Saturday, September 03, 2005


Thanks to the blogosphere, I've been keeping tabs on events in the Gulf region of the United States as well as those closer to home.

1. Coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath seems to concentrate primarily on the devastation of New Orleans, a place Mike describes as having descended into a "Hobbesian state of nature." Thomas Hobbes, you'll recall, famously claimed that life in a democracy would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." I stuck a comment on Mike's blog, which I'll reprint here:

This will be an interesting test case for people who are for and against the possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens. It's the case envisioned by the gun advocates: possessing a firearm increases your chance of survival in a hostile environment, or so goes the claim. I'm not really a fan of the frothier wing of the NRA, but I'm willing to listen to arguments from its moderates, and I'm open-minded about gun possession overall.

While there's a lot more to the current disaster than just the firearms aspect of it, I'll be watching how this plays out in the coming weeks.

Will we be seeing instances of frontier justice? I'm hoping not, but as the death toll is taken, I have to wonder how many cadavers will be found sporting bulletholes.

2. Taegu, a city that suffered an immense gas explosion in the mid-1990s and went through a devastating subway fire not long ago, is in the news again thanks to a bathhouse explosion that seems to have claimed several lives. Joel and Nomad have more. Nomad also has some interesting Katrina-related commentary about the sloppy nature of Konglish journalism here.

As I've noted on the blog before, "disaster" is a word whose etymology is linked to the notion of a "bad star (dis + aster)." Both Taegu and New Orleans seem to suffer quite a bit of ill fortune. New Orleans, even in the best of times, has to contend with problems like crime. Taegu, when not suffering natural disasters, still has to worry about the intense summer heat.

Should we start a "sister city" campaign? New Orleans and Taegu, members of the sorority of suffering. Could be a good idea: Koreans need to be exposed to the delights of eating nutria.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that you should click the Dalma Daesa image on my sidebar. It's for a good cause.

UPDATE 2: In the comments section, the Nomad offers this lovely link to a storm headed Korea's way.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Daegu, check this out: