Therese and I will be driving down to New Orleans December 9th. We'll stay about a week tearing out walls and trying to live without gas and electricity. We're taking the dogs, but the kids will stay in Omaha. There are some interesting developments pertaining to New Orleans. First, Zulu, one of the greatest Mardi Gras krewes, has refused to parade on the city's new limited Uptown route. Instead, they are insisting that they roll on their traditional route through the Treme neighborhood. I think that is great. Endymion, a giant krewe and also very popular, traditionally paraded in my Mid-City neighborhood. However, this year they will roll in Uptown instead. By the way, I can't wait for this year's Mardi Gras, if you couldn't tell already.
Then according to the Washington Post, on the day after Mayor Nagin's announcement that all of New Olreans will have free Wifi, the phone company Bellsouth angrily took back an offer to donate one of their buildings to the New Orleans Police Department. We used to get our phone and internet service through Bellsouth.
Times Picayune columnistChris Rose explains how New Orleans is depressed and gravely in need of hope. It can be overwhelming. The radio, TV, media, signs in the street, actual devestation, it is all about death and tragedy. I remember being exhausted much in the same way as I was after September 11th, 2001, listening to all the horrible stories about lives lost and ruined. I get the same way when I live in East Jerusalem.
Finally, the radio station WWL 870 AM has been fantastic. They were the only media that stayed on the air throughout the storm and the flood. They are also the radio home of my new hero, Garland Robinette. But just the other day they went back to their original format with Rush Limbaugh between 11-2. Of course, the first time he is back on the air, a caller from New Orleans tells him things are awful down here, and that none of the great things Bush promised in Jackson square have come to exist. Limbaugh informed the listeners that he has two friends in the New Orleans area and they tell him things are just fine. WWL is rightly embarassed, and they have invited him to broadcast from New Orleans, and to drive to Lakeside and Gentilly and the 9th ward and my neighborhood Mid City. Things are just about the opposite of fine in New Orleans.