Archive for April, 2007

… at the R-Bar after Jazzfest yesterday and was told by a very good source that New Orleans-paramour and former Afghan Whigs lead singer will be one of the new owners of the too-cool-for-you Marigny hang-out.

I can not wait for the opportunity to by Mr. Dulli a drink at his own bar and thank him for that marvelous performance at the Howlin’ Wolf on Thanksgiving Night in 1997 where he and the band played ’til the wee hours of the morning and only stopped when they seemed physically unable (unsober?) to carry on.

Cheers Greg. Hopefully this means he and the Twilight Singers will be playing here more.

And hey! They have a retrospective record coming out…uh, tomorrow as a matter of fact. Unbreakable: A Retrospective by The Afghan Whigs

I have noticed that has incorporated a blog-type comment system into some of their their online news stories. The system allows anonymous comments by everyday Internet users on the stories posted.

This can’t be good.


Free flowing opinions and immediate reaction to local news not good?

Reactions are fine. But these are anonymous reactions. That is, people can say whatever they want and they don’t have to be responsible for it. Sure, they have a user name but, what’s a user name in this day and age? It’s nothing right? My name’s Varg. Wait, no it isn’t. Actually my name’s Lance Vargas from Old Algiers.

I’d love to hear the opinions of average New Orleanians to the day’s news. but let’s get their full name, their neighborhood and snap a photo of them to run with the story.

Whoa! Suddenly no one wants to talk? Well why the hell not?

Because responsibility and putting an actual person with an idea means they have to stand behind it. Without responsibility, who the hell cares what people are saying? The article comments may just end up like Craigslist rants and raves section, a wretched hive where so many posters, armed with blunt and retarded opinions and that precious anonymity can spew their bullshit without any sense of repercussions to themselves and the reader is forced to accept all of the infliction of their useless rhetoric.

Check this story about our 62nd murder of the year. In the comments section, you will find three repeated comments from an obvious friend of the victim written in, well, not the best grammar. This is followed by a fella who plainly states that New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the country (shocking news there). Then someone apologizes to that poster for us having the nation’s highest murder rate and then, yes, yours truly shows up after creating an account in less than two minutes and asks that someone what the hell are they apologizing for.

I’m not sure if there was a moderation process. If there was they are working the late shift for sure. I don’t know who it is working the comments board at 1 a.m. on Jazzfest weekend at but I pray they have one and I pray that he or she has at least a two-year degree.

Of course, I could just post some cuss words and asinine shit to find out for sure if the comments are moderated but I’ll leave that to inevitability.

Back to Craigslist for just a second though. All sorts of racist shit gets posted there. Way more offensive shit than I would hear in 10 years living my normal life. Why do so many people embrace their inner bigot on Craigslist? Well, it’s because no one has to be responsible for what they say! They don’t have to see the horrified faces and endure the scrutiny of their friends and neighbors because no one knows it’s them saying it.

I’ll tell you what I have noticed though, the articles that come from Times-Picayune writers do not have comments enabled as much. Those written by other writers, those who have nothing more than a name and no affiliation have comments enabled more often. I have actually seen news stories signed with nothing more than seemingly a user name. Who the hell is rrhoden? The link with his name goes no where. Who is responsible for this story? Who says, “I checked the facts on these words and I swear they hold true”? Someone named rrhoden? WTF?

So this must be the way local media is headed? It’s amazing really. I never had much respect for the effect of bloggers (even after I became one) but it seems that the big guns are coming around to a blogger’s way of thinking rather than the bloggers coming around to theirs. That blows my mind.

I hate that people can anonymously spout off about what’s going on. When we do it among friends we at least have to understand that what we say is a judgment of our character in their eyes. There is a reason why people go to Craigslist to talk racist shit. It’s because they know with anonymity, they won’t be scrutinized and dismissed as the whack job they are.

Some may say this opens the doors up for more honest communication but I say it eliminates all responsibility for one’s actions.

I am actually surprised stuff like this doesn’t happen more often.

I did some time working the hospitality industry in hotels on Canal and saw this type of shit “almost” happen all the time. Particularly at the banquets.

I know on some nights I could have been involved in or witnessed a beatdown. Things get real hairy and there are a lot of different types of folks from different parts of the city and country all forced to work together by sometimes inept managers for poor wages and good tips.

I’ve got some speculation as to what may have started this one:

- Someone stole someone else’s silverware / stemware / creamers / linen / salt and peppers.

- Someone critiqued the appearance of someone else’s tables.

