I haven’t suffered from Katrina fatigue in quite some time. The ten year anniversary overkill has brought it back. I guess some people need that time marker in their life to rehash the stories of the experience and to look at the city and proclaim how much better it is. Not me. As a matter of fact I don’t need to go over the experience again and I am not one who thinks that there have been any great improvements that have made New Orleans a better place to live. If you are measuring the improvements since August 29, 2005 then I would say yes things have improved. If you are looking at improvements measured before the storm they are minimal. For every thing that has improved the city we have also lost cultural institutions and characters that gave this place a lot of charm. Most of the so called post K improvements are things that make NOLA a lot like any other place in america. I accept the changes but hardly call them improvements. Lets move on and stop using Katrina as an excuse for our current state. One thing I can say is that New Orleans isn’t and never will be the same place that it was before the flood. Unfortunately the poverty and violence seem to have survived.
The fight goes on to remove statues in New Orleans that honor Confederate War heroes. I have lived in the south all my life and have realized from an early age how wrong and misguided the cause of the South was. The Civil War was about slavery in spite of the crowd that claims it was about state’s rights. Well it was about state’s rights. The rights of the southern states to embrace slavery. While in the north I am not so sure that their cause was initially to end slavery rather the preservation of the union. In the end thanks to President Lincoln it did become a war to end slavery. Most of these monuments were put up by proud southerners who really had a hard time getting over the war of northern aggression ( An oxymoron since the south fired the first shots.). As a matter of fact the commander who fired the first shot was P.G.T. Beauregard from Louisiana. In my eyes the monuments, at least two of them have an aesthetic appeal. General Lee at Lee circle and Beauregard at the entrance to City Park.
I have never looked upon them as symbols of white supremacy or a symbol that the south will rise again. To me they are a reminder of a long ago time and an ignoble cause. But I didn’t have to endure the reconstruction, Jim Crow, KKK days that my fellow African American citizens have. Would I miss the statues? Yes they are a part of the city’s landscape that I have seen all my life. Would it have a great impact on me? No it would not.
As for the politics of removing the statues the process seems to have caused more division than it has unity. The reality is that the removal of these landmarks will not help us solve the issues of poverty and crime that plagues our city. I would hope that whatever happens with this situation that is doesn’t linger a lot longer. In reality it is a distraction that is preventing discussions on the real problem of racism and poverty in our city and finding solutions to solve them.
Ten Years After
I guess some folks have to rehash this over and over to get some kind of closure. Personally I am over it. Certainly I will remember the day quietly for a few moments but will get on with my life quickly on the anniversary of the event that was life changing for myself and just about anyone else living in NOLA at the time. I rode out the storm and left a few days later returning about a month later to a city that resembled a ghost town. There was talk of the new New Orleans and how much better it would be that the old New Orleans. From my chair we have preserved so many of the worst qualities that the city had and have lost so many of the things that made the city charming and unique. Change is inevitable and doesn’t always result in the outcomes that I want to see. That’s life and I live with it. However I am getting tired of everyone rehashing the stories that I have heard over and over since the storm. Yes, we all lost our refrigerators. Many lost their homes, their jobs and some their lives. I just wish the tenth anniversary was an event for looking forward instead of backwards.
Before and after. I like the before.
been a miserable hot summer. I have spent most of it indoors with the air conditioning set to 72. Personally it has been a long summer, challenges at work an a lack of interest in social events has left me feeling down. Physically I am fit and continue to slowly drop the excess weight I have been carrying around for the last ten years, so I have that going for me. With any luck fall will come early and the brisk clean air of a cold front will bring me out of this funk.
Ten years since Katrina and there are lots of events and reminders of the devastating storm and the failure of our poorly designed and maintained levees. While some celebrate the rebuilding of the city I find myself feeling the way I felt about New Orleans right before the storm. I was ready to move on. I felt I needed a change. The city was crime ridden and the things that I loved about living here had lost meaning for me. When I returned to New Orleans shortly after the storm I had a lot of anxiety about what would happen next. I was one of the lucky few whose home and job was intact. At the time I felt I couldn’t leave with so many others yearning to come home who weren’t able to. City leaders talked of building the new New Orleans. Without the crime and better schools. According to them the city would be as it was without the negatives. Today as I look at the city I see the same crime ridden poverty stricken town that I saw before the storm. Again I want a change in my life and I am considering saying goodbye to what has been my home town for most of my life.
Jazz Fest 2006. The first post Katrina Fest.
So I didn’t attend the Fest this year. There were some acts I wanted to see and they weren’t Elton John or No Doubt. Reading about the large crowds I’m glad I stayed home. Not sure I would feel unsafe in the mass of Festers it’s just not comfortable when it is wall to wall people. Large crowds any given year will sometimes affect the next years attendance. SO maybe it won’t be so bad next year. The only safety concerns I ever have at the Fairgrounds is when it is raining and there is lightning. In many ways the Jazz fest is more about the event than about the music. Many of the local acts can be seen and heard at much better venues around the city all year long.
Monday’s April hurricane hit the area pretty hard. I must say it was one of he stronger thunderstorms that I have seen blow through the area. Knocking down trees even blowing train cars off of a railroad trestle it had quite an effect on the area. Of course I lost power at my house I always do. Compared to an outage by a hurricane this one only lasted about 32 hours. The big difference was that it wasn’t 90 degree temperatures so even though I had no power I was comfortable. Only lost some leftovers in the fridge. The food in the freezer stayed frozen with the exception of the Ice Cream which I drank like a milkshake. while the inconvenience was minor it did throw off my rhythm for the week which is a great segue to the next topic of Jazz Fest.
I didn’t attend the fest last week my only regret is that I did not get to see The Who. I hear they put on a great show and it might have been the last chance that I would have to see them. Saturday was rainy and muddy and I just don’t feel like hitting the Fairgrounds under those conditions any more. Been there done that. Weather should be great this weekend still not sure if I am going. I have only missed going to Jazz Fest a couple of times since it’s inception. As BB King would say the thrill is gone. With no out of town company to entertain I might just stay home this weekend and catch up on some reading.
All I have to say is Fuck this shit it’s getting hard to get around in a car uptown with every North South street in the uptown area torn up.
Yes I’m alive just been crazy busy lately. Still have my Mardi Gras decorations up at the house. Hope to get them put away this weekend along with some other deferred maintenance issues at home. I also hope to sit down and write a post that lets you know how I feel about a number of things that are working on my last nerve. These will include but are not limited to Jindal’s budget, the condition of the streets of New Orleans and can I still afford to live in New Orleans.
Yesterday temp in the 80’s (air conditioner) today 40’s (heat) I’m ready for springtime. The weather hasn’t been as cold as it was last year but this yo yo effect is starting to bother me.
Looking forward to it.
Stay tuned for my totally biased opinion this weekend. I’ll try to find the time to post a little more often.