A Place Worth Defending

What it means to live in New Orleans: in the past 48 hours alone, I marched alongside a riotous Sunday afternoon second line held by The Revolution Social Aid and Pleasure Club and caught a Monday night performance from the great trombonist Glen David Andrews that was so ecstatic that he ended up crowd-surfing atop the adoring revelers.

Since I moved to New Orleans about two years ago, I'm constantly reminded of the social critic James Howard Kunstler's notion that our country is "a land full of places that are not worth caring about [and] will soon be a nation and a way of life that is not worth defending.

Despite its multitude of problems, New Orleans proves itself worth defending nearly every day, no small feat for an American city these days. And I very am proud to live here.

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    i think that could well (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cpinva on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 12:24:50 AM EST
    Despite its multitude of problems, New Orleans proves itself worth defending nearly every day,

    for every city and small town in america. as annoying as they are at times (and boy, are they ever!), pretty much everywhere in this country has something of value to offer, both its citizens and visitors.

    NOLA is a lovely city (i love the garden district), with much to appeal to all, but we all feel the same way about where we live.

    ya (none / 0) (#2)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 02:44:45 AM EST
    The list of places not worth defending does seem to be growing a bit.  The rust belt comes to mind but even there you'll find some hardcore boosters.

    Even the most unloved areas attract the pioneers eventually.

    from artists-->gay couples--->yuppies-->families

    Yep... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 08:31:18 AM EST
    look at some parts of Brooklyn, from crack-town to hipster-town in the blink of an eye.

    I've got my eye on the semi-abandoned parts of Detroit...I can't help but think there is opportunity for pioneers there...I mean we're talking dwellings and land just waiting to be squatted/claimed and redeveloped.


    Kdog, I meant to reply to you (none / 0) (#5)
    by lambert on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 08:56:04 AM EST
    Pioneers... (none / 0) (#4)
    by lambert on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 08:36:09 AM EST
    ... is a great, great metaphor.

    I'm connecting this, vaguely, with Stirling Newberry's great post on the three lefts: The corporate weasels, labor, and.... an inchoate third part not well described. I think the notion of pioneering opportunities is in the third category.

    Let's think on this. "Pioneer" is a lot more positive than DFH. Change always begins at the margins!

    Indeed... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 09:36:45 AM EST
    just look at the Old West...people getting the short-end from the aristocrat society back east forged a new beginning for themselves on the frontier.  I guess they were kinda "third wheelers".

    Aside from the obvious fact of atrocities often comitted against the Native Americans by the pioneers (and a little vice versa), it is something to be admired and we can learn from...when you're getting the short end of the stick, go find your own stick.  Just don't steal somebody elses stick...abandoned sticks are fair game:)  And if anybody is gonna do it it will be those who can't/don't find a niche in mainstream corporate society.


    Yeah, like the millions... (none / 0) (#8)
    by lambert on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 06:58:04 PM EST
    ... of discouraged workers, the unemployed, and a big fraction of those who got thrown under the bus in the primaries.



    Not Slighting Anyone's Hometown (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ethan Brown on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 10:49:17 AM EST
    But I've lived everywhere from NYC to Berlin to Jerusalem...and there's no place like New Orleans.

    It's particularly inspiring that NOLA still remains so vital even after the levees broke and, even more incredibly, during our current great recession...

    This was a great, great post (none / 0) (#9)
    by lambert on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 07:00:38 PM EST
    Thanks, and please, more!