East of Eden

If you’ve been following Clayton Cubitt’s story of his family’s survival, there is a moment of hope finally. It’s not a happy ending, but what he calls “a happy end of a beginning.”

I talk about the power of connection of the internet, about the positivity of the connections I make through the podcast. Here is a similar sentiment, stated by Clayton so powerfully that it brought tears to my eyes.

And there it is, for now. The internet saved my family. My camera saved my family. I’m a high school dropout, but my writing saved my family. If this had happened ten years ago, my photos, my writing, wouldn’t have saved anybody, because nobody would have seen it. It wasn’t on CNN. It wasn’t on the broadcast networks. It wasn’t even on PBS. It was on a plain, small, free website, and that’s the only reason Elizabeth saw it, and brought her family into the effort.

Katrina has shown me some things. She’s shown me that the American government is unable to protect anything we hold dear. She’s shown me that the American people are an amazing, giving, tough, resourceful, huge people, and that they’re not being represented fairly by the current class of small-hearted politicians and lazy bureaucrats. She’s shown me that people around the world care about us after all, despite our government. She’s shown me that it’s not about FEMA, it’s not about the Red Cross, that it’s about amazing families like Elizabeth and Kenny’s family in North Carolina. Like I’ve said before, it’s just about people like you and me, on our own, together.