Imperfect Storm

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If God did indeed send Katrina to purge New Orleans of its bacchanalian tendencies, He missed a spot:

At least two bars in New Orleans' fabled French Quarter are honoring the tradition that drinking establishments in the boisterous tourist district stay open during hurricanes, even apocalyptic monsters like Hurricane Katrina… both were back in business Monday, August 29, with little apparent damage despite a lack of electricity and running water.

"That's our job. That's just what we do," Molly's owner Jim Monaghan, 47, said.

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  1. I work in mysterious ways.

  2. And he has a sense of humor that's downright unholy.

  3. From the story:
    New Orleans police, normally ambivalent about the public drunkenness that occurs most nights throughout the district, seemed strangely intolerant of it over the weekend even as it seemed they had bigger problems at hand, such as mass deaths and destruction throughout the region.

    Even in a life-or-death situation, cops have a paternalistic attitude towards us civilians. It's the result of many generations of laws designed to protect individuals from themselves.

  4. Anti-Puritan:

    Well isn't it kind of rude to be out getting trashed when thousands of people in the same city are in desparate need of help? I'd be pretty pissed if I were a cop there, busting my ass and risking my life while some asshole libertine was out being a drunken jackass.

  5. I'm glad to hear that NO's primary source of tourist revenue is up and running. The French Quarter certainly won't revive the area single-handedly, but it will most definitely help.

    And before somebody says that rotting corpses and stranded civilians are a higher priority than economic growth, I imagine that a lot of evacuees are trying to figure out how to provide for their families and rebuild their lives. Every job counts.

  6. There's something inspiring about the look on Dinia Straydog's face in the photo accompanying the text. It conveys a sly sense of triumph over adversity. She will not let the ravages of nature keep her from partying.

  7. Alas, history has forgotten the names of the intrepid bartenders and hostesses who got "Cain's Top O'Gomorrah" reopened for business in the middle of the blasted salt flats within 24 hours.

  8. After the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, there were similar claims that the city had been punished for its wickedness, to which one local wit replied:

    If, as they say, God spanked the town
    For being over frisky,
    Why did He burn the churches down
    And save Hotaling's whisky?

  9. If, as they say, God spanked the town
    For being over frisky,
    Why did He burn the churches down
    And save Hotaling's whisky?

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."-Benjamin Franklin

  10. Yeah, a bunch of drunks running the streets are just what the cops need right now. After all, they aren't busy enough with murderers, thieves, rapists, strung out drug addicts going nuts for a fix, etc. By all means....Le Bon Tempe Roulette!
    No wonder the place became a hell hole.

  11. jw,
    The real criminals, not the victimless criminals, ought to be the sole concern of the cops right now. In this crisis, that libertarian principle is even more important than usual, not less.

  12. It's "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler" you hick.

  13. Heretic,

    I think at least one or two people in the history of humanity have blamed me for bad things. At least that's what my people tell me.

    And as for bad things happening...it's a holiday weekend, for My sake. Don't I get a barbeque too?

  14. Don't listen to that imposter. Bad things happen because I get my menses.

  15. I can't believe that tourists are getting drunk in New Orleans immediately after this catastrophe.

    It's part of the the Decline of the West.

    Western civilization is in a state of terminal decadence.

    There's a middle ground between shunning the place as a tourist destination for all time and getting drunk while thousands of bodies are still rotting in the open air. A week or two of lost revenue will set back these bar owners back less than it will show a decent respect for the dead.

  16. Dude, corpses always make me want to drink more.

  17. jw,

    You are a philistine. The phrase is:

    Laissez les bons temps rouler!

    Ammonium,

    How dare Condoleeza Rice go shopping at a time like this!

  18. There's a middle ground between shunning the place as a tourist destination for all time and getting drunk while thousands of bodies are still rotting in the open air.

    Of all the times to get drunk, "when you're surrounded by corpses and have just seen your city destroyed" is way up there.

  19. Because I love my country, I can't help but wish that if it had to happen, it had been DC instead of New Orleans. Consider how inviting the prospects of DC evacuated sound for both liberty and prosperity.

  20. Western civilization is in a state of terminal decadence.

    Paging gaius marius, Paging gaius marius ...

