Monday, February 21, 2011

If we're dying, it's a celebration

Reprinted from the Times-Picayune editorial page

Once again, our mouths are foaming because some "outsider" (at Newsweek, no less) recites facts about New Orleans.

The Newsweek article didn't slam New Orleans for its lack of new industry, an inability to attract Fortune 500 companies or a lack of professional opportunities. The survey cited facts about population decline and a lack of young people.

Ranting and raving about this just reinforces stereotypes: We are 20 years behind the times; we can't face our own problems; we are a city full of incompetent characters; our best days are behind us.

Perhaps the key is to accept the facts and embrace them. Truth is, the rest of America isn't exactly prospering.

To be a dying city in a dying country actually makes us a loss leader for once. And nobody lives while dying as well as we do. Our food, our family, our joy of life have made us one of the happiest people in America - even in the face of disaster.

I live in a place where my family and friends know how to live. Perhaps America should come here to see how to enjoy dying. We'll show them a jazz funeral.

Morgan Molthrop

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