Monday, February 21, 2005

Bronchial infections and How to Save the World 

I've been down for several days with a bronchial infection. Left me time to contemplate my recent activism with the Iberville Housing Project. Been keeping tabs on the pushing of the envelope daily by this administration. Dream last night that I was telling someone that one day the Bush minions are going to come and slit our throats. I do expect civil war in this country if things continue as they are.

The death of Hunter Thompson couldn't come at a worse time, depending upon your point of view, I suppose. He might be very happy to be out of this shit hole; we'll have to be the voice of outrage, of gonzo journalism now; the voice that refuses to deny what the senses perceive. We all know how he loved to indulge the senses. I hear he was in New Orleans recently at the Maple Leaf, indulging. He never vanquished his passion for extremes, and it probably finally vanquished him.

Iberville. To save or destroy. We heard from the residents at our last meeting just how awful it is to live there. And still, they want to save it. It is home. It is a neighborhood, and some of the most prime real estate in New Orleans. Those that tore down St. Thomas are aching to get their hands on this prime piece of real estate and turn it into condos and God knows what else.

200 of 800 units are unoccupied due to neglect by the federal government. There is a 7000 family waiting list to get into Iberville. 7000. 600 of its 800 apartment are occupied, despite its mildew infested walls, no heat because no one wants to run the dangerous space heaters, crime and poor lighting, despite that the city prevents the residents there from putting any piece of furniture, or plants or anything on their small porches attached to each apartment. The humiliation and stripping the residents of their dignity isn't enough to drive them away. Through this suffering alone, they have earned the right to keep this neighborhood.

I'm in it for the long haul, and I expect heartache. I can either watch and read about the dismantling of our democracy on the blogs, or I can do something in my home town. Blessed be.