Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Orleans, Proud to call it.....uh?

I can remember bragging to friends in my younger years, about how ass-backwards we are here in the Big Easy and south LA. I was proud to have this "unique" way of doing things. A business environment that required a Ruth's Chris "meeting" to get a deal done. A voting constituency that pollsters measured by it skin color rather than actual polls. And the complete shut down of the city during the wonderful holiday season....of course I am referring to Mardi Gras.

It was a source of pride when clients or visitors would come to town and the first thing we discuss, before we even leave the airport, was "What's for lunch?" I can remember giving seafood eating lessons to a client from CA, saying that its OK to spit out the crab shells from the crabmeat au gratin. She was a little put off by me and the advice, not to mention the shells.

We send out mixed signals that are difficult for the rest of the country to decipher. First we tout our strength and resolve to rebuild, we show a strong community banding together, helping each other out. Then the comment about the "big hole in the ground" when our leader travels to NYC and is interviewed on national TV.

As you know, the gaffs are endless. the book should be out soon.

As we, the normals, try to cover up gaffs and goofs and explain what a chocolate city is, he gets re-elected. So the nation sees crazy comments, and feels some empathy for us, and him, but the damage is done. What was once real concern, care, interest and attention to our cause, slowly has turned into disinterest, and even worse, fodder for the political humorist.

Our leaders, mayors, council members along with business men and others are dropping out of office and into the pen. Again, this was another source of dysfunctional humor I used quite often in the past. Watching Edwards go to jail was a happy day for some, but a sad day for most. How f'd up is that. We can't win. We put criminals in jail, and there is public remorse.

Its only more sad that we spend millions putting white collar criminals in jail, yet the criminals that are really slowing down our recovery are running the streets, laughing at the cops, blatantly rubbing our noses in it. And what a beautiful welcome home i had last week coming back from the airport. As i merged on to I-10 from the airport service road, the traffic was stalled. Why? Well the cops were arresting someone on the side of the interstate. They didn't pull him over at an exit. No, lets make a show out of it. Cuff 'em and let them sit on the curb so everyone coming in for the Jets game can see. How about that slogan: "Welcome to New Orleans......our crime rate is the lowest since Pre-K."

We still have no leadership. This is the problem with our city. We have leaders, just not a unified leadership that is on the same page as, well, us the citizens. Everyone has their own agenda. If we had industry come here, the line with hands held out, would be so long it would stretch from the airport leading the way straight to city hall.

Com' on man. Let's elect people with brains. They probably will not be well liked, probably will be despised by some and will certain go against the grain. But its time to get over it and put people who actually give a #@&! in office and let them make some real changes.