Archive for the Blogspotting Category

I was looking through the Treme Wikipedia page and saw they had one up for Ashley…

Ashley Morris

But wait, whaaaat? They said he died in Chicago? Have to fix that.

I have to think of a way to put in there he showed up at Rising Tide 2 in spite of the pain from his previous day’s vasectomy. That will always be my favorite Ashmo moment.

Varg: How you doing?
Ashmo: I’m in pain.
Varg: I know, I’m pretty hungover myself.
Ashmo: No, VASECTOMY!

About four years ago, a man who I took at the time to be off his rocker encountered me on the street in front of my house…

A Man on the Morning Street

I just stepped out onto my porch in a bathrobe and said hi to a man walking down the street. He asked me how I was doing and I asked him how he was doing and we got to talking.

He said he was an electrical engineer and he left New Orleans in 1980 and came back recently to see that the city was caught in a time warp.

He then asked me if I knew any geologists because he wanted to talk to them. He said he had an idea for submersible habitats, each the size of the Superdome to be placed in different areas around the region. I am assuming they would be mixed-use most of the time and shelters during storms. He said he wanted to call them “Noah’s Arks.”

My dog Doris was freaking out on him a little bit so we parted ways.

I have a lot of questions about the plausibility of his vision. It sounds far fetched. Then again, the Panama Canal is far fetched. I don’t really want to think about its plausibility really. But the point is this: Why does a man on the morning street have a plan when so many others don’t?

Then I open up my browser today and see this…

Green ‘Ark’ could house 10,000

Hmmmmmmm.

I didn’t blog about it but a few days later my neighbor caught that electrical engineer trying to steal his Times-Picayune.

January
- We were all like, “Holy shit! The Saints won 13 games in a row then lost three and now who knows what the hell is going to happen.” Of course the haters were sure we were going to be one-and-done in the playoffs. A 7 point loss to the Cowboys and a 3 point loss in OT to the Bucs and a loss to Carolina by our back-ups was all the convincing needed.

- There was a hard freeze that lasted for like a week and a bunch of vegetation died. New Orleans looked like a landscape out of The Road. Actually, New Orleans was a landscape out of The Road. People’s pipes froze and many of us sported an Earthy, well-worn aesthetic.

- John Georges had a hard time with New Orleans bloggers. Excuse me, I mean dangerous people on the Internet.

- The Saints went to the Super Bowl and muh-fuckers went all crzy. The Saints demolished two future hall of fame quarterbacks on the way.This graphic sums it all up.

February

- The District C City Council race got all ugly in Algiers. And then it got all uglier.

- The Saints won the Super Bowl, Mitch got elected by 70% of the vote and then it was Mardi Gras and I am not exactly sure how I persevered.

March

- Hmmmm, what DID happen in March?

April

- I was particularly embaressed that I only posted twice in the entire month of April but, what the hell, the festivals take a lot out of a folk artist.

- But even though I wasn’t at my best in May and the blog was starting to fade, the whole thing got going again the next month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 13 men and sunk.

May

- The Deepwater Horizon explosion and leak continued to gush the blood of the Earth into the Gulf, killing oysters, pelicans, people’s livlihoods and essentially fucking everything up for probably the rest of my life, which may not be very long considering I am a living, breathing experiment on the effects of Corexit on a human physiology.

- Newt Gingrich called Louisiana a “testbed of government failure” and that fucking bastard was actually right.

- Of course there were always those fuckers who liked to sum things up and make everything seem so much easier to understand than the rest of us. These are the true geniuses of our society. The ones that are enlightened enough to see beyond all the details and simply see the big picture. Fuck all that small stuff. These are the people who need a picture of the food on their menu at restaurants. … Oh, uh, they said anyone who drove a car should STFU about the spill.

- Treme was in full swing by this time and several current and former New Orleans bloggers made a fantastic blog about the show called Back of Town.

- I can also cite this month as the moment the honeymoon was over between me and Barack Obama. Though I will still vote for him in 2012 because the GOP just can’t seem to figure out how not to suck.

June

- I started to realize local gumments were doing shit that, well, sort of sucked from the vantage point of the electorate. DUI checkpoints? Red light and speed cameras? 8 o’clock music curfews? Placard reentry. Hey guys, FUCK THAT.

