Living On In The Aftermath

A while back, I introduced the Vodkasphere to one of my favorite writers, New Orleans columnist Chris Rose. Prior to Katrina, Chris’s work was usually focused on humorous slice-of-life pieces, always echoing the weird, chaotic joys and worries of his hometown. These days… well, these days, like a lot of other people in NOLA, he’s pissed.

I sometimes talk to septuagenarian women on the phone — that’s one of my job responsibilities; don’t ask — and I find the language I hear both shocking and, I have to admit, very entertaining. Maybe even uplifting.

Inspiring would be too strong a word for it.

I have used some of these words in this column space in recent months, vocabularic liberties my editors would probably not have allowed back before The Thing.

This linguistic phenomenon was best described to me by Greg Meffert, the chief technology officer for the mayor’s office and a man with no proficiency whatsoever in language studies but who, nevertheless, has developed a social paradigm that exhibits a keen understanding of human behavior.

Particularly New Orleans human behavior.

The Meffert Theory, as told to me, is thus: “If you were circumspect before Katrina, now you are candid. If you were candid, now you are frank. If you were frank, now you are blunt. And if you were blunt, now you are an asshole.”

After softening you up with that rueful laugh, Chris gets out the knife. I won’t spoil the last section for you here; go read the whole thing.

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5 Responses to “Living On In The Aftermath”

  1. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Stephen Green & Chris Ross
    RE: Need Input

    “I live in a neighborhood where you can’t get a loaf of bread after 8 p.m. but where there are six or seven restaurants within walking distance serving lamb shank with rosemary grillades.” — Chris Rose

    Why IS that?

    I was in NOLA in December 2002. There weren’t many places you could buy groceries in the French Quarter, as far as I could tell, in the first place.

    We were staying in the Jazz Quarter and had a kitchen, so I did most of the cooking during our stay there in order to save a tad bit of money to offset our dining out.

    Is the problem not enough grocery stores willing to stay open?

    Sounds like a business opportunity to me….if the city can get back off its knees.

    Personally….I recommend investing in Bay City real estate, for the long-term.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  2. JD Says:

    I kinda like it. If nothing else, it quite clearly demonstrates the folly of having five and six generations of the same family living entirely on the Guvmint dole for their entire lives – no one has the gumption to get up and get things back going. It seems they would rather just wait for Willy Wonka and the Blanco Factory provide it for them.

  3. Business of Life Says:

    Rough and Tumble in NO

    I live in a neighborhood where you can’t get a loaf of bread after 8 p.m. but where there are six or seven restaurants within walking distance serving lamb shank with rosemary grillades…. We have hardened hearts, set minds, dirty clothes and bad…

  4. Robert Speirs Says:

    New Orleans sounds stupid and uncivil.

  5. doctorj Says:

    God, you people don’t have a clue! No grocery store is open after 8 PM because of the worker shortage. The worker shortage is because there is no place to live. 80% of the housing was destroyed in a little flood six months ago. The reason you can get fabulous meals is that the restauteurs are single handledly keeping the city running. The owner-chefs are doing the entire work of the kitchen from cooking to cleaning with very little help. They are heroes. Welcome to the land that America has forgotten, where you still can’t get US mail delivered. Thanks Vodkapundit for posting this. Chris Rose is my favorite writer. He just published a book of his Katrina essays called “1 Dead in the Attic”. It can be ordered here:
    http://chrisrosebooks.com/
    I don’t know if you remember his essay on The Saturn Bar. It was flooded and the eccentric owner died, but because of community support it is being re-opened. If you ever make it to the city, be sure to check it out.

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