Obviously the topic of conversation for most of us on the eastern seaboard has been the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and all that comes along with something of that magnitude.
There are many points of view to consider, depending on how the storm affected you and the ones you love, your community, and your livelihood.
We’ve all witnessed a lot over the past week and there’s so much to take in. Personally, I was spared of any real destruction. I was dealt only the minor discomfort of having no power and the annoyance of having to wait on line to get gas to fill my family’s vehicles and a generator to keep our food and power small appliances. Compared to the problems faced by those living on the South Shore of our island, I am one of the very lucky ones.
I would love to say that in my small bubble of the North Shore of Nassau County, those in the same boat as me were composed and thankful that there was no major loss of life or catastrophic destruction of property. What I did see a lot of, unfortunately, was the reinforcement of an entitled and privileged class who truly believes that their discomfort, when weighted against the hardships of those who bore the brunt of this event, were of equal importance and priority to those in charge of cleaning up the mess.
This is an election year, and political pandering is about as rampant as it’s going to get. But to have state, county, and town elected officials CRITICIZING the LIPA crews and their out-of-state counterparts, saying their efforts weren’t adequate and that they ought to “step it up” is reprehensible. To add to this cancerous ideal of entitlement and dialogue of criticism to those who are working 16 hour shifts, away from their ALSO displaced and affected families is truly low and unbecoming of a human being with half a clue as to how the world operates.
To put it in perspective, at the height of the storm, LIPA had about 950K customers without power (about 90% of their accounts). That is almost A MILLION individual accounts to restore power to, most of which were taken off line from tree and wind damage.
In order to restore these accounts, the municipalities and their crews, supplemented by out of state crews, have to clear, and in some cases remove the trees before any work can be done SAFELY. It’s been just about a week to the day of the brunt of the storm and about 75% of LIPA’s customers are with power and going about their lives somewhat normally.
If you’ve seen pictures of the kind of damage this storm did to our island, you will understand that what’s been done thus far to clean it up and rectify this awful situation is monumental and shouldn’t be overlooked, let alone criticized and maligned.
Friends of mine in beach communities lost everything they’ve known and will NEVER fully be restored their way of life pre-hurricane. There is raw sewage backing up on them and finding clean water and warmth are the issues these people face, not gassing up the generator to watch Dexter or get breakfast made for them at their deli.
I haven’t had the opportunity to visit any of the badly affected areas of Long Island because I’m conserving my gas so I can make it back and forth to work (another luxury I was afforded by the efforts of the municipalities of Huntington). That doesn’t mean my head is buried in the sand because I have my power restored and I’m going about my life like I would any other day, but I’m aware now more than ever, that it is a LUXURY to work. It’s a luxury to gas my car up, to eat at a restaurant, to grab a cup of coffee, to sleep in a household with heat, safely.
Thank you to anyone else who’s smiled at a LIPA worker, offered them coffee, or simply said “thank you”.
Please support those severely affected communities as they will struggle to regain their footing in the coming months.
Donate to Red Cross. Send some warm clothes their way. Smile at one another, it could all change in a night.
Earlier today, an abridged version of this statement was posted on the North Korea facebook page. This is the full version:
After a lot of careful consideration, I’ve decided to bow out of North Korea and pursue other interests, musical and otherwise. This was a tough decision to come to as Mike, Bill, and Ryan are three of the most talented musicians anyone could hope to play with, we’re simply on different pages as far as our musical directions go.
Our conversation regarding my decision ended with hugs and well wishing on both ends and I have their collective sense of professionalism, maturity, and compassion to thank for that. I’ve been blessed to share the stage and studio with these guys over the past two years and this was not an easy decision to come to.
Any band dynamic is a sensitive balance between ego, opinion, business, and integrity, if it’s to be executed the way we set out to do it from day 1. I’ve never once been stifled or had my opinion shoved aside in North Korea (bet I’m the first person to ever say that) . I simply felt as if I had nothing more to contribute to the creative process, as it’s evolved over the past 6 months. That’s not to say I don’t think the material being worked in is good, it’s simply not something that inspires the performance and creative energy that I know I’m capable of. It would be totally disingenuous of me to continue on and be a part of something that my heart is not completely in. Ryan, Billy, and Mike, deserve much much more than that.
I have to reassure all of those who are reading this that the record is still being recorded and worked on as planned and it will be something special. It can’t not be. I urge all of you to support those three guys in this and every project they’re a part of. They are all the genuine article and in today’s musical climate, that doesn’t happen too often.
As far as I go, for the past two years or so, I’ve been working on developing a body of music to release at some point in the future. I can’t put a date or even a timeline on when or how I’ll put it out, but for those who care to listen, it’ll be there for you. If you’d like to stay in touch I have a twitter (/brianbyrneinc), tumblr
(thehandthatwieldsit.tumblr.com), and I’ll answer whatever facebook messages that get thrown at me.
Thank you for your support and dedication to our band these past two years and please continue to support North Korea (the band, dummy) as they’ll be releasing a fucking bad ass album on Triple Crown Records at some point in the near future.
Are you kidding me
Who the fuck threw that red shell
I will fuck you up