Tuesday, October 31, 2006


You know, I've been working for a while on an essay about falling in love with Nola, what I love about it, why I'm still here, and how hard it will be to leave, should I follow the seeming mass exodus of renters being renovated, i.e., shoved, out of their homes, but I keep getting "distracted" by things like five more people being shot up, this time in a bar on Decatur Street.

This is not to say that because Decatur Street is a main drag in the Quarter that it is more important, but, in my mind, it again goes to show how bad things have gotten when sticking to even main thoroughfares will not spare you the ever-flying bullets. My own neighborhood, the antiquated, ramshackle-mansioned Lower Garden District, also does not look like a ghetto, but, like the rest of the city, it essentially is in terms of the violence.

What makes all of this worse is the knee-jerk denial crowd, who will tell you a) there is no problem, b) it's the blacks, c) no one cares unless a tourist is shot, so why should I? Now, granted, the Times Picayune is happy to not report crimes, much like the gunshots I blogged about yesterday, but I don't feel that's a reflection on the populace so much as the in-one-another's-pockets, oligarchical nature of this city, which is as pronounced or more so than our current joke of a federal administration. I could write a treatise on this subject. But.

It boils down to this: Cities with high crime rates, like Nola, have been failed by the alleged watchdogs and, yes, by the police, who make a lot of noise about how unfair the "liberal media" is to them when, really? No.

I've watched cops literally stand by and watch while petty thieves were being pursued by the coffee store employees they had just ripped off and we all watched on national television while they beat the shit out of a teacher in his 60s -- but couldn't be bothered to step in and keep Bourbon Street bouncers from strangling a black kid to death for no damn reason.

By their argument, they are underpaid, which is true, and many are therefore unwilling to do their jobs, which is where my empathy evaporates. I.e., why does it take a pay raise to spark even a trace of basic decency -- enough to maybe intervene in a beating or, going back several steps on the decency scale, not beat people with no cause?

I guess going after the helpless is a lot more satisfying to them, as it is for our renovation-happy landlords. When I look at our firefighters, who, until recently, were only paid $8.50 an hour and don't make much more than that post-raise, that excuse just goes to shit because they put their lives on the line every day without half the whining or moaning of NOPD officers.

[NOPD: Prove Me Wrong, Please. On The Record, For The Record.]


the rest of us here at America's true ground zero are being squeezed out by criminals on both sides of the divide and there's less of us to pick on, thanks to over half the city still sitting in ruins and serving as prime feeding ground for criminals of all stripes: legally sanctioned business sorts, the faux rich, who are happy to remodel us out of our homes now that they've survived hurricane season and also seemingly happy to fuck the progress we've made out of truly short-sighted and stupid greed, and the broke street thugs and assorted psychos, who are happy to insta-pull the trigger, rob, harass, steal, slaughter and who, to be fair, are in much more desperate situations financially and psychologically than these Nouveau-Rich Small-Minded Creeps.

Maybe once Nola's working and middle class -- one of the finest collection of people I've met anywhere, by the way, making this especially awful and unjust -- are gone, the alphas from each of these two sick camps will do one another in, leaving their minions to tear each other apart over the scraps.

Poetic, if ugly, justice?


Anonymous arajay said...

Excellent, passionate post. I really like the phrase "remodel us out of our homes." So apt that it hurts. Just ask Travis--he's moving to Denver based almost exclusively on the fact that he's been "remodeled" out of 3 apartments in the last six months.

12:59 PM  
Blogger anomaly76 said...

Hell, I'm tempted to leave because my last best friend here is about to vamoose.

Hellooooo trickle down economics! (among other things)

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Eric Johnson said...

If you feel you can do better, pony up YOUR money and buy something. Hell, why not buy some investment property and rent it out for less than the going rate. It seems the only non-hypocritical thing for you to do. Rather than simply complaining about things, take a stand and DO something. It is absurd to assume OTHERS should take on mortgages so that they can supply you with cut-rate rent.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Haze Ablaze said...

Alrighty, "Eric Johnson" - you front the money, I'll use it to procure said "investment property." Given that, like a lot of Nola residents, I can't afford to purchase property here now nor, like the Craig's List writer in my subsequent post, do I necessarily believe it's a sound investment, it's the only non-hypocritical thing for you to do.

Oh! Memo: It's called "muckraking," "Eric Johnson," who, I'm betting, is the obsessive heretofor known as "Anonymous," a lovely gent who, for months, has derided me and, I'm sure, countless other women with nameless lameness, one hand on one puny implement, AKA, "Stop fucking whining, you narrow-minded, intolerant dipshit. Of all the things the flood swept away, how did it miss sniveling piles of shit like you?" and "Others linked to this site [i.e., Joe Longo, senior editor of NolaFugees.com]have been made aware and advised test those waters for themselves. See??? Another silly hypocrite exposed. Damn, you were easy!! Thanks!!"

Silly virgin.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Eric Johnson said...

You're a hostile little whining victim, aren't you? So you've caught flack because you're "a woman"? Wow. Has nothing to do with the fact that you are full of stereotypical sniveling drivel. So "you can't afford" to buy anything so you whine because those who DO take the risk of buying property won't let rent it to you below market value. My God, you're pathetic. Maybe by the time your face clears up you'll figure out just how laughable you truly are.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Haze Ablaze said...

Tonight, you're mine completely.
You give your love so sweetly.

3:18 PM  

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