Monday, August 27, 2007

Hurricane Scapegoat

Hurricane Katrina. Some say it was a tragedy. Me? I say it was a Godsend for far too may Louisiana residents. The reason… now they have an EXCUSE for being the state with the worst statistics on a routine basis.

The Army sent us to Louisiana three years ago. Three long, hellish years. When I first arrived, I was in culture shock. Having grown up in New Mexico, the culture, the weather, everything was different. It was strange for me to go to stores and not hear Spanish being spoken. I had never in my life walked outside and had my sunglasses fog up due to humidity. It is safe to say that at first I simply didn’t like the weather. Soon, it grew to be oh so much more.

I am constantly amazed, though I suppose I should get used to it, when I am in a store and the cashier stops what they’re doing to talk to someone. Be it the customer they are checking out, a friend passing by, and the cashier at the next register. Anyone. They simply stop working and commencing chatting. At first I chalked it up to down-home friendliness. Now… not so much. I now chalk it up to pure rudeness. You’re there to work, not socialize. This is just one example of many I could come up with.

Then Hurricane Kat hit. TWO YEARS AGO! TWO YEARS, people. You built your city for the most part below sea level. Common sense stands to reason, it’s going to flood eventually. You knew the hurricane was coming. Yet oh so many didn’t want to leave their homes. Ok. Fine. Stay in your homes. But don’t then whine for years about how you were abandoned there. Did FEMA drop the ball, absolutely; however, so did the residents themselves.

It’s been two years. Two years of free rides for far too many people. When Colorado had a Category FIVE blizzard in December, I happened to be there. It was simply amazing. FEMA didn’t show up. Celebrities didn’t get on their bandwagon about how forgotten Colorado Springs was because it was full of a certain race of people. Instead, people knew that they lived in a state where blizzards could easily happen. We all stocked up on necessary items, prepared the best we could and sat in for the blizzard. Nearly a year later, you don’t hear about people still living in hotels at the government’s expense. As a matter of fact, you don’t hear about it at all. Go figure.

I could go on and on about how disgusted I am with Louisiana, but I won’t. Before I started this entry, I researched quite a few statistics such as criminal activity, illiteracy, welfare recipients, etc. I had to stop because even before good ole Kat hit, Louisiana was at the top of the bad lists, the bottom of the good.

My husband put it quite well. He’s lived quite a few places in his life. His father’s job had them move all over the US. Gary grew up near Indian Reservations, he’s lived in Korea, and he’s spent quite a bit of time in Afghanistan. He’s been around. After returning from Afghanistan he had an epiphany. The Afghanis are so used to their way of life they don’t know HOW to change. Not only that, they have no DESIRE to change. The elders in villages are fine with the way things are. Gary said Louisiana reminds him of Afghanistan on far too many levels. He has never lived in a place he detests more than this state.

I have tried, trust me, to find things I like. I have visited other cities. Shreveport is pretty decent. I visited Baton Rouge once. I only needed once to know I didn’t’ want to return. Maybe it’s the town in which I live. I don’t know. All I know am I tried to find things redeeming about Louisiana. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful.

Katrina was nothing more than a scapegoat for some of these people.

**DISCLAIMER: I am not saying all people from Louisiana are losers. Nor am I saying all people affected by Katrina have malingered. Just far too many. I simply do not like the state. It’s my opinion. I’m entitled.

As for those that say if I don’t like it, I can leave. I’d like nothing more. Trust me. I can’t considering my husband is in the Army and the Army sort of forces us to live where they deem it necessary. Until they release us from The Pelican State, I’m stuck here.**


Fantastagirl said...

I think you hit it the nail on the's been that way for too long, so they don't know any better...

Fantastagirl said...

I forgot to say - thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope that you'll be back - I've read a little bit of yours, and you are one amazing lady... I'll be reading..

Anonymous said...

Amen Sista!

Georgia is where it's at anyway.

Hopefully you and your family will be able to escape soon?!

mamma said...

Wow, this is the first such entry I have read. Having never been to the state, and most recently living in CA and MA, all I really know of New Orleans is the tragedy and the displacement and the ruined lives. This is the first time I have ever read or heard a different viewpoint. I am in no way saying you arent entitled to your opinion based on your experience, I am just saying, WOW! I never thought about any of that. - Meredith (Daily Kvetch)

Janelle said...

One of the funniest (yet true) blogs I have read in a long time!!