First off, the book had me at its cover, which resembles a certain children's book classic I'm sure most parents of my generation and the one before have read ad nauseum to their kids.
I've had a list of parenting reading in my head that smacks a bowl of whup-hide gumbo up the side of the What To Expect series of books ( and there's even a website these days, which I should have expected. Ugh.) ...but I will get to that another time.
What hit me right between the eyes was one passage in particular from this book, part of this excerpt.:
Now, I’ve never been much of a joiner. As a whole, people in groups make me nervous. People in groups do things that they would never do on their own. On the upside, groups of people can feed the hungry, free political prisoners, and get medical marijuana legislation passed. On the downside, groups of people burn books, lynch people, and drive through the streets in limousines, grabbing their crotches, screaming “Do you want a piece of this?”
In light of recent revelations in this city concerning a certain Excellence in Recovery Award and all the people who cannot seem to dissociate themselves from this idiot gala, I cannot help but see how astute this observation of Brett Paesel's is concerning group dynamics - especially in this town.
Think about it in terms of what is on the invite to this festive farce:
The Excellence in Recovery Host Committee
cordially invites you to
A Tribute to the Recovery of New Orleans
Lt. General Russell Honore (Ret.)
The Award of Distinction
For Recovery, Courage, and Leadership
Mayor C. Ray Nagin
The Katrina Community Survivors Award
New Orleans Katrina Survivors
The survivors - people who are lumped together as one on the invite - are a strong bunch. They have had to be. It takes a lot of energy, anger, and determination to smash through the obstacle course that is rebuilding New Orleans. And one of the biggest obstacles to our city's recovery has been made up of many of the people on this so-called "Excellence In Recovery" committee for this gala - those who are perpetuating the corrupt culture of City Hall that is rotten to its very core.
Good news is, we can outnumber these sorry creatures and make 'em feel down in the depths on the ninetieth floor by reminding 'em there is still a looooong way to go in this long haul known as recovery. Take a good, long look at the names on this list. If you recognize any of 'em, if they are your friends or bitter enemies, if you can call, email or write to them, urge them to get some brass cojones/steel ovaries and refrain from attending this delusional Ritz-Carlton romp.
Snap out of it, New Orleans' scions. We most certainly do not want a piece of you.
Besides, you forgot to consult your calendars. I humbly suggest you instead attend the kick-ass gathering of the NOLA blogpocheh at the Rising Tide III meet and greet (or schmooze and booze) over at Buffa's Lounge on August 22nd.
Together, we can all free the political prisoner that is the city of New Orleans...
...and, in the process, this mommy will still be able to drink.