Wednesday, August 31, 2005


on the sunny side of the street

i begin my new blog with new orleans - a city of contrasts where i spent 4 years of my life at tulane (which still seems to be treading water as far as i can tell, as opposed to the rest of the city). as much as i have affinity with street car rides alongside the the live oaks and old mansions on st charles, it's the "other new orleans" that has been devastated and will take years to rebuild. the images from the lower 9th ward and st bernard parish are almost too hard to bear - but drawn to them i am, especially to the live feed out of wwl-tv.

i don't know who i'm more angry at right now - bush for cutting disaster funding and sending 1/2 of the louisiana national guard to iraq, or the media's incessant focus on "looting." larisa alexandrovna, in the huffington post, wrote some of what i was thinking:

"looting is what the networks are covering and as though that is what "black people" do. the residents left behind by the poor management of emergency action and lack of funding happened to be poor and the poor in this country happen to be minorities. take away food, water, and other supplies and what should someone do? swim over to an atm and get some soggy money out? Or maybe dive in, holding their breath, and swim through their living room looking for their wallet? not to worry, the pentagon is on its way, martial law is declared, journalists are forced out, and those saved are happily dining on cat food."
is it any wonder that our national poverty rate just jumped to 12.7% ... 37 million people! or i could just go off on coastal wetland loss ... if only we would have spent a fraction of the billions we're going to be spending now. but i guess that analysis is for another day. today i am a new orleanian.

may the source of peace comfort us, and give us the strength to successfully face face all of our troubles and afflictions, so that we may emerge, renewed, at the end of the journey.