Archive for March, 2007

I had this dream last night that there were these heavy rains being forecast for the area which would raise the river to dangerous levels. Some neighbors and I must have been on top of the World Trade Center or something because I could see the flooding start to engulf houses building on the other side of the East Bank levee. I was watching a small one get tossed around and I motioned for one of my friends to come to the window and look but then the structure just broke apart.

Everybody was very worried about their houses and asking each other questions when someone came in and said they were going to blow the levee further up the river to divert the flood. It must have happened shortly thereafter because the water level started to lower and then amazingly it began to flow backward. It went down so much that we started to walk out onto parts of it and wade out into others. My fiance marveled at how the huge ships could pass in such shallow water and someone began explaining principles of buoyancy.

We must have walked back across the river to Algiers Point because we met up with some other neighbors and started talking. People started driving trucks around where the river was. We drove up the banks and waved at folks and met people we never knew before and carried on with them about how crazy it all was. Old men had rocking chairs out on the level and wore large hats.

My fiance said, “Now we can walk to the Quarter!”

Then the river got to flowing again and a guy lost his white truck.

Then the cat scratched the bed and I woke up.

After reading Jarvis DeBerry’s recent editorial I have to say I agree with him on most points. Then he pulls out the race card out at slaps it on the table.

I think it’s been forced into the ground that Ralph Lupin made a mistake and should feel embarrassed by his own actions. I myself have had more than my fair share of fun ridiculing a man who has accomplished more in his life than I have. But when someone attempts to force the comment into a racial one, as DeBerry did in the closing paragraphs of his commentary, then they should be embarrassed as well, embarrassed for diluting the serious subject of racism.

It wasn’t a racial comment. It wasn’t. Sorry. There are dozens of other words Lupin could have chosen if he was attempting to single White out for the color of her skin rather than the content of her character. It was probably a little sexist, and certainly stupid.

DeBerry can use VH-1 and Amos ‘n’ Andy as his references all he wants to but they don’t hold water. One may even go so far as to employ many different hip-hop artists who use the word as both of term of defamation and affection. But all that is beside the point.

If Mr. DeBerry has a problem how black women are depicted in American culture he should address those depictions directly in his writing. Instead, he is using them as an instrument to make his case, thus proliferating them. Something wrong here?

I use the word a lot. I see some of my female friends and say, “you bitches are crazy” or “bitch please” or “that bitch doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.” And all these girls are white. The use of the word should be judged on a case by case basis and in this case, Lupin employed it to mean obstinate. He even used the word “obstinance.”

And what’s up with DeBerry admitting that if Lupin had called a white or Asian woman a bitch he wouldn’t have been upset? Isn’t that a racist statement?

If you need to know why many people are beginning to recognize the race card is often utilized for political rather than social advancement, look no further than Deberry’s asinine ending paragraphs.

Look, racism exists in America. It exists in the South and it exists in New Orleans. It needs to be addressed by blacks and whites. But every time it is used in the manner that DeBerry used it in yesterday’s paper, it just weakens the cause when it truly does rear its disgusting head. And it widens the chasm between all of New orleans communities who should be working together to rebuild the city they all love and cherish.

(begin Garland Robinette voice) Ok, I’m just a layman here who doesn’t understand anything about garbage contracts and political cronyism and what not so…(end Garland Robinette voice)

So it seems according to the comments posts here and at Adrastos along with today’s post at Moldy City that the more important issues to be concerned with regarding the city’s trash contract in the French Quarter and other neighborhoods is not so much the issues of cleanliness and aesthetics brought up by the Vieux Carre Commission but issues of ethics and finance brought up by some others.

Now, wasting the city’s money and combating political cronyism is an issue I can get behind. But I am afraid that Ralph Lupin gave the Mayor’s office a gift-wrapped shit storm when he up-and-called Veronica White a bitch. There are no two ways around that.

A couple people have answered the six questions two posts below in the comments section and I encourage everyone to check them out. I certainly understand the issues better. I still don’t agree with some of them, but I understand them. I even agree with some.

But the end-all notion I am getting from this whole thing is everyone thinks it’s stupid. Well, Nagin giving his buddies sweet deals at the expense of firemen is huge. Unfortunately, it’s shrouded by the Rainbow Coalition, accusations of racism, rats, plastic receptacles and Walt Disney.

It’s enough to make you wonder how the levees failed in the days after Aug. 29, 2005.

Excerpts from several recent Times-Picayune story quotes if they had been uttered with the same colorful language employed by Vieux Carre Commission chairman Ralph Lupin:

Edit: Out of consideration for those who were satirically misquoted in this post, I am changing the whole names in the Lupinized versions. I don’t want foul language popping up when folks Google these names. That could screw something up.
…..

