Assuming we don’t take Denny Hastert’s initial advice and stencil a giant, NASA-like “ABANDON IN PLACE” sign on New Orleans, we’re bound to see numerous cases of what blogger Val Prieto dubbed “Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome” in Cuba, and Matt Welch described thusly:
Oh, the crumbling, no-longer-beautiful houses! Ah, the lovely two-feet-deep potholes, and rickety Chinese bicycles (because the 50-year-old Chevys and 30-year-old Ladas don’t work, and at any rate there’s no gas). How people can derive pleasure from evidence of the suffering of innocents is beyond me, and few sights are more unseemly to my eyes than seeing a Lonely Planet-waving travel snob whine about how some current or formerly misgoverned hellhole has been “ruined” by all that yucky reconstruction, material success, and (worst of all!) tourism. Oh how pretty!
A similar enviro-Luddite moment is sure to come during the rebuilding of New Orleans. In other words, the desire to maintain the crumbling ruins of New Orleans, rather than rebuild them with sound, functional buildings.
Actually, it will be interesting to see how modern environmentalism (and its accompanying lawyers) slows the progress of rebuilding the city–whose progress will be infinitely slower than the amount of time that it took to rebuild the World Trade Center after 9/11.
Err, what’s that you say? Construction has just barely started after four years?