Once again, I am having one of those moments . . . one of those moments when I am all but certain that either I have crossed that thin line into the realm of insanity or maybe, just maybe I am the lone, sane voice in world of craziness.
I can only assume I am one of the three people across the country who did not tune into the Super Bowl on Sunday night for no other reason than I have never been much of a football fan and I saw no reason to feign an interest in the game now. But with my life now connected to Twitter and Facebook, it didn’t take long for me to learn of the power outage felt around the world. Okay, I’ll admit it. I chuckled (just a bit) at the news and thought to myself “serves them right, all the hoopla they made over getting one small section of New Orleans Super Bowl ready while this city still struggles with some serious problems. Good for them.”
Today, the national media is still reporting stories about the 35 or so minutes of darkness that enveloped the Superdome last Sunday night. Mayor Mitch Landrieu has promised to get to the bottom of what went wrong. The City Council’s utility committee is holding an emergency meeting this coming Friday to “press” for answers. Almost everyone seems primed to once again blame Entergy. And no doubt, teams of electricians and engineers at the Superdome are scrambling for answers, which is about the only thing that makes sense to me.
So here is the moment I start pinching myself and asking, “Anitra, has the world around you gone crazy or is it you who is off her rocker? Why are these people making such a monumental deal about 35 minutes of darkness in the Superdome, even if it was during the biggest game of the year? Have you entered the Twilight Zone?”
Now, wait before all of you start with your “this was an embarrassing moment for the city as all eyes fixated on it” arguments. I get that. I also expect that the appropriate parties are hard at work, trying their best to determine the root of the problem and ensuring that it never happens again. And I think that is enough.
I just don’t need the mayor of the city making it one of his priorities to get to bottom of the 35-minute power outage. I don’t need City Council folk holding emergency meetings because of 35 minutes of darkness in the ever-loving Super Dome because I can think of a laundry list of things these folk ought to be focused on right now. I can’t tell you how excited I would get if city leaders would have one real meeting about addressing crime and violence in New Orleans with viable solutions as opposed to empty rhetoric and media campaigns. I actually think I might start having heart palpitations if someone held an emergency meeting on fixing potholes and street lights in every corner of New Orleans. I know the front end of my vehicle would be happy about that prospect.
How about the mayor and city leaders get together and hold an emergency meeting to determine where New Orleans is going to get the money needed to implement the federal consent decree that outlines a much-needed transformation of the New Orleans Police Department instead of throwing up their hands in defeat or defiance and asking that the decree be vacated.
Come on people. Let’s pull ourselves together. I, too, am a firm believer that details deserve our attention and that you measure twice and cut once. I’ve done a little event planning before, though nothing on the scale of a Super Bowl, of course. Still, I understand the debriefing process, determining what went right and what needs to be fine-tuned for the next go-around. But a power outage in the Super Dome even during the biggest game of the year as a matter of city business for a city that has so many other pressing matters is just irrational.
Anitra D. Brown is the managing editor of The New Orleans Tribune. Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of The McKenna Publishing Co. or The New Orleans Tribune.