Some emails from reader's I've received have let me know that this blog is coming across as pretty damn bleak, and going back and reading it in its entirety, I can see that it certainly is. Not my intent, but since I began it in the period shortly before the one-year anniversary of Katrina, it's no wonder.
But let me assure you that all is not doom and gloom, either in my own life, or in New Orleans itself. For example, take a look at this video from YouTube:
I love this video! It cracks me up. I watch it when I am feeling down about the recovery, or my situation. It actually makes me feel better about the recovery. That everything is going to be all right. There is just something so hilarious and beautiful about this pasty, sunburned, fat white man, dancng in the ruins of New Orleans. dancing in front of a house whose door is hanging wide open, because it's so fucking wrecked that it doesn't even matter if anyone breaks in -- there's nothing to steal, and if anyone trashed the place, no matter how hard they tried, they could not measurably impair the state of the house. (My house's door is hanging open right now too.) Dancing in the waist-highh weeds, dancing ... in a neighborhood that could be my own (although I think it's Lakeview) ...
It's hard to describe the rush of incredulous laughter and unexpected, perverse joy I got when I first saw this video. It is so RIDICULOUS, and yet so right. I laughed my head off, and so did my husband.
You see, this is New Orleans! This is what the city is about -- not the houses, not the buildings, the business or the tourist trade, but the people and their spirit. And this is why we will prevail in the end -- white and black, rich and poor, Catholic and Pagan and Voodoo. Because New Orleanians love life! If the storm has wrecked your city and the flood has destroyed your home, what else is there to do but dance, dance! Dancing in the ruins -- in a way, that is what New Orleans has always been about.
There's no drowning the spirit, baby!
The video is by EndlessJoe, the dancer is CaptainPepito, and the music is by DJ Kool. Rock on! Laissez les bon temps roulez!