Facebook, The Angry Mob and Healthcare in New Orleans

May 27, 2009 by

 I recently got goaded in to signing up for Facebook as an alternative social network to Myspace. I was told it was less dramatic and the members more adult and serious.

Boy Howdy, was that far off the mark.

 I read more news today about the ongoing legislative battle over building a hospital in New Orleans, the proposed budget (which depends on $492 million from FEMA, who say they’ll only pay $150 million) is apparently “less than existing” to coin a phrase.

 I then saw a comment from a fellow facebooker, saying how happy he was that this had been thwarted. I wondered in his comment section why anyone would be ‘happy’ to see movement towards a New Orleans hospital shut down. The funding, wherever it goes, still needs to be in place. I personally think that rebuilding Charity Hospital is not the way to go, considering the wiring and plumbing that is decades old, nevermind being buried inside walls and, well… it just seems like a lot of work for an old building to become a 21st century hospital. If that’s even possible.

I think it would make a great new City Hall or office condominiums, but that’s just my humble opinion.

Anyway, I asked this question of the Facebookers. The response I got from someone named Glenn, was that I must be from Indiana and think ‘they’, implying New Orleanians like myself, must all be assholes. How this addresses my question I have no idea. How this answer was provoked by an honest question I have even less of an idea.

Anyway, I spoke my mind, said I AM local and I think the rebuilding is a bad idea, as I also think the 1.2 billion dollar mid-city sprawl is a bad idea. There must be something in between that’s affordable, workable and can actually come into fruition. Blah, blah, blah.

Glenn came back and called me an asshole and some woman named Michelle told me I was misreperesenting “what happened today”.

I have no idea what any of this means, but then I’m new to Facebook. They speak a strange language over there.

What I’m absolutely sure of is that I didn’t ‘misrepresent’ anything, because I only asked a question and ventured my opinion, as stated above. How this makes me an ‘asshole’ is beyond comprehension and also a waste of time, as I will certianly post a list of the many real reasons I am one, just for the asking.

So here’s the thing; I want to know all sides of this, and I would love a public forum with other New Orleanians (preferably not those angry facebook clods) regarding this situation. I’ve spoken to Termite on several occassions about the future of Charity, and the possibilities of turing it in to something spectacular, while building a hospital elsewhere. Today, I drove down Canal Street, almost in tears, looking at the ‘Back On The Market’ For Sale signs on the Saenger Theater, the For Sale signs on the Joy Theater, the nail shops and t-shirt grindhouses, the general slum-in-decline atmosphere, wondering about the Broadway South legislation we heard so much about, and it never occurred to me that We, The People, could be the problem. Maybe we just bitch so much (like you, Glenn) that nothing gets done. Maybe gloating over a legislative vote is more important than real hospital care. Maybe we’re so concerned over what each word ‘represents’ in our little universe that we lose the bigger picture of sharing ideas and concepts with a larger community.

Is it impossible to have a discussion about these things without crying ‘asshole’ and pointing fingers of ‘misrepresentation’ because someone honestly wants to know something? I hope not. Oh, god, I really hope not.

Let’s hear it, We The People. Let’s have a good old fashioned chat about this hot button topic, sans name calling, questioning the validity of each others birth right, or references to German dictatorships and socialist despots.  Let’s get right down to finding out what everybody thinks and why. This is how We The People used to educate ourselves. Let it begin now.

As for you, Glenn on Facebook, who never heard of humidcity and just knows I’m an asshole for trying to ask a single question, you’re invited, too. Bring some information, though. These humid city folks are used to actually dealing with the content of another human’s questions. And asking questions is how we learn, dumbass.

Lord David
Skull Club
New Orleans

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