Here's what I've been thinking about New Orleans (and Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama): This is America.
It is not some extension of America; not pseudo-America; not America the way Hong Kong was British, but actual Heartland, voted-for-Bush America.
For all our ridiculous songs and poems and books and movies and news channels and radio talk shows and cutesy fucking chain e-mails and chest thumping about how great we are, all our rodeo clown patriotism, this, World, is how we treat our own. We ignore one another. We leave one another to die and rot in the street.