As Gustav closes in on New Orleans, the discussion rages about how to help the people there, to what extent, and to what extent they should be expected to help themselves. In a broad sense, I think these questions miss the roll New Orleans plays in our national consciousness. In the King's court, you have your financial advisor, your minister of health, your foreign minister, your general, and your fool. The fool creates nothing, fights no one. His role is to entertain, to make everyone laugh, feel merry, and to rest from their burdens.
New Orleans is our fool. New York may be bigger, Los Angeles cooler, but when we think about having the most fun, nowhere matches New Orleans. The music, the food, the Mardi Gras madness are like nothing else on this continent (I'm not sure about Carnival in Brazil). It's where adults can still go for some good clean dirty fun. Of course they are not as prepared as they should be. Of course they can't completely help themselves. The fool grows no crops, and mans no gun.
We have to save New Orleans, for we have nothing like her to take her place if she is gone. Besides, without New Orleans, Louisiana becomes a cross between Mississippi and Arkansas. Ugh, nuff said.