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The Serpent and the Rainbow February 25, 2007

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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The world is not after Haiti as so many of us feel. The cold truth is the world’s indifference, and if there is one thing a Haitian hates it is to be unconsequential. It does not matter what is said about you, as long as you are the subject of conversation. Perhaps at some international soiree idle chatter passes to Haiti, but I doubt it.

–The mysterious stranger on the hotel veranda speaks to author Wade Davis in chapter six his book The Serpent and The Rainbow.

How true these words ring to an Orleanian, particularly to one who has the photos of two ancestors who fled here from the slave revolts of the island. This week the president will come and go, diverting scores of police from their desperately needed rounds. When he leaves, nbothing will have changed for the better or the worse, except by chance. No, that is not entirely true. What will have changed–a bit of debris moved or a house rebuilt or a life restored–will have happened in spite of him, by our own efforts. To him, we are just another backdrop for Important Business Elsewhere.


1. Mystery island. « The Hieroglyphic Streets - May 17, 2009

[…] (Whole Earth Review) appreciates the vivid portrait of Haitian spirituality. Mark Folse heard an echo of New Orleans. Here is the trailer from a 1987 movie adaptation, apparently based on the book only in the loosest […]


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