That's right, step right up, folks, and for $35 you can take a sightseeing trip in the comfort and security of luxurious Grayline tour bus. The trip includes the 9th Ward and Lakeview, two of the hardest hit areas, as well as some of City Park and other sites that got less national coverage.
Hmmm. That's why I am here. I am not sure how I feel about this.
On the one hand, I agree that it is probably safer for tourists (as well as curious locals) who are apt to do this anyway. I have heard too, that the atmosphere of the tour is not typically celebratory, as it tends to be rather somber, and many people do get downright emotional. But I also hear that local citizens, struggling to live in the few FEMA trailers have said that they feel like "animals at a zoo."
I'm nodding at that one, 'cause well? If a tour bus showed up in front of my house on a bad day? I couldn't guarantee their safety, yanno?
But the tour company says they are doing a service for the city - that the rest of the country needs to understand just how bad it is here. (I nod here again--it's bad. Not just tv bad, but very very bad.) I also like that they end the tour with copies of letters that the tourists can sign and send to their congressman if they should so choose.
But...then there is the argument that this is callous capitalism.
(That's where I find the name Grayline a bit ironic.)
And yep, I know where the sites are online that specifically argue New Orleans and disaster related issues, but what I want here is the opinion of people with emotional distance from the situation.
So tell me what you think? And don't worry about hurting my feelings. I'll just be sitting here, drinking my coffee and cleaning my guns.
(I am just kiddding, yanno. )