New Orleans' displaced socialites
September 2, 2005 10:43 AM   Subscribe

The Simple Life: When Socialites Get Displaced (NY Times, reg required)
posted by pfafflin (39 comments total)
 
Well, the article talks about more then just socialites.

"I only have $200 to my name," he said. "So I have to give something else to say thanks since I'll be here for a while."

For example.

I thought this was intresting:

"People are buying homes with suitcases of cash," said Drew Tessier, a spokesman for the city.
posted by delmoi at 10:53 AM on September 2, 2005


Jean Bowling found the cheapest bottle of red wine in the Whole Foods grocery store here, hoping it would offer a momentary reprieve from the chaos that has become her life.

Like many others who have fled Hurricane Katrina and sought refuge here, these women find themselves in a foreign environment, devoid of the luxuries they once enjoyed. Gone are the cocktail parties in Uptown New Orleans, the long afternoon sails.

For the time being, Ms. Tassin and her guests have limited themselves to one cube for each glass of water. "It's going to be a long haul," she said. "Everyone is sacrificing in lots of ways."

When she arrived in Baton Rouge, Ms. Frost said , her boyfriend grumbled at the thought of buying used clothes at a thrift store, although it was economically prudent.

Jesus Christ, what a pathetic excuse for reporting...
posted by SweetJesus at 11:02 AM on September 2, 2005


Well, of course it is -- but the incredulous comments from some of the sources is what had me saying, "Duuuuuuuude ..." out loud. Buying clothes from thrift stores? Rationing ice cubes? Not finding private schools? Seems pretty amazing that's survival.
posted by pfafflin at 11:02 AM on September 2, 2005


Lisa Bourgeois

Really?
posted by blendor at 11:05 AM on September 2, 2005


Cue my outraged and disbelieving face. Only one ice cube per cocktail? The horror!
posted by fenriq at 11:06 AM on September 2, 2005


Eat the rich.
posted by aramaic at 11:09 AM on September 2, 2005


From the article:
Jean Bowling found the cheapest bottle of red wine in the Whole Foods grocery store here, hoping it would offer a momentary reprieve from the chaos that has become her life.

From CNN:
Thousands of people have been stranded at the Ernest Morial Convention Center with little help and surrounded by corpses, trash and human waste.
"We got here, there's no food. There's no water. There's shooting. They're killing people," evacuee Tishia Walters told CNN from inside the center. "They're robbing men in the restrooms, they're raping women trying to go to the restroom. So people have resorted to defecating on the floors. You can't walk. There's babies without Pampers, mammas without milk. It's chaos, total chaos."

posted by scratch at 11:16 AM on September 2, 2005


Slime.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:21 AM on September 2, 2005


Lisa Bourgeois

Fuck, I didn't even notice that... That makes me feel better, because this article is obviously some bored Times copy editor's idea of a joke, because there wouldn't be any real people self-centered enough to complain about lack of ice cubes and second hand clothes, never mind reporters to listen to them.

Right? I really fucking hope so.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:24 AM on September 2, 2005


For the time being, Ms. Tassin and her guests have limited themselves to one cube for each glass of water. "It's going to be a long haul," she said. "Everyone is sacrificing in lots of ways."

Oh motherfucker.
posted by OmieWise at 11:27 AM on September 2, 2005


We all know that "Bourgeois" is a fairly common French name, right?
posted by scratch at 11:27 AM on September 2, 2005


My heart has broken into a thousand pieces as I weep at the horror of running low on ice cubes.
posted by cmonkey at 11:30 AM on September 2, 2005


We all know that "Bourgeois" is a fairly common French name, right?

