How can we tell that in New Orleans? Well not so much by the temperature, that doesn’t drop until October. And certainly not by the leaves …. why do you think they call them “live” oaks? No it’s more by events.
First of course is Decadence. Southern Decadence to be precise and that’s how we know it’s Labor Day in New Orleans. I overheard a local Latino resident telling a young Latino tourist that every Labor Day, the Quarter is filled with mariposas and that’s the way it seemed this year as beautiful sunny days and big crowds filled the Quarter with color and excitement. One local radio station even issued a public health warning about the enormous number of bear sightings on Bourbon and Royal Streets and warned tourists to take suitable precautions. “Just smile and say hi … these are friendly bears and they absolutely won’t bite”.
Next of course is the mating call of the Southern Y’At. The frenzied sounds of “Who Dat” first start to be heard in mid August with the opening of Saints training camp and by the first week of September have reached a full frenzy from the 9th Ward to Uptown, down Lake View across the Quarter into the West Bank (and why is the West Bank east of the city? Hint: the answer is quite easy if you’re a history buff) . Cross breeding has led to several variations such as “We Dat” or “Tieux Dat” but the true native knows that “Who Dat” is a rallying cry extending far beyond any sporting event and into the social fiber of the city itself.
Finally we have the Katrina Anniversary. I didn’t post anything on the actual date because …well because too many other people were talking way too much about something they knew nothing about. I’m sorry, did I actually say the word “politician”? OK, here’s the deal on Katrina. It was horrible beyond anything words can describe and only people who loved through it can understand it. And the politicians didn;t do jack.
OK? They can yap all they want now but the fact is when the levees broke and the water rose the only people who helped were neighbors. First your immediate neighbors who pulled yu off roofs or lugged you out of nursing homes or scared away looters and junkies and all the other bad guys. They were cops who had lost all command structure but were still cops. And firefighters and nurses and bus drivers and postmen and janitors and maids and fry cooks and lawyers and … well you get the idea.
Then it was your neighbors from all over the country. housewives from Iowa and firemen from New York and bikers from Vermont and actors from Hollywood college kids from everywhere. And they’re still coming and they’ve still done more than all the politicians put together. Okay maybe not Mitch and Barrack and Sidney … oh wait, Sidney’s not a politician…. and a few others but pretty much all the rest of the talking heads.
So shut the fuck up about Katrina unless you’ve come down and swung a hammer or cleared a lot or hauled some garbage or some other fucking thing besides talking about how bad it was. We know how bad it was and you were part of the bad asshole.
So just … ah fuck it… Who dat baby!
Jeremey Shockey on Dear New Orleans …check it out! Love ya J