Monday, 5 September 2005

Ralph, Piggy and Jack on the Bayou

What Hurricane Katrina has done to New Orleans and the surrounding area is astonishing; it has, as one newscaster so succinctly put it, killed a city. Equally astonishing is how lame, slow and generally inadequate the response has been from George Walker Bush and his merry men - it seems hard to believe that this is the emergency response from the world's only super-power, the richest, best-resourced country in the world.

For me though, the most astonishing thing has been how little time it has taken for law and order to break down or, more accurately, for civilisation to decay. Looting, violence, rape, gun fights and who knows what else have descended upon New Orleans in a way that I suspect not even the hardest of hardened cynics foresaw. But then anyone who has ever read (or seen the film adaptation of) William Golding's Lord Of The Flies will tell you that no matter how many well-meaning Ralphs and Piggys there are, you only need one Jack for everything to cave in... and then you're only a mob-chant away from "killing the pig".

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