    Actually I think he might be busy right now,

    If so, congratulations!!!

  21. I can't help but wish that if it had to happen, it had been DC instead of New Orleans

    God bless you Rick.

    Sorry Julian 😉

  22. There's something about defiantly drinking in the face of the apocalypse that I cannot help but admire.

  23. Apparently, these people are supposed to cease having fun over something for which they are not responsible. Let's just say that they have to be moral slaves to others and get it over with.

    We drink when relationships sour, when jobs are stressful...why not drink when things are actually the worst they could be.

    I only wish that when an apocalypse hits me like this, I will say "buck up and do another shot".

  24. I only wish that when an apocalypse hits me like this, I will say "buck up and do another shot".

    Amen brother!

  25. Andy,

    Get Bent! 😉

  26. BTW,

    Nick, Jesse, Tim, Cathy, Jacob, Kerry (mmmmmm, Kerry), And Brian (do you even work here anymore?)

    Happy labor day ya filthy commie's. Have fun dancin' round the may pole. uh, er, just kiddin':)

  27. Le Bon Tempe Roulette or Laissez Les Bon Temp Rouler. So my "coon ass" neighbor steered me wrong on the spelling. Apparently it was close enough to convey my meaning.

    Y'all can disagree with my sentiments, if you wish, but being irresponsible after a disaster helps no one.
    I live in the Houston area and I see the local news broadcasts. I don't know if it is generally known to the rest of the country yet, but the Houston authorities imposed a "lock down" curfew on the Astrodome and Reliant Center so that people could not enter or leave at night. It seems that some of the refugees, er,.."survivors" were going out, getting liquored-up, fixed-up, coming back inside and causing fights and other problems,....In other words, starting the same shit that happened in the Superdome and the Convention Center over in New Orleans.
    I sympathize with the decent, civilized people of New Orleans and Lousiana as most Houstonians and Texans do; they are victims of a great tragedy. However, I have no use whatever for the human garbage that was and is mixed in with them. Houston and Texas both have enough of their own.
    (You wouldn't believe some of the stories I've heard from people whose relatives are cops in Louisiana. I can not substantiate them, so I won't pass them on.)
    Yep! I'm probably just a "hick" or a "redneck" or a "philistine". That seems to be what one is these days, if one is white, a Texan, and NOT left-of-center politicaly or socially. Yes, probably so.

    Hakluyt,
    I gather from reading your posts over several months that you are in the US military overseas somewhere. If so, I would like to thank you for your service to our country. Some of us appreciate it.

  28. I predict that in a month's time we will be hearing about New Orleans' "miraculous recovery." This prediction assumes that the press will even bother with such a story--not a safe assumption, I admit.

  29. By the way, Ayn Randian, take this from someone who was once quite a devotee' of Ms. Rand's work (still am to some extent.) You said that "apparently these people are supposed to cease having fun over something for which they are not responsible." They are not responsible for the storm, but they are certainly responsible for how they deal with it afterwards.

  30. They are not responsible for the storm, but they are certainly responsible for how they deal with it afterwards.

    They're making themselves feel better, without making anybody else worse off for it. Good for them.

    I read a story a few days ago about how a lot of survivors are "turning to prayer" for consolation. And even though I'm an atheist, I would never dream of, say, criticizing them for spending time saying prayers or listening to sermons when there's all that debris that needs clearing, and water that needs to be bailed out. Now would I criticize them for having a few drinks, if it makes them feel better. Who the hell are you or I to tell people how they should react when their homes and livelihoods have been destroyed? If they're not harming anybody else, then it's nobody else's damned business.

  31. well said, Jennifer! well said!

  32. but being irresponsible after a disaster helps no one.

    Well, JW, that very well may be true, but when your life has been destroyed and your entire city obliterated, and part of the blame for that destruction lies with the diversion of federal funding away from the Army Corps of Engineers to help pay for a bullshit war in some sandpit hellhole a world away, as well as the diversion of National Guardsmen for the same...Well, I would guess that, at that point, you're not so fucking anxious to be out there helping everyone else by abstaining from having a drink.

