someone accused new yorkers of being “myopic” about the strength of irene after we were all so disappointed. there have after all been seemingly more ferocious storms this summer. in fact, we’ve gotten bucketloads of rain in the last few months. 7 inches two weeks before the hurricane. in one day. the average for august is 4. may have had something to do with the flooding we experienced. i wouldn’t know. i haven’t heard of any horror stories inside of the City. my storage unit in the basement at 110th and 1st (very close to the east river) was bone dry. storage units in the basement at the front of the building, no such luck. apparently the water in the basement was knee high. i got lucky. it was certainly low impact from the carnage we were expecting. maybe new yorkers seem myopic about the impact of what turned in to a tropical storm when we were expecting armageddon because we deal with literal shit on a daily basis. bed bugs. naked crazy people on the subway. heinous crimes. people falling out of windows. onto tracks. jumping off buildings. in front of trains. dog eat dog world must have come after new york. (an equal if not greater amount of love and beauty occurs, but there are definitely millions of people buzzing in a small space and lots of crazy shit happens every day.) the intensity of 9 million jittery nerves was more nerve racking than irene.
the way the media covered it, it seemed like we were supposed to be preparing for katrina. friday before the storm, the grocery store was worse than the day before thanksgiving. and the buzz in the air was tense. people went nuts. internally. stocking up on bread and water. on saturday, i waited in line 15 minutes for cat food because, well because, i forgot to get cat food the day before when the store was so crazy….and what if it were 3 days before i could get it? plus i needed to get beer. what’s a hurricane party without beer?
the comment about being myopic seemed a little over the top. there has been tragedy and catastrophe all over the world this year from natural disasters. More the 15,000 people died on march 11, my birthday, this year in japan from the tsunami and earthquake. japan is about the size of new mexico. 2 million people live in new mexico. 127 million live in japan. the ground has been shaking there ever since. nuclear disaster threat. they can’t catch a break. tornadoes that blew through alabama, mississippi, and massachusetts last spring: devastating loss of life and property, possibly purpose… cattle ranchers in texas have lost cattle to drought and fire and possibly will lose their ranches. i’m not saying people weren’t devastated from irene, nor am i suggesting they are not in need of compassion, assistance, thoughts, and prayers. my intention is not to sound cold. it really is like the storm didn’t happen here. at all. and we were promised armageddon. (i also agree that it was handled well. had they not shut everything down when they did, more darwin awards would have been won.)
natural disasters seem to effect us more on an energetic level. makes sense since we’re connected to the earth. supposed to be anyway. i wasn’t here in 2001, but millions of people who live here were. they lost more than 3,000 people in one day. imagine how shocking that was. energetically. and it wasn’t even really a natural disaster unless you count humans. i guess we should.
so myopic is not really the best word to describe new yorkers in their reaction to a tropical storm that promised to pummel the city. it did put the city to sleep, but it was just a cat nap. we are far sighted. bad things happen everyday all over the world.