It’s not often you get a raw look at what center-right upper-class technocrats really think of the rest of us, so we should thank the Chicago Tribune for providing us with one:
It has been almost 10 years since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast in August 2005, devastating parts of New Orleans, displacing, and killing many of its residents.
Kristen McQueary, a member of the Tribune Editorial Board started her column by writing that “envy” might be an unexpected response to Hurricane Katrina.
Unexpected? You don’t say. McQueary loves her some Katrina because the rebuilding process allowed the city to shrink its government and create “the nation’s first free-market education system,” which must obviously be a good thing because McQueary didn’t bother explaining why anybody in their right mind would want a “free-market education system.” She closed her column with an opus to a figurative storm:
That’s why I find myself praying for a storm. OK, a figurative storm, something that will prompt a rebirth in Chicago. I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.
McQueary can “relate, metaphorically” to them, but she’s happy they went through that and would kinda like the same thing to happen to a bunch of people in Chicago.
Metaphorically, of course.
Hilariously, that’s not how McQueary originally closed her piece:
That’s why I find myself praying for a real storm. It’s why I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.
Sometime after she first posted her editorial, I guess somebody explained to her that figurative storms don’t kill hundreds of people, where as real storms sometimes do. Oops.
McQueary doesn’t mean that it was a good thing that a couple thousand people died, obviously. She just means that their deaths, and the destruction of tens of billions of dollars in property, and the shattered lives of people who lost everything in that storm were all worth it, because New Orleans got to enact some cool neo-liberal reforms; you know, like putting public employees out of work and crushing teacher’s unions. Real nice disaster capitalism stuff. And that’s been super good for the residents of New Orleans, I guess, or at least the ones who still live there. These folks, maybe:
Actually, you know, it’s a funny thing about the people who haven’t gone back; most of them seem to share some common traits. Kristen McQueary couldn’t have been thinking about that when she wrote her nifty column about how Katrina made New Orleans a lot nicer, could she? Nah.
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