  33. Is there anyone out there actually castigating the people in NO for drinking "at a time like this"? As if they're somehow being disrespectful of the tragedy by drinking?

    I mean, I'd like to claim that drinking is no way to deal with your problems, but then I'd be a liar.

  34. Is there anyone out there actually castigating the people in NO for drinking "at a time like this"?

    JW.

  35. ?Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.??Benjamin Franklin

    Ben Franklin clearly
    never drank Miller Lite beer;
    and is beer living?

  36. Marijuana is living proof that God wants us to be happy. Beer just proves that yeast is good for more than breadmaking.

  37. A week or two of lost revenue will set back these bar owners back less than it will show a decent respect for the dead.

    But how will a week or two of lost revenue help? They're bar owners. They operate bars. It's what they do. Unless some of them also happen to be trained rescue workers or structural engineers or something, FEMA doesn't want them helping out. So what else can they do except open their bars?

    Anybody who wants a drink can come on in. Anybody who doesn't want a drink can stay away. They are offering people a choice, and that's a good thing.

  38. The bar owners may very well be able to get by without a couple weeks of revenue. I don't know what their situation is.

    But what about their employees?

  39. Really, the spectacle of NO cops cracking down on public drunkenness while big swathes of the city are still essentially lawless turns my stomach.

    But I guess if you're a big brave NO cop, fresh from a day of looting your own self, well rested after having walked off the job in the face of adversity earlier, I guess cracking the heads of a few drunks is a lot more attractive than actually cleaning out the gangs that have taken over part of your city.

    Scum. And I'm not just talking about the gangs.

    And yeah, yeah, I'm sure there are good cops in NO. But there sure as hell seem to be a lot of bad ones.

  40. RC--

    It's worse than you think. Those big badass cops aren't just cracking down on the people drinking wine; they're attacking and confiscating the equipment of photojournalists who take less-than-flattering pictures of them:

    http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2005/09/hurricane2.html

  41. "I predict that in a month's time we will be hearing about New Orleans' 'miraculous recovery.' This prediction assumes that the press will even bother with such a story--not a safe assumption, I admit."

    Yep, it's just the playa'-hayta's in the media who are making this look bad.... I'm sure it's only 75% of the city that's a festering pool of rotting corpses and human waste, not the "80%" those liberal media outlets like Fox News keep going on about.

  42. jeez evan, after decades of libs complaining that all the army corp of engineers does is waste taxpayer money for bloated projects that aren't necessary and destroy the enviroment, you'd think they'd be a little less quick to start complaining now that it doesn't get every last penny it asks for. hey, my local town in podunk needs 2.3 billion for homeland security needs, so I guess we'll start hearing about diverted funds from you when the next tornado comes.

  43. Hm--

    When did Evan ever speak out against levees?

  44. SR

    You may be right. Unlike you, I am not "sure."

    We shall both see soon enough....

  45. I would ask those who are morally aghast at the re-openings of bars to look at the quote at the header of this thread one more time.

    Bars are re-opening, because being open for business is what they do.

    I think it's a good thing. It signals a bit of a return to normal New Orleans life, which is a little abnormal to most folks anyway.

    If morally aghast, what would be the 'correct' timetable for re-opening bars? 10 days? 30 days? 2 years? And who gets to say?

  46. According to babelfish "Le Bon Tempe Roulette" means 'Good The Temple Caster' so I can see how it still works if 'the temple' is the bar and the 'caster' is the gin-slinger. Actually, I think it would make a fine name for a public house in the French Quarter.

  47. Jennifer,
    I'll tell you who I am to "tell those people."
    I am a grown-up who can think further and farther ahead than the end of my nose. I have every right to have and express any damned opinion I choose, and more...I shall do so. Furthermore, I am one of the jillions of taxpayers in this country who will be expected to pay to bail these people out of a hole (no pun intended.)

    I don't like cops any one bit more than you do, but sometimes they are necessary. If they had been in the Superdome, perhaps children would not have been getting raped and people murdered.

    If people want to pollute their minds and bodies with drugs and alcahol, most of the time I could care less. But there is a time and place for everything and right now doesn't seem like a good time to me.

