Monday, September 05, 2005

A Guilty Labor Day

The U.S. has a lot of "pretend" places modeled on real historic places. Just within a few blocks of Las Vegas is a fake Egyptian Pyramid and a fake Roman Forum. They are idyllic models of the real places, with the warts removed and souvenirs added.

And there is a pretend New Orleans - right in the heart of Disney Land, and probably my favorite place in the park.

As I strolled with my family through the fake New Orleans on Friday, I couldn't help wonder if, like the places in Vegas, this would be the only way to experience the city any more; if the three-quarters scale buildings, the live Disney Jazz bands, and Pirates of the Caribbean would be the only New Orleans future generations would ever know.

So as I enjoyed the holiday weekend with my family I felt a pang of guilt that I was enjoying myself while so many fellow Americans were still suffering. And the sad irony wasn't lost on me that I was having fun in a clean, sanitized New Orleans while the real one was still under 20 feet of water.

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