Friday, February 16, 2007


Why is this a setback?
In Setback for New Orleans, Fed-Up Residents Give Up


A year ago, Ms. Larsen, 36, and Mr. Langlois, 37, were hopeful New Orleanians eager to rebuild and improve the city they adored. But now they have joined hundreds of the city’s best and brightest who, as if finally acknowledging a lover’s destructive impulses, have made the wrenching decision to leave at a time when the population is supposed to be rebounding.
People are going to leave. Some of them will be of the “best and brightest” bunch. Let them leave in peace.

They will be replaced.

We fault our leaders for not making tough decisions. I will not fault residents who do make tough decisions, like leaving. It is far better for them to leave than to stay with one foot in and one foot out. That’s only good when you’re doing the hokey pokey.

Rebuilding the area will take two feet in.

And the NY Times article is the second time I saw leaving referred to as treason:
In battered but proud New Orleans, abandonment is a highly emotional subject, in part because many have made sacrifices to stay and rebuild. To some, leaving now is tantamount to treason.
The other day I read a NewsHour essay by Chris Rose:
One day we'll tell you we're making progress. And the next day, we're looking at want ads in Houston and Atlanta. Anyone who doesn't have a Plan B for the future here is crazy. Anyone who admits it is treated like a traitor.
You are not a traitor if you leave. You are making the decision that you think is right. Of course, you may be wrong. But you are not a traitor.

I will not put down another person’s decision to leave in order to make my decision to stay look better.

As the t-shirt says, "It's not beautiful being easy." And things won't be easy in the Big Easy for a while. Everyone must bear that burden. Even the "best and brightest."

In fact, I expect more out of the best and brightest. They are equipped to bear the biggest and heaviest burden, or at least pick up the slack.

Or pick up and go. Do whatcha wanna. Hang on the corner...


Karen said...

I found this sentence interesting.

"Mr. Langlois, who has repeatedly called the health and sanitation departments, the police and City Hall, said he despaired of receiving any response."

It is not so much the difficulty of living here,it is the lack of response from City Department Heads.

da po' boy said...

That's the setback.

TravelingMermaid said...

What's extremely hard is having to make a decision to leave for reasons having nothing to do with N.O. The pull of the city is so strong I wonder if it blinds us to responsibilities to aging families outside Nola. You feel guilty if you stay and guilty if you leave. You feel selfish if you stay and resentful if you leave. Do you follow your heart or your head. Life is so damn hard.