Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

In the months after the storm, the presence of the National Guard was, for me, one of the most potent symbols of the oddness of our situation, the militarization of a major American city: sand colored Humvees rolling down the streets full of Guardsmen and women in full combat gear, toting large rifles. Then, gradually, they faded away, and one day they were gone. We were "normal" again.

Now they're back. After a recent spike in violent crime, they have been invited to return to the city to patrol flooded neighborhoods, freeing the police to focus on high-crime areas. Weird, weird, weird.


  1. yep, I imagine armed troops in your city is a weird thing indeed...

  2. Anonymous10:20 AM

    You know what's even weirder? I'm thrilled they're coming back. I wish they never left. We've needed them to keep the looters at bay, much less the gang bangers, pimps and hos. (sorry, just channeling Peggy Wilson for a minute there)

  3. "Yes, we are in a bit of a pinch, but that head-honcho-guard-guy talking on the news about how they will operate under necessity freaks me out. I guess I don't understand the rules of conduct between civilian and guard. I know what the cops are supposed and not supposed to do. That unknown scares me. The way he was talking sounded like parts of NOLA is being reconsidered as war zone areas.

    I guess it just looked that way when the city was empty, but now, with five young kids dead in one go, it is important to act fast.

    I just hope that with immediate action, rash, fatal injustices do not occur to counterbalance the murders.

    I hope that all we really need is the presence."

    (from my post)

    my wrd ver is:
    pegwzd (pegwizard)

  4. Anonymous12:34 PM

    I SO hate it when you can't keep the hos at bay. They're like, totally icky with their cheap perfume and all that hairspray...
    staggering toward you in their torn fishnets like a pack of rabid zombies!!

    I'm down with nolanik's insight about an unconventional situation implying something, anything, may or may not happen. That's pretty difficult to navigate, getting used to youths with rifles on your way to the drugstore...

  5. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Are you talking about the civilian youths with rifles or the military youths with rifles? I never did quite get used to the young guys with rifles smiling at my 3 year old son from the hummer and saying "hey look, we've got matching pants!" That said, I'm with Francine. I never thought I'd be happily anticipating military presence in my town. There was that brief hopeful time in November and December when we could walk around at night and think "this is going to get better. This is going to be a fresh start for the city to do everything right." But if I hadn't been able to return to the city by now, I'd probably reading the news reports and digging my roots in somewhere else.