Archive for December, 2007

Arrrghhhh!

I would never say that I am much of an empath. But damn if the ignorance of strangers doesn’t damage me to no end. I think it has something to do with collective consciousness. That is, I am not entirely a singular being. There is Varg, the self. Then there is Varg the 1/ 6 billionth of humanity. And that second Varg is damaged by the Nola.com comments in the story below.

Woman found beaten to death on riverfront

If you too would like to be damaged. Have a click.

Strange that I don’t find the actual killing of a young girl as troubling as people’s reaction to it. Sometimes I get the sinking feeling I am surrounded by lunatics. Unless of course, I am the lunatic.

Tom Tancredo to Drop Out of 2008 Presidential Race

Who could forget when Tom Tancredo said…

“The amount of money that has been wasted on these so-called ‘recovery’ efforts has been mind-boggling. Enough is enough.”

Tancredo was of addressing claims of corruption and incompetence but instead of vowing to do something to address it, Tancredo just appealed to his nano-base by telling the whole region to kiss his ass.

Unfortunately for him, the polls showed that all of America was telling Tancredo and his supporters to kiss their ass. He’s gone.

Regardless of what America needs in the next eight years, it is obvious it doesn’t need the BS of Tancredo and Duncun Hunter. The people have spoken. Goodbye.

I’ve been hesitant to comment on the public housing demolitions, trying to get my brain around it, trying to get my heart around it. I’ve not been able to do either really. It’s a deep issue. But one theme is emerging above all others:

Don’t depend on the government for housing. As we learned in August of 2005, don’t depend on the government for ANYthing. It’s a losing proposition. Nagin said there was no win-win situation. The Chicory says for the residents, it’s a lose-lose situation.

One image intended to sway people to a particular viewpoint, to elicit sympathy for the residents, has managed to solidify my thoughts on the subject.

‘these are our homes’

I am assuming the photo was meant to suggest that many people view public housing units as eyesores and fail to realize within them are communities and homes. What I took from it is an amazement that anyone would consider such places homes. What the sign says to me is public housing is a failure. The moment someone considers the government to be their caretaker is the moment they have lost their sense of worth. I am open to debate on this. But I will need an answer as to why the entire anti-demolition movement isn’t being geared toward educating and empowering the displaced residents rather than getting them back into the situation (dependent on the government) that has impoverished them for decades?

It’s not all the government’s fault either. Public housing’s intent was to give someone a place to get back on their feet. Not a home, but housing. The very fact that it has now been identified as a community and a home shows precisely why it has failed to lift up the poor. It has sustained and enabled them, kept them in a position where they are dependent on the government to provide their basic human needs. The government has tendency not to give a damn about poor people’s needs, or at least to give as little a damn as possible. So why fight to put people back in a situation where they are dependent on it?

Perhaps if some time over the last four decades, evidence has been shown to suggest that the prolonged habitation by families in public housing has led to an increase in education and income by those families, I could get behind the debate and fight the demolitions. It would be a case of not fixing what isn’t broken. It IS broken. The decline of New Orleans began and has endured along with the rise in public housing.

I know what some might say, “What should we do? Throw them out on the street?” No. But there has to be a shift in strategy. With less taxes coming in and more public money going out, it doesn’t take an arithmetic major to figure out that the situation is stagnant. Also, no money for education. No money for education. No money for education. No money for education x 10,000.

Education, that’s a project I could get behind. Get organized around that. Push for that. I’ll be there.

I saw another photo that claimed housing as being a basic human right. This further drove me away from the protesters. It’s a responsibility isn’t it? I understand the situation many people find themselves in. I understand the various circumstances that can lead to someone finding themselves homeless. What I can’t understand is the point one reaches when they feel as though the government has a responsibility to provide them housing when they don’t accept that responsibility themselves. The government is an uncaring, globular institution which can be swayed in many different directions and will often leave its dependents without roofs over their heads. People of all classes should be strongly encouraged to become independent of it.

Like I said at the beginning, these are thoughts that I have arrived at after some consideration. I am wide open for retorts or other views. I am not putting myself in a position of understanding what it is like to live in public housing. I am not one of those who thinks people “want to live there.” I am not wanting to see the residents of public housing driven out of New Orleans. I just hope that the ultimate conclusion for everyone involved is to see the end of public housing. That has to be the goal.

I thought for a moment during the Saints game today that they were going to screw it up with another fumble. I like David Patten. I do. I like all our receivers. But the announcer summed it up best when he said the receiver was carrying the ball like a loaf of bread. I damn near shiat myself. It was the most animated I had been all day.

