Sunday, September 18, 2005

Want fries with your gumbo?

In my hometown, just like in countless towns in this country, there's a main drag several miles long that's a paean to Amurrcan culture. Franchises blend into minimalls that fade to Hamburger Row in a happy faced billboard drive by blur. You can certainly get in your car and dutifully go about your business of buying your gewgaws and paying your bills, Doing the Stuff of an average day with a minimum of fuss and bother. With me it's a sense of relief to get it all done and get home to get on with more pleasurable activities. That's just me; I've always been a loner (well, except for my younger barfly social shmoozing). The awful inevitableness of this soulless, draining environment with it's detached, sterile atmosphere can get to you.

Which is why I've been thinking a lot about what kind of city will be built on the memory of Nawlins. David Freedman, the general manager of WWOZ called it " the last largest bastion of incipient, instinctive resistance". It was a city of unique, charming culture that I'll wager a whole lot of people wish they'd had visited before now.

Boosh's corporate cronies were given the sweetheart contracts to "rebuild" the city while people were still dying in their attics and rotting corpses floated in the streets. A lot of the evacuees aren't going to return and the Supremes' ruling about eminent domain from several months ago came just in time for the city to sieze a whole lot of property. When Halliburton begins to "rebuild", just what kind of city is going to emerge? I'd say it's going to be hurried, claptrap construction except for the sky boxes at a new stadium and the plush suites at the new casinos. Bottom line housing for the new underclass and top of the line luxury in the new hotels. A centuries old spirit washed away by the water and replaced with a hollow, spiritless Chamber of Commerce Smile.

I wish I had visited.


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