Irony dude..
posted by SweetJesus at 11:30 AM on September 2, 2005


i thought the styles section -- aka, 'what the stupidly rich are doing to stay stupid today -- only came out on fridays and sundays.
posted by maura at 11:32 AM on September 2, 2005


SweetJesus: Clearly you've never been rich. Otherwise you would appreciate the horrors associated with having only one ice cube per glass of water.
posted by notreally at 11:34 AM on September 2, 2005


Can't tell you how ashamed I am. Last August hurricane Charley came through here (Ft. Myers) and we were without elec. and water for four days. The wife and I bitched like spoiled brats. Now look at those poor souls up there.
THEY have something to bitch about.
posted by notreally at 11:40 AM on September 2, 2005


The one-ice-cube line followed by the "everyone has to sacrifice" quote seemed like a pretty cheap shot at this woman — who, as a city council member, may not in fact be rich at all — by the Times reporter. Unless she discussed those two things in that order.
posted by transona5 at 11:53 AM on September 2, 2005


What the hell is the point of this article? Rich people are displaced? I knew that.

The only things I'm upset about are that the rich people are too dumb to realize they shouldn't talk to the reporter, and that said reporter should waste his time with a deliberate troll when he could be doing real journalism.

You know, maybe those people actually put their 'suffering' in perspective? Given the reporter's apparent intentions in making them look as foolish as possible, how would I know?
posted by maledictory at 11:54 AM on September 2, 2005


Man, somebody needs to bus the looters to these people's homes...
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 PM on September 2, 2005


They just printed this to make me even angrier than I already am.
posted by matildaben at 12:05 PM on September 2, 2005


Metafilter: I weep at the horror of running low on ice cubes
posted by Rothko at 12:06 PM on September 2, 2005


I'd just like to thank the NYTimes for presenting me with a less horrifying story than most coming from the area. This is a taste of future stories, though. Once all lives are saved, they need to be placed.
posted by Busithoth at 12:31 PM on September 2, 2005


No reg required for this link.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 1:18 PM on September 2, 2005


/me wonders about razor burn.
posted by neilkod at 1:22 PM on September 2, 2005


Eat the rich.
posted by aramaic at 11:09 AM PST


Nah. All that pilates and yoga makes 'em tough and stringy. Though, I hear if you marinate them in a cheap bottle of red wine, they'll get nice and tender...
posted by RakDaddy at 1:25 PM on September 2, 2005


Our local TV news did a story on a displaced high school senior who had trained all summer, hoping to get a good college football scholarship. Now that he's in Austin, all that's up in the air. Blah, blah, blah...

While I do feel some bit of sympathy for this individual, my general response to this 'human interest' story was 'Boo fucking Hoo!'
posted by tippiedog at 2:01 PM on September 2, 2005


While the children once enjoyed the best private schools New Orleans had to offer, Mrs. Bowling said, she was now scrambling to get them enrolled in Baton Rouge. "I've tried to pull my strings here," she said, but nothing had come through yet.

Upon reading these lines, ParisParamus' cold heart finally broke, and his tears burst forth like so many breached levees.
posted by maryh at 2:12 PM on September 2, 2005


I first read it as "When Socialists Get Displaced"
posted by gyc at 3:19 PM on September 2, 2005


No no, "When Socialists Get Displaced" is what happens on Metafilter.
posted by TricksterGoddess at 3:43 PM on September 2, 2005


Erm... don't rich people have credit cards?
posted by Joeforking at 4:32 PM on September 2, 2005


Why are the "rich" so despised when most, if not everyone, secretly or openly aspires to be among them?

Disagree? Members of which demographic buy the most lottery tickets and when someone eventually wins, how much of those winnings are given to charity?

Gimme a break.
posted by Marygwen at 5:43 PM on September 2, 2005


Erm, I dunno, if I won the lottery I'd invest some money for education, take care of my friends, and create a trust fund for some charities. I'm not some crazy saint-person, so I don't think it's that out of the question.

This isn't "hating the rich"--this is hating people whose lives are so ridiculously out of perspective that they consider having only one ice cube in their cocktails to be a sacrifice. These people tend to be rich because they haven't encountered real hardship in their lives.

