Last night there was another Bywater/Marigny community meeting with Jackie Clarkson and reps from the police force, the utilities, and Army Corps of Engineers, etc. While last week there were 60 in attendance, last night about five hundred showed up--and it was another embarrassing display of narcissism on the part of the community. While the local officials tried to explain how extensive the damage is to the infrastructure of the city and how the individual neighborhoods are connected to each other and what work needs to be done to safely restore service, angry "concerned" residents stood on chairs shrieking obscenities and crying like babies about their own situation--which was no different than any others. For about 90 minutes they made it nearly impossible for any information to be shared, and then one by one, having gotten the negative attention they were seeking, they stormed out of the meeting. No one had anything to offer. No one volunteered to help. One of the few suggestions to come from the crowd was that all garbage could be dumped in the "empty lot" between Piety and Desire--the park in my neighborhood. I objected, of course.
Worst of all was Harry Anderson of the old sitcom "Night Court." Harry has been running community meetings in the French Quarter, and came to the Marigny to accuse Clarkson of never showing up. He interupted the police to shout at her. She explained that the one time she had been invited to his meeting she was already booked for another meeting. She had asked him to give her a date in advance. He never did. At that Harry and his blond assistant stormed out, proving once again that it really is all about HIM. And we should never forget that.
Later, at Mimi's, I overheard one of the most obnoxious woman at the meeting telling a delusional story about how the crowd had applauded her when she left the meeting. The truth is that by that time no one was even paying attention.