LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: SUMMER’S END 2016

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Published  September 2016

Summer of 2016 is one we’ll all be limping away from. For those of us who are only emotionally spent after a season of exceptional tragedy, chaos, death, and deluge, we are the lucky ones. My heart especially goes out to anyone cleaning up after the August rainstorms that decimated the greater Baton Rouge area. Sometimes, living in South Louisiana, it feels like there’s no reprieve from Mother Nature’s tough love. Between horrors both local and global, it also feels like the whole world is on fire and everything’s just a commercial break away from exploding into some apocalyptic hellscape. This might sound crazy, but I find consolation in the reminder that it’s always been this way. I think about ancient times, when clans of early humans roamed the land and looked around in sheer bewilderment. Weather and disease were just some of the mysterious forces that could wipe them out at any moment. Fast forwarding several thousand years, my mother tells stories about grade school classroom drills of the ‘50s, where students ducked under their desks, a thin layer of plywood their only defense against a potential nuclear holocaust. Today we look at the geopolitical landscape and wonder still: how long do we have? As a Vonnegutian humanist, I laugh at this question, because the answer will always be: not long, but that’s no reason to stop trying. It’s that absurd contradiction that so many of us live with in New Orleans, and I think it’s a big part of this city’s special sauce, as well as this here magazine. This whole operation is a fool’s errand at best, but we’re going to run it anyway. Thanks for coming with us. —Dan Fox

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