New Orleans. Like many Americans, I watched with a combination of fascination, horror and great sadness as water destroyed countless acres of New Orleans in August of 2005. For days we all watched as citizens of our country stood on roofs surrounded by water, waving their arms for help. Many of us wondered what the hell was happening in our great country that these people were still waiting for help as the hours burned past.
Like many, I was outraged and placed the blame squarely on an administration that seemed to be concerned with everything but the welfare of the people it had been charged to protect. The more I learned, the more angry I became. Michael Brown? Who is this man? What was your excuse? Oh, I see, New Orleans was the problem. Well then, that's that.
One of the only bright spots in this whole disaster was the American people, who donated money, goods and other things they perhaps couldn't spare to help their neighbors, showing out the Bush administration for the ineffective and completely dangerous bunch they were.
Three years later, I wanted to go to New Orleans with a film crew and talk to some of the people there to try to get an understanding of where they were at present, how they were feeling and what the state of their city was. Basically, I wanted to see what three years and billions of dollars devoted to reconstruction and restoration gets you.
For the millions of people from all over America and the world, New Orleans is much more than a city. It is culture, it is life, it is a damn good time. If we lose New Orleans, we lose big. I wanted to remind people that while things are better than when parts of the city were submerged, there is still a long way to go to bring the city back to full strength. Also, what I wanted to point out was that there's more than just rebuilding to be done in New Orleans. To prevent future disasters, a great deal of attention must be paid to the environmental factors that will absolutely impact the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana if a great deal of attention and concern is not directed at this very large man made problem.
Thanks to our excellent producers, sturdy film crew and good luck, I think we have put together a good bit of programming that is worth watching. I am thankful to IFC for allowing us the budget and the boundless latitude needed to do the work and bring all this to light. I hope you watch this and that it inspires you to never forget one of the vital cultural bastions the world has, New Orleans.
Henry Rollins: Uncut from New Orleans
Tune in: Friday, November 7th at 10:30pm EST/PST
IFC (Independent Film Channel)
A new Rollins documentary/live stage show every Friday night through the month of November only on IFC.