Thursday, December 13, 2007

Carpetbaggers: Antithetical to Sinn Fein

The Bobby Petrino story has made me think of a few things.

First, as a Saints fan, I'm proud that the beatdown Monday night was so bad that it caused the coach to flee Atlanta and his multimillion dollar "contract."

Second, it made me think of carpetbaggers, whom Wikipedia aptly desribes as follows:

an exploiter who does not plan to stay. Although the term is still an insult in common usage, in histories and reference works it is now used without derogatory intent. Since 1900 the term has also been used to describe outsiders attempting to gain political office or economic advantage, especially in areas (thematically or geographically) to which they previously had no connection.
Apparently the term gained usage during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.

Coach Petrino got the Atlanta Falcons job after a "national search," I'm sure. The Falcons ignored the fact that he had just signed a 10-year contract with the University of Louisville.

Thus, it seems disingenous when the Falcons' leadership cries foul and plays the victim. That same leadership actively pursued a man who was under long-term contract with another employer.

Can they actually be shocked when the same guy shows no loyalty to them and chases dollars with another team? Can they be shocked when he shows no ability to fight through tough times (e.g. a losing record and player-related scandal)?

Now, let's bring this story home to New Orleans. We are in our own period of Reconstruction, though of a radically different kind.

Who are the carpetbaggers now? They're here--people who have come since the storm and levee failures not because of a concern for humanity and our civilization, but because it's a well-paid gig. I can easily point to some of them associated with prominent New Orleans institutions (but I won't do that here).

My point is that we should all give a hard look at the neo-carpetbaggers. They had better be darn good at their jobs, because we need to understand that they will just move on to the next gig, even if it means leaving here before their jobs are done.

They'd ditch us in a heartbeat. Or half a heartbeat.

Let's not bring in mediocrities who will leave us. If we have to do "national searches," let's hire only the best, or (better yet) find locals who have world class skills and intelligence AND have a real commitment and loyalty to World Class New Orleans.

Too many New Orleans institutions chase the mediocre carpetbagger over the World Class local.
Are there carpetbaggers in your life? Maybe their skills make their presence here worthwhile. Maybe not.

It's worth thinking about and asking, Are they really worth it?

In the end, Dr. Morris got this about right in February 2006.

9 comments:

Loud Midwesterner said...

Whatever could you mean?

the SAME Loud Midwesterner said...

I love New OreLEENZ

Midwesterner for life said...

Wait a second.

I am not just loud.

I have an awful lot to say.

Magazine Street bus driver said...

But very little point to any of it, eh?

Puddinhead said...

Seems like we've been working the "locals" angle for my entire life here...and only occasionally getting it right. I don't have too much of a problem with a competant and committed "outsider". Councilman Fielkow comes to mind...although he draws heat in the blogosphere because he doesn't scream and stamp his foot and hold his breath until he turns blue when others don't agree with him, as seems to be the form for much of our homegrown "talent".

jeffrey said...

It's not a person's actual place of origin that's being questioned... it's that person's commitment to planning city services that meet the needs of this city. You don't have to technically be from here in order to do that. You do have to be sympathetic to and at least familiar with New Orleans and its people, though.

Also.... Bobby Petrino. God, what an asshole. I hope he crashes and burns at Arkansas.

Mr. Clio said...

Puddinhead, I'm a Fielkow fan. As Jeffrey writes, I'm not questioning people from elsewhere. I'm questioning certain people from elsewhere who are average at best where they're from but who puff up their resumes to try to become the new new thing here in NOLA. I'm also questioning the good sense of "leaders" here who actually believe the hype.

Fielkow is actually talented and actually cares, I think. So are thousands of other people who have moved here. This isn't a nativist issue for me; it's a good business sense issue.

Mr. Clio said...

Also, please note the definition: an exploiter who does not plan to stay.

There are plenty of locals who are exploiters. Don't want them.

There are plenty of excellent people coming here from elsewhere who do not plan to stay but who are not exploiters and bring us essential skills and goodwill. We need them.

It's the people who fit the bill I describe who bother me. And the locals who stupidly get duped by the exploiters.

Widmest said...

If the CAAARDS are coming to town, I'll stay - for the weekend.

Gooo CAAARRDS!

Wait!?

They moved to Phoenix, didn't they?