Then the Arizona fake punt and Terrance Copper’s mistackle (yes, I know he’s not on defense but Steve Weatherford isn’t either) had me standing up and pacing, blood pressure going through the roof.

Lucky for us though, on the strength of the defense, Aaron Stecker and Marcus Colston, we pulled it off. Can’t say anything bad about Stecker. I would say he is stepping up but it seems he is simply doing what he would have normally if he received more touches.

Part of me does feel a sense of dread as we approach the next two games. We got past the Eagles twice last year in close games. Perhaps we get past them again. But then what?

Then our season ends on the frigid grounds of Soldier Field again? What a nightmare.

A story on business in New Orleans relocating out of state. the final paragraphs of the article state that in most cities, big business calls the shots while the city government has a more diminished role. Tulane’s Peter Ricchiuti, is quoted a saying it is odd that big business doesn’t run New Orleans like it does every other major city.
Businesses find it easy to leave New Orleans
Houston Chronicle

Along the same lines is this AP report that states South Louisiana Parishes compete for economic development rather than approaching it from a regional perspective. not surprising considering your average upper-middle class family from Mandeville probably doesn’t want to share the wealth with a single mom on welfare in the 7th Ward.
New Orleans Study Has Familiar Ring
AP

There are lots of scream-inducing parts of this story but none more than the part where 25 percent of those polled think New Orleans is still partly underwater…
Poll suggests mixed feelings in US about New Orleans post-Katrina
Herald-Tribune

coq.jpg

Come by and get yer loved ones some gifties at one of two market’s Varg and many talented others will be at this weekend.

On Saturday, there is the R4A Fundraiser at the Green Project. Here is the info…

December 8, 2007: R4A Art Auction and Oddities Bazaar!!!
Please join us for the Annual R4A fundraiser! This year’s event will feature an outdoor market featuring local artists, a Recycled Toy Show and Auction, a Mask Exhibit, great music, food from Marigny Perks and The Joint, A SINGING DOG, and more! For more information, or to participate in the event, please contact R4A@thegreenproject.org.

The Green project is at…

2831 Marais Street
New Orleans, LA 70117
Phone: 504-945-0240
E-mail: info@thegreenproject.org

Then on Sunday, for you Uptowners, I’ll be joining the New Orleans Craft Mafia at their Big Top Gallery market. Where you can find art by me, as well as other soldiers, capos and bosses in the mafia…www.neworleanscraftmafia.com.

The Crescent City Craft Market – Holiday Shopping Edition
The Big Top Gallery (504-569-2700)
1638 Clio St. – near Lee Circle, between St. Charles Avenue and Carondelet
Street
Sunday, December 9th, 2-6pm

Further Info: http://www.neworleanscraftmafia.com

Not quite enough to be an Enemy of the State but just an A-hole in general. Why?

Because not only is he ignorant, he admits his own ignorance yet does nothing to defend it…

They returned home after two years playing in Oklahoma City because of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and despite it being one of America’s great party cities — if they do anything else I am not quite aware of it — there was no party and little welcome back.

A fine team being wasted in New Orleans

Mr. Smith,

Look, if you don’t know the history of a city, you will weaken your writing by mentioning it. Just avoid references to what you don’t know. A better writer would have omitted a sentence that makes him look stupid. It wasn’t necessary, a complete throw away sentence. Your obvious shot at the very rich cultural and economic influence of New Orleans makes you look like a poor journalist and a poor thinker.

With sincerity,

Varg

Everybody head over to American Zombie and post your own personal NOMo (New Orleans Moment)…

The Strangest Thing…

In the Freep today…

“That’s a disappointing loss and probably the worst job I’ve done as head coach since we’ve been here,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. New Orleans is 5-7.

Overheard leaving the Superdome yesterday…

(on cell phone) We are worse than Miami and they haven’t won any games!

Whoever called that play must have had money on the game!

I’ve been watching the Saints for 30 years and I’ve seen a lot of bonehead plays but I can say without a doubt that was the stupidest play call I’ve ever seen!”

I want Sean Payton’s head! I want it now!

Tough loss. Tough season.

The sad thing was that it tainted one of Devery Henderson’s finest catches ever.

EDIT: Here’s two more from the principle players…

Devery…

“It is what it is,” a contrite Henderson said in the Saints’ morose locker room. “I don’t really want to comment on the play.”

Reggie…