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When the Levees Broke


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I was very impressed with episode 1.

 

But, as Elissa suggests, it might be very difficult to see the scope of a grand tragedy as you struggle to get through hip-deep water in your lobby.

 

New York City's and Nassau's plans calls for extensive use of subways and the LIRR to evacuate the Rockaways, Coney Island, Lawrence, and other low lying areas. Nassau County's plan calls for use of the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges, both of which have approaches that occasionally flood in very high water conditions. The subways don't inspire me with a lot of confidence in a huge natural event like a hurricane flood

 

A 20 foot storm surge (similar to the 1938 storm on LI) would put some of Brooklyn, southern and northeastern Queens, and lower Manhattan under a lot of water.

 

Even the lessons of 9/11 have yet to be implemented.

 

---Fire, police, EMT, PANYNJ, subways, buses still have different frequency radios that don't interact with each other.

 

---Only a small % of buildings practice regular evacuations.

 

---The city still has not reached agreement with many telecom and internet support companies which have installed (illegal) thousand gallon and five thousand gallon diesel fuel tanks in residential areas of tribeca and SoHo. These power the backup systems for computer services like this one...

Edited by Rail Paul
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I'm glad Lee made this because:

 

*documentaries over the past decade have became worthy of write-ups in even such trash as Entertainment Weekly, I love docus, Lee is a big name, this helps docus in general

 

*he did a good job: great images, great editing

 

*story needs to be told IN BIG BLOODY LETTERS

 

 

However, I am afraid it will have no impact that matters.

 

 

 

Not to wax p0litic@l, but if in Canada, the UK, Italy, France or wherever a government rep said, "If you don't leave we bear no responsibility" it would mean morally, not financially. Anywho...

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Not to wax p0litic@l, but if in Canada, the UK, Italy, France or wherever a government rep said, "If you don't leave we bear no responsibility" it would mean morally, not financially. Anywho...

 

The Canadian government makes exactly that statement dozens of times each year in Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Yukon, etc. Any time there's a forest fire or plains fire underway, the government orders people to abandon their homes and leave. The US government does the same thing in forest fires, and left several people on Mount Saint Helens when they decided to wait out the eruption.

 

The hurricane was no different. Everyone who owned a TV set knew it was coming for days in advance. The governments in Louisiana (city, state, federal) chose to hope for better rather than anticipate the worst. Many people made their own evaluation and left days ahead of the onslaught. CNN and the weather channel showed hundreds of people hitchiking out of town on their lead-up footage. Nearby Biloxi was largely empty when the storm hit. Poor people, rich people, everybody had left town. Some on city buses, even.

 

The question, which Lee addressed head-on, is what obligation, if any, do the government and fellow citizens have to people who lack the means or the interest, or both, in leaving their homes?

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Not to wax p0litic@l, but if in Canada, the UK, Italy, France or wherever a government rep said, "If you don't leave we bear no responsibility" it would mean morally, not financially. Anywho...

 

The question, which Lee addressed head-on, is what obligation, if any, do the government and fellow citizens have to people who lack the means or the interest, or both, in leaving their homes?

I'm sure you realize this, but it would be impossible to discuss this subject here.

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It was just too painful to hear all those terrible stories, over and over relentlessly tearing at my gut. I was raw after awhile.

 

That story Al Sharpton told about the guy with the wheelchair-bound wife was it for me. I couldn't take too much more after that, although I forced myself to keep with it until the Daily Show was about to start.

 

I didn't think the movie gave Nagin a total pass. He's very charismatic on the screen and defends himself well.

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That story Al Sharpton told about the guy with the wheelchair-bound wife was it for me. I couldn't take too much more after that, although I forced myself to keep with it until the Daily Show was about to start.

 

I didn't think the movie gave Nagin a total pass. He's very charismatic on the screen and defends himself well.

 

Lee portrayed Nagin not at all as a hero but as a human. The first thing Nagin did was consult the business community and Lee doesn't give him a pass on that; but he does give him his due for finally having an emotional reaction, and for that being the catalyst to bringing real help to the fore. A pretty phenomenal portrait really, in terms of how though his first reactions and actions were flawed, Nagin overcame his mistakes.

 

That story about the wheelchair ripped me to bits as well, but that was far from the only time I cried - those two angry white women were so moving, as was the woman in the airport, and the fellow whose mother died and had to be left in the superdome - so many of the stills even. Interesting that not even anger or stridency sapped their arguments. Wonderful to see Sean Penn in action too - that's a real artist imho, one who lives with heart and balls. And of course the gorgeous Harry Belafonte was so strong and reflective and what an amazing story, his with Chavez.

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It was very powerful.

 

What I found most interesting was that although we all know how the selection of cuts is how he chose to editorialize, I think an unsophisticated viewer might just take the film and it's message on face value as if this was the only way to hear the story..... and that's the genius of it. Unlike Farenheit 9/11, where even the least sophisticated among us was acutely aware of the bias, this can be presented to a large audience as just "the facts" of what happened. IMO very un-Spike Lee in that respect, and brilliant. Kudos to Lee.

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It's pissing me off incredibly that the film is not in sinc with the sound. I'm on hold with TWC and it's impossible to get through. I'm going to explode in a minute.

 

If I was the paranoid type...... :lol:

 

Speaking of paranoid and scary, what about that expert saying that thanks to global warming, New York (ok the "uppper east coast") could possibly be getting hurricanes like NOLA in 10-20 years...this combined with the factthat yesterday I received a "Ready New York: Hurricanes and New York City" pamphlet. :huh:

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