Grrr! Mad Katrina: Beyond Thunderdome

Beyond Thunderdome | Pink Floyd Reunion | Kanye West | Your Grrrs

Mad Max in New Orleans

I’m disgusted -- Grrr’d to the highest degree -- with the levels of disrespect, shame and utter disregard for life reportedly displayed by looters, rapists and murderers in the Gulf states following Hurricane Katrina.

Reading the newspapers, Internet and watching the news was reminiscent of the Mel Gibson (search) film “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.”

It was every man for himself.

As if mothers who couldn’t feed or give water to their babies, who were forced to scrape diapers for re-use since there were none, who sacrificed their own precious taste of the most basic of human needs -- water -- to their parched children -- didn’t have enough to worry about, they also reportedly feared rape.

Fathers who helplessly surrendered everything they had ever worked for to the fury of Hurricane Katrina ended up having to fight for their own lives and to protect their families.

As if small business owners -- the foundation of all local economies -- weren’t already on the ground, they were kicked in the teeth by the people they served every day -- people turned into crazed gangs of gun-toting men.

Moreover, some gun-toters were reportedly using guns they stole and used to terrorize and loot for items that only a common criminal would even think to possess in light of such a tragic act of nature.

It’s one thing to steal water and food.

It’s another to destroy property and steal electronic equipment and other goods that will do nobody any good anyway. There was no power. The water was rising. Yet people reportedly stepped over the bodies of dead homeowners to steal flat-screen TVs.

We should be Grrring the abhorrent behavior of our very own citizens who can’t muster enough discipline to get through a tragedy without resorting to the lowest levels of humanity.

We should be looking hard at ourselves.

What kind of a place do we live in that our own citizens would turn on each other?

And don’t tell me that if you were there you would act the same way. If you would, then this column is written about you, too.

We’re not talking about looting food and beverages. I can even understand the folks who looted beer!

But these looters are no Robin Hoods. They didn’t steal from the rich to give to the poor. They started their own black market, and charged starving, desperate people money to partake in their stolen goods.

Possession is nine-tenths of the law, right? Funny how the only laws that matter in a time of crisis are the ones that benefit the strongest, or the most morally corrupt.

Someone e-mailed me this suggestion: “Shoot the first looter and no other looting will take place.”

I highly doubt it.

How about, act like human beings and not animals? How about, come together in a time of crisis instead of playing every man for himself?

Katrina did more damage than anyone thought she would. Sadly, anarchy finished off what Mother Nature spared.

I shudder to think what a major terrorist attack would do to us. Our national response leaves a lot to be desired.

It's time for somebody in Washington to put his or her foot down and start cleaning house.

Kanye West and President Bush

So rapper Kanye West (search) says President Bush doesn't care about black people. CBS contributor Nancy Giles, on her segment on CBS' "Sunday Morning" program, agrees.

In her "What If They Were White?" commentary, Giles said, "If the majority of the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were white people, they would not have gone for days without food and water, forcing many to steal for mere survival."

I’ll agree on this: Our national response was the worst display of American might we have ever seen. But I will not submit to the accusation that that lack of response was a race issue.

God, I hope it wasn't a race issue.

While West did participate in "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" on Friday night, has he spent a few of his own dollars to make things better? Has Giles?

It's easy for West to throw hate around on national television, but his peers Jay-Z and P-Diddy donated $1 million to the relief effort.

Rev. Al Sharpton is in Houston assuring the incoming victims of the hurricane are getting the proper care needed to get through this ordeal.

Magic Johnson invests in the poorest of black communities with his Magic Johnson theaters, and Derek Jeter's Turn2 foundation focuses on education in the same neighborhoods.

I’d like to know whether the finger-pointers are doing more than pointing fingers.

Pink Floyd Reunion

As "Rock Star: INXS" contestant Marty Kasey kicked butt last week with his rendition of “Wish You Were Here,” (he’s still my favorite to win the job of lead singer for INXS), intel from my sources within rock 'n' roll circles is that Pink Floyd (search), including lead singer Roger Waters, may be coming to the U.S. for a reunion concert tour.

This news is sure to set Floyd fans in a frenzy of anticipation. It’s been years since “The Wall” group performed together, and a reunion concert tour will surely challenge The Rolling Stones' dominance in the classic rock arenas.

Stay tuned.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the biweekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on