Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yeah they know their neighborhoods all right

I was just re-reading Nagin's quotes on Cuba and missed this the first time around:

"I think they do a much better job than we do on knowing their citizens at a very, very detailed level, block by block, " Nagin said.

That's a very funny comment if you understand the context.

I was in Havana shooting a documentary back in 2001. Let me preface this by saying I love the Cuban people...but there's a reason why the government knows every citizen on a very, very detailed level...and here's why:

There are federales who are assigned to every two blocks in Havana. They know every person in their neighborhood and they make sure every person in their neighborhood knows who's boss...routinely.

An example of how well they know them:

I walked out of my hotel, the Ambos Mundos, one night to see a prostitute blowing a policeman in the bushes...and I'm sure that favor was on the house.

So yeah, I guess there are some benefits to being an oppressive, communist society when it comes to disaster response, but then I wouldn't want to be forced to either blow a cop on my street corner or go to jail for 6 months, in non-disaster periods.

Incidentally, I've been trying to upload my short documentary on Cuban Artists but I'm having trouble with Blogger's video system. I'll keep trying.


Anonymous said...

Great post.

One other thing from that article: Nagin talked about the confusion in the chain of command, and the complex relationship between all the levels of government. He's right.

However, the problem he identifies, that no one knew who was in charge, was also about no one stepping up to lead.

Nagin is already a strong Mayor. He didn't need extra powers.
He needed to lead.

So Troy Henry, of Enron and the attempts to privatize water in New Orleans, has thrown his hat into the ring. What's up with that?

Civitch said...

Yes, it's amazing the way that totalitarian regimes can get their citizens to evacuate for a hurricane. Or relocate to a collective farm. Or a labor camp.


dude i wanted to comment.

the problem is there is nothing to add to this.

if we were on a deer hunt you got the kill shot , built an a frame , skinned and gutted the buck , de-boned that animal , and made deer susauge in the back seat before you got home.

thank you mang.

Anonymous said...

Even though this post isn't about Troy Henry, someone mentioned him...

Do all of his "business" clients pay him $400/hour for his consulting services? Or just the City of New Orleans?

(scroll to the bottom of page 9 of the pdf, page 6 of the contract)

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I'd like to know more about this guy.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forword to to watching your documentary when/if you can get it posted.

mominem said...

"Manditory" evacuations on a whole new meaning in a totalitarian state.