Saturday, July 22, 2006

Deconstructing Dickiet

In Comments, Dickiet says:
DickieT said...
What is it about Katrina that made everyone suddenly a Liberterian. I was in a safe, dry neighborhood too until the Corp's levees broke.
You probably should stay out of New Orleans for now. Too much to learn by seeing for yourself.
But if anyone wants to see how to do it for yourself come to New Orleans.
If you want to see where the Nanny state will take you come to New Orleans.
Or wait a few years until you can hang out in the French Quarter, get drunk with the other tourist and go home to tell the church group how decadent those New Orleans people are.
Well, hell, Pardner, it seems like everyone thinks I became a libertarian over night. That didn't happen over night. It took years of experience, and I'm really not a libertarian. I agree that there are some things the gummint does better. I don't believe that taking care of people is one of them. People ought to take care of themselves, and if they do something stupid, they ought to take responsibility for it. I'm big on personal responsibility.

Ya see, Dickie, I too was once flooded by the gummint. Back in the day, they built a big ole levee in Natchitoches Parish, but they called it Interstate 49. Before they figured out the floodplain, they flooded me out of my house not once, but twice. Six years apart. I learned all about drywall and mold and recovery. I learned about gutting houses. I learned all sorts of things that I didn't necessarily want to learn. My lil ole house on Bayou Derbonne has been remodeled three times in the past twenty years. The Feds didn't help at all. I did it all myself. I didn't whine about it, I just did it. I have the Tee-shirt. I know all about hundred year flood maps.

You're right that I should stay out of New Orleans right now. I like New Orleans and before the August 2005 debacle, I'd visit a couple of times a year and drop a couple of hundred in the local economy. I wouldn't get drunk, but I would appreciate the architecture, eat at a nice restaurant, have a drink at Pat's. Unfortunately, you people can't quit whining long enough to get your act together. New Orleans showed me it was unwilling to change when it voted Ray Nagin back in office.

Ya see, Scooter, New Orleans is the king of Whine right now. If you want the tourist dollar, you have to act like you want it. The streets have to be clean. The sidewalks have to be safe. The service has to be excellent, and above all, we don't want to hear you whine.

This year for example, I went to Laredo, Texas. Where they are having a frigging drug war. Where they find bodies every day. But where the people have quiet dignity and act like they want my tourist money. I didn't hear a single person whine about their problems. They were all happy to see me. We dropped a bundle in los dos Laredos.

All I'm hearing out of New Orleans is a victim class whine. "We were evacuated. We lost everything. The levees broke." No one wants to go on vacation and listen to that shit. You want to be decadent? Fine. All we ask is that you have a little class, a little style.

There are a lot of folks in the USA who have been disastered. I've been through it twice, so there isn't a damn thing that New Orleans can tell me about it. When it happens again, when you have rebuilt the second time, when the bills are paid and you've done the work you need to do, then you can talk about it with adults. Until then, shut the hell up. You've got work to do.


Anonymous said...

WELL SAID! I'd love to go back to New Orleans and take the missus, but until they get their act together we'll do our vacationing elsewhere. Charleston, SC is a beautiful coastal city that EARNS our tourist dollars, even tho' they get hurricaned every few years.


Me said...

+1 on being very well said.