- By this time the spill was all over the Gulf and people were either exasperated or infuriated. Others were desperately trying to come up with a solution because BP had their head up their ass. People were talking about sweeping it up with oil tankers and unleashing the river to fight it and Billy Nungesser was talking about building giant berms.

- A major step in the widening of the Huey P. Long bridge took place with the first of three “big lifts.” A completed second truss will be finished next year. So if you want to enjoythe Huey P as it was meant to be experienced, get over to Jefferson soon.

July

By July, some folks had pretty much decided the end was nigh. They had some dubious evidence and they decided it was enough to share with everyone. Folks being fascinated with their own destruction as they are, started having a lot of sex with each other. Actually, that last part didn’t happen.

- I sent a letter to Kristen Palmer about a dangerous intersection in my neighborhood and they said they were sending it along to the traffic department. I have never heard back from them and there hasn’t been much of a change at the intersection. I next need to send them an image of a stop sign that has been attached to a telephone poll a block or so away.

Also, this funny thing happened. I forgot what that whole thing was about. It was about rascism and agriculture. Fuck, I don’t know. Not sure how any of it matters six months later. 72 hour news cycle must be appeased I suppose.

August

- The 2010 Summer was long and relentless. The cicadas whistled strongly. “When cicadas sing strong, the summer runs long.

- August was a decent month for bloggers as a the collection “A Howling in the Wires” was released and the 5th Rising Tide Conference took place. It was agreed upon by many that it was the best yet. It was the drunkest one yet for me. Even the Keynote was cocktailed. Also, other stuff happened.

- The somber 5th anniversary of the Flood came and went. It will be another five years before America has to care again.

- I think BP plugged the well at some point but no one believed a fucking word they said at that point.

September

- Okay, first and foremost, Walgreens started selling BEER. As a Liquor Lobbyist I was thrilled. The free market prevailed over temperance.

- Now, fuck all that other shit because now it’s football season. And all season long, announcers have to identify us as the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

- By the end of the Summer, people were starting to lose it on the Square.

- The measure of Hartley began.

- The Macondo well was officially plugged but the flow of GCCF claims had just begun.

October

- Fall did not really show up for October.

- The Saints began to suck and the Uptown Ladies started coming out of the woodwork. One of them in the comments of this post, a guy named Mike with no e-mail or Web site, seemed genuinely angry about my optimism regarding the Saints ability to bounce back from losses. It was as if he had a personal interest in seeing the team suck. He also presumed I was a bandwagon fan and had me “pegged for Saints fan circa 2006, maybe 2005″ even though it was he who was actually giving up on the team. Anyway, the Saints eventually ended up winning six straight and him and all the Uptown Ladies got all shut the fuck up.

November

- Back in January, people got all pissed off about the NFL trying enforce it’s copyright on merchandise marketed toward Saints fans with black and gold coloring WITH fleur de lis or “Who Dat.” It got really obnoxious and finally just became absurd when David Vitter got all up in the NFL’s grill. In December, these guys made the same claim and no one seemed to give a damn.

- And I’ll just say it again right here, Left Eye deserves more money.

December

- This is really the most significant thing that happened in December 2010.

This entire post is just supplemental commentary to this post over at the Yeller…

There was a commercial a little while back that stated the Saints gave the entire city of New Orleans hope. I’d like to go ahead and clarify that statement as it relates to this one guy…

Ways in which the Saints gave me hope:

I hoped they would no longer be associated with mediocrity.
I hoped they would have a winning season.
I hoped they would make the playoffs.
I hoped they would have home field advantage in the playoffs (for them and because it would bring a lot of tourists and media to the city who may frequent local businesses)
I hoped they would go to the Super Bowl.
I hoped there would be many hours of revelry and camaraderie after their victory.
I hoped for many get-togethers to watch games.
I hoped for the long and healthy careers of the players, coaches and staff.
I hoped for many great highlights to watch on Sunday nights.
I hoped the Super Bowl victory would get the Hyatt by the Superdome redeveloped finally.
I hoped more players would take leadership roles in the community through charitable organizations.
I hoped people who worked at or near the Dome would be very busy and make lots of money and maybe even get raises.

