Monday, June 19, 2006

Mr. Melpomene 

Mr. Melpomene contributes a must-read post over at World Class New Orleans. Please attend to it, and discuss his observations in the comments at World Class. Here's a teaser excerpt, which lists some hard truths:

Yes, New Orleans is a unique place. But unique does not have to mean dysfunctional. Otherwise, the new New Orleans is not going to be World Class in anything other than booze soaked nostalgia and bitterness.

Moving towards "World Class" may require New Orleans to accept several unpleasant truths.

1) The place was limping when it took its death blow.

2) Only a 21st Century community will be viable in this century, so there is no era of New Orleans' history (authentic or romanticized) that is an appropriate goal of re-building efforts.

3) A 21st Century metropolis is educated, clean, digital, functional, innovative, inviting, multi-ethnic, has a level playing field, is safe and is consequently relevant.

4) Great Cities create and attract great people, places that shun great people based upon race, class, religion, language, and parochialism export them.

5) Government spending alone will not return the City from the one hundred fiftieth or so largest city in the nation back to the 31st largest.

6) Outside money does not create opportunity, it finds it.

7) World Class is not going to come from above, it is only going to come from within.

8) "If nothing changes, then nothing changes"

The Federal reparations are welcome compared to the alternative of injust neglect, particularly given that the U.S. Army killed more Americans, on our own soil, than any time since at least 1865.

But, don't forget, while the event was a nightmare, we had been stoically putting the best face on decades of [helicopter free] humiliation prior to the final collapse. The I-Wall design didn't make our public school system a fraud; The ACOE didn't put a pothole on every corner. FEMA didn't order a mandatory evacuation of the Fortune 500 from our City in the 1990's.

Even if every house is re-built better than before, there is so much more to be done if we wish to attract prosperity, instead of pity.
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4 Comments:

agree, agree, nicely put, agree, yup. that's right too.
buy the goddammned ipod willya.
i'm not sure how medium jim and big event can sit so quietly as they see honor so trivialized.
before the hurricane a man kept his word in the big drink.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:16 PM  

You said it right man.

By Anonymous Marco, at 8:29 AM  

I've been preaching this for ten months, mainly on my site and through my private e-lists. Now I use my blog.

We have a once in a lifetime chance to create something, to create a 21st Century city that preserves the soul of the culture that makes it so different. The only things that stand in OUR way are politicians and thieves. (These monies belong to us: they are the first reparation payments to the little folks for the damage done to our lives.)

America owes us: we have been used and abused for Her growth and prosperity, all to our disadvantage. Now, it's time to pay the piper.

Mid-America? Watch your crops rot because you can't ship them down our river, (and it is our river). You SUV driving fools? Wait until the gas prices hit $6.00/gallon. You gadget-minded folks? Keep waiting for your toys from China, they ain't gonna get here.

I'm a native of New Orleans and the Coast, and I'll be damned if we keep getting screwed for everyone else's benefit. Enough is enough.

This is the Isle d'Orleans, and it's time to remind the nation how important and vital we are. It's time for us to become our own power, and then the rest will have to deal with us on equal terms. 'Tis only fair.

This is the Third Battle for New Orleans. We must win this one.

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