- Someone received a more-favorable-for-good-tips table assignment than someone else.

- Someone became angry at the other’s lack of contribution to the set-up process.

- A lingering issue from the night / day before.

It is a bit surprising that this happened at the beginning of the shift rather than the end, after the wine service if you know what I mean.

It’s always good when news outlets utilize the word “melee.”

Some of you may remember this post from way back when The Chicory was just a li’l root.

Now it seems the Times-Pic has followed up on it with a short and informative slide show of their own. I must say that the fruit peddler is a has a very Caribbean look.

I wish y’all could have seen the look on the House Hunter’s crew’s faces when he rolled down our Mid City street back before Katrina.

I went ahead and posted another short video I have of him on YouTube. This one features a slightly different cadence.

One of the local brass bands should implement his vocalizations into one of their songs. I wonder would they mind if they suggested it?

Dear Rebirth,

Wouldn’t it be cool if you guys did a song that mimicked the vocalizations of our local fruit peddler?

Just a thought! Keep up the good work! Love the music!

Your friend,

The Chicory

Sent via MySpace. Worth a shot right?

My favorite NPR show On Point with Tom Ashbrook did two excellent hours in New Orleans last week. Guests included Tom Watson from Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, Leah Chase, Jazzfest’s Don Marshall, Tulane’s Douglas Brinkley, author of “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast”, Times-Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie, and Martha Carr, assistant city editor for the Times-Picayune.

Some good stuff was discussed. Nothing Earth-shattering for the folks who live here but, so long as were in the news I’m satisfied.

You can find the shows on Itunes or listen in your browser.

Tough Questions for the Big Easy

The Hope for New Orleans

Reference this next time someone says everybody here is looking for a hand out.
New website customizes post-Katrina volunteerism in New Orleans
The Louisiana Weekly

Reference this next time someone uses the “below sea level” remark.
HIGHER GROUND: A study finds that New Orleans has plenty of real estate above sea level that is being underutilized

Reference this next time someone suggests bulldozing the city.
Port of New Orleans

Who knew this weekend was Pyratecon weekend in New Orleans? I searched the Web for some information on these guys and the worst thing I found was this terrible SNL sketch…

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?

Not going to Wednesday At The Square tonight? When else are you going to see a Grammy winner for free. Yea, yea, I know the acoustics are less-than-great. But it’s all about the community. Get up off yer crawfish-eating asses and go see Irma! Varg will be there.

And when she finishes up, you’ll be walking distance from Horinoya Restaurant at 920 Poydras St. Try the toro! Expensive but good!

The sun came out and the wind stuck around yesterday but a lil breeze didn’t keep the fiance and I from hoping on the ferry and cruising over to FQF. I was a little hungover from the night before so, by the time I got over there, I needed the ole pelo de perro pretty bad. I needed it so bad that we had to hit the Fat Tuesday’s at Spanish Plaza right after we got off the boat.

The Turbo Dog helped but my stomach was still a little queezy, it may have been all the seafood I had eaten the day before and that morning. Romy asked me if I needed Pepto and I said I just needed beero.

I like French Quarter Fest but some of my clearest memories of it consist of me walking behind the slowest people on Earth. Also the most stopping-for-nothingest people.

After getting a large Red Stallion at Crescent City Brewhouse, I was beginning to feel okay. I’ve never seen Trombone Shorty so we headed over there and caught all his show. His guitar player won the “best dressed musician” award. He had on all-white suit with a lime shirt and aviator shades. He played pretty damn good too.

Then we just kind of walked around and looked at some of the folk artists in Jackson Square and popped in to the Alpine for a drink and headed back to the Square to see Charmaine Neville whom I had also never seen.

I didn’t catch all of her show but what I saw, I liked. She’s got a lot of energy and wasn’t going to let her show being on the spot where George Bush promised New Orleans a grandiose future go unnoticed, especially considering that the Lower Nine doesn’t look much different than it did the night he made that speech.

She began talking about the war in Iraq and some buffoon behind me started talking back so that everyone around him (but not anyone on stage) could hear him. I just shook my head. Then he left.

After Charmaine finished up, we did our obligatory trip to Molly’s and I was formally introduced to Mr. Wu.

Romy got a craving for fried chicken and I expected Fiorellas to be packed out but we got a seat and got served pretty quick considering.

Then we got back to the Ferry to find it was all closed up. A few cabbies wouldn’t take us back to the West Bank (including one from United) and we had to do the “don’t ask, just get in” method of faring.

It was a good day.