Ways in which the Saints do not give me hope:

The Saints can’t lower my health insurance premiums.
The Saints can’t build levees.
The Siants can’t build schools.
The Saints can’t build hospitals.
The Saints can’t build libraries.
The Saints can’t lower the rents.

Pants says so much here…

American football fans spent 40 years not paying very much attention to the way New Orleans had woven its underperforming football team into its highly ritualized civic and spiritual calendar. New Orleans has a way of elevating or infusing joy into things that other cities may find embarrassing or, worse, take for granted. People think this is a lazy or backward or half-assed place but one thing New Orleans does not do half-assed is love. And New Orleans always loved its football team. For a while last year, people outside of New Orleans were forced to pay some attention to that. And many of those people, as is often the case, just didn’t get it.

Was the Saints Super Bowl victory cathartic? Certainly. But it wasn’t exactly a catharsis for Katrina. First and foremost, it was a catharsis to the many many years of (in good years) mediocrity and (in worse years) ineptitude. We are talking about touchdown play with four laterals and no time left to stay in the playoff hunt negated by a missed extra point. We are talking about never winning a playoff game in the twentieth century. We are talking about a quarterback with his helmet turned backwards stumbling around the field thinking he was blinded by a hit. This franchise broke down Mike Ditka and immortalized Jim Mora Sr. as man with no illusions about the performance of his team.

But I will admit it was a bit more than that. It also a catharsis to the struggles many of us face just living in New Orleans and witnessing the poverty, violence and victimization that exists here. And honestly, those things are what the flood was about in case anyone missed it while uttering, “they deserve it for living there.”

And the Super Bowl celebration was only marginally different than what I experience on most Fat Tuesdays. We are some cathartic motherfuckers. The Super Bowl celebration attached itself to us. We didn’t attach ourselves to it. There is some sort of catharsis on many Saturday and Sunday nights for me honestly.

Jonathon Vilma, Drew Brees, Sean Payton and the other Saints are being amazing community leaders. They are a great group of guys and I thank them for it. But there are many moms and dads out there doing the same.

Back to Pants…

We do what we do. Other people do what they do. Unfortunately what happens often when people who don’t get something are asked to explain that which they do not get is they make something up that they can get. The thing that made the most sense to national media covering the Saints in 2009 was the Katrina meme.

Yes! At the paper we used to call that the “hook to hang it on.” The flood is a good way for America to sum up New Orleans. The story is already there so the journalist has less work to do. The complexities are dismissed. And that’s why Steven Godfrey ended up looking like a jackass. That’s why many people who live in other cities and comment on New Orleans seem like jackasses. They are in such a hurry to assert themselves they ignore the details.

I am actually surprised Godfrey fell for it. I’m thinking if one is in the business of writing commentaries, there should be more critical thought. Everything should be considered. He apparently was critiquing the Saints fanbase for milking Katrina when that really wasn’t a huge part of it. But it’s too complicated (even though it isn’t) for short attention spans.

I never got to read the entirety of his article but if it was taken down by the publisher then he must have failed in his task as a writer somehow. It seems as though he was attempting to justify hating our city because we use Katrina as a way to elevate ourselves. It is amazing that he never considered that his own colleagues perhaps were the ones orchestrating the entire thing. He fucking FELL for it!

I guess when the Lions finally win a Super Bowl they will hang it on the collapse of the auto industry hook rather than the fact the team has been losing for many seasons now and has never made it to the Super Bowl. The Detroit fans need something to rally around and it will be football that gives them hope. Sounds like bullshit doesn’t it? I suppose John Lennon could have wrote that we are doped on religion and sex and football. Only many of us know where football ends and life begins.

I love the Saints. I watch every game. I listen the radio. I holler at my friends about them. I have much love for the defense. I watch replays a little too much. The teams gives me a certain amount of hope. But that hope remains in the realm of football and football related activities. My finances, my health, my marriage, my community – those things remain the same regardless.

And Katrina? I’m not sure if the national media knows this or not but sometimes, I actually go a whole day without even mentioning it. Without even thinking about it. But very rarely do I go a day without showing at least some sort of quiet love for New Orleans.

