Douglas Brinkley leaves maid and cats in the flood zone.
Hurricane: A grand tale of delusions of grandeur in Rolling Stone starts out with this observation.
|It's a little before midnight on Friday, September 2nd, and I'm sitting in a hotel bar in Houston. Somewhere to the southeast, the worst natural disaster in American history is unfolding in the darkness, with an entire city shrouded in death, panic and disease -- and here we are, a bunch of half-drunk, affluent white people quaffing eleven-dollar foreign beers and planning what appears to be a paramilitary mission to rescue two cats and a maid in the wreckage of New Orleans. I'm in the lounge of the Four Seasons with Sean Penn and other assorted media creatures, debating the merits of rescuing animals instead of humans in a disaster area. To my left is the eminent historian Douglas Brinkley, a friendly academic whose careful diction reminds me of Bob Woodward's. Brinkley is my contact in Houston. He's friends with Penn, and when he evacuated his home in New Orleans earlier in the week, he left his cats and his maid behind in the flood zone. Now he and Penn are talking about commandeering private jets, helicopters and weapons for a grand mission into hell that begins tomorrow.|