Mark A. Carter

HOUSTON: we have a problem.
Harvey, flooding, Windsor, and idiot sticks

World famous Canadian Science Fiction writer Mark A. Carter rants about Hurricane Harvey, the Houston deluge, and puts Windsor, Ontario flooding into perspective.

I have watched with pity and fear for over a week as the meteorological event called Hurricane Harvey approached Texas from the Gulf and later Tropical Storm Harvey hit and just wouldn't leave Texas for five days. It dropped from thirty-six to fifty inches of rain and utterly debilitated the City of Houston. My hopes and prayers go out to the residents.

But yesterday, August 29, 2017, approximately five inches of rain fell in four and a half hours in Windsor, Ontario. And it flooded the entire city. Now, the flooding in Windsor pales in comparison to the devastation that Harvey wrought to Houston. It was merely a taste. But in the aftermath of the rain here in Windsor I saw what disgusted me about humanity.

It was just a little thing but it rubbed me the wrong way. People who had no business to be out-and-about, and who no doubt were getting in the way of emergency services, which had a legitimate reason to be out in the storm, were actually walking around and playing in the flooded parking lots and streets of Windsor. WTF. Whereas people in Houston were flooded with feet of rain that threatened their lives, the goof balls and dim wits here were out prancing simple mindedly in the water. Older people who show know better were out in the water for no good reason, as if they had devolved to children and just wanted to splash in the endless puddle. In fact, they were bringing their children and grandchildren outside to splash about. People were frolicking here in ritualistic paganism or tribalism while people in Houston were fighting for their lives. And amid the puerile activities here I couldn't help but think of the serious situation in Houston. And I considered that the cavalier attitude toward the flooding here was disrespectful to our American cousins in Houston. Maybe it's just me.

Dominion Boulevard, Windsor, Ontario, August 29, 2017

© 2017 Jason Kryk / Windsor Star

Forty thousand homes were destroyed in Houston. People there have had to be rescued from drowning. In fact many have drowned and the death toll will indeed mount as those who succumbed to the flooding will be discovered when the water subsides. Search and rescue teams have already begun going door to door. Whereas, all we had here in Windsor were a thousand flooded basements, lightning strikes, sporadic electrical and phone outages, flooded roads, parking lots, the Devonshire Mall was evacuated; and, Met Campus Emergency, Patient Food Services, Pharmacy, and Diagnostic Imaging were all flooded as well. It could have been worse. Big deal.

Let me remind you that the Service men and women in Houston, who were also flooded, never left their posts at the 911 call center, the police department, city government, the governor's office, FEMA, the Coast Guard, National Guard, DOD, the Red Cross, and so many others. In fact, some even lost their lives serving the public good like Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, who got caught in floodwaters and drowned on his way to work. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Mayor Sylvester Turner should be commended for his decision to not order an evacuation. His decision saved countless lives. Police Chief Art Acevedo and his force have to also be commended for the job they have done and continue to do to save lives and to arrest looters.

Yet some people in Houston who were saved had the nerve to complain that they didn't have a cot reserved for them and hadn't slept for a couple of days. At least they didn't drown. The Coast Guard and the Cajun Navy saw to that. They were each given a blanket by the Red Cross, dry clothes, shoes, food, and drinking water. But no, but that wasn't enough. I have to remind myself that there are always those who are never satisfied, who always have their hand stuck out for more, who always think that they are special. They make me sick.

President Trump, who opened the floodgates for all necessary aid for Houston from before the storm struck should be commended. And indeed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott couldn't say enough good things about the President in terms of mobilizing all resources to come to the aid of Texas, unlike George W. Bush with the Katrina disaster in New Orleans in 2005 who delivered too little too late.

Telephone Rd., Houston, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey

© 2017,

Yet, the news media still had to criticize President Trump for not showing enough emotion in his pep talk to the people of Houston and the residents of Texas in general. How disingenuous. Give it a rest. What have you so-called TV journalists done to help the victims of Harvey? The answer is simple: nothing. Stirring the pot is not help. Get out there and save a few people instead of running your jaws and picking nits. It's what is needed now. Volunteer. All you demonstrate by your non-action is that you're nothing but parasites feeding off of death and destruction.

Recall Anderson Cooper's mental breakdown after seeing all of the bloated drowning victims in New Orleans during Katrina. It was bad enough to see the floating corpses but to keep the camera on Anderson and watch his breakdown was low. It was CNN lowering the bar on journalistic standards in lieu of ratings. And everyone has lowered their standards to match. CBS is a shining example of sensationalistic journalism. If it bleeds, it leads or, if it bloats it floats to the top of the news. I want to gag with disgust at that kind of so-called journalism. You and your nit-picking negativism and sensationalism are what is wrong with modern journalism today and society in general who have bought into your commie-democrat rhetoric and spectacle.

Let me remind you, since I am a literary scholar, that spectacle is the lowest form of drama. And this sensationalistic TV news coverage is the lowest form of journalism. To them, dead bodies equals ratings. To them, complaining welfare mothers equals ratings. The focus is always on the negative, on what's wrong.

Ignore the thirty thousand people thus far that have been sheltered and the four hundred and fifty thousand people seeking financial aid through FEMA. Ignore the valiant rescues made by the Coast Guard boat and helicopter assets that have been assigned to Houston from all over the United States. There are currently twenty-two Coast Guard helicopters saving people in Houston. Ignore the efforts of the Cajun Navy and the other boating volunteers that have taken it upon themselves to save people in dire need. Ignore Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops that provided eighty boats to the search and rescue effort. Ignore the volunteers helping the needy. And ignore the donations of clothing, shoes, water, and food that have poured into Houston from people who care.

That being said, the Hurricane Harvey flood disaster in Houston wouldn't be complete in the minds of these disingenuous TV News producers without a marching band. So, bring in the drums, the trombones, and the majorettes with their batons. And while you're at it, shoot off some fireworks as well. To quote from the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, it would be: "Spectacular Spectacular."

Ooo ... aww ... the ratings, the ratings.

As for the idiot sticks in Windsor, Ontario cavorting in the flood waters, while the hard working people of Windsor struggled to avert damage to their businesses then struggled to get home without stalling on the flooded streets only to discover water damage to their homes, these idiot sticks, these mindless minions are of no consequence. Let's see if they dance in the next flood when it's up to their necks. Let's see if they help their neighbors when it's needed. No doubt they will be the first to shout, "Help me." And no doubt, like the welfare moms in Houston, they will not be satisfied being saved or with the free provisions they are given by emergency services.

To quote from the 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: "And so it goes."

Read: Cataclysms and Dooms
Waterworld: the sky is falling.
Water Worlds are the norm.

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - writer

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