It's 3:32 here, and I've been sitting here, once again wondering what people think about while they are in the voting booth. But then, I'm sitting at home, wondering that. So I'm trying to keep that in consideration...
My daughter asked me why this election was apparently important to the world. 'Cause it is true, the eyes of the world was upon us, as this scrambled city attempted a legitimate election, as the population is scattered across the nation, concentrated in our newly born sister cities of Houston and Baton Rouge. I told her that nothing like Katrina had ever happened before--the only thing comparable would be the earthquake that nearly decimated San Francisco, and that they did not have nearly the poverty problems that New Orleans has been facing for three-four-five? decades now. I told her the whole world was watching because New Orleans was being given a whole lot of Federal money and they wanted to make sure we didn't spend it on [loose wimmen] amd whiskey.(I used that analogy--she's fifteen, she was brought up by me and understands the metaphor.)
I was visably upset when the voting percentages totaled did a topsy turvey swing to Nagin's favor, but I wasn't surprised. She asked me then if I thought Mitch Landrieu was "our guy"--and I had to tell her no, I didn't think so, but I was willing to say yes to "anything but Nagin".
She asked me why I hated Nagin and I told her that I thought the man was a coward--he abandoned his own headquarters during a civil emergency and did nothing but wait for someone else to come in and tell him what to do. I told her that a guy named David Brinkley, he wrote a book, and that if she should ever read that book, watch for misinformation, because there is plenty of it there, but he did ask Mayor Ray Nagin why he did not leave the 17th floor of the Hyatt Regency and go down to address the people in distress gathering at the Superdome, and the New Orleans Convention Center, and that I thought his answer was ludicrous because his only explanation was:
"I didn't have a megaphone."
I told her that would be like, um, if she had a serious injury and I tried to explain to someone I didn't do anything because I didn't have some neosporin and a band-aid.
But what I know, and what I make sure she knows, and my son knows, is that New Orleans didn't make the spirit of our people--our people made New Orleans what it is.
What we witnessed tonight was an historic election, simply because it was so close. That racial divides were overcome--and people jumped both party and skin color divisions and voted their hearts.
I told her it was the first "gentleman's duel" I had ever seen in a Louisiana election. And I meant that. There is mud a-plenty to be had, and we, the people, here in the Metro New Orleans area, having been advised to "avoid dirt" as bulldozing commenced in toxic sludge, managed to do just that.
Mike? This was so close, and I promise you, in previous years past, Landrieu wouldn't have had a spitball's chance in hell. What I like about Nagin, is that while is not exactly the "go-getter" we needed last summer, he is certainly astute enough not to isolate himself from the people who genuinely who love New Orleans. That means, I pray, that for once, we will be together, black and white, working toward recovery.
And be patient with me while I cheer myself up, because as I admittedly begrudgingly congratulate Mayor Nagin on his victory, I am reminded of a story of Thomas Edison.
I'm not sure if it's true or if it was just some altruistic speech my science teacher told me in the eighth grade, but the story is as follows--
Thomas Edison, worked tediously on the first prototype of the lightbulb, and upon completion, cooling of glass, etc, he gave it to a young novice to carry from one portion of the laboratory to the testing portion--up a flight of stairs.
You guessed it maybe? The novice dropped the first and one and only lightbulb.
Thomas Edison had a fit of course. But proceeded to make another, and the completion of that was faster after having the trials and errors of his previous mistake. When it was completed, he could have opted to carry it himself.
He could have wrapped it in sheepskin.
He could have done a lot of things different.
But what he did was call the same boy, and handed it to him in trust.
Someone asked him why he did that, and he answered, "Because I know there is no one else who would be more careful than he."
I am an idealist.
I like to think that story is true.
And I'd like to think it will be proven true again.
All we can do now is hope, yes?
My beloved city is on life support--and I apologize if that is an inconvenience to the rest of the country, and she may yet have a dance or two left in her yet.
Why just the other day, my mother in law and I danced to Etta James on the porch. grin
We both hurt ourselves, but dammit, we danced.
(and now it's 4:10) *wink*