreds of loooooong gasoline lines! You'll have a captive audience. Be sure to tell the motorists that your meditation efforts persuaded Ike to go easier on Texas than he was originally planning. I'm certain they will all be very appreciative. (Hint: Make sure the people you talk to are not armed (many Texans are), and stay well out of the way of their front or rear bumpers.)

Not surprisingly, the New-Wage babblers aren't the only ones who have something to say about hurricanes. Although so far no sanctimonious evangelical has stepped forward to declare that Ike was God's way of punishing gays or abortionists, the Biblically inclined are certainly weighing in. Ike was, it seems, just another example of God thundering wondrously with His voice. I rather like the poetry of it – the Bible is full of that kind of stuff – but I'm afraid that even poetry doesn't do much for those long lines of people whose lives were torn asunder by God's thunderous wonder.

But a little bit of practical advice certainly never hurt anyone. If you are thinking of rebuilding your destroyed home, here is some helpful counsel from the same blogger who brought you those thoughts on God's thunder. (He's in Columbus, Ohio, by the way – not exactly Ground Zero hurricane country.)

On the local front, meanwhile, we are experiencing a surge, if you will, of post-Ike media coverage. I know, I know; that's their job, but sometimes it gets so wearisome that I would almost welcome one of those neener-neener-my-life-is-sooooo-wonderful Tweets from a hustledork. (Notice that I said almost. I'm not that desperate yet.) But sometimes the media types go to ludicrous lengths to fill up air time or column space.

Take, for example, the feature article on the front page of the Star (style) section in the Houston Chronicle on Thursday, September 18: "Style reprieve: Dealing with the storm's aftermath calls for functional office-casual clothing." There's a photo of a woman on the Chron staff wearing a smart white blouse and tight-ish jeans; the caption reads: "Still without power, Jacquee Pechtel, assistant managing editor for projects, has exemplified hurricane chic working long hours at the Chronicle."

Hurricane chic?!?

Well, enough of this. I'm off to work now in the main office of Schmidt Kaye & Company, where every day is Office Casual Day. My ensemble today is a red tank top embellished with cat hair of various shades, a pair of red-green-and-white striped PJ bottoms whose left pocket is bulging with dog biscuits, and my Office Casual flip-flops. Ron is sporting a smart plaid flannel shirt, faded jeans, and his Office Casual sandals.

No doubt about it – we exemplify home-office chic.

PS ~ Here's a link to some before-and-after photos of the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas.
PPS ~ And most importantly, here is a link, courtesy, to information on how you can help in the hurricane relief effort.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fashion tips, persuaded me to do 'Hurricane Chic' this season, I've been trying to update my image from 'disillusioned slob who has given up caring'
Those before and after photos are gobsmacking, shut me up for a moment of contemplation on the puny efforts of mankind in the face of turbulent energy--then I thought--well, those of us still breathing are turbulent energy too, put it to use, it's clean up time, hence the wardrobe revamp.
I think you're being a bit hard on the whisperers and bible thumpers, Connie, we can all only contribute from what we have in our hearts, they have deluded baloney to offer us, I have an image to consider. Each to his own.
Mama, meanwhile, has no interest in any of us.

Cosmic Connie said...

Ellen, I'm glad I provided inspiration for an image upgrade. :-)

Maybe I *was* a bit hard on that particular Bible thumper to whose blog I linked. After all, he wasn't claiming that HE had influenced the hurricane, nor did he seem to be claiming that Ike was a punishment from God, as other evangelicals have decreed at various times. And I don't even have any problem with his suggestion that his readers pray for those whose lives were affected by the hurricane. That at least is evidence of compassion.

In fact, I don't even have a problem with the New-Wagers asking people to meditate on behalf of hurricane victims. If people want to pray or meditate or send good thoughts, that's fine. As my mom always used to say, "Even if it doesn't help, it won't hurt."

What brings out the snark in me are the people who claim that their efforts actually influenced the storm. Spirit Diva talks about how Ike, by the time it made landfall in Texas, wasn't the mighty Cat 4 storm everyone had feared. And she says this is due to her efforts and those of countless other meditators. Even if that were the case (and like so many New-Wage concepts, it's impossible to prove one way or the other), the fact is that the storm surge, which did as much or more damage than the wind, was equivalent to a Cat 4 or Cat 5 storm. This was due to the fact that Ike was such an unusually large hurricane. So much for SD's meditation that said, "Do not be deceived by size..."

Anyway, I'm afraid you're right about Mama Nature.

Anonymous said...

I've changed my mind as far as the whisperers are concerned, give 'em hell, shrieking, howling, hurricane hell.
Now if only I could change my image as easily...

Anonymous said...

Bloody idiots!

Anonymous said...

Our foolish society has created a bunch of selfish opportunists who know nothing other than to exploit the misfortune of those with a little less than themselves.

I believe the recession that the US is currently experiencing, and will feel the pain of for many years yet, is as a result of this greedy rude attitude. Those arrogant and selfish attitudes that come from the idiots who claim to be God (or might as well as they think they can work miracles) who are really just simple little people with a larger mouth and less brain than most but an ego the size they visualise their appendages to be, is what is killing reality in our society. And look at what the cost is....

They have promoted the go get it if you want it foolishness which has seen so many people lose everything and they take no responsibility for their advice or encouragement to do that.

Whenever they are questioned they run and hide and blame and complain. They remove everthing negative that is written about them because their ego is devastated by the fact that someone actually does hate them. They really do think that they have all the answers. They can't relate to need or hurt despite boasting about being masters of it all.

Its a sad sad place to be but look at the personal development teachers attempting to make it big, at least one of them has fallen very hard to a place that not even the man in the gutter would enjoy being. His greed and arrogance put him there and yet they don't learn......

Lets test them, lets put them in the eye of the storm and see how they do. I bet they would be the first ones running because their whimpy pride would be crying out "its not fair, why me".