At work, there’s a big stack of letters labeled “California Wildfire.” It contains demo copies (all addressed to John Sample of Anytown, USA) of letters we sent out to borrowers who might have been victims of last summer’s fires, reassuring them that if they hadn’t paid their student loans because their checkbooks and houses and banks had burned, we wouldn’t be angry.

Today I found video of those fires (or of one like them) and stared, entranced.

Firestorm from powrslave on Vimeo.

I think my work probably sent out letters along the same lines after Hurricane Katrina, although those letters would have been put away in archives or just recycled by now, so they’re not sitting in a convenient pile near my desk.

Fires make me think of Katrina because I also saw today that FEMA finally surplused all the supplies it bought and failed to distribute to Katrina victims. While they’ll probably be put to good use, it’s just yet another reminder that they let New Orleans down. Even three years on, there are plenty of flood victims who could use those supplies, and won’t because FEMA is disorganized and lacks initiative. But hey, that was a couple news cycles ago, and Bush has moved on. So has the rest of Louisiana, which now features a man whose support for Intelligent Design belies either idiocy or cynical pandering or both. Hey, maybe abandoning the poor in their flooded homes is part of that grand intelligent design.

Sometimes people wonder why I’m so angry at the world. I usually wonder why they aren’t.

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