Archive for December, 2006

A fella on Craigslist has the following domains for sale. I wonder if a portion of the proceeds go to…well, anything other than his billfold. Profiting off of diaspora, that’s great. Maybe some of the exiles can use their Road Home money to buy a domain.

NOLA Related Domains for Sale

What a fucking waste.

I was hesitant to post this here because I wanted this blog to be less about me and more about my experience in the city but I thought about it and I’m now sure it applies.

My fiance and I will be on HGTV’s show “House Hunters” on New Years Day. We filmed part of the show before the flood and the other part after. See if you can tell which is which. The show chronicles us through our existence in Mid City (filming was one day interrupted by, “I got ORANGES and BANANAS!”) and on to the place we later bought in Algiers Point.

Our performances are going to be very stilted and I’ll probably embarrass myself but, what the hell, we could all use a laugh right?.

Tune in Monday. Below is a link to the show preview where we are referred to as an “eclectic twosome.”

Buying in The Big Easy

I really love listening to WTUL. I love their variety. I love their local music. I love their Indie. I love that I can hear a Spanish version of “Desolation Row,” followed by Interpol, followed by Rebirth.

Now if the DJs could give it a little more effort that would be greeeaaat.

I realize these are college kids and their ilk (never the most excited bunch) but perhaps they could just give us a bit more enthusiasm and, I don’t know, substance, because they often sound just dumb.

Perhaps I am compelled to this way of thought due to the repeated use of the word, “uh.” Aren’t these kids communications majors or something? How are they going to get voice-over work sounding like a burn victim? I know there are other avenues in music where you don’t have to use your voice but how about the integrity of the broadcasts? Do they think we care if they are hungry and Jimmy (listeners have no idea who Jimmy is) will bring them a bag of potato chips when he gets off work?

I’m not down with Clear Channel eliminating DJs the way it has in recent years but if this is the alternative, what’s the loss?

I should let it be known that this doesn’t apply to ALL WTUL DJs. I have heard some sharp ones who knew their shit and did good interviews and had information on their artists and made adept references to their influences. It’s great to hear that.

Then other times I hear this…

“Hey everybody this is Katie and you are listening to WTUL New Orleans. Uh, that was Bjork singing “Human Behavior.” Before that you heard uh, R.L. Burnside with ’2 Brothers.’ Before that was uh, let me see if I can find it…not sure. I’ll ask Jimmy when he comes back. I was hungry so he’s getting me some Subway. What’s next? Oh yea, events calender. Tonight we have Walter Wolfman Washington at The Maple Leaf, West Bank Mike at the Old Point, Kermit Ruffins at Vaughans, The New Orleans Jazz Vipers at Donna’s and uh, a few more but I lost the other sheets. Oh good, here comes Jimmy with my sandwich. Here’s TV on The Radio with “Let the Devil In.”

Smoke another one Katie.

I realize many people know about this documentary already but I thought I would post another link to it and try to reach just a few more people. Like Chomsky says, education is “the foundation of a free society.”

“Follow the money…”

Official Site: Left Behind

Let’s not have any illusions. People ARE leaving. And not just those stuck in FEMA trailers or those who lost their homes and don’t have it in them to stay, but homeowners and dyed-in-the-wool New Orleanians too.

I’ve seen some of my most fervent New Orleans-loving friends ditch the city in the last year. These were the ones who always knew more than me about the city’s heritage, culture and dynamics. And they never missed out on a chance to correct me if I made an inaccurate (by their standards) statement about a former street name or a particular colorful character in New Orleans history. They had a pride in their city that could be interpreted as arrogance. And they have their reasons for going and I have mine for staying.

See, even though I have been a frequent visitor to the city and even though this is my second stint living here and even though I pay property taxes here and even though I have done my best to study (formally and colloquially) the city’s populace, heritage and geography, it has been implied on more than one occasion that I wasn’t a REAL New Orleanian. I didn’t go to high school here and didn’t have a neighborhood I grew up in so I would never be anything more than an outsider. When I made certain points on subjects such as education or politics, my opinion was disregarded because I didn’t understand how it was here. Actually, I understood, I just didn’t agree.

