New Orleans server to stay online

Those DirectNIC people must be insane. You may remember I mentioned them a little while ago. The plucky server admin decided to remain running his server on backup power despite a hurricane, flooding, violent looting, and now massive risk of disease from the raw sewage, rotting food, and bodies of victims. They’ve set up a diesel generator to keep their server running, and have been given exemption from the forced evacuation of the city.

How weird is that? Why make an exemption for a server crew?

As The Register observes, this does seem like a story that could easily turn into a movie very soon, but how comfortable would we be with a movie based on a real and recent event in which (tens of?) thousands have lost their lives? After Sept 11th the media have dealt with terrorism mostly in metaphorical terms, Star Trek: Enterprise being a classic example of this: a supposedly evil alliance of species was trying to destroy earth, but it turns out that there was really a minority who had been misled by evil transdimensional beings. The metaphor simply being ‘don’t assume that everyone different from us is intent on destroying us, and even those that are are usually misled by a tiny group’. The series contained some quite direct criticism of the gung-ho guns blazing approach to tackling terrorism, but remained enjoyable.

How enjoyable could a film about Hurricane Katrina be when we know the death toll and with the lack of clear responsibility? The greenhouse effect probably made the storm as severe as it was, and industrial polluters should be held responsible for the way that their business effects the environment, but there isn’t any real enemy here, just lessons that should be learnt before this happens next year, and the year after, and the …

This said, there have been many films about real disasters, such as the sinking of the Titanic. With the rate that the media is consuming ideas in the constant search for the Next New Shiney Thing, baubles to attract the public, how long before this devastation becomes commodified? Will a year be long enough? Five years? People are already scamming donations from the public, but individual low morals should not be a guide to the morals of larger groups that have a responsibility to reflect public opinions. I think that we are the ones that will decide when ‘Katrina: The Film’ is made, and we may well damn ourselves with the speed that we are ready for it.

4 thoughts on “New Orleans server to stay online”

  1. Most of the “looters” we’ve heard so much about are ordinary people trying to survive and to help others to do the same. From the reports I’ve heard from New Orleans, it’s the police I’d be afraid of.

  2. I’d certainly agree that reports of the looting does seem to be out of proportion to the likely situation. One ‘looter’ was thanked by many people in the Superdome, because he was the only person who was bringing them food and water. Curse those looters!

    This said, there are first-hand reports of gangs entering buildings to steal whatever of value that they can find, and even the upper floors of the Superdome were considered too dangerous for women by themselves due to gang rapes happening there.

    As with the rest of humanity in more normal times, there is a majority of people who are doing their best to survive and respect property if possible, and a minority that’s causing fear for everyone else.

  3. With Nicholas Cage no less. Sounds like a cry for attention for “poor little america” the eternal victim. Perhaps if their government stopped forcing people to feel sorry for themselves we wouldn’t be put through trash like this. Although of course it’ll be heartfelt and gripping and make people proud to call themselves american and blah blah blah. Feelgood movies sickened me the day I watched my history destroyed by Braveheart. Suddenly everyone was Scottish, which I didn;t mind, but it was for all the wrong reasons. Oh well, if it makes people feel better who am I to argue with it.

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