I mean, personally, I would never want to get to that point of being rich where I was so self-centered that shopping at a thrift store seemed like a huge deal. It's retarded.
posted by schroedinger at 6:13 PM on September 2, 2005


"Upon reading these lines, ParisParamus' cold heart finally broke, and his tears burst forth like so many breached levees."

Never happen. I think he's a sociopath.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:41 PM on September 2, 2005


Marygwen: Way to point out prejudice against the rich by reenforcing (and not supporting with evidence) a prejudice against the poor. I guess we know which side you are on.
posted by Skwirl at 2:28 AM on September 3, 2005


Someone once had sage words for me when I started to complain about something and caught myself... I starting thinking that I should not complain at all -- what right would I have to register any complaint when I am not ____ in ____ without ____ [insert dire situation/place/time]. I wish I could remember that wisdom.

Not that I am trying to defend ice-cube rationing...

Just this past week, as I cleaned a finished basement from toe to toe form a minor flood (sewer back-up from the lovely combined storm/sanitary sewer that is old Cambridge, MA) I was bitching about the humidity -- not just in the basement but the unusually tropical air. I could not stop thinking that it was not so bad. Sure, my neighbors might not have been on a mould-killing, chlorine-fumes breathing spree in their houses but my neighborhood is not the current New Orleans.

I would be hard pressed to never find someone worse off than I -- in time or place -- but human nature is human nature. Most all have thanks to give and complaints to register. No one likes to have their life turned upsidedown. There are people in the world who do not complain, right? I aspire to that but am afraid I am unlikely to achieve it. *wanders off to grumble about insomnia*
posted by Dick Paris at 3:17 AM on September 3, 2005


"This isn't "hating the rich"--this is hating people whose lives are so ridiculously out of perspective that they consider having only one ice cube in their cocktails to be a sacrifice."

Well, obviously, compared to the thousands of people whose suffering is orders of magnitude greater, the suffering of these rich people is just nothing.

But I think the point made was a different - and sociologically interesting - one: that even when they are aware of the scale of a tragedy and the suffering of so many others, people generally tend to gauge their current circumstances by comparing them with their *own* pasts.

It's not surprising, or even sociologically grotesque in itself, that a rich person would consider a lack of ice cubes to be a personal sacrifice. It's just the way it is for that demographic.
posted by paperpete at 4:04 AM on September 3, 2005


oPEN Complaining is not acceptable among the upper-midlle, upper classes so they use euphemisms. If you were well read, you'd know this. The article was tongue-in-cheek, at best . . . buying houses with suitcases full of cash? People stopped at an ATM before evacuating and withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars? That's quite a daily limit; mine is $400.

All displaced parents with children are concerned about getting their kids in school. BTW: people who pay for private school are also paying for public schools that they don't use therefore, allbeit inadvertedly contributing to a better teacher/student ratio.

A lot of renters just lost their homes and will have to find new places to rent. A lot of homeowners just lost their homes and will have to find places to rent while they continue to pay mortgages.

Skwirl: I'm on the side of anyone being unfairly bashed.
posted by Marygwen at 9:31 AM on September 3, 2005


I don't understand what's happening here. If I am mugged and get a black eye and a tooth knocked out, are people going to sneer at me for not getting multiple stab wounds like another victim?

Folks may be suffering from compassion exhaustion, but this is just silly and mean spirited.
posted by taz at 12:01 PM on September 3, 2005


The point isn't the wealth, it's the self-absorption.

Sacrifice is not having to choke down lukewarm water as opposed to chilled Fiji. Someone who brisks at the idea of having to wear second hand clothes, as if they are somehow above them, doesn't even have the faintest clue what Sacrifice means. It's sad.

It may be something you'd think in passing, but no normal human being would equate fewer ice cubes in their water with with some sort of hardship, especially in front of a reporter.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:52 PM on September 3, 2005


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