What amazes me about these articles is that they are written, not by Pompous White Neo-Cons, (a group I think might do or say almost anything) but by ostensibly well-meaning Liberals -- Yankee Liberals, generally -- but nevertheless Liberals who have Our Best Interests at Heart. Never have I understood more clearly my conservative friends' desire to choke these people. As one of my housemates, Nikka, said: “Here's a real American story: the town flooded; so no one came back."
By God, if we want to live in a smelly, dirty swamp filled with alligators and blues musicians, it is our right as free citizens. If the pursuit of happiness leads us to dress up in silver face paint and stand motionless for hours, then by damn no one can stop us. That's the American Dream. I’ve never lived in New Orleans, but Hell, by these standards we might as well clear out half the South.
These people tend to bolster their arguments by finding a few beleaguered refugees who honestly say, (shortly after undergoing terrible trauma and loss) No. I don’t think I’ll be going back. ‘Ah-ha!’ the op-ed writer proclaims, ‘Poor New Orleans: doomed like Atlantis to arise no more.’ What garbage. For every person they find who says they'd rather stay in Texas, there is some waterlogged New Orleanian saying: "I'd rather get lockjaw than live in Houston."
In fact getting some folks out of New Orleans in the first place has been damned near impossible. Not only is there Pat’s favorite at GulfSails, still tooling around taking snapshots of the damage, but there’s also the folks at Johnny White’s who have turned the bar which never closes into an impromptu bar/shelter/hospital.
And check out these guys still out on their front porch drinking:
Kirby Gee, who owns the house, works as a bartender at Miss Mae's down the street. He says the bar did pretty good business even through last Wednesday [August 31 two days after landfall] —the cops kept them in shotgun shells as long as they kept pouring drinks. Gee says the police taught everyone around here how to loot. They were the first to bust into the grocery store down the street and the Wal-Mart a mile or so up the road. He also says they took to breaking into car lots in the days after the storm and driving off with brand-new Escalades. I'm not sure whether to believe him, until a cop car drives buy towing what looks like a mint-condition Corvette Stingray. "And these are the people telling us to evacuate," says one of the porch dwellers. Every time a Humvee rolls by, a few of the guys make sure to flash the peace sign.
No doubt there are exceptions. Some holdouts change their minds, becoming eager to leave when they run out of essential supplies. Like this one ponytailed guy in bedroom slippers who has to skip town immediately because the city has completely run out of weed. (The date on that article, by the way, is September 8th, indicating it took New Orleans more than a week after landfall to reach that particular crisis. They obviously have not run out of booze. Nor will they. They haven’t even run out of mixers.)
The nail in the coffin, though, for those wondering whether or not we will rebuild our fair (if grubby) city is this: the Strippers are back in New Orleans.
Road Trip, anyone?