26 September 2005 by Published in: rants 2 comments

Welcome to my rant. If you haven’t been here before, this is where I vent, in an effort to diffuse my anger by using words instead of resorting to violence. Pointing out errors in my logic, or asking me to be reasonable, or suggesting I need to get over it is likely to occasion further rants, only directed at you. I have a hefty dose of Scotch-Irish in my ethnic makeup, and this causes me to be unreasoningly angry from time to time. Stand back from the spew.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store. While I was there I bought one hundred dollars worth of food. Among the things I bought were a bottle of Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab Boil (which is only sold in tiny bottles here in St. Louis) and a package of frozen crawfish tails. Now I don’t know the different combinations of things I could make with those two ingredients, not to mention all the others that I had, but I imagine the odds are good that the overwhelming preoponderance of things I could concoct would be at least Southern, and likely originating in Louisiana. Now, granted, cooking recipes from the south does not make you a Southerner, but just to be on the safe side, considering there’s thousands of displaced persons living in your city, mightn’t you consider not saying idiotic and offensive things about Louisiana and New Orleans on the off chance that the person you’re selling things to is from there?

You might think so. But no, these folks felt perfectly free to engage in a long and involved conversation covering such diverse topics as how Mardi Gras is not inviting if you have to float down the city streets, how the city should be left to drown and they should drive a big cruise ship into the Mississippi instead, how there’s no point rebuilding New Orleans because “nature will eventually win that battle”, how stupid people are to live below sea level, and so forth ad nauseam, punctuating the pieces of their talk that they thought particularly clever with laughter.

Things I tactfully did not say to these ignorant, self-appointed experts doing menial labor :

  • I realize your jobs are boring and you are just clacking your jaws for the sake of hearing your heads rattle. However, I am from New Orleans and I would appreciate it if you kept your mouths shut for the remainder of my need to stand within earshot of your callous stupidity.
  • One of the country’s largest ports mean anything to you? Where exactly do you think your state’s goods are going when you ship them down the Mississippi?
  • You talk as if your city wasn’t perched overhanging the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, as if there were no levees here and no danger of flooding, as if within the last fifteen years there hadn’t been a flood so massive that Chesterfield Valley ended up under 10 feet of water. Oh, and let me see, were you people smart enough not to bother to rebuild there? NO! You weren’t, there’s scads of buildings less than fifteen years old shoulder to shoulder there!
  • New Madrid fault. I hear we’re standing on it. Your house built to withstand earthquakes?
  • You think that was only nature? You think the steady erosion of protective barrier reef islands had no effect on how strong the hurricane was when it made landfall? You think mankind forcing the Mississippi to stay its course for a hundred years had no effect? Ever hear of global warming, which may or may not have played its part and most certainly isn’t natural? You think there was nothing we could do to protect the city beforehand? All the experts recommendations about strengthening the levee and nurturing the outlying environment just so much balderdash, huh?
  • I’m so happy that a cashier and bag boy have figured out the solution to the problems of a million people. You are so bright! “Just don’t live there”, wow, I’m sure the president will be calling you shortly to ask your opinion on all sorts of critical world affairs! Palestinians living for decades in tent cities throughout Gaza? Just move! Unemployed? Go elsewhere! Living in famine stricken Darfur? Duh! Settle in a country where there’s food!

Small-minded jackasses.

What I did say, in the mildest tone possible: “The Dutch do alright. Their entire country is practically below sea level”. The cashier’s reply, “Yes, but well, they don’t have hurricanes, there, do they?” I refrained from pointing out that their system of pumps, sea walls and dikes would withstand hurricanes and more. I didn’t even point out how appalled they were when they discovered that a nation as rich as ours had no similar system in place. I am the model of restraint.

On the plus side, the seafood gumbo I made was deeeeeeelicious. Also on the plus side, I am lucky enough to have any number of grocery stores nearby to choose to shop from, and am not required to ever darken the doorway of that particular place again.

I leave you with the biting humor of get your war on‘s take on Katrina:


iTunes says I was listening to Armageddon Days (Are Here Again) from the album Mind Bomb by The The when I posted this. I have it rated 4 stars.


Mon 26th Sep 2005 at 4:16 pm

Interesting…and not that this makes one iota of difference though it does give one hope for humanity, people in Florida hear my accent and ask if I have relatives or friends that were affected by the hurricane and seem to be very sympathetic to the plight of the people involved.

Tue 27th Sep 2005 at 10:09 am

Charlie, they are familiar with Hurricanes. People further north aren’t, and don’t really comprehend the scale of them (usually erring to one or the other extreme.)

All the people who’ve decided that New Orleans should not be rebuilt, I have to wonder what circumstances would have them being okay with the rest of the country deciding whether or not their city should be allowed to continue to exist.

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