I had a very good time at the Rising Tide IV Conference on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make it a success. There were two highlights for me. The first was during a discussion about food and culture, and how food impacts us more here than it would in other cities. The panelist Susan Tucker was talking about obituaries, and how they often mention food here in New Orleans. One obituary in particular spoke about a resident's Muslim devotion and it went on to say that he never ate pork, unless it was in a Muffuletta sandwich. I thought that made quite a bit of sense and it made me proud to live here.
Second, Harry Shearer spoke eloquently about how we in New Orleans lost the media battle about what happened here in August 2005. Four years after the city flooded, the rest of the nation and world believes that 80% of the city flooded because of a giant storm named Katrina, and not because of crappy levees built by the army corps of engineers. Shearer talked about how the modern news focused on emotion and not information. His talk was insightful but also depressing in that it doesn't seem New Orleans will ever have a quality levee system, one where we learn to live with water much like the system the Dutch have developed.