Sunday, September 04, 2005

Geraldo Rivera To The Rescue

What is the difference between the War in Iraq and Katrina? While the authorities wrung their hands about looting in both, in Iraq they at least had a plan and thousands of troops for securing the oil supplies. But that is not the subject of this post.

A Sunday night on the couch, Country Mouse at work at the cinema she runs (scaring the blue hairs of Camden, Maine with The Aristocrats) and me on the couch with remote in hand. I've been away working in Bar Harbor all weekend and so I haven't caught up with the Hurricane Katrina latest.

On CNN, Larry King seems intent on undoing all the good work his network had begun in taking their faltering steps towards a return to real journalism by interviewing pop psychologist Dr. Phil who has set up camp at the Houston Astrodome among the refugees. Along with trailing his vulgar special featuring "tearful family reunions" coming Wednesday, Dr. Phil is advising hurricane survivors to take life "one step at a time"; presumably they should also apologize to friends and family for the hurt their refugee status has caused. Twelve-stepping our way to better levees, people! Larry King is promising a discussion with Dr. Phil as to why some people stayed in New Orleans as the storm approached (because some are crazy, some are paranoid about their property, some pooh-pooh warnings, and because the vast majority are fucking poor and without cars, Larry- Kanye West established this in a convoluted way on Saturday night) so I decide I can't take any more of this drivel and begin to randomly surf.

As I alight on Fox News Channel the phone rings- it is Country Mouse calling to chat. I hit mute and talk movie theatre politics with the missus, all the while watching the TV with one eye. At Large with Geraldo Rivera is on. The show at this point appears to be comprised of video shot earlier in the day (I have the sound down so essentially in Geraldo in mime form) and Geraldo is knocking on a door in New Orleans. The door is opened by an elderly black woman. Geraldo helps her down her front steps into relatively shallow water. A little further down the street, Geraldo hails a National Guard patrol and hands the woman over to them. The video now jumps to a dry-looking neighborhood baseball diamond and as the camera pans up we see a S-61 Sea King coming in to land. At this point Country Mouse rings off and I unmute the TV but the only noise is the sound of the helicopter. Again, the image jumps and we see the Guardsmen loading the now horizontal woman onto the aircraft as the loadmaster supports her head. The camera pans back and we are greeted with the piece de resistance: a grinning Geraldo Rivera holding the woman's ankles.

The nightmare that was Hurricane Katrina might pass from this woman's every waking moment- looking down the length of her recumbent torso and seeing that grinning loon with his moustache akimbo might drive her to alcoholism. Still, if that should come to pass, she could always pop by the Astrodome and visit Dr. Phil.

NEWSBREAK- It is now 11:04pm, Sunday. Country Mouse is home and is yelling from the couch "He's saving more people!" I check, its true. Geraldo is onto another senior citizen and is helping her (and her dog) to safety. From what I have been able to gather from the excited babble coming out of his mouth, he's taking requests at for people to save. So if you have a relative somewhere on the Gulf Coast, log on and make a compelling case...

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