Fucked New Orleans (Crime Edition of a Series That Has No End in Sight):
New Orleans is fucked, no matter how many games the Saints win, no matter how goddamn festive City Park will be for Christmas. The fucked existence of New Orleans goes on while the federal government gives untold billions to Citigroup and other corporate teat-sucking gambling addicts of the financial world. Everyone gets concerned about the "ripple effect" of, say, Citigroup going under. Well, motherfuckers, the ripples are gonna happen even if for the next two months the Bush administration feeds it like a puking mama bird to her chicks. And you wanna talk about ripples in the lake? Then head to Ponchartrain, where it's a goddamn unending tsunami for New Orleans.
No, Katrina isn't the only factor in the gumbo of fucktardedness that is the Crescent City in 2008. Decades of neglect, backward-ass politics, priding drunken stupidity and failed athletics over smarts: causes spread among every government involved combined with the hurricane to make it just so very fucked down there.
It ain't just that New Orleans was just named the city with the highest crime rate in the country in a study using FBI stats. It's that Foreign Policy recently declared New Orleans one of the most dangerous cities in the fucking world. It's got a murder rate that's Third World-licious, more dangerous than Cape Town, South Africa, more killings than Papua, New Guinea. Think about that: you're less likely to get offed in the old home of apartheid and burning tire necklaces than you are in New Orleans.
A recent series in the Times-Picayune on "blight," a term many of us thought went out of vogue in the 1990s, revealed that the city isn't even sure how many people live there, even if they know how many die. Once thriving middle class neighborhoods are in their death throes. In one area of Gentilly, site of a broken levee in 2005, 20 houses were once occupied; three currently have residents. The city has to understand that it has permanently contracted, the newspaper says, and it needs to figure out just what the hell that means.
One of the most perversely fascinating ongoing documents of the fucked nature of the city is the New Orleans Murder Blog. It is an endless parade of horror, another way of looking at the legacy of George W. Bush (and many, many others). Here's just today's list of death and doom: "1) The unidentified body of a man was found in a truck that had been set afire and left in a grassy area off Hayne Boulevard a few blocks west of the Industrial Canal...2) A Gretna man accused of punching another man with brass knuckles during a disagreement has been booked with murder after the victim died Friday. Edwin May, 28, of 630 Third St., was booked with first-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the death of Alan Fricker, 51, of Gretna. 3) A woman has been booked with second-degree murder after authorities in St. Bernard Parish said she shot her boyfriend three times Monday morning as he slept."
If that's not enough, there's always the charm of white supremacist assholes, whether it's a KKK splinter cell in the 'burbs offing a woman because she walked away from their oogedy-boogedy initiation ritual (which probably was "rednecks fuck the new girl") or a nutzoid dude in a Nazi uniform arrested before he shot someone.
As we move into the new world of Obama, as the Congress keeps figuring out ways to pay off the wealthy financiers who raped the economy while telling you to go fuck yourself, let's hope that someone in the next administration will say, "Let's try to un-fuck New Orleans."