Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Reports of my city's death...

...are highly exaggerated:

Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?

I don't know about you guys but I'm getting rather nauseated with these diatribes:

What does it mean to miss New Orleans? It means knowing that one of the most golden citadels of our shared history - a cradle of multiculturalism, the birthplace of jazz, seed corn of so much that is America - was allowed to die of neglect, disdain, racism, greed and simple stupidity right before our eyes. A city stands where New Orleans once was, but it is not New Orleans, not really. All that was the city, all that it gave this country, and so many of the people who lived there, are gone forever.

Oya! The drama!

How the fuck does Mr. Pitt know what New Orleans really is? I mean, I've been to San Francisco a couple times....but I don't know what it really is. For that matter I've lived in New Orleans for nearly half my life....and I wouldn't be so arrogant as to assume I know what it really is. That's actually one of the things which I love about this city...it's endlessly mysterious.

I'm guessing this nostalgic epitaph was penned more for George W. Bush's mausoleum headstone than my city's. A city which has been here longer than the country itself and will probably be here long after America disintegrates under the weight of Empire.

I just had the opportunity of playing tour guide to a young lady from my little hometown who is passionate about moving to New Orleans. I can't tell you the pleasure I got from watching her eyes light up as we roamed the streets (which were packed mind you) of this city and met the amazing folks who make NOLA home for me. She comes from an area where racism is still pervasive (in ways a metropolitan area can't imagine), and freedom of thought and expression is comprised of which flavor of Jesus you prefer to shove down people's throats (not that I have any issues with J.C....its his fan club I detest). She made me feel like I was watching myself 20 years ago when I was first introduced to New Orleans. I realized that I still feel as passionate about this city now as I did then, maybe even more.

So to come off that weekend, and read an epitaph for New Orleans...well...forgive me if that donut is a little hard to swallow.

Mr. Pitt: We are here. We are very much alive. We are still New Orleans.


Carmen said...

If New Orleans is dead, why is the traffic such a nightmare?

Anonymous said...

on an unrelated subject: this is just unbelievable....



Anonymous said...

the best is... if you anything about n.o. history you would know that it has always been described as a wild,reckless,corrupt and decaying town. and yes, we have always been dying/ death is part of our life..spirits don't cross water.

Banzai Bill said...

Wow--what a pointless piece of melodramatic crap. I don't know the meaning or the purpose of that piece.

What I find in my research, interviewing many who have returned and some who have not, is that there is a strong sense of resiliance and anger among those who have returned. They are rebuilding, mostly on their own, and the "new" New Orleans they are creating will be different--"we aren't going to take any more crap" as one person told me.

I am looking forward to the upcoming elections, hoping that there is another round of change among the elected officials to help us rebuild on our own terms.

Anonymous said...

A well-meaning friend sent that to me a week or whatever ago...I messaged her back:
"I thought it was going to be a good bit - it started out well enough...but contrary to his dirge, New Orleans is coming back. No, 'she' will not be the same as she was...She'll be stronger if she and her people can survive the Nagin nonsense and Chief Riley's Waah-waahmbulance of blame and no action thus letting crime spiral out of control (and he thinks he has a chance to be elected now that most folks are sick to death of his buddy rayray???). New Orleans is coming back mostly on the sheer elbow grease of the citizens that either stayed and those that made it back. If there hadn't been the greed on the part of the insurance companies and other entities - the city would be MANY steps ahead. Of course right now, there is a creeping terror of opportunistic carpetbaggers, both locally grown and imported. Check out www.humidcity.com . I'll be going to Rising Tide IV in three weeks (also check that out: www.risingtidenola.net) to get more scoop. I still mourn the New Orleans that was to have been my home. But now I have to look at the phoenix rising from the mildew and scum (could also stand for Nagin & Riley) and do my best to go pitch in and scrub her down to the funky flakiness that I adore and help keep her from being forced into too much plastic surgery."

And that was my being "polite"...'cause she really likes WRP's writing...maybe his other stuff is worth the binary!?? I could have been MUCH worse.

Wendy (aka fleurdelisgal/elspeth)

Word Verification: laymm - as in, Mr. Pitt's column was laymm.