Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We're Not That Lonely Here (at least not for long)

The NY Times recently published an article (which you have to pay to see now) that riffs on this basic research finding (the quote below gives you the basic idea):

A recent study by sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona found that, on average, most adults only have two people they can talk to about the most important subjects in their lives -- serious health problems, for example, or issues like who will care for their children should they die. And about one-quarter have no close confidants at all.
Then Ashley wrote today about something distinctive and tragic about the Ninth Ward: despite relative poverty and the problems that go with poverty, the Ninth has a high rate of home (or, thanks to the ACOE now, rubble) ownership. Extended families living together is the explanation of that oddity, which is now being obliterated by the inept (or perhaps purposeful) federally incentivized breakup of those families.

Even before Ashley, my WCNO comrade and fellow male Muse Mr. Melpomene wrote about one of the great tragedies of the levee and government failures:
During this lost year, what is truly lost are the millions of daily
interactions of communication, trust and commerce that make urban life what it is. Tragically disrupted, the potential for restoring something like the former status quo fades further away each passing day. Remember inertia, objects in motion... remain in motion... etc.
Scary and accurate and wrenching stuff from Mr. Mel. The B.S.ing in line while waiting to get a beer at a Hornets game, the street talk, the complaining about Entergy while waiting to pay your bill . . . a lot of that gone, because almost half of the people who were supposed to be in line with us aren't there.

But still . . . but still . . . but On the Other Hand (Randy Travis) . . .

That New York Times article above? Doesn't apply. That's based on surveys of Americans. We're not they.

I hereby posit that there are fewer lonely people in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States of America, than in any other parish or county in these United States.

Anybody gonna argue?

That's what makes Ashley's and Mr. Mel's point all the more tragic.

We're Orleanians. We don't do "lonely." At least not well. And not for long.


ashley said...

Sinn Fein, brother.

The streets have been eerily empthy the last couple of nights. I guess with no Loyola or Tulane in session, Magazine is sparse. Weird, and sad.

Schroeder said...

This got my attention a couple of days ago, but I re-read it again today. Nice touch!