Friday, May 22, 2009

Dave Zirin's take on New Orleans as Super Bowl host in 2013?

Another sporting shock doctrine:
"No city has been through more than New Orleans," said Rita Benson LeBlanc, a part owner of the New Orleans Saints. "This is just a true testament to what an entire community can do."

Pasquarelli added, "Playing host to a Super Bowl should address some of the city's lingering problems." By "lingering problems" he must mean sky-high poverty and unemployment. Much has been made about the city's comeback, on the basis of healthy employment numbers (relative to the rest of the country) and a mini-construction boom buoyed by post-Katrina reconstruction.

But many New Orleans residents still feel compelled to celebrate any infusion of business, particularly the business of unlimited expense accounts and debauchery the Super Bowl inevitably brings with it. This is because the poverty in the city is still persistent. In March, the metro area lost jobs for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. And New Orleans, with some families still living in federal trailers and others still trying to return, remains the murder capital of the United States.

This is because the city has become profoundly dependent on its service economy since 2005.

This is also because the Obama administration has to date done nothing to help the Gulf Coast despite his repeated assurances to do otherwise. A look at shows a depressing litany of broken promises straight from Obama's mouth on everything from strengthening the levees to rebuilding hospitals and schools.

As New Orleans resident and commentator Harry Shearer wrote:

“The farther we get into this administration, the clearer it becomes that New Orleans is now enjoying its second consecutive federal administration which, far from offering to fix what it broke, far from offering a hand of support, is merely offering one finger.”

This is why, in the absence of alternatives, the Super Bowl money train looks all the more seductive.


Mark Folse said...

No, what Pasquarelli means is the lingering perception--routinely circulated by our enemies abroad--that we are a hell hole, Baghdad on the Bayou with monumental corruption and a crime problem that rivals road side bombs for impact, the views of the big bad NBA players who are afraid to come to New Orleans lest their limousines hit a pothole and spill their champagne.

New Orleans Ladder said...

Now Mark, don't hold back. Yes.
Another one that puts a flea up my pants leg is that: the Citizens are too stupid (read poor colered etc) to have any control over their mayor or city council, let alone the Corps of Engineers, that Nola is a buyer's market for bulk real estate development, what the hell...enough. Jeez Louie, it ain't like we enjoy sand in our summer snowballs ya'know?

Hey Mark, I read your book again. Just as fun the 2nd ride through.
Gave that one away too so will have to get another. That is half the fun too though. If you do another reading(s) would you let me know please, via email from profile?

Liprap! You cat. Howz'yer hammer hangin? Hope the family is well too.
I had to miss all the festivals this year, but we covered them on da'Ladda. I'm just tired is all, wo'out truth be told. The city... the corps... grrr
so I come over here to find something to make me feel better. It always works for me, the Line.
Thanks youz,

saintseester said...

Perhaps having the Superbowl means that the rest of the country is losing its misconceptions about New Orleans.

Leigh C. said...

I certainly hope so. According to my husband, the biggest thing people outside of New Orleans ask about is the recovery here...and the implication in the question is that we are still on some Godforsaken frontier here.

However, I myself would like for this place to be further along in four years and a tad less dependent on events such as this to get money flowing for all.