    Woman,don't even presume to advise me about drugs and booze; I lost a younger brother six years ago who was only forty-eight due to a life of drinking and drugs. My father and mother both had drinking problems and I was once a heavy drinker and smoker myself. If I had not quit when I did, I might be as dead as my brother.

    So you just keep on drinking, toking, and smoking, Honey. And keep on truckin'. Maybe you'll live to be as old as I am, and maybe you won't. Deep down you probably don't give a shit. I know that I don't!

  48. JW--

    I'm sorry your brother had such a tragic lack of willpower, but just because he couldn't handle booze doesn't mean that the New Orleanians we read about in this story can't handle it. Not everybody who drinks goes on to trash their life, and anything which cheers up the folks in New Orleans without causing harm to others is a good thing.

  49. jw

    You would do well not to presume to advise Jennifer on booze and drugs, either.

    Jennifer

    Classy response!

  50. No Jennifer, not everyone who drinks goes on to trash his life. I certainly didn't and no one else has to either. Strictly up to him or her. And by the way, thank you.

    JM Moore,
    We ALL give advice here, it looks like to me.

  51. JW, your arguments against the drinking in New Orleans seem to be either "they'll commit crimes like the refugees in the Superdome" or "drinking can trash your life as it did to my brother" or, possibly, "How dare they drink when there's so much other work that needs to be doing." But the first two don't seem to apply here, and the third argument could be applied to ANY activity--even praying or attending church services--other than clearing debris, pumping out water or burying the dead.

    So what is your actual argument?

  52. Given the fact that nobody is advocating "going out, getting liquored-up, fixed-up, coming back inside and causing fights and other problems". Simply being drunk isn't a crime and "public drunkenness" is a bullshit phrase as observed by the cop "drawing an imaginary line" as demarkation between the public and the public house.

    While they could go about stacking bodies like cord wood, where would they put them? How long would it be before the cops came along, harassed them and accused them of theft, murder, what have you with comments like "so, where did that guy's wallet go?" and "was he dead when you found him the first time?" If you ask me, being in a bar gives you at least one witness who can attest to you being passed out drunk on the floor.

  53. Jennifer,
    I imagine that I am as much an atheist as you are, but I probably WOULD be tempted to tell them to quit wasting their time praying and going to church. (Some of the "good Christians" would probably nail my ass to a cross for it.) But it won't give anyone a hangover the next day when there is work to be done. But that really wasn't my main point. Nor does "drinking can trash your life" really have anything to do with it. (Actually, that was in response to something else you said.)

    No, I really was trying to make pretty much the same point as the "authorities" or the cops were. Namely that there is enough lawlessness in the streets over there already and a bunch of drinking is only going to exacerbate it. The problem was not just in the Superdome and the Convention Center proper (they are empty now.) It's all over the street. There is a dusk to dawn curfew for all of New Orleans and women are being advised not to go out by themselves even in daytime. It is reported to be a real madhouse there, and it is thought that the alcahol and drugs were fueling it.

  54. Y'all just don't get it. Yankee logic, and even most New South Atlanta-style thinking is not how New Orleans works. You are judging but you are not the peers of the accused.

    If you're onto the Times-Picayune reporting, look at the Chris Rose column. Thanks to all who have and continue to offer help.

    BTW, there's another bar down St. Claude where y'all would (should?) never go that has stayed open, too. And no matter what god wrought, the Decadence Parade went off as planned Sunday afternoon. There's no place like New Orleans.

  55. Namely that there is enough lawlessness in the streets over there already and a bunch of drinking is only going to exacerbate it.

    Only if the lawlessness and the drinking are done by the same people. In this case, they're not.

    And if someone's determined to be a raping, murdering sonofabitch, he'll do it regardless of whether or not there's booze to be found.

  56. >Dude, corpses always make me want to drink more.

    No kidding!

    Though he didn't live to experience this, I'm fairly certain that Walker Percy would concur.

    Now in my case, I admit I would have looted a pharmacy for some Ativan first, if it didn't appear I was putting my life at risk for so doing.

  57. Ben Franklin clearly
    never drank Miller Lite beer;
    and is beer living?

    Nice haiku, shiki.

    Jennifer,

    God is perfect;
    Man is not.
    Man made beer;
    God made pot.

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