Being that it’s June 1st and I’ve neglected my blog for too long, I’ve decided to attempt completing NaBloPoMo this month. The theme is “heroes,” which should tie in with my dissertation writing about Hurricane Katrina survivor bloggers, right?

To get the ball rolling I thought I would share a story that’s got a few people I know outraged. This story “Will Smith to play Katrina hero John Keller in Sony Pictures release” ran in the New Orleans Times-Picayune the other day and I immediately got a phone call from my friend Rudy who was also on the roof of the American Can Co. apt building during Hurricane Katrina. Like the author of the letter to the editor I’m pasting in below, Rudy is vehemently against the hero-ization of this John Keller. He didn’t save anyone & Will Smith, Hollywood and the world need to know that!

Katrina story turns a tragedy into a cartoon
Saturday, May 30, 2009

Perhaps you have heard of a recent memoir whose central premise was two lovers who kissed through a concentration camp fence, later exposed as a complete fabrication, with actual Holocaust survivors understandably furious.

Ultimately, John Keller, the “hero” of American Can Co., will be exposed as such a character. I wish you would stop perpetuating his story.
For starters: There was no 11 feet of water in the American Can. At its deepest point, in the deepest part of the street outside, the water was perhaps 6 feet deep. Water was only ankle deep at best in the lobby. Which isn’t to say it didn’t suck. But when you exaggerate, all can be called into question. Why not throw in some snakes and alligators?

Mr. Keller claims he saved “244” folks. If you did the research you would find there were maybe 400 people stuck in the building — and that seems generous — which would mean this guy personally saved two-thirds of them. His only impressive feat is getting his yarn so far up the Hollywood food chain.

I was at American Can. I couldn’t have picked this man from a lineup without looking at his picture in the paper. Why? Because while he may have been assisting a handful of people in some wing of the building, the rest of us were doing the same with whoever was within our radius.

I don’t want the horror of my Katrina experience turned into a cartoon. The cartoon of “Col. Keller, the One-Man Calvary, Saves the Day!”

There were many quiet and humble heroes from those times, unlike the boastful and self-aggrandizing Mr. Keller.

Brett Evans
New Orleans

3 thoughts on “NaBloPoMo

  1. daisy:

    brett evans is a pal of mine and he and two others (four dogs and two cats) vertically evacuated to my apt at the american can. when the levees broke, they moved to the roof to get air and tried to get rescued. they had an inflatable raft and paddled over to their own houses to check on things and gave people lifts, delivered food &c.

    eventually brett was freaking out and got air-lifted by the coast guard. they dropped him off at an overpass where he hung out with some scary dudes for about 6 hours without water or anything. some mexicans came by in a fishing boat. he bribed them to take him back to my apt where at least he had water and food. a couple of days later he got air-lifted again to another overpass and caught a ride with some journalists to another city. he snuck back into the city a week later to rescue the dogs and cats that had shat and pissed all over my apt during the ensuing two weeks.

    the other couple in my apt stayed in the city for about a week to see if the water would recede. they paddled over to walter wolfman washington’s house which was like a scene from apocalypse now (the deleted scene where the french colonialists have refused to evacuate and are having a nice dinner with servants &c). walter and co. had a generator, were eating stolen lobster, getting high, and jamming out on their instruments as two inches of water seeped in across the shag carpet.

    makes you wonder what really happened at hotel rwanda now. heck of a job, oprah, will smith, and the rest of you fucks who traffic in other people’s misery.


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