First off, I am not a journalist. What I'm about to write comes from a single source. I'm not from Louisiana and the only time I've been to New Orleans was en route to Guatemala City and our plane was forced down because a drunk Italian was attacking a passenger on the plane. So take all of this worth a grain a salt. But maybe there's something more to it.
I had a conversation today with a man who currently lives in New Orleans. His wife wanted to move there in order to do relief work after hurricane Katrina blew through in 2005. I only mention this to hopefully establish the kind of character he has. He's a really good guy.
Since he comes to San Antonio on a frequent basis I was able to catch up with him and the conversation shifted towards the Gulf oil spill that only recently was fixed. Right off the bat he responded that things aren't quite as bad as had been anticipated. He mentioned that while some fisherman have been affected by the oil spill, many of them have actually been better off because of it.
These fisherman have not been idle this whole time. They have still been out on their boats, working for BP, to help with the clean up effort. In some instances, they're making off better than they would have catching seafood. Other people have profited, too. He mentioned people getting paid as much as $16 an hour just to pick debris off the beaches. Not bad, if you ask me.
This isn't to say that other businesses haven't been hurt, either, but I find it fascinating that all the news reports are absent of these details.
One cannot blame New Orleans for the catastrophes that have struck them, but I think the media are too inclined to paint a 'victims tale' for the hapless city and some of its citizens too eager to play the part. When I think of New York City, on the other hand, the image branded in my mind is a city of resiliency and resolve. The cultures are quite different there, aren't they? Both have had to weather terrible events, but one has decided to 'move on' whilst the other has chosen to wallow in its own self-pity.
And maybe we're all to blame for being enablers. Maybe we should expect more of the citizens of our country.