As I could tell that Ava, who was so unnerved by Katrina that she couldn't even bring herself to utter the word "hurricane" and had to make up some pitiful euphemism about "that thing at the beach, but not our beach" just to attempt to tell me about how scared she was, needed to take a Dr. Phil-recommended empowerment-break from all the chatter (and some TV) coming from the obsessively news-minded adults in her life.
We put together a Lemonade and Krispy Kreme stand out on the side of the road, and Ava and her pal Mia raised $56-bucks in a coupla hours which I will match and send to The Red Cross. I promise not to divert funding elsewhere, like perhaps purchasing tix to see Mary Gauthier on the 24th at the Red Light Cafe.
When I first suggested to Ava that she and her chums sell lemonade to help those who had been really really scared by the storm, she immediately responded, "Cool. Then I can be on TV." Despite the initial narcissistic response, she and Mia were very pro-active and got right into the spirit of it all. And Ava forgot all about TV crews in the process too.
I wondered where this emphasis on PR came from, but then shut-up mentally when I realized that I was likely the primary source. After all, when we ran into a neighbor at the Kroger, I told the neighbor to be sure to visit our lemonade stand-for-a-cause later that same day. Ava then asked, "Why did you tell her about our lemonade stand, Mom?" And I answered, "Marketing Dear, marketing."
When the novelty of making money wore-off, my five-year old sales force abandoned their post for a rowdy game of hide-and-seek, but I was terribly proud of their initiative and genuine enthusiasm for excellent customer service.
That empowerment stuff seems to work well - for kids.
So maybe this will help priviledged five-year olds sleep through the night, the ones who, whew, experience this horror only through, Thank You God, the filter of geographical distance, overly-protective parents and sheer innocence. And if you think making nice-nice and not pointing fingers and "empowering" people with feel-good bullshit is helping anything, then... well, you probably voted for that Accident Waiting To Happen, W, anyway.
Here's what one angry blogger on the scene has to say about trauma, and how we Americans and our ever-lovin' mainstream media just love to pump ourselves up with ludicrous emotional fluff and denial:
"I am sure that there is a special ring of hell for the media: The survivor stories end-on-end for the titillation of the public. I heard Soledad O'Brien say something about the still unrecognized need to address the psychological trauma. I sent a response to the CNN tip-line that there were hordes of every manner of mental health professional working 24/7. CNN's response? Dr. Phil and the stories of the survivors on Larry King.
They went to the guy who lost his clinical license for serious professional infractions to tell the stories? I could see the "entertainer" down there gathering tales of the already exploited so that he and Larry could both pimp their ratings. The real unsung mental health heroes, the counselors, psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists dealing with un-medicated psychosis and severe traumatic responses were represented by Dr. "Keep-It-Real"? We don't need tabloid help from the media."
Yow. Think that stings? Well then, read the rest of this firsthand account. Shocking, heavily editorialized (for good reason it seems) paragraph after paragraph that rips away the filters we've kept on the massive cultural gap that really and truly must exist in this, as another angry blogger calls it, "The United States of Halliburton."
"Over and over, I kept hearing a framing of self that puzzled me until I realized that this is how it must have been for blacks after Reconstruction. Over and over, people said, "everyone has been so wonderful, thank you, thank you." When I said, "there is no need to thank us, you are our fellow citizens and we want to help you -- American to American," there would be a long pause as if the idea of being the same never struck them before."
OWWWW. This hurts... but I can't take my eyes off the page.
Actually, the mainstream media, CNN and CBS in particular, has been using some air-time as a forum for trying to connect all the very seriously displaced families. But don't blink, you might miss it.
Least someone get the seriously ludicrous idea that all bloggers are angry, whining, Socialist, humorless, white-guilt ridden, weak, un-visionary losers, and that this is not freakin' America we're living in fer chrissake, be sure to watch the video on the CNN/People Special Coverage section called: Club Owner Vows To Get Music Pumping.
WARNING: Be sure to stop video presentation if viewing is accompanied by positive, multimedia-related feelings of too much technical priviledge and/or success!