Pirate City

Holy cow, S. brought me the new Paris Review saying only “There’s a piece on Jean Lafitte you’re going to love.” And so I flip through and there it is–“Pirate City” by Rich Cohen and, yep, holy shit. It’s excellent. Every bit of it is excellent. And it’s accompanied by these sad and mysterious water color paintings.

And it’s more a story of New Orleans in general, kind of arguing that, even as New Orleans existed before Lafitte, he’s still the spiritual father of the city.

And I buy it. Really. It makes me want to argue that the spiritual father of Nashville is someone like Bob Renfroe or our friend Joseph Deraque–men who could be barely recognized as men, who still made the city worth living in, who protected it when they could have turned their backs on it, who are mostly forgotten now, for lack of the right last name, the right racial or ethnic demographic.

But all that is just to say that Cohen says this–“History is not what’s remembered, but what remains when everything else is forgotten”–which I kind of want to think about for a million years.


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