Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Other Flood That Has Ruined America

Mardi Gras put NOLA in the news again...and most of what I heard was depressing and trite. It seemed every story ended with the reporter putting their own spin on "the people of New Orleans" and their "spirit." Thanks, but no thanks.

NPR, however, ran an interesting piece on Mac Rebennack, the musician known as "Dr. John." Mr. Rebennack, who grewn up in the lower Ninth Ward, was able to see beyond the physical devastation in that area. He, unlike many people, saw to the core of the issue, to the societal ties that once existed and are now cut, perhaps forever. Rebennack noted that the music which New Orleans is famous for was a direct result of those ties -- that the neighborhoods and the connections they engendered, helped brew the blues and jazz.

So what is the "other flood" I'm referring to? Not the Johnstown Flood, though is certainly shares much (institutional arrogance, lack of government oversite) with the Katrina disaster. No, what I'm talking about is the flood of suburbanization which has washed away a huge swath of America...forever disconnecting people from each other. Dr. John has correctly disagnosed a problem which we all face; America, without the solid small towns and vibrant cities, faces a future in which in which people only "exist" in their little pods...but never really form a lasting bond. No wonder American's move so often; they may not know it, but I think they're desperately seeking something that life in the cul-de-sac isn't delivering...