In a related vein, UNO professor C.W. Cannon had a nice essay in the T-P a few days ago. Actually, not so much "nice" as "pointed."
Here is one of my favorite passages. I especially like the use of the word "darling.":
A transplant friend of mine, who still struggles with her choice to stay here, tried to put her finger on that nagging sense that New Orleans isn't a place to build a future. She said she just wasn't sure the city would even be here in a hundred years or so.
Instead of citing coastal restoration hopes, or pointing to the miracles of Dutch flood control, I just flat-out agreed with her. Yes. Of course. The city, in time, will be under the ocean, Atlantis. So will you, darling. In time the sun will supernova and the earth will be destroyed. In time the universe will expand into a dark cold place and the phenomenon of life will be no more. Do you really want to go there?
Maybe a little strategic delusion and denial is the height of rationality. Do you really think that glitzy new condo complex in some exurban boomtown is going to be there forever? Ask a homeowner with negative equity in South Florida or Phoenix. At least when we dress up like kings and queens on Mardi Gras, we don't think we really are kings and queens.
Far from being irrational, New Orleanian frivolity in the face of death and decay is actually built on a sober apprehension of reality.
And yet. And yet. I'm still going to bust my butt to make this little patch of God's green, wet, lush earth survive and thrive.