I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any more of these articles from Chris Rose.
True — it has been seven months. And msot of us are still trying to reassemble things. Many of us are lucky enough to be back and to be in secure homes. Some of us are lucky enough to start scrimping together a living again. We’re all under a lot of stress, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s simply the facts of life these days in New Orleans and the central Gulf Coast.
(Special note — we spent some time driving between Biloxi and Gulfport yesterday. You think we got it rough here in Orleans Parish? At least a lot of us still got walls, as moldy as they might be. Try having just a slab or a dozen pilings.)
But back to the point. Chris Rose has been a lifeline for many of us since The Thing (as he calls it) happened. He has often said what we needed to hear, and said it in a public forum. I will thank him when I meet him (I think I was behind him in line at La Boulangerie a couple weeks ago — not sure). But dude…
I know you’re not whining. But it sounds like it. We gotta look forward, since the present is depressing. We need more fuck-you stories and less of the up-by-the-bootstrap ilk. Bootstrapping is the norm here these days — at least you’ve still got your salary (I know it’s only a journalist’s salary. I had one for roughly 30 years — but at least it was consistent and has bennies).
I had a long talk with an SBA guy today (while I was bootstrapping it peddling BBQ out in Mid-City. He was nice enough and hungry enough to actually buy some.). He asked what we really needed, and I hesitated. But then I told him what we really need and want right now is what we have — someone like him (who’s from the federal government and here to help us) to be angry at. To show we’re not beaten and we don’t have our hands out and we’re going to recreate this city. He was a good enough guy — just trying to do his job and his agency IS providing help to lots of folks who need it — so I kinda soft-peddled it. But I think he got the point — that we need to be pissed-off enough to keep pushing forward.
Our local and state folks also deserve their share of the anger. But, frankly, it’s hard to be angry at some schmuck who still trying to do a job after his/her own place is in as bad a shape (or worse) than our own. We need a symbol and the feds are providing it. For that, at least, we thank you.
It’s kinda what keeps a lot of us going, y’know? So maybe they ARE helping. Whatever works.