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09/18/2005: "Safety and Protection"

Type the word “safety” into the search engine and up comes the links to occupational safety, transportation, consumer and food safety. The lists continues: on-line safety, child safety to prevent unintentional injury, bicycle, mine, fire, lightening, chemical and hazard, boating, airline, and school, safety. My eyes scan the words “safe haven,” and the line,“The department of the US government with the responsibility to ensure safety and healthful work environments." Then there is the ad on the right side of the page with the line “We Can Help You To Safety. Get This Free Survival Guide Now.” “ Next I use the computer thesaurus, type in the word “safety” and the response is: “well being, security, shelter, and protection.”

President Bush and the federal government are under fire for failing to be prepared, to act quickly, to “ protect America.” I read an e-mail that declares” Hurricane Katrina has exposed the federal government's inability to respond to disaster, and the poverty and racism that still exists in America.” I guess it takes a disaster to expose what is there and what some people know, others deny, ignore, live with or maybe don’t know what to do about. The latest major disaster will churn up discussion, debate, committees, investigations, maybe even a new branch or government.

I look out the window at a downpour and hear the sound of rain falling and tree limbs rubbing against the studio. New masters of two marine safety films need to be labeled and sent out to the world tomorrow, or well, to Seattle to be made into more masters and copies. These films are just one more slice of the safety pie, of trying to be prepared for the unpredictable, for accident and crisis. I’m happy to pay bills by working in the non-profit sector. At times I joke about making safety films or try to joke before the someone else does, knowing there is plenty of data about injury prevention and how training, preparation, having the right supplies and equipment saves lives, hoping the films are useful and maybe less dry and boring than they could be. These projects are focused (and thus something I can fathom dealing with) on what someone in a marine environment and on a fishing boat can do. They do not touch on the responsibility or not aim at addressing large policies, relief efforts nor addressing natural disasters like the South-East Asia tsunami or Hurricane Katrina, outbreaks of pathogenic viruses, international crises and times when one day someone is living their life and the next they are, along with hundreds or thousands of others referred to as “victims” and "survivors.”