Thursday, March 02, 2006


I'm back from the Lower 9th.
I'm just going to write.
I have video but not the energy or focus to get it posted now. Later.
Staring through the camera lens spared me for the first miles as I focused on the mechanics of taping.
It just goes on and on and on and on............

And then it hits. I felt my chin tremble and my eyes water up. There are no words to it. Just emotion. Did I want to talk? Words just fail miserably in the sight of this place. I thought "I can't film this anymore." I wanted to tell Lisa "I just can't do it. Stop. I need a break." But I fought through it and kept taping. We passed more and more........
blocks of houses torn apart,
cars upside down,
wheelchair in debris,
the paintings on each house marking the search results,
0's.... good to see the zeros,
a house off it's foundation blocking the road,
dead dog painted on this house, dead cat written on the next,
someones suits hanging in a closet.
On and on and on.............
That feeling got stronger and wouldn't pass. I felt the tears coming down my cheeks now. I wanted to just throw the camera down and to hell with showing this to you guys. I wanted to look away. You can't. It's everywhere. I wanted to close my eyes. I couldn't. I can't give you analysis or perspective or even thoughts. It's just raw fucking emotion and I can't even tell you what emotion....sadness, despair, shame, anger? They're just words. This is beyond words.

I've been back an hour and my chin still trembles and the tears still come. Everyone says you need to decompress after seeing this. I didn't think it would do this to ME. I'm strong. I'm tough. Jesus how fucking wrong was I. How do you decompress? I don't know what to do the next few hours but I know it won't be work. I feel like I want to just crawl off somewhere for the rest of the day.

Now I sense an anger beginning. I don't even want to go there. It swells up....fucking George W. Bush. Who else? Everyone else? Even you? It subsides.

I'm going to go decompress....however the hell you do that. I don't want to say anything I'll regret. Forgive me if this makes no sense. Forgive me for spilling half my guts and believe me it is only half.

UPDATE: I have decompressed. I took to the couch for a nap so as to just turn everything off. Then we went out for a nice lunch. I do feel ok now.

One thing to keep in mind. It isn't just the 9th Ward. It is everywhere. You can drive for miles and miles and see destruction. I think that is important to understand.


Anonymous Tena said...

Oh Scout - oh dear. I don't know what to say either.

Oh we have to make them pay for what they did to New Orleans. We do.

I'm sending you a big virtual hug and if I was there, we could cry in each others' arms.

12:43 PM  
Blogger scout prime said...

Thank you Tena...truly

12:45 PM  
Anonymous radsaq said...


1:06 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Words are a stain upon silence.

Remember that all things shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

And your work so far has been the work of angels. And absolutely beautiful writing.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous robinhood said...

Oh Scout.

Go ahead and cry, you are human, and thats why you went. Thats a good thing. And you are strong, but you are also loving, so cry and then get angry and then take care of your self. If you need to take a break then take one. Be nice to yourself, the road is long. We all care about you, thats why we read, and sent what little we could for your trip. We also think you're good at this. And we just dig you.

Peace and genuine love to you Scout. Hug the Tedster and play with him, he knows how to help you. Enjoy being in the moment if you can. Life is for the living.

I have one request. At least post "an open thread" once daily on your site so we can know you are okay. You will be surprised at all the well wishers out there.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Scout,
I don't know if you're ready to take a tour of New Orleans East yet, but I would appreciate it if you do so at some point during your stay. It has been largely ignored by the national media. Miles of devastation. I used to live there with my parents. We are determined to return and rebuild. Home is where the heart is. Like so many others, New Orleans has my heart.
Best Wishes,

2:43 PM  
Anonymous robinhood said...

I just read that you are in NO till the 7th. I have a good heart, but I can be a moron. so it goes...

2:58 PM  
Anonymous janeboatler said...

Scout, anyone who has seen it - as I have - will say that the pictures absolutely don't cut it. It's the atmosphere of devastation, of a wasteland, of true desolation. I couldn't take much on a single trip. I had to stop. I know how you feel. It is heart-wrenching. You can't help imagining if it was your own home.

I went back to see more, but it was weeks in between the trips. It was just as bad the next time.

Some folks went to their homes one time and have never again gone back. I understand that.

Thank you for doing this, Scout. Take care.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous tena said...

Scout - thanks for posting a follow up - people were worried about you.

We fucking treated the tsunami victims on the other side of the world better than this.

I am heartsick.

3:12 PM  
Blogger dave said...

Not sure what you're using to videotape with, but I think a long, unbroken take of the miles and miles of nothing but destruction, with no narration, would be a very powerful piece of video to have. If you get the time, and think you can handle it...

3:15 PM  
Blogger dave said...

Also, maybe you can get some local reaction to that "Bush Lied - New Orleans Died" story...

3:16 PM  
Anonymous robinhood said...

yes, thanks for the update. good to know. we were worried.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Dear Scout, you make perfect sense when you write directly from the heart as you did.

I'm sorry that you are so upset, but how are we to understand if you don't have you to explain it to us? Chin up!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Scout. Your reports are a window on what the gov't doesn't want us to really see. Strength, sister.


3:48 PM  
Anonymous Roadmaster said...

Dear Scout:


from Madison.

We will not let this go. We WILL take back this nation, and the people will be given shelter again. We must fight the evil until we breathe no more.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scout, you have more courage than I have. I could never face that. Your writing, just for these few days, really brings to us what happened and is still happening in NOLA, far better than any of the TV reports have. Please take care of yourself.


4:19 PM  
Blogger Samurai Sam said...

Here's a big hug from back home in the Dairy State.

We all really appreciate what you're doing. Thanks for taking the time to subject yourself to the horrors of this first hand. Obviously it's taking its toll.

Thanks for the wonderful work.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Chocolate Proton said...

I know exactly what you are feeling. It's PTSD. I lived through Katrina and the contemptible "recovery" efforts. I lived in Gulfport for six months afterwards, seeing the devastation day after day after day after day. Never getting better. People camping in tents. No water, no power, no food, no gas, no help.

I can't think about it. It just makes me sick.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous TheaLogie said...

{{{{scout}}}} all the way from NYC.

Thanks for helping us lot understand. Believe me, you're appreciated.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scout -- great writing, and great commitment to the cause, which unfortunatley will be with us for many, many years. Being from New Orleans but having moved away 20 years ago, when I went back in December I visited the areas I knew best (not the 9th Ward) -- mostly white or mixed, middle-class neighborhoods. Total, complete devastation, as far as you can see. No one living in mile after mile after mile of ruined, unlivable homes where the American Dream had been a reality. So many people -- the fortunate ones -- having lost everything and being forced to start over, with no hope of ever returning a to Pre-K semblance of normalcy. When will our Government wake up? As my wife said -- we will rebuild the Golden Mosque in Falluja long before New Orleans is rebuilt. Shame on our Government. Shame on Bush.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Thanks for the blog. I got back from New Orleans two weeks ago, but I still can't handle it. I don't know if I ever will be able to "decompress" from what I saw down there.

3:37 PM  
Blogger scout prime said... took me awile to feel like I was back to home and normalcy. Give yourself time.
But we won't forget will we

3:45 PM  

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