Thinking of Joe Ranft

Lisa Thompson writes a very powerful essay on how the abandonment of New Orleanians who were left to drown by the government made her think of her friend Joe Ranft, the Pixar star who recently died after a car he was riding in plunged into a river.

I am haunted by the flood. By the failure of the rescue response, by the lack of planning for such an event, by the left-behind poor and the rounded-up poor and the dead and dying poor of New Orleans.

But also, I am thinking about my friend Joe Ranft, who died two weeks ago, caught in a car that plunged into the Navarro River. Joe died less than a foot from the surface, unable to navigate those final few inches that separated him from his next breath. I’m thinking about the thousands of people who may have died in similar desperation a few days ago as the waters rose, as they sat in the highest points of their homes with nowhere to go, as they tried to break through their roofs, or dove out windows into the surging waters. I’m thinking about that last panic, the final knowledge of inability.

Go read the rest.

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