Dear America,

posted by Last Night in Little Rock

This was written by Chris Rose of the Times-Picayune:

Dear America,

I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We're South Louisiana.

We have arrived on your doorstep on short notice and we apologize for that, but we never were much for waiting around for invitations. We're not much on formalities like that.

And we might be staying around your town for a while, enrolling in your schools and looking for jobs, so we wanted to tell you a few things about us. We know you didn't ask for this and neither did we, so we're just going to have to make the best of it.

First of all, we thank you. For your money, your water, your food, your prayers, your boats and buses and the men and women of your National Guards, fire departments, hospitals and everyone else who has come to our rescue.

We're a fiercely proud and independent people, and we don't cotton much to outside interference, but we're not ashamed to accept help when we need it. And right now, we need it.

Just don't get carried away. For instance, once we get around to fishing again, don't try to tell us what kind of lures work best in your waters. We're not going to listen. We're stubborn that way.

You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you'd probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard.

We dance even if there's no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we're suspicious of others who don't. But we'll try not to judge you while we're in your town. Everybody loves their home, we know that. But we love South Louisiana with a ferocity that borders on the pathological. Sometimes we bury our dead in LSU sweatshirts.

Often we don't make sense. You may wonder why, for instance--if we could only carry one small bag of belongings with us on our journey to your state why in God's name did we bring a pair of shrimp boots? We can't really explain that. It is what it is.

You've probably heard that many of us stayed behind. As bad as it is, many f us cannot fathom a life outside of our border, out in that place we call Elsewhere.

The only way you could understand that is if you have been there, and so many of you have. So you realize that when you strip away all the craziness and bars and parades and music and architecture and all that hooey, really, the best thing about where we come from is us.

We are what made this place a national treasure. We're good people. And don't be afraid to ask us how to pronounce our names. It happens all the time.

When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces. But don't pity us. We're gonna make it. We're resilient. After all, we've been rooting for the Saints for 35 years. That's got to count for something.

OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at inappropriate times. But what the hell.

And one more thing: In our part of the country, we're used to having visitors. It's our way of life. So when all this is over and we move back home, we will repay to you the hospitality and generosity of spirit you offer to us in this season of our despair. That is our promise. That is our faith.

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    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:28 PM EST
    Dear Dear City of New Orleans, Someday in the not too far distant future, it's going to Beignets, Gumbo and Jazz for everyone!

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:28 PM EST
    Touching sentiment. Thanks, TL.

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:28 PM EST
    Oh, that's so beautiful.

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#4)
    by jen on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:29 PM EST
    ok.. that made me cry (and laugh)

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:29 PM EST
    I hope Barbarian Bush and her friend Kyra "Maria Antoinette" Phillips get a copy

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:30 PM EST
    Not the first time this disaster reminded me of Passover.

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:30 PM EST
    The Bush White House, if nothing else, is a marketing machine, a triumph of style over substance. In the summer of 2002, Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card admitted as much, declaring the time for selling the planned war with Iraq was not yet ripe, "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." Therein lies the problem for President Bush in the marketing of his administrationís abysmal response to hurricane Katrina. Bush has no product. Even worse, he has no pitch man, or worse still, pitch woman. In a nutshell, George W. Bush needs the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans. But sadly for President Bush, in New Orleans, the color of suffering - and heroism - is black. For the full story, see: "Where's the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans?"

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:30 PM EST
    NEWS FLASH!: Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy have opened their homes to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Said Jackson, "We can't let White Religious Right Southeners be the only people helping these people. I personally will take fifty or more into my home, even if it means moving my son's Mercedes out of the garage." Kennedy was not to be out done. "I will see, that before the end of the decade, refugees will live in my home! Also, I am calling for a displaced persons camp to be immediately erected in Boston proper," he said. What? Oh sorry, my sources have just informed me that Jess and Ted would never do this. Let me check,.....yep. Have just scoured the news services. No hint of refugees being moved to Boston, none to room under the same roof with Ted or Jesse. Guess they are only compassinate when trolling for votes or money.

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:31 PM EST
    UHTT-TY for that... You made me realize the importance of Barbara Bush' statements the other day about how scared she is that a bunch of blacks are moving to her state... Your ability to put irony on a tough situation is welcome-our usual wrong winger is capable of only makinmg a snarky comment-oh wait... never mind. Snark away. The world needs more wrong wingers that actually believe in what you spew. Makes it easier to believe the conspiracy when Diebold rapes a nation.

    Re: Dear America, (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:34 PM EST
    Bush has successfully redeployed MILLIONS of angry Democrats to so-called red states. Many of those victims of his policies will be spending their off hours working against the Republican party for the rest of their lives, in their new areas, and they have the story to go with the outrage. Congratulations to the Congressmembers and Senators in those states. You just got more TALKATIVE, fact-filled OPPONENTS in your home states. That's the real block of black unleashed by Bush -- not the rantings of all-bolded trollery by some idiot with a long handle and a tiny mouse, like UHTT-TY.