Breaching the Levee of Words:
Let us say you are a woman at a bar. Say it's a nice bar, maybe one of those oh-so-hot places with long couches and low tables, where the multi-flavored martinis cost at least 15 bucks each. And let's say that you are seated on one of those red velvet couches, your Stelle McCartney black dress coming down just alluringly enough to mid-thigh, sippin' a jalapeno/peach cosmo. Let's say, and why not, that seated on the couch is this amazingly ripped guy who is just pressin' your buttons like you're a Blackberry and he's text-messaging his stockbroker. He's just fashion aware enough to appreciate your Manolo Blahnik shoes. He's wordly enough to get you to try a Polish vodka that he says will make your cosmo heat your face and, well, your breasts, and you try it, and, you know, it may be the power of suggestion, but he's right: you feel that warmth caress the undersides of your tits like his hands are already there. This is a man, you think, as you feel yourself warming in your panties. You tease him a bit about his Helmut Lang suit and about what he looks like in other clothes and, of course, without clothes. Oh, he is soft talkin' the sex to you, gently nudging you, making you think you're leadin' the way, and you are soo damn wet that you think you might stain that red velvet right through your dress.

But when he takes you back to your place (after making the safety call to your best friend), he's a complete and utter stumblefuck. From not knowing how to keep you hot through clothing removal - he tends to stare a little too much and a little too creepily - to seemingly unable to comprehend that your anatomy requires more than a few circular licks before plunging in for a quick hydraulic pumping before he screams for his mother and leaps off, ripping off his condom from his little cock, disgusted at his own semen. How shatteringly disappointing. Fucker could talk quite the game, but when he got up to bat, he didn't even swing. You have choices: you could lie about it, relying on your memory of the bar to carry your through to thinking of this as a wondefully romantic evening. Or you could tell that pathetic bastard to put on his pants and hit the streets.

Here's FEMA head, Under-Secretary Michael "Sweet Liposuctioned Arabians" Brown, behaving as if he understands his job during the 2004 National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida: "Last year, those of us living in the Mid-Atlantic experienced the impact of Hurricane Isabel. This was a fierce reminder of the importance of hurricane preparedness and mitigation and the many services provided by the federal, state and local emergency management community.

"Southern and Gulf Coast states are well aware of the need to be ready for hurricane season, and serve as a model of preparedness and risk reduction against these powerful storms...

"During Isabel, we also conducted action planning/reporting with each state in an attempt to better synchronize our increased readiness efforts.

"We opened multiple Staging Areas and Mobilization Centers in anticipation of needs, including pre-positioning of NDMS teams, USAR teams, MERS assets, EPA hazmat teams, and USACE teams.

"We deployed ERTs to every state EOC which was expected to be significantly impacted by the storm.

"We had DHS ICE and US Coast Guard aircraft identified and pre-positioned to provide aviation support.

"Our DHS’ colleagues at IAIP co-located with us to provide better access to critical infrastructure operators.

"We crafted an expedited declaration policy for this storm which was communicated to the states in advance of landfall to ensure they understood how to obtain access to federal resources and to assist with cost recovery for their readiness actions.

"We pre-positioned newly developed "shelter packs", containing equipment/supplies needed to support shelter operations -which weren't requested - previously our equipment/supplies for this mission were not packaged for mission-specific tasks.

"As emergency managers addressing the hazards associated with hurricanes and tropical storms, you understand the importance of federal, state, and local partnerships."

Are you wet yet? Read the whole speech. It sounds as if FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security are ready to sweep in like they're a squad from Krypton to re-erect the tall building they can leap over in a single bound. Apparently, though, unless Brown went on bowed knee and scraped himself over to Michael "No, Really, I Just Look Like Ming the Merciless" Chertoff, nothing was gonna be done, and even then Brown waited until after Katrina to do a goddamn thing, no matter how much was in position to begin with. It's all words, man, just words, holding up against the tide of reality pouring over the banks of the fake words, the meaningless words.

But maybe the much put-upon Brown can take comfort in his own words from the graduation speech he gave last year at the Florida Institute of Technology: "Just as natural disasters occur in our communities, so too do they occur in our personal lives. Very few graduation speakers will say this in their speeches: You should expect to make mistakes. You should expect to fall down. You should even expect to fail at a few things." But that's okay, for, as Brown added, "everything in life is not perfect, so expect to make those mistakes, expect to fall down every now and then, and expect to occasionally fail at something. There will always be someone along the way who is willing to help pick you up." And if it's the President picking you up, so much the better.

There's a tidal surge of bodies, bodies we may not be allowed to see, that's overwhelming all those words, Brown's, Bush's.

It's overwhelming the fake pictures, too. More on that tomorrow.