Misery loves company. A harsh concept, but perhaps on some primal, instinctive level people do find some level of security knowing that others have endured the same suffering as they have been through. Yet, we do not strive to live in a primal, instinctive society. We strive to live as a compassionate, civil society. This compassion is historically greatest in the Deep South, where hospitality is the norm during most days, and sacrifice for our neighbors is the norm during days of tragedy. It is for this reason that I was very disappointed the The Advocate’s headline of Nov. 1, which read, “New Yorkers get taste of post-disaster living.”

How how does The Advocate callously forget the post-disaster living which occurred after 9-11? I know the point which is trying to be made in this headline. Certainly, New Yorkers are experiencing hardships which they are unprepared for, but this headline smacks of a smug lack of caring that is not indicative of who we are as Louisianans. This isn’t a “tit-for-tat” contest. It is human suffering. We are Louisiana. We do not measure our ability to aid others by what they first do for us.

As the predominant newspaper in Louisiana, The Advocate bears the obligation to not only report the news, but to represent the voice of a great people. This obligation is present whether you like it or not. Sensationalism of human suffering does nothing but posture Louisiana in a very poor light nationally.

We live in a global community, and the world is continually getting smaller. In the future please think before writing. Oh, and one other thing ... I think The Advocate owes the people of Louisiana an apology for representing us in this way, as well as owes an apology to the people of New York.

Russell W. Beall


Baton Rouge