If I were a Republican — no, not even a garden-variety Republican but a movement conservative and a Freeper-type — I would view the above as a sign of hope and ingenuity, that see, people are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and painting their own street signs. They don’t need government to do things for them!
Nobody ever waxes poetic about the lessons of poverty and the benefits of want while they’re still sleeping in a box and eating out of Dumpsters. It’s only in hindsight that the horrible thing that happened to you becomes a funny story or a useful life lesson, and having seen this block — one house immaculate, a watered lawn, play equipment for the kids, across the street an overgrown yard and busted up windows and a roof that has seen better decades — sentiments like the above mostly make me want to punch someone.
My default setting in moments of grief is anger. After my grandfather died I got desperately and irrationationally pissed off at the priest who, I felt, had failed utterly in his service to praise Grandpa as highly as the man deserved and had instead blathered on about love for the church and basically said things that could have been about anybody. I know now it was unfair to the poor clergyman (still, hack) but it got me through the first couple weeks (months). So as we’re driving through bombed-out block after bombed-out block, and I mean like a bomb went off and is still going off, like the earthquake was yesterday, Scout asked me what I thought and pretty much all I could come up with was that just right then I badly needed a punching bag.
That people are having to do this on their own. That we could drive around and around and see, but for the few homeowners who had their money or insurance doing work on their own, charity organizations working piecemeal, instead of an army. Instead of a wave — a surge, I’ll make the Iraq comparison, the switch, what if we’d sent 25,000 here instead? — of help rolling over these places, replacing the marks from where the first waves hit.
I’ll have constructive thoughts later. Mr. A, a WWII buff, has been talking to me about the Marshall Plan and about what it would take, money and manpower and how long it would take. Mostly, though, having now seen it, I would like very badly to rip somebody’s face off.