Posted by R. Neal

Well, that's about it for my week of guest blogging here at Facing South. Thanks again to Chris Kromm for the invitation and to Bill Rehm for getting everything setup. I was happy to help out and appreciate the opportunity.

Being out of the blog loop for a while was nice, but I had a few things on my mind to talk about coming in to the week. Unfortunately, Mother Nature (with the help of the Corps of Engineers and FEMA) had other plans (well, maybe not so much of a plan at all in the case of FEMA). I had even meant to carry on the Friday Movie Blogging tradition, but 'Apocalypse Now' was the only movie that came to mind.

This has been a pretty tough week. And I'm sitting here high and dry, safe and sound. I can't even imagine what the millions of homeless and displaced and poor and forgotten people along the Gulf Coast have been through this week, especially the people of New Orleans trying to survive in Hell on Earth with little hope and no help. The only bright spots were people on the broadcast news and in the papers and on blogs and websites saying "I'm alive. I'm OK."

I felt obliged to try to cover what has happened to our beloved South, but I am just not equipped as a writer, or maybe even as a human, to come up with the words. Looking back over my posts this week, I see a progression from worry and concern, to reassurance that the relief effort was orangized and good to go, to hope that maybe it wasn't going to be as bad as our worst fears, to shock from the horror that is happening before our eyes. At one point I was literally shaking with rage and emotion as I typed. I finally ran out of words. Today all I could do was post links and excerpts.

But enough with the excuses. Excuses are for losers (and lately there seem to be plenty of both). Besides, real men don't cry. This story isn't over. The repercussions of what has happened to the South this week will be felt for years if not generations to come. Atlanta may be the hub of the South, but New Orleans is our heart and soul. There is much work to do. There is much misery to be healed. There are many dead to bury. There are questions to be asked, and many more answers to be demanded.

With that, I bid you adieu and wish all the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans Godspeed. R. Neal, signing off. Back over to you, Chris...

OK, then.

P.S. Don't forget, the folks along the Gulf Coast need our help. Please consider making a contribution to one of the relief agencies such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Catholic Charities Disaster Response, the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, or others involved in the effort.

P.P.S. OK, one last thing. How many times do you think we will hear from the White House and their right wing sycophants over the next four years...

"Katrina changed everything."

My guess is not many. We'll all be fat and happy, filled with beer and hotdogs after our long Labor Day weekend, and on Tuesday it will be business as usual. Except for some occasional bitching about gas prices.