Then the going got tough and a lot of them got going, right out of incorporated New Orleans and in many cases, out of Louisiana altogether. And, again, not just the ones that lost their homes (who could blame them?) but many who didn’t. They just up and left. Leaving an outsider here to do the dirty work with uncertainty, bewilderment and that tiny shred of aspiration that they couldn’t find within themselves.

Of course, they call me every now and then and sometimes come back in town “to visit” and it is inevitable that they begin chattering about how much better life is where they are and how messed up it is here (from what they read in the papers). They are horrified by the crime and how its getting worse; they can’t believe the election results. They say it with a sour grapes tone. They don’t realize their words are a vexation to my spirit. Or perhaps they do and they simply need to convince themselves they did the right thing.

Then they say something that is very profound and telling. They say, “It’s never going to change.” And this you don’t hear so often from an outsider. And perhaps it is that type of attitude that doomed the city in the first place. That learned helplessness that leads people to think they couldn’t create a great city from the corruption and decay of New Orleans, that the figurative gumbo that makes the city amazing couldn’t coexist with growth and jobs and, yes, even development.

It makes one wonder if people’s inability to convince themselves that they could oust crooked politicians or lower the crime rate also led them to think the levees could never be improved.

I admit there is a certain mystique about New Orleans as a “pirate’s paradise,” that the backwardness of its ways-and-means can be charming. But in the by-and-by, the system failed. The shores washed away and the levees burst, the criminals ran free in the streets and the leadership was infested by greed and manipulation. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am sure that there are those who wish it could all be like it was before the levees broke. But, not being from here, I’m not so sure that was so magnificent either. Because disaster seemed inevitable. Bums on the street even told me so. For a city that valiantly resisted change for so long, change was forced on them – whether they wanted it or not.

Now we are in an aftermath and the outlook is indeed muddy. And many are leaving in droves. Whether they are doing so because they are unwilling to face what New Orleans may become (wasteland or Disneyland), or because they simply can’t stand the stress of it anymore, one thing is for certain. In 2007 New Orleans, only the strong shall survive.

And perhaps, at the onset of this critical time in the city’s history, the strong are who need to be here anyway. Strength and inspiration are what’s needed right now. I’m here and I’m trying to do my part. I’m paying my taxes and arguing with jerks and buying locally and staying put.

So, can I be REAL New Orleanian now?

I came across the following post at Your Right Hand Thief and the stupidity of its subject, a Bridge City resident named Diane P., astounded me.

A strategic Dollar Bill voter explains her rationale

Diane P. is playing a game of “screw your neighbor.” She supported Dollar Bill in hopes of pushing her own non-majority beliefs and the good of the region be damned.

Rather than showing the nation and each other that something CAN be accomplished through the solidarity of Louisianans, she instead voted in favor of disunion simply due to an “if.” “If” Jefferson gets indicted and then “if” someone as bad doesn’t take his place.

If she wanted to work towards something (as she suggests she will do to get Jefferson indicted) perhaps she could have worked towards forcing Carter to recognize the power of the conservative electorate in her district?

No, instead Diane P. embarrasses Louisiana in the eyes of the country with her back-assward method of voting.

My only hope is that she felt as foolish and traitorous when she cowardly punched that button that read “Jefferson.” I hope she felt creepy and spineless.

Oh, and of course Dollar Bill would tout his victory as a mandate. What the hell did she expect he would do?

Then, even IF Bill is removed from office it will STILL look like it was the Feds who did it rather than the idiotic voters in Louisiana who two Saturdays ago essentially made themselves look stupid again.

…I’ll be the one in the gray “Che” Nagin shirt.

Got the invite from my season ticket-holding neighbor a few minutes ago. Let’s see if we can clinch the division title and a playoff birth at home in the dome.

I also haven’t been to the Dome since the shit hit the fan. So that will be cool.

Geux Saints!

From the front page of award-winning today…



Whoa! Doesn’t Danae Columbus know about the phrases, “jerry-rigged” or its cousin, “jimmy-rigged”? Not sure who jimmy or jerry are but apparently, you don’t want them near any of your endeavors.

And while doing a little research on the above link I came across this enlightening page. Who knew the Dutch had so many stereotypes?

I guess one could say Columbus ignited a shitstorm which may also be referred to as tar baby (a word which amazingly bestows upon its operator an immediate example of itself shortly thereafter).