Original
“I just cannot believe this,” said Oak Harbor resident Sandy Faucheux, a leader in a months-long fight to close the 310 Howze Beach Road facility owned by businessman Chris Jean. “This is an absolute travesty against the people of St. Tammany Parish. . . . They have absolutely no respect for the people’s health and welfare and no respect for the wishes of the public or their quality of life.”

Lupinized
“This is bullshit,” said Oak Harbor resident Sandy F******x, a leader in a months-long fight to close the 310 Howze Beach Road facility owned by businessman Chris Jean. “This is an absolute travesty against the people of St. Tammany Parish. . . . They don’t give a good God damn about the people’s health and welfare and absolutely no fucking respect for the wishes of the public or their quality of life.”

From: Slidell landfill to stay open

…..

Original
A fuming Councilman Joe “Coach” Thomas, who represents the area where the landfill is located, declined to comment. “You don’t want to hear my . . . comment,” he said.

Lupinized
A fuming Councilman Joe “Coach” T****s, who represents the area where the landfill is located, declined to comment. “You don’t want to hear my . . . comment,” he said before shouting, “wait a minute! Yes you do! FUCK that stinking-ass shit!!!”

From: Slidell landfill to stay open

…..

Original:
“It is not big, and I hope you guys put that message in the paper: that we don’t have a rich history of completing projects,” he said. “It’s very important for this to be a small-type program.”

Lupinized:
“It is not big, and I hope you bastards put that message in the paper: that we don’t have a rich history of completing projects,” he said. “It’s very important for this to be a small-type program.”

From: N.O. post-K blueprint unveiled

…..

Original:
“Basically, the letters were MIA, as well as any communication that there was a change,” Findley said. “That’s just unacceptable in these times.”

Lupinized:
“Basically, the letters were MIA, as well as any communication that there was a change,” Findley said. “That’s just un-fucking-acceptable in these times.”

From: The checks aren’t in the mail

…..

Original:
“It’s making it tremendously hard to continue the culture,” Jackson said.

Lupinized:
“It’s making it tremendously hard to continue the culture and that’s real fucked up,” Jackson said.

From: Permit fees raining on second-line parades

…..

Original:
“If we get in a cat fight with some of these communities and it doesn’t look like it’s going to go, they’re going to come off the list,” Blakely said. “If we spend a little bit here, a little bit there, it’s going to look junky. We should do a few things in a classy way.”

Lupinized:
“If we get in a shitstorm with some of these communities and it doesn’t look like it’s going to go, they’re going to come off the list,” Blakely said. “If we spend a little bit here, a little bit there, it’s going to look fucked up. We should do a few things in a classy way.”

From: City to unveil targets for redevelopment
…..

Original:
“Nobody’s complained about the strategy,” he said.

Lupinized:
“Nobody’s bitched about it,” he said.

From: City to unveil targets for redevelopment

…..

Original:
“We need to do something to make this highway safer,” said Whittaker, who served as commander of Troop G near Shreveport for five years. “The main problem is aggressive drivers who pass on the shoulder, speed, tailgate and change lanes suddenly without signaling.”

Lupinized:
“We need to do something to make this highway safer,” said Whittaker, who served as commander of Troop G near Shreveport for five years. “The main problem is assholes who pass on the shoulder, speed, tailgate and change lanes suddenly without signaling.”

From: Motorists warned that I-12 stretch is deadly

…..

Original:
Howson said he almost walked out of the board’s first meeting when he learned he wouldn’t have a voice in so many matters. He called the measure “worthless, absolutely worthless.”

Lupinized:
Howson said he almost walked out of the board’s first meeting when he learned he wouldn’t have a voice in so many matters. He called the measure “total horseshit”

From: Levee districts want Legislature to tweak powers

…..

Original:
“We know this will be a tremendous economic boost as well as trying to move forward,” said Donald Babers, the HANO board chairman appointed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which runs the local housing agency.

Lupinized:
“The economy is going to blow the fuck up,” said Donald B****s, the HANO board chairman appointed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which runs the local housing agency.

From: Developers picked for revamping public housing

…..

Original:
“The most disappointing thing is there were no elected officials from the city of New Orleans there,” council Chairman Tom Capella said.

Lupinized:
“The most disappointing thing is there were none of those sunsabitches from the city of New Orleans there,” council Chairman Tom C*****a said.

From: Cracks appear in Jeff, N.O. pump truce

After reading this article, I have six questions for French Quarter residents:

1.) How does a plastic garbage bin take away from the historic charm of the district but plastic Glad bags out on the street don’t?

