Friday, August 31, 2007

I really shouldn't have been surprised, but I guess that speaks to how unique the New Orleans blogging network is. Even when we make comments that are less than civil to each other, we do have the good grace to apologize eventually, to explain where we're coming from, and to take each other's comments seriously - but not too. I know, from my experiences in the parenting blogs, that it can be very, very easy to be vindictive and petty, especially if one is hiding behind a username and revealing little else other than massive amounts of vitriol. But arguments over what makes a good parent are rather nebulous compared to the cold facts Ashley compiled beneath Shelley Midura's letter to our illustrious oaf of a prez. Scroll down on the post of his I've linked to. You'll see 'em.
I love all that and all those people and we need the insight they take away with them to the rest of the country but no amount of volunteer action can fix levees badly designed or maintain them if they are ever fixed, assess taxes and evaluate tax rates, or create an actual workable, understandable, desegregated and at least somewhat fair school system (without quotation marks). Volunteers and individuals can only do so much. And in thanking and congratulating and singing the praise songs of them we cannot, should not forget the larger picture, the larger problems–urban somewhat-malign neglect, testing instead of educating, writing off the poor and brown, blaming victims, sidestepping malice-laced ignorance behind public policy and grants, the twisting of a region’s arm with their children held at gunpoint, a bureaucracy built to fail and thwart instead of serve, the delusion that folks who aren’t home yet aren’t needed, the bullshit idea that we are the blank slate/experiment/testing ground for whoever flies in and says s/he’s got ideas, people’s lives toyed with like shit-stained old domino pieces in the street somewhere.

If the above is strictly a liberal viewpoint that is not worth considering - that is even seen as whining, which is truly an abominable thing to think - then I am on the verge of hating people, too. I will still stand by folks like Oyster, Alan, and Ashley, because they know what is going on and they have taken upon themselves the heavy burden of being sane voices (sometimes, the only sane voices) in this wilderness loosely termed "Gulf Coast recovery". For even more sane voices, check my blogroll. Check the blogrolls of the sites I've blogrolled.
Hundreds of New Orleans bloggers can't be sharing the same illusions...can they?
I hope not, 'cause I've met some great people through fighting these "illusions". May everybody reading this and the posts of all of the others in the NOLA blogpocheh be so privileged to meet so many good people - under much better circumstances.
In solidarity with AshMo'n'em, I will not be allowing any comments on the above post.