This post is probably gonna be all over the place but it's a strange day.
New Katrina Refrigerator post called Tree Limbs All Over the Tomato Plants is up. It was written six weeks after the storm. We were already trying to cope with the loss/guilt conundrum, and it continues today. We still hear similar statements regarding loss, "Not so bad, nobody died." The sense of loss, while mitigated by the fact that others lost so much more, is still being buried in statements with caveats. "The front of my house is gone, and we haven't been paid by the insurance yet, but we did better than most."
As I expected, the grisly murder/suicide here in New Orleans has made national news. I have been surprised by the understated reportage I've seen, but have also been astonished by the total lack of sensitivity shown by people commenting on it. Some of the worst offenders are right here on the NOLA message boards. Horrendous bad taste. Makes you wonder who these people are.
Meanwhile as I read some of the comments left on national message boards (AOL's are particularly nasty), I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Some were saying that we should be praying for the families of both the deceased. I agree. I cannot imagine being on either side of that as a parent. Others, though, have apparently lost all sense of decency and sit smugly at their keyboards in Omaha or wherever, saying "Well, it IS New Orleans. What did you expect?" There were the standard white supremacists making bets about the skin color of the perpetrator and putting their website link up to recruit more hate-filled people. Still others talking about the Bible and our inherent immorality in New Orleans, something about adapting to our environment here, which by their reasoning, given that we have bars and strip clubs, is bound to make us go sproing and dismember our significant others. (No bars and strip clubs in Omaha?)
There had also been a report that right after the storm, Addie Hall had shown her boobs to the police patrols that rolled down their street and that that kept the patrols coming, giving the couple a sense of security. (I think it was the Mobile newspaper article, but can't remember exactly.) At any rate, a couple of these idiots with keyboards decided that if she was so immoral as to do THAT, then she probably deserved what she got. :::::::::::shaking head::::::::::::
But by far, the most common anti-New Orleans, racist, ignorant comments are directed at Miriam, the voodoo priestess. Some aver that she made him do it, by slamming some whammy on him, forcing him to do the deed, write the notes and throw himself off a balcony. Others blame her for not noticing the smell of the cooking body above her. Others blame her just for being there when the couple moved in. "They should have known better than to move in above a voodoo shop. What did they THINK would happen?" She had made a statement saying that they seemed like a nice couple but that you never really know what's going on in another person's head. That statement prompted one commenter to say, "Hmmph, guess a voodoo priestess is full of bunk because she should have known." WHAT??? Clearly no understanding of voodoo in our culture, and evidently these people have seen way too many bad voodoo movies.
I go down Dumaine Street in the Quarter often. Perhaps since I live here and walk past voodoo shops regularly I should start walking with my hands and arms stretched out before me and a vacant look on my face. I stepped around a veve chalked on the sidewalk one day out of respect, not because I feared becoming a zombie.
This was a tragedy, but certainly not unique to our city. I should know better than to read those comments, but like picking a scab, sometimes I just can't help it. Every time I read that kind of stuff I am angry all day. I'll spare you the rest of my venom. Besides, what venom I have stored in a bottle in the fridge, I'm saving to put into my husband's soup because a voodoo priestess told me I needed to do it this Sunday on the new moon, and I DO live here in New Orleans after all, so . . . . . .
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