2.) How does one solar-powered parking parking meter every block take away from the charm when a metal meter EVERY SPACE does not?

3.) How effective will a campaign of civil disobedience be when it results in you having piles of garbage in front of your house or walking to a nearby bin to dispose of it?

4.) How are you going to attempt to improve your image that you have a legitimate point and aren’t just a bunch of whiners when you are quoted in the local paper stating that a particular city official is being a “bitch.”

5.) You say that you don’t want people to leave bins on the sidewalk for hours but your solution is not to address it with members of your organization but rather to get rid of the garbage cans altogether?

6.) How is your cause going to reflect on your neighborhood when some others can’t even get garbage collection?

———————————

I usually side with residents in disputes like this but it just seems like folks who live in the Quarter always look retarded. Garbage cans don’t take away from the the quaint nature of the neighbor hood, garbage itself does. I wish Algiers Point had garbage pick-up twice a damn day.

The story also says that the garbage cans would hinder pedestrian traffic. That’s funny because I saw something on the local news recently that showed a couple who were afraid to walk around in the Vieux Carre at night for fear of getting robbed. Know what keeps people from walking around at night? shoe-shine scammers and muggers.

From the article comes this statement…

He said he showed photographs of other neighborhoods where the plastic carts are already in use, and where “there appear to be plastic trash bins everywhere, taking away from the beauty of the historic neighborhoods. Do we really want that for the world-famous Vieux Carre?”

Look, I love the French Quarter. I understand its beauty and it character. I also understand there is an establishment called Big Daddy’s there that has a pair of automated legs sticking out of two holes on the exterior wall. I also know where to find the Oriental spa as well as the whereabouts of an awesome blues bar named the Funky Butt. I won’t even begin to talk about The Gold Club, Coyote Ugly or the dozens of T-Shirt shops hawking Katrina-related gear.

The Quarter is beautiful in many ways. Different types of receptacles won’t harm that.

Neon wasn’t around in the 1800s and neither was Hefty.

Sorry French Quarter residents, you look stupid in this one.

EDIT: A discussion on the subject is ongoing at Adrastos as well.

I saw one of these in a planter at Riverwalk once. Beware! Watch the video!
Megalopyge opercularis
Wikipedia

A promising Web comic. I’m looking forward to the next chapter.
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
Smith

Varg’s House Hunters episode in Algiers Point reruns tonight!
Buying in The Big Easy
HGTV

Sound familiar?
Sheriff: Slain Student Burned on Grill
ABC News

He was way before my time, and I have heard talk of his legend but, damn, I never knew Pistol Pete had these kind of moves…

Update: And with only one heart valve at that!

From Wikipedia:“he collapsed and died of a heart attack at the age of only 40. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a rare congenital heart defect; he had been born with only one coronary artery instead of the normal two.”

It seems as though New Orleans blogger Dr. Ashley Morris feels he is possessed with some hoodoo-like power for political downfall since he recently met and had a photo taken of himself with our soon to be not-dere-no-more governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.

Well, let’s give this a shot.

Remember, it only works if you believe…

Well, I have looked over the line-up and coincided its artists with visits from out-of-town peaps and the decisions have been made. I’ll be going the first Sunday and the second Saturday.

First Sunday acts you may find me at are:
Irma Thomas
Jill Scott
Jerry Lee Lewis & the Killer Band,
Gillian Welch
Clarence “Frogman” Henry
Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Theresa Andersson
Hot 8 Brass Band

Second Saturday acts you may find me at include:
Stephen Marley featuring Jr. Gong
Galactic
Irma Thomas’ Tribute to Mahalia Jackson
The Dixie Cups
Treme Brass Band
New Orleans Jazz Vipers
Pinstripe Brass Band
Morning 40 Federation
Storyville Stompers Brass Band

Oh, and no matter how many Miller Lite’s I drink, between its weak alcohol content and the constant sweating, I’ll never reach a sustainable buzz.

The fiance and I attended the St. Patricks Day parade on Magazine and I was doing my best impersonation of Joe…I mean, Marques Colston fielding various cabbages from the riders. The biggest one that I got was from a guy who bore a passing resemblance to Bono. I kept yelling “Bono! Bono!” and he tossed me a huge one that may have strained my rotator cuff as I brought it down.

The parade was of course slow moving (perhaps even NOMTOC slow) but I wouldn’t hold that against these guys. It allowed everybody to get good and warmed up for the show.

Not sure what to do with all that cabbage? How about some delicious Kimche?

More pics here.