We’re months into the Gulf oil spill, and the New York Times yesterday published an article entitled “Cajuns on Gulf Worry They May Need to Move Again.” Local news articles seem to fluctuate between “Cajuns/Louisianians are too tough to defeat” to “Louisiana/Cajun culture under dire threat.” Now I know this isn’t strictly about music, but culture is the supporting matrix for music. If the culture’s gone, the music won’t last long. Datelined Chauvin, this article suggests that many Cajuns will have to or want to leave their homes as a result of the primary environmental damage of the oil spill or the secondary damage from economic loss. A twenty-four year old counsels his parents: “The business is dead and this life is over.” Harsh words, and I wonder where he lives. Is a voluntary “Grand Derangement” in the future? I seriously doubt it for several reasons. First, not all Cajuns live in the marshes. There are as many or more who live in the prairies of Louisiana. Secondly, world history has proven that people will hold on to their home, wherever it is, no matter how damaged or besieged it is. Look around today to see how many conflicts are as a result of holding on to “my home” no matter what the cost.
The article is available for free now, but will eventually move behind a “pay wall,” requiring payment to read. So read it now! Or check your local public library for online newspaper access.