Thursday, September 18, 2008

When Tired Meets Mad

I have lots to write about and lots to say, but I'm exhausted. Spent the day loading and unloading debris from our renovation--debris the contractor should have disposed of but left in the name of preservation. Yeah, thanks for the mountain of termite-eaten hollow-board, dude.

Anyways, I can't write now because I really am exhausted, but I wanted to post a link to the Voice of the Wetlands site. Community activist Karen Gadbois posted a link to it on her Twitter account, and the sentiments expressed on the site are the same I've been hearing everywhere: IF WE DO NOT DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE WETLANDS NOW, COASTAL LOUISIANA IS IN REALLY BIG TROUBLE. And that, my family and friends in less threatened locales, spells trouble for you, too. (And not just because you'll have to hear from me about it.)

Gawd, I really have been asked a kabillion times, "Why do you STAY there?" to which I am forced to respond with the same romantic B.S. you have already heard (the people, the music, the culture, the food) and have likely grown tired of hearing. Because these comprise a good portion of my personal reasons for being here.

But that is really beside the point.

The point is that we are not asking our fellow Americans (and the world, sure, yes, the world) to save our wetlands and our hurricane protection systems because we are dumb enough to think that our reasons for wanting to live here are also yours. We know they are not.

But when you ask us this question, "How can you LIVE there?" you ask the wrong one. We feel the same sense of "What the F?!?"--the same dumbfounded incredulousness about your living where you do.

Last week I had a conversation with my friend Bill Loehfelm lately about making Why Coastal Louisiana Matters cards. They'd fit in your wallet, and we'd be able to pull them out whenever people ask that question: "Why do you LIVE there?"

When we got asked that question, we wouldn't have to blubber on about the sentimental crap that allows folks to tightfist their cash--to think, "Why should I save their asses just so they can eat and hang with their 'community' when I can take my vacation elsewhere?"

We'd be able to answer that question in terms that would impress you.

First on the "Why you should save our asses' list": we supply 30% of your gas and oil. You get our coffee and sugar because of our ports, too. As Bill put it, try living a day without gas, coffee, or sugar. Then we'll see how much people care about restoring our wetlands.

Okay, so I really AM exhausted, which evidently inspires ranting...

When I am not so tired, I will beef up this list. And then, when I have more money (and less important things to handle than actually dealing with the impacts of storms that would not have impacted us do terribly had our wetlands not been squandered--had our federal levees held)--I will make that "Why You Should Shut Up Talking and Save Our Asses, Already" card.

Really: good night. I promise to post a non-rant post soon. It really was a long and very eventful week, and I want to process it on the page and share with you, dear readers, even if I am mad at you sometimes for not understanding why we matter--really matter--and not just to our damn selves.

To prove that I love you anyways: big hug from my house (whose address is a heckuva lot closer to the Gulf than it was just a week ago.)


Anonymous said...

Funny thing, when I came to check on 2807 in August, I had that same feeling. Being there just made me want to do more. Any place anyone lives and loves
is enough reason to help. But the oil, sugar and coffee (which I'm drinking right now - no sugar, no oil) is another great argument. The wetlands matter to us all; as does the Amazon. We are all living on the same earth and its welfare is our welfare. And even it it weren't, I don't want to live my life not caring. That is not what I want to leave behind.

Chris said...

The fact that people even have the nerve to ask you that question means that they have not clue about the glue that holds new orleans together. The family traditions and celebration of life that our country has forgotten about. They ask you the question because they don't understand our Federal governments policies and they don't have the kindness in their heart to empathize with anyone other then themself. They ask because they didn't pay attention to the history books and they don't know the importance of the City. They ask because they all they see is how much it's costing to build without realizing that our own greed is what got is here in the first place. Why does anyone live anywhere?

I get it....I'd move there in a heartbeat if my family situation allowed it.

Bill Loehfelm said...

People should also remember that the wetlands form a buffer/barrier that degrade the strength of hurricanes. Storms don't stop at the LA coast, they proceed inland. Recall the wind and flooding damage the "remnants" of Ike and Gustav caused as far north as Chicago. So the LA wetlands don't only protect LA, but also MS, AL, MO, IL, TX, AK and other states. Makes it a national issue, dontcha think?

Sarah said...

Hey, Bill:

I found a link to a "quiz" on the Save Our Wetlands site:

Perfect material to start the "Why You Shoudl Care" cards...