The Gomez Addams Memorial New Orleans Christmas Display

Homeless for the holidays Katrina display draws ire

METAIRIE, Louisiana (AP) -- It's no ordinary holiday season in the Gulf Coast this year, so Frank Evans built an unconventional holiday display at a suburban New Orleans shopping mall to match. He thought the tiny blue-tarped roofs, little toppled fences and miniature piles of hurricane debris in the display he builds annually for the mall struck just the right humorous tone. The mall disagreed and told Evans, a landscape architect from nearby Gretna, to dismantle it.

Bob and Jill Patin of Gentilly liked the "You Loot, We Shoot" graffiti on one of the ruined refrigerators. "It's priceless," Jill Patin said. The couple, who are rebuilding their home that had wind and flood damage, came to the mall just to see the display, she said. And they weren't alone.

Kim Koster heard about it and brought her camera. "It's like putting Christmas lights up on your FEMA trailer. It just makes you feel better," said the New Orleans resident, whose home was flooded.

Update: A few more pictures here.

Update 2: Due to public demand, it's going back up!

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15 Responses:

  1. phreddiva says:

    If the victims don't mind then whose business is it to say otherwise??

    • candice says:

      In the local news Lakeside's management was quoting complaints from patrons. (http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1133336559287360.xml)

      Most of us though, are just annoyed that we missed it. Dark humor is everywhere, like the people dressed up as blue roofs and refrigerators on Halloween.

      • infrogmation says:

        Yep. I would have put up with going to the Mall at Commercialmas (which I usually avoid) to see that.

        I bet it would have been good for business if it had stayed up.

    • susano_otter says:

      The business whose property the display is on?

      • phreddiva says:

        apparently.

      • xenogram says:

        It's not censorship if it's private property, of course. And just about everything is private property. Clever that.

        • semiclever says:

          As long as different people own different properties I think this is basically OK. The problem with government censorship is that they can (attempt to) control all expression. Well, that's not the only problem, probably...

          • xenogram says:

            It's nice to know that you can enjoy freedom of expression in the privacy of your own home.

            Assuming you don't rent of course.

        • wfaulk says:

          Apparently, you need a dictionary. It's censorship regardless of whether or not it's done by a governmental organization or a private one. The difference being that private organizations are not constrained by the same rules that governmental ones are, at least in the US.

  2. boonedog says:

    I think it would make me feel better to see something like that instead of trying to pretend like everything is supposed to be normal when it's not.

    But then, I have never lived in New Orleans so who knows what I would think if I'd lost my home and spent a week stuck in a falling apart sports stadium with no food or water. I might have a totally different perspective on things.

    It still seems like all it takes is a couple people to say they're offended and just about anything will be taken out of the public eye just to avoid lawsuits and bad press.

    • xenogram says:

      Anything worth saying will offend somebody. If it didn't, it could only be because everybody already agreed with you, and then you wouldn't need to say it.

    • infrogmation says:

      "I think it would make me feel better to see something like that instead of trying to pretend like everything is supposed to be normal when it's not."

      I agree, and I am living in New Orleans.

      So, Christmas Tiny-Town shows evidence that they've gone through some of the same stuff we see remaining evidence of every day, but Xmas goes on anyway? Okay then.

      Post about the display on the neworleans LJ community, with more photos and discussion.

      I find it sorta interesting that the first person on the nola community to object to the "dark humor" as offensive was someone who calls themselves "dethcherub" and has a "Today's Weather In Hell" icon on their user info page.