No, not this Ray. (Yet. Maybe soon.)
Last night after staying up late listening to the Big 870 and compulsively hitting reload on three different election returns sites, I was admittedly depressed.
Checking the elections forums on nola.com made me feel worse. A lot of gloating, from the usual suspects, about how Mitch was taught a lesson, and how Mary was next.
To be honest, it made me feel about the same way I felt in November 2004. That my world is dominated by those people, by that element, that they're never going to learn, they're never going to change, they're always going to win, and the only escape is Canada.
I've read a lot of angry, bitter words in the moderate and liberal New Orleans blogosphere today. Again, November '04 deja vu.
One post has made me feel better. This one from Ernie the Attorney.
Lately, I've begun to have doubts. I've often lost my patience and had trouble maintaining the right attitude. What happened was I started to focus on the tragedy, and not the miracle. It's important to understand the subtle (as opposed to obvious) differences between tragedies and miracles. Tragedies, especially while they are unfolding, are easy to capture on film and that's one thing that makes them easier to focus on (which is not helpful).
After the speech I had a chance to talk to Mitch and I was able to perceive something very clearly, which I should have seen twenty years ago. Mitch believes in miracles and he knows that they unfold in strange ways, not necessarily the ways that we want or expect them to unfold.
Whether Mitch Landrieu is the mayor is not as important as our willingness to believe in miracles. A miracle doesn't depend on an election. Miracles happen when people consciously will them to happen. Mitch reminded me that miracles are out there and they can happen, but we have to have the right attitude.
Maybe it's not so bad. Maybe there is a miracle in the works. Try to remember when Nagin really was our voice...fucked up and goofy and sometimes irrational, but still the best voice we had in a world of Brownies and Chertoffs and Hasterts and Dubyas. Try to ignore everything else. Ignore the racist Uptown contingent, ignore the out-of-state GOP spin machine. Just channel the good parts of Nagin, and hope that with the uncertainty of the election out of the way, and with hard work from everybody, things will start to move along a little better.
I have hope.
I know, I have a lot of damn nerve talking hope when I lost nothing. I'm selling my perfectly good house in Austin and I'm going to cruise into town and look for a nice dry place for my family to live, with a new job for my wife and my old job still intact and money in my pocket and a school for my kids, and no need or desire to ever talk to the SBA or FEMA or an insurance adjuster.
But I have hope. I agree with C. Ray. The pie is about to explode, and I want all my fellow New Orleanians to come home and have a piece.
I'll bring the ice cream.