Get ready for a rant from NOPD Homicide Detective Frank Renzi on why all the Super Bowl hype totally ticks him off. Are you ready for the stupid-stats?
Want to know how many people in New Orleans didn't get to watch the game because they were MURDERED?
This is another in a series of recent posts to CrimeSpace that have little or no relevance to crime fiction. Detective Renzi's rant could lead one to believe that the Super Bowl was responsible for 20 murders in New Orleans BEFORE the Super Bowl. His whole rant is faulty thinking. The responsibility for these murders lays with the killers.
We Americans seem to be addicted to "looking for the causes" when the answers we find invariably puts the blame onto some societal (Super Bowl) factor. The idea is that we eliminate the "cause" all will be roses and cupcakes. Wrong. People are killers not football games. If every citizen turned off the Super Bowl and did as Detective Renzi says, the 20 who were killed BEFORE the super bowl would still be dead. There is a technical term for Renzi's post- Crap.
Your reasoning is faulty, Brian. In no way did Renzi place responsibility for the murders on the Super Bowl. His point was this. The hype over the Super Bowl is a big distraction. It keeps the rabble in line. [ever read any Noam Chomsky?] The rabble sat on their couches and watched idiotic commercials and gobbled up food and tweeted about Madonna.
Maybe if some of the millions of dollars spent on beer and pizza that day were spent on decent schools and more cops and crime prevention, there would be fewer murders EVERYWHERE. Not just in New Orleans.
You're correct in one respect, Brian. Football games don't kill people. People with guns kill people. Lots of them. Every year.
Thanks for the comment, John. I agree. When it comes to murder it's mostly about the 3 M's: Means, Method and Motive.
Thanks for the comment, Jon. And yes, I figured the topic was "sexy" enough to result in some interesting comments. I didn't see much of the game, just the last two minutes, but I did see some of the "lame" commercials, namely the one with Clint Eastwood. Political commentators were saying it was really a message promoting Obama's re-election. Huh? What were they smoking? :)
I agree, but what really confused me was when certain commentators compared the Eastwood ad to ones run by Ronald Reagan supporters, the so called "morning in America" ads. Maybe I missed something, but the Eastwood ad was DARK, almost sinister (make my day?) whereas the Reagan ads were bright, red-white-blue cheerleader ads. ??
New Orleans does have a huge murder rate. Is he suggesting nobody cares? I've been to New Orleans twice. The city struck me then to have a rather casual attitude towards life. Maybe that's part of the charm, but it sure spelled doom for a lot of poor people during the hurricane and may be responsible for the crime statistics.
Hmm, well, Hurricane Katrina is a whole nuther topic. I beg to differ with your comment that New Orleans has "a rather casual attitude toward life." This had nothing to do with the people who couldn't afford to evacuate prior to Hurricane Katrina.
The federal engineers (not New Orleans engineers) who built the levees were responsible for the flooding, not the hurricane. The levees failed because they were improperly built and never maintained. I lived there for 9 years and I know this, but few people who live elsewhere do. If you don't believe me, search the Times Picayune and find the articles that document this. But of course, once the horrible video footage during Katrina in 2005 left the TV news, no one cared. That's right. People don't care. Why should they, when they can sit back and eat pizza and drink beer and watch the Super Bowl? Many of my friends lost everything during Katrina, their homes and everything in them. Some of them returned and used their life savings to rebuild their homes.
And, of course, there were nutcases and preachers who blamed the city's residents and their "decadent lifestyle" for Katrina. All those gay people who were planning a parade on Labor Day. aha. God sure did punish them, right?
Agree about the superbowl, but at the time of Katrina there was an almost total unpreparedness by the city authorities. Before, during, and after. News accounts were very clear on that. And state authorities weren't really much better. The whole thing was shameful in a modern country like the U.S.
As for those who had cars: they sat stalled by traffic on the roads out unless they left very early. Most people just didn't think anything much would happen.
I.J, I agree that the city was woefully unprepared. But so are other cities of comparable and larger size. I live in Boston. A terminal for LNG tankers is located 2 miles from my house. If one of those tankers blew up, I'd be toast. And so would many people in Boston (3 miles away) because there is NO evacuation plan at all.
As for the response after Katrina, let's not forget the fly-by President Bush did at 30,000 feet, or his praise of the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management) director, "Heckuva job Brownie," or the fact that while thousands of NO residents were desperately seeking food and water, Brownie was sitting in a nice restaurant in Baton Rouge having dinner.
Evacuations from a city the size of New Orleans are extremely difficult. I know because I evacuated twice, once for Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and again in 2008 (when evacuation plans were supposedly improved, for Hurricane Gustave. In 2008, I sat alone in my car for 22 hours! Why? Because the idiot Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbor, closed the Interstate I-10 at the MS border, yes, closed it, so Louisiana resident couldn't evacuate through MS to Georgia or Florida, they had to drive north on a 2 lane road with NO toilet facilities. That evacuation cost me $700. When I returned to my condo, the electricity had not even gone off.
I could go on, but let's not beat a dead horse. However, I advise anyone who lives in a large urban area, like LA, for example, to consider what might happen if there was a catastrophe and they had to get out of town fast.