The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Let's Blame Someone

As a general rule, it is said, when a problem arises, the best thing to do is to focus on resolving the problem and set aside personal issues strained by the problem. This principle is a pretty basic tenet for conflict resolution--you often see it in one form or another in 8th grade classrooms. These teachers are, in so doing, attempting to resolve conflicts that arise between students before they escalate into unnecessary heated exchanges (read, fights).

It makes sense for these teachers to institute such positive messages for these 14- and 15-year-old adolescents: they're insecure, easily offended, immature, pubescent, and, according to research, their brains haven't fully developed in specific self-control regions. What else can we expect?

The South has been traumatized by a disaster of apocolyptic proportions--unfortunately, I'm not hyperbolizing that much. These people, mostly impoverished and now destitute, could do nothing to heed the mandatory evacuation notice. Some, granted, were defiant of the warnings and shook their fists in Katrina's face; but many others were helpless to abandon their homes and lives to the wrath Katrina wrought.

We stand, now, five days since the Hurricane of 2005. The rest of the country, and indeed the world, has remained close to their televisions, the news, and attentive to any stories (true or false) transmitted from friends, family, and coworkers.

For me, it has been a daily dose of the evening news, the typical broadcasts: NBC, ABC, CBS. Hints came already Wednesday, but intentions were fully betrayed Thursday. Questions of "Why hasn't the government done anything?" "What's taking so long?" "Why are these people not being relieved of their suffering?" By Friday, answers to these questions were concluded: "It's Bush's fault."

He's the one who just spent the last 5 weeks trouncing around the Western White House. Coming off of vacation, it wasn't too out of his way to take a detour of the devastation. He denies that the War in Iraq is limiting the level of response given to this tragedy. Didn't we learn anything from 9/11? Indeed, we will eventually hear the heart-rending story of someone who's been dramatically affected by both the Hurricane and the War--losing numerous family members to both. My heart truly goes out to them--whoever they are. But sadly, they will yet again become victims--this time of the media, using them as a pawn to push their agenda against the War and the Leader of the Free World.

Someone has to take the blame in all this. It's not the mayor of N'Awlins, he's surely a victim too (as long as we're comparing this to 9/11--not my idea, the media's--let's compare Ray C Nagin's leadership to Rudy Guliani's), it's not the great state of Louisiana's fault. They called for the evacuation--that's all they should have done, right? But how can you require something of people who don't have the means to obey it? They didn't expect everyone to follow it, and they knew there would be casualties. So, we must keep on going right up the chain of command until all excuses are exhausted and the last available person to blame must bear it--and he will bear that burden because he loves this country.

So, we're back to adolescent blaming. The solution is complex, more so than the problem. But blaming Bush for tardiness isn't helping to resolve the problem--nor is it resolving anyone's anguish over how this could happen.

But, when news happens, the facts just aren't enough. They can't allow a nation to simply grieve with its fellow citizens, they must quench the desire to tease out theories on causes and reasons. They must report the speculation and escalate the frustration felt by all. They aren't really concerned with resolving the problem, only questioning the efficacy, validity, and punctuality of the solution. It's the media, though, what else can we expect?