Monday, August 13, 2007

And no, the Marines won't be deployed to New Orleans either

After I wrote my previous post about deploying Marines to U.S. cities with high violent death rates, I ran across this Red Stick Rant post.

C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans...said – and I am not making this up – that the phenomenal murder rate in New Orleans can be a good thing. Really.

This is what he said. This is what Ray Nagin said:

Do I worry about it? Somewhat. It's not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. So it is kind of a two-edged sword.

The sad thing is that Nagin's right. Take our previous example of Compton. Compton has become a brand - a very profitable brand - and everyone knows about the mean streets of Compton. And New Orleans is now the more popular brand:

Crime, that old menace of the old New Orleans, is back, and it's bedeviling a city trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina. There have been 147 people killed in New Orleans this year, police say, down from 204 by this time in 2005. But the city's population is about half what it was before Katrina flooded 80% of the city, forcing an almost-complete evacuation.

That means New Orleanians are murdering each other at a rate of 73.5 murders per 100,000 residents. That figure is above that of the nation's most murderous city — Compton, Calif., whose rate was 67 murders per 100,000 people in 2005, according to the latest FBI statistics.

Because many traditionally violent areas flooded and remain nearly empty, crime has moved to upscale, high-traffic areas such as the Marigny, the French Quarter and Uptown, leaving residents with one more reason to question their decision to remain in the city.


But New Orleans doesn't have the gangsta rap title yet. One guy tried to set it up, but he's going nowhere, somebody help him there:

It would be hard to imagine a less likely hip-hop mogul than Nik Cohn, a sickly, London-born, fifty-ish Jewish journalist and novelist best known for writing the (largely fictionalized) article that became the basis for Saturday Night Fever. Nevertheless, Cohn took up residence in New Orleans and set out to become a player in the city's thriving bounce scene, a quixotic quest documented in his alternately invigorating and frustrating new book Triksta....

Cohn depicts himself as an incongruous dilettante way out of his league, but his self-criticism and self-examination never go far enough. He never professes to be anything other than a semi-clueless outsider, yet he seems vexed that a flaky teen like Choppa would rather pick up quick cash cranking out another local hit than fulfill the fuzzy, half-formed musical vision of a weird old white dude. Cohn loves hip-hop, but he's frustratingly clueless about why hip-hop refuses to love him back.


Back to Nagin. Perhaps Nagin will nab Bennett Landreneau to head up (i.e. shift blame elsewhere for) New Orlean's brand man- I mean crime prevention operations.

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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

hope you had a good weekend, this is the website i was talking about...... awesome

Anonymous said...

hope you had a good weekend, this is the website i was talking about...... awesome

Anonymous said...

hope you had a good weekend, this is the website i was talking about...... awesome

.....CLIFFORD said...

Looking the the comments above, it seems somebody made it to Cali....... (grin!)

Benny's folks in the LANG (which I used to be a part of) are still down in New Olrenas on patrol. If they weren't, I think the murder rate would be even worse. There is a reason we say that NOPD stands for "Not our problem, dude."

Ontario Emperor said...

Looks like a different website.

So if the Louisiana National Guard had been deployed to New Jersey a few years ago, would we be talking about Bennie and the Jets?

Enjoyed your three part series on Ray Nagin, by the way. Years ago, I was the proud owner of a "Holy Grail" LP (my younger readers should understand that an LP is a double-sided CD with a lot less information). The LP included portions of the film, with a running gag noting that much of the film was visual (including the ending).

.....CLIFFORD said...

If the Louisiana National Guard depliyed to New Jerssy, Newark would be a lot more peaceful and Princeton would have a lot fewer virgins.

Glad you liked the Nagin bit. When we were cleaning out my folks house after Katrina we found several of my old LP's in the muck. Showed them to my kids, and told them how lucky they were today - because back in the 70's we had to carry around a 20 lb. backpack-sized "Album-man" to just play the things.
My kids are SO going to need therapy when they get older.......