In most cities, bloggers practice a peculiar virtual cannibalism, tearing each other apart for sport. But at Rising Tide, among people young and old, black and white, I saw my first glimpse of what can be termed blogger solidarity. It stemmed, as one told me, from “the necessity of coming together after Katrina.”
The bloggers represent the best of something beginning to bubble that you won’t see on the nightly news, as the two-year anniversary of Katrina arrives today. Amid the horror, amid the neighborhoods that the federal government seems content to see die, there are actual people sticking it out. And they do it with gusto.
I’ve never liked Oprah, particularly after she did that “look at my fabulous week-long birthday party and how much people with money love me” segment a couple years ago, but this takes the cake.
Chris Rose’s book is amazing and I’ve required my students buy it, so let’s hope the word gets out and Americans do flock to bookstores!
EDITED 8/30–Not sure if word spread, but on Oprah’s website, the re-cap includes the following:
Chris Rose, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated columnist in New Orleans, wrote the book 1 Dead in Attic. Although he has no history of mental health problems, Chris is one of many Gulf-area residents who eventually found himself on the edge. “I’ve had a number of friends kill themselves since the storm. I now understood why people did such things.”
Graphic by Greg Peters
While I am wary of any site whose tagline includes the phrases “Your Go-To Page” and “Everything you need and need to know is right here” [is it me or is that redundant and grammatically awkward?], I do appreciate any effort to gather the latest in Katrina headlines and resources. Check it out here.
Much more interesting to me is this new book, Heart Like Water, which only reminds me to finish my dissertation as soon as possible so I too can publish something great and evocative.
With the 2 year anniversary coming up, NOLA theatre writer David Cuthbert has written a great piece on all of the works written and performed by locals, those “creative voices… raised in response.” Here’s a snippit from the section that features my best friend, Rudy:
[In Fleeing Katrina there is] Rudy Rasmussen, a hotel concierge/actor and one of the funniest people you will ever meet in life or onstage. Rasmussen, a flip, glib live wire, proved to be the voice of reason at the American Can Apartments building where he still lives. “We have food and we have Scotch,” he told his neighbors, “everything’s OK.” His mother, Ione Rasmussen, the longtime band director at Ridgewood Preparatory School, was infirm and, as something of a local legend, wasn’t used to being told what to do. Rasmussen had to cajole, plead and bully her to safety via helicopter and two planes. Along the way they met Geraldo Rivera, Al Gore and his kids (“sweating and helping people at the airport, changing people’s diapers — he’s a hero to me”) and ended up flying to Houston on a private jet.
Our civil ceremony on the beach [Palm Cove, Australia] was about a half hour, including the photo-taking, so instead of dealing out cash for someone to sing one song, we opted for the boombox so we could make a mix! 🙂
These three, all by Sam Cooke, were played before the ceremony:
You Belong To Me
You Send Me
The next six blared in celebration:
Love Today by MIKA
I Only Want to Be With You by Dusty Springfield
Renee by Panorama Jazz Band
Mardi Gras In New Orleans by Harry Connick, Jr.
Oh, My Nola by Harry Connick, Jr.
Sheik of Araby by Harry Connick, Jr.
Something borrowed: the fabric that lined the inside of my dress was leftover from the batch used for the petticoats of the Broadway cast of Mary Poppins [it helps to have a fabulous dress designer in NYC!]
Something blue: my garter [basically the only “traditional” thing I had to have!]
Something old: my engagement ring [originally my godmother’s]
Something new: my wedding ring [a band that matches Andy’s exactly]
but the jet lag is killing me!
Rising Tide 2 is a conference, a party and an opportunity to learn where New Orleans stands two years after the failure of the federally-built levees following Hurricane Katrina. The weekend schedule of events is organized and presented by New Orleans bloggers in an effort to bring real-life activism to their online visibility.
It’s up on Flickr, folks!
Here’s are 2 of my favorites:
I know I still need to share the details, but I’m so jet-lagged all I can say is eloping is the way to go!!!! 🙂
Haven’t had time to blog as I’ve been on my trip to Australia to elope then honeymoon!
Pictures on flickr to come but right now I’ve got to get to dinner!