Monday, June 01, 2009

How can this even be a question?

Mark Singletary over at CityBusiness wants to ask you a few questions.

Go ahead, try it out. See if you can answer four simple questions about Louisiana, WWII, and the rock band Coldplay.

At least, these should be simple questions. People who live here, work here, stake their lives and fortunes in Louisiana and its most famous city, New Orleans, should know some basic history, shouldn’t they?

Well, not to spoil it for you if you haven’t already clicked through to see for yourself, but Mark found that precious few of the people he polled could answer basic questions about Louisiana and WWII history.

But--and this is the amazing yet unsurprising result of the survey--80 percent of respondents knew trivial, even intimate details about Coldplay.

Now, granted, this was a very small and very unscientific survey, but I think we all know from our collected anecdotal experience that the conclusion is likely valid: most of us don’t know much of anything about history.

What is it they say about people who don’t remember history? Yes, that’s right, and the results are almost universally unpleasant.

We’re entering another hurricane season today. Another cycle of tropical cyclones buzzing the coastal areas and like kamikazes coming in for the kill. Already I’ve heard some discussion of what to do if a storm heads our way.

What to do? How can this even be a question? Do we not remember 2005? Have we forgotten already?

Evacuate! Get out of harm’s way. Pack up your family, your friends and your pets and get the hell out of Dodge.

Most of the time it won’t matter. Hurricanes change course, loose strength or just turn out to be not as nasty as they first seemed to be. Most of the time.

But do you really want to be here when things go badly? Do you really want to be in your house when the roof comes apart? Or the water overtops the levee? Or the power goes out just as the roof comes apart and the water overtops the levee?

The informed answer is NO.

Spend a few days visiting an out-of-state friend or relative, or find a hotel North of Shreveport where you can relax safely.

You might even find time to read a good book. I’d recommend "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose or "A Short History of New Orleans" by Mel Leavitt—because you never know when someone might suddenly want to quiz you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Je suis d'accord.