And now here we are. My class on New Orleans has ended, but the city still lives on. When first began my explorations of New Orleans, I was very interested in the mystique that surrounds the city, the myth of New Orleans. Now I’m not so sure what I’m more interested in. Over the last few weeks I have explored the reality of New Orleans in all its gritty detail, and I’ve come to realize that this view of the city is just as interesting as the mythical New Orleans. It’s so easy to get lots in the Mardi Gras celebrations, the voodoo, and the mysteries that New Orleans has to offer; the funny thing is, all of these things are part of the reality of New Orleans and not just the myth.
As I’ve said many times before, New Orleans is one of the few places that exist in a state of surreal being. The realistic side of this being is just as prominent as the mythical side of things, especially in the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sure myth may be interesting, but people are what is really important here, and the more I learn, the more I see that people in New Orleans are still suffering from the hurricane. They need help; the struggle to get this help is not an easy one. Even the culture of New Orleans has been impacted by Katrina and is considerably weaker than what used to exist in its place.
New Orleans is far from recovered – the city itself still needs something to bring it back to the way it used to be, not only for the city itself, but for its people. No people deserve to have their city wiped out and then ignored by the government. No other city in America has undergone this type of disaster and not received relief. No other city has what New Orleans has, at least in my opinion.
NOLA deserves better. People have been immersed in myth too long. We need to wake up and face the reality of the New Orleans nightmare. More than that, we need to make it right.