More abstinence?

From an article in the Picayune about last night’s City Park board meeting, at which various groups spoke to the board about redeveloping the park:

Housing advocate Elizabeth Cook said she found it “appalling” and “obscene” to be discussing golf courses while thousands of New Orleanians remain displaced two years after Katrina.


I’m sorry, but two years down the road, I’m getting really sick of this argument. In fact, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and call it downright offensive.

First, we couldn’t have Carnival because people were still displaced. Then we couldn’t have JazzFest. Indeed, over the past 25 months, hotel developments, street fairs, and even Hurricane Katrina remembrance ceremonies have been criticized because they haven’t focused attention or resources on the displaced. Rather, they’ve encouraged those of us who live here to spend money on–gasp!–ourselves.

Well, that’s all beginning to sound very “grieving widow” to me. At some point, we kinda have to move on, right?

Now, before you start hammering out hate mail, please note: I’m not saying that we ought to forget about displaced New Orleanians. On the contrary, we ought to do as much as we can to bring them back–unless, of course, they’ve found cities with job markets and school systems and crime stats that trump those available here. But really, what’re the odds of that?

Still, for folks to badger present-day residents into forsaking every bit of personal pleasure in the meantime is…well, it’s quite possibly the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard. There are several hundred thousand people living in Orleans parish, and roughly a million in Greater New Orleans. Why does our quality of life have to be put on hold? When do we get to dance a reel and wear a red dress to the party, Jezebel? Sheesh….

And just for the record, I’m not an ogre. Nor am I a regular golfer (though I do enjoy playing when I have the chance). However, I ain’t no Queen Victoria, either: I can only take so much abstinence.

4 Comments so far

  1. Owen (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 9:01 am

    Well said.

  2. Jack Ware (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 10:19 am

    This is just the latest round of a problem started and even encouraged by city leaders: “That the people who aren’t here are more important than the people who are”. That is completely backwards in my mind and always has been. If for no other reason than, the people that did manage to come back are building something for everyone else to come back to. Eighteen months ago I could cut people some slack for being a little more focused on the people living elsewhere but at more than 2 years out it might be time to face the fact that whether you like it or not,if you’re still not living here then you’ve moved. And there’s no reason to let people who don’t live here have an impact on what happens here. If you manage to get your ass back here then you get a say, otherwise, I’m sorry, but you’re on your own. And if you’re here and arguing on behalf of people who aren’t then continue to do so, but understand that it makes you look ignorant.

    And just to make sure everyone gets upset, look at it this way: The criminals have all managed to find their way back home so why can’t you manage that little trick?

  3. termite. (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 10:44 am

    Owen – can the folks that are living out of town still vote in the upcoming election as they did in the last mayors race?

  4. Tim (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 10:03 am

    TERMITE, I don’t believe any one really knows. Isn’t it funny that no one is talking about this….yet.

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