‘Graceland is safe:’ Reading disasters through consumption

“I want to say this: Graceland is safe. And we would charge hell with a water pistol to keep it that way, and I’d be willing to lead the charge,” Bob Nations Jr., director of the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, told the Associated Press.

Residents in more than 1,300 Memphis-area homes have been told to leave, and about 370 people were staying in at least four shelters, city officials said. Overall, more than 3,000 properties, including 949 single-family homes, were likely to be affected by the flooding in Memphis and surrounding Shelby County, county officials said.

via Memphis flooding: Mississippi River expected to crest Tuesday in Memphis – latimes.com.

This is the eon of the natural disaster.  Natural disaster.  Nature –> creates the disasters, which is strange for a nation whose approach to this “nature stuff” has been to treat the world we inhabit as a backdrop  upon which the action takes place.

Which means that we are poorly suited to even understand what is happening when the waters rise or the earth shakes.  It’s like starting a fight in a bar with a seemingly quiet drinker only to find that they are a lethal mixed martial arts master.   In this hypothetical fight, you’d be unconscious before processing the trauma.

I think most western citizens are in a similar place.  We aren’t comfortable with disasters.  We are comfortable with shopping, it can’t be surprising that we are invited to understand suffering through consumption.

If we think back to September 11th, we were encouraged to shop by the president as a means to get  the American economy going and to deal with our stress.  The Japanese earthquake impacted the production of the new Ipad.  Katrina discussed in relationship to economic development and the Dow Jones.

Now flood waters rise in the heart of America and we are told not to worry because Graceland is safe.  Well Elvis is dead, and I’m honestly more concerned with the hundreds of living Memphis citizens who are displaced and lose their homes mentioned in the next paragraph.

Leave a comment

Filed under disaster

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s