Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!


My New Year's Resolutions are as follows:

(1) Convince all of my best friends to move to New Orleans - so that we can have big family Sunday night dinners and sip on after dinner drinks on the front porch together (I'm looking at you Amanda, Erica, Cara, Elizabeth, and Hussein)
(2) Slow my roll - speeding tickets are expensive
(3) Build a more impressive home bar - it's a New Orleans requirement anyway
(4) Recommit to art making - it's been a while, I miss you sweet thing
(5) Call the police on the crack house regularly - way too much activity lately
(6) Find out if Emanuel is back in jail

The last two are associated with the 17% jump in the murder rate in 2011 in my little city ending the year with 179 murders. For a murder by murder map of the city, look here.  Four killings within two block (6 within 5 blocks) of my house this year, that about equals my Petworth, DC apartment in 2009.

I recently watched Waiting for Superman. It's a terrific documentary about the education system in the US. Pretty fucking depressing, but something that was interesting is the belief that neighborhoods create schools. Geoffrey Canada, who I've spoken about before, stated that he believes the school creates the neighborhood. I think New Orleans is a prime example of this theory. Earlier this year it was found that the high school drop out rate in New Orleans plummeted 31%. That is half of the drop out rate in pre-Katrina New Orleans. But what that 11.4% 2005 rate says is that there are a hell of lot of 20 - 25 year olds wondering the streets un/underemployed, uneducated and traumatized by watching their hometown drown six years ago and their family members and friends go to jail and/or die in the streets in numbers unheard of in other parts of the country.

14 - 18 year olds aren't exactly at the peek of their communication and anger management skills and as Louisiana is again and again at the bottom of education and poverty rankings, this 11.4% of 14 to 18 years old aren't exactly well oriented for their age. Also, it was found that most crime in the city is not linked to gang or organized crime, but instead stem from the escalation of personal disagreements.

Of course, we have a violence problem.

It's going to freeze tonight! That's good because the 70-something degree weather we had yesterday to celebrate that Saints victory was getting to the best of me. Their is an Occupy NOLA general meeting tomorrow night to develop next steps. They were kicked out after a judicial back and forth. I wonder if any of these folks want to be in a FUBP roller derby krewe with me? I'll have to ask.


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