Looking forward to this live reading by nola bloggers. Readings are an entirely different way to experience the written word. It also gives attendees to take a moment to recognize just what it was we all went through via friends and neighbors who were writing about as it unfolded…

Gallatin & Toulouse Press announces the publication of A Howling in the Wires: An Anthology of Writings from Postdiluvian New Orleans. This collection combines the vivid post-Katrina experiences captured by the best New Orleans bloggers with the work of traditional writers from the same period, cataloging some of the best-written and most powerful reactions of the people who experienced Katrina.

The book launch reading will be Thursday, Aug. 26 7 pm Upstairs at Mimi’s in the Marigy. Open to the public.

The original announcement to the trade is heavy with established writers. Bloggers include Clifton Harris, Ray Shea, Maitri Erwin, Troy Gilbert, Tim Ruppert, Peter Athas, Greg Peters, Sam Jasper, Ashley Morris and others. Cover by Greg Peters. Sam Jasper and Mark Folse, editors with much assistance from Ray Shea.

Proceeds from the book will be donated to Hana Morris.

The T-P article reads…

Berry said he’s never hidden his identity out of fear, but as a way to encourage dialogue about corruption in a city where few problems are addressed head-on.

And that doesn’t make sense. So the “why” question is still out there for me.

‘American Zombie’ blogger outs himself while facing libel suit from City Hall employee

I guess it remains to be seen how the reveal will unfold. But as a living breathing person, Jason Berry has boldly disarmed his accusers who could point out that he was perhaps working for their political rivals or were holding grudges against them for any type of reason. His motives can now be truly shown for what they are, a more transparent city government. He has also become a more solid and accountable citizen journalist in the process. The focus can no longer be, “Who is Ashe Dambala?” and is now, “Is what he wrote correct?” I think there are probably many people working on that right now. And the attention it will bring might be his ultimate triumph. If this lawsuit does come to pass, he will only have to prove his words were true and if they were, how is that going to make his accusers look? Like the trickster from the folk tales, Jason Berry might have just been tossed into the briar patch.

The reveal was bold, tactical and courageous. I support and salute you Jason Berry.

Demon Dingler

That article is drivel. I recall a time when I thought the more verbose I wrote, the more succinct my point would be. I thought it was a manner in distinguishing the educated reader from the knuckle-draggers. I was also 24. The years have brought me to the conclusion that, in the written form, what you say is as important as how you say it. Because, the point is to make a statement and argue that statement – particularly in critique. If a writer is writing a criticism of a person’s artistic venture, it’s of great importance to be clear and to address the merits of the work directly. One might say the article is a form of prose but it reads clunky. It’s cumbersome writing.

I gather that the point of the article, its snooty, grandiose point is that Nola Rising shouldn’t be out encouraging common folk to paint and draw because “art” has no business in the hands of those whose ability is lacking.

Yes, I know about opinions and what they have in common with assholes. But “it’s just my opinion” is a weak argument. Everyone has a right to an opinion so who cares? It’s a Twitter era and an opinion has never meant so little. But does the opinion have merit? Is it presented in an understandable manner?

John Paul Marat, in reference to your article on Michael Dingler, the answer is no. Your article is trash.

Perhaps you may have made a point that was worth arguing. Debates over the merits of art make wonderful discourse. Unfortunately, the article was so filled with your own clumsy gymnastics and your obvious need to show off your vocabulary that you created a piece that is drowned in its own weight. Too much of everything, a maximalist piece of ego, a puddle of cat piss in the carpet.

You chose to fill your work with poorly written sentences like…

Your typical downtown New Orleans street is marred by a noxious mischief monotonous in its ubiquity: A sloppy scribble in a 10-year-old’s handwriting, an oeuvre nonetheless certainly scrawled by a miscreant old enough to be the child’s father.

Alliteration is great in certain types of poetry and lyrics. In commentary and prose it draws the reader away from your point and toward your writing which shouldn’t be the focus but often becomes so in the hands of young or inexperienced writers.

Graffiti reflects our most absurd democratic predilections and inexorable capitalist pressures, where faux urban wranglers driving costly and soon to be obsolete pick-up trucks listen to codified, unimaginative pop music with a Tennessee accent and barroom-brawl lyrics and don designer cowboy hats, all in an affected effort to stake a claim on the inheritance of an idyllic and abandoned rural America.

