Friday, August 18, 2006

Mr. Lee

As usual, Spike Lee has people talking.

His HBO movie "When the Levees Broke", a four hour documentary, was screened at the New Orleans arena this week.

There's a wide variety of feelings about this subject.

from an intelligent rant of someone who hasn't seen the movie

to the NY Times movie review of someone who loves it

I was hesitant to watch it at first, but my girlfriend dragged me to the premiere in New Orleans. I was shocked because of the depth of the documentary, and how it explored the deep tragedy of the people trapped in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I sat through the entire four hours of the premiere without wanting to leave a minute too soon before it ended.

The one thing that I've heard that irks me is that people still believe that the levees were blown up, flooding the Ninth Ward to save the "rich white folk". That is utter bullshit. I don't know why this ridiculous rumor is still flying around, forty years after it began in Hurricane Betsy

I agree with what Mr. Lee said shortly after Katrina:
"What's happened down there is unprecedented," he says. "This country has forever been going to the far corners of the earth to help other people in need... When this occurred here on U.S. soil, this government turned its back on its own citizens."

However, on the issue that the levess were intentionally blown up:
from whatreallyhappened dot com :
"An LSU expert who looked at the video says, while the barge may have caused it, it was most likely the sheer force of the water that brought the levee along the Lower Ninth Ward down."

If anything, the blame for the force that destroyed the levees belongs to the infamous MRGO.

The force of Katrina's surge was huge. Imagine this force being funnelled down the MRGO and then pushed into the Industrial Canal.

For a graphic animation on the real story behind the flooding, go here

And here's a graphic (in Quicktime) showing a timeline of how ALL areas were flooded due to the levees giving way as a result of the storm surge.

As far as what a storm surge really is, here's a good explanation from Wired News:
Surge is the water a hurricane pushes up as it approaches shore. A number of factors contribute to its size: wind strength, air pressure, the size of a storm's eye, the distance hurricane force winds extend from the center, the speed at which it comes ashore and the angle at which it hits.

Hurricane force winds extended 125 miles from Katrina's center; Katrina's eye was 32 miles wide even though a storm of its intensity normally has an eye that is 10 miles wide.

All I can say is that you can believe what extremists like Farakahn want you to, or you can check out all of the facts and make an informed decision.

here is a good place to start.

All of my feelings above are only from what I've read so far. I intend to view the series on HBO this week and will see if my feelings about what Spike Lee is trying to say change.

In the meantime, take the time to read Mark Folse's comments on this subject on his " Decoding Spike Lee's movie"

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