Sunday, November 27, 2005

What's In A Name... Post-K

BK/AK or is it pre-K/post-K?

The question is how do we relate life's tales from before and after Katrina? Blacks in New Orleans tend to favor the former while whites overwhelmingly use the latter. I personally use and love the pre and post version specifically because the pre-K shouts out that we really knew nothing before Katrina.

And why does this matter? The label really doesn't, but the usage does.

Katrina graduated us into a new world where we're being schooled on virtually every aspect of life whether it be re-understanding love of family to definitions of home or to how America will or won't take care of her own when they are in need.

In order to even convey a simple story, one of these terms must be applied because relating something as base as going to a grocery store and running into an issue with a clerk has a whole psychological sea change about it pre or post-K... the level of hilarity, frustration, idiocy - everything about the story is different and dependent on whether it took place before or after Katrina.

For example take the case of the issue with a grocery store clerk who doesn't understand why a pound of grapes is listed at 88 cents, yet when she rings it up it comes out to be $1.25 - the following are the variables one simply can eliminate from the story by saying pre-K:

• How close to the store closing times of 8pm was it when this took place.
• There are only three grocery stores open.
• There could be a brown-out about to happen and the registers are about to go down.
• Are there any other grapes in the city other than these?
• There are 70 people in line behind you.
• These are the first grapes you've seen in two months.

... and this doesn't even take into account your mental state while buying these grapes...

• Did you just find out that your insurance company has rejected your flood claim.
• Did some contractor run one of the ex-traffic lights and now four-way stop intersections and hit your car.
• Did your brother get arrested last night for not wearing a seat belt.
• Do you have seven people living in your shotgun house and one of them is a cranky old mother-in-law who's been demanding grapes.

... and that's just off the top of my head.

So yes, whether or not you use pre-K/post-K or BK/AK, it's damn necessary and the need for this new descriptor alone crystalizes the monumental event that has taken place in this city.

2 Comments:

Blogger c.lo said...

Hey, I've also got a blog that has some Katrina stuff on it. Check it out: mishto.blogspot.com

8:59 PM, November 28, 2005  
Anonymous Pressing luck said...

Troy! I followed you daily from Baton Rouge immediately post-K, via my computer hooked up to an extension cord from a neighbor's house. Last I checked you were heading out west for a break. I am glad I checked back with you today. These thoughts about K changing everything, are so clear and true. Thanks for sharing this. Elise

12:46 PM, December 14, 2005  

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