It is never stated how the diversion into what is wrong with America is the cause or effect of Nola Rising. Or if it is it is so shrouded in triple-weaved literature that it is lost. Ambiguous statements are uttered throughout but no references are made as to the how or why. Much of the article is devoted to the Fall of America (a subject that one doesn’t have to walk very far down the street to find another purveyor of), but it devotes very little to making the connection to Dingler. The article just arrogantly and ignorantly trudges on. We all know the Universe is falling apart, why is this the fault of Nola Rising? You fail to make this point, the only point that was your charge when you began punching keys. The degradation of America is played, we all know about it. You aren’t covering new ground. This is great bad writing.

Ben Johnson correctly perceived

Edmund Burke stated that

composer Robert Schumann’s aesthetic

Thus spoke George Bernard Shaw

If, as in Picasso’s words

That’s five direct quotes. Fella, don’t rely on others to do your talking. It’s stronger writing when you say it yourself. People will buy what you are saying if you stand behind it with your own words and not twisting the words of others. Just use your own statements so no one can come along and say, “That’s not what Shaw meant…”

If, as in Picasso’s words “art is the elimination of the unnecessary”, then the Dinglerization of America applies – but not to the art part. Like Wordsworth’s, let’s hope his words are prophetic as well.

This sentence is all tossed up. Not sure who the “his” refers too. Wordsworth, Dingler or Picasso? And really, adding “ization” to someone’s name is not original, I did it two years ago. Above all, be original. Don’t be derivative.

Though it is funny that the Picasso quote about eliminating the unnecessary was utilized because there could be some serious fat trimmed from the overall commentary. Thanks for providing that quote. I have never heard of it before but it applies perfectly to the article. Though I do wonder if you made the connection.

And also, I hope your parents named you John Paul Marat rather than it being a pen name. Because it’s cowardly to anonymously critique the arts and it’s also an awful pseudonym. Perhaps next time you could go all out and call yourself Maximilien Robespierre.

Dingler’s response here.

Here’s what I can recall off the top of my head about Geek Dinner iv. This will show my ineptitude at placing names and events in anything more than an abstract nature.

- There was a cake with a photo of Karl Rove on it. (This isn’t my original joke it was I think G-Bitch’s)

- There was a sleeping Dangerblond in a chair with pretty good posture. Revelers continued unabated.

- Jeffrey and Menkles told stories of Paris.

- There was some awesome shrimp and grits and I knew at the time who made them but have since forgotten. Hypnotisim could certainly help me remember.

- Patrick told stories of RSD and U of G.

- I brought a bottle of Jimmy Beam and never saw it again.

- There was copious amounts of Schlitz.

- The ginger was in full bloom.

- Again, there was trouble placing who the swimming ’80s celebrities in Danger’s bathroom were.

- It was determined that Jeffrey has huge arms. Presumably from lifting books?

- Peter was described by Lisa’s son as being “jolly” one time at Croissant Dior and this confounds me. Pastries must be the secret ingredient to his happiness.

- Go to Fahey’s with Jeffrey and Menckles at your own risk.

- After starting early that day and then just plowing through till morning I had the type of hangover that has not reared its ugly head since the ’90s.

Perhaps because the lyrics fit him so well, perhaps because the disk was in heavy rotation around the time he died, but, this M. Ward song always makes me think of St. Ashmo. We miss ya.

Lyrics…

Requiem
M Ward

Well he stormed with his feet
And he clapped with his hands
He summoned all of his joy when he laughed
It suffered all of his joy when he cried

And sometimes when he got into talking
Man he could rattle all day long
He was a good man and now he’s gone

Well in war he was a tiger
When it was over like a dove
He summoned all of his strength in the climb
It suffered all of his strength in the fall

And sometimes when he got into fighting
Man he could fight with you all day long
He was a good man and now he’s gone

He put his trust in a higher power
He held his power like a holy grail
He summoned all of his faith in the lifting
It suffered all of his faith in the fail

His heart was stronger than a heavy metal bullet
And that’s why I dedicate this song
He was a good man and now he’s gone

His heart was stronger than a heavy metal
bullet
And that’s why I dedicate this song
He was a good man and now he’s gone

Video…