Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mass Hypnosis

Hurricane Isaac storm surge 2012

“They had dead bodies in the water, and dogs swimming by. 
 The water was up to my chin”.    New Orleans, August 2005

And here we are, American people,
dreaming ourselves along in a media-induced haze
where all of us are wealthy, dress snappily, style our hair.
Doesn’t all America speak like a Valley girl, like, like, like?

“They was women and children, little bitty babies on that bridge.  
 I went for water and it took me seven hours.   
When I got back my wife and five kids was gone.”

Do you know people so poor they never look you in the eye,
as if you were some apparition, too wealthy, to glib to be seen?
Does it take a giant storm, a spinning whirlwind of natural fury
to tear off the facades, to leave exposed our men and women,
our everyday people in their great numbers
who would have gone on voiceless, waiting, waiting,
until you and I could, at last, see ourselves there?

Annelinde Metzner
Hurricane Katrina
September 12, 2005

Hurricane Isaac flood 2012

Little girl at Red Cross shelter, 2012

Man overwhelmed, Hurrican Isaac, 2012


  1. Thank you for naming it and thus performing the poet's task of waking us from the Mass Hypnosis, that which induces our blindness to, as you say so beautifully, "our everyday people in their great numbers".

  2. What you have described is true, but only to an extent. As children, we often have certain views and ideas imposed on us that can remain strong long into adulthood. This is often referred to 'social conditioning', and it does play a part in the formation of our ideas, behaviors and ideas, largely has a discouraging force against 'anti-social' behaviors....


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