Archive for January, 2009

Val Kilmer is Bacchus and I am reserving my opinion until I see him on the float because, that’s when you can tell if they are a good Bacchus or not. But hey, what does former Bacchus Steve Guttenburg think?

Ok, this entire post was just an excuse for me to post that recent pic of Gutt.

sorry to see you go. Though, I am sure there are a few who aren’t so sorry.

Hopefully, you have done enough in your short time here to get the ball rolling on some visible change in New Orleans city government. Expectations for your replacement will be high. Thanks for the hard work. Enjoy the pleasantries of home. You are welcome back any time.

We have unconfirmed reports that Garland is crying again…

I’ve been trying to figure out what diffuse barrier is preventing me from getting caught up in the latest round of New Orlenians against crime. I think I have finally put my finger on it. It’s the encroachment of learned helplessness regarding city government.

It goes back to the 2007 crime march and the belief that city government can somehow make the improvements needed. If the current administration were in a position to take the lead in the fight against crime, they would have done so after the march. Begging them to help now is fruitless. If the administration was involved, it would show. If they were going to improve, they would have by now. I haven’t seen the Mayor address the latest round and I haven’t heard much out of the Chief other than promises to improve.

And I think for them to discuss solutions will only lead them back to 2007.

In the 2007 march, Nagin primarily used the crime cameras as one of his remedies to our growing problems. Read the story here. For him or any of his administration to revisit the 2007 efforts would mean they would have to bring up the crime cameras again. Thus, talking openly and honestly about what they are doing, what is working and what isn’t in the fight against crime, is to potentially bring up the stunningly ineffective crime cameras and all that they entail. And they probably entail a lot of sins.

But it’s not just the cameras, look through the article and tell me how many of the improvements promised were implemented with any sucess?

So the crime problem becomes a no-fly zone. If you are a member of the administration, you don’t go near it. Like a cheating spouse, any topic that might lead down that road is avoided lest the specter of cameras comes up again. Everywhere the administration looks, there are an increasing number of subjects that have to be avoided. Effective leader…ahem, stewardship can’t move forward.

To anti-crime activists, do your own patrols and establish relationships with your local cops and district commanders because it’s going to be 2010 before you can get anything palpable out of City Hall.

Since it is pretty much a luxury and since it’s time for everyone to eat their vegetables and since we are all tired of Nagin holding it over our heads like it is some sort of trip to a theme park and since he has more pressing thing on his schedule like figuring out what to dowith all the money being wasted on crime cameras and since he wasted so much money the last six years anyway, I’d like to say, “Fuck Disney-like services in the French Quarter.”

I don’t care whose fault it is. I don’t care what’s holding it up. I just don’t think a super clean French Quarter is what the city or the local citizenship (myself included) should be spending our time dwelling on. So again, the party line by Varg is, “Fuck Disney-like services in the French Quarter.”

Try Disney-like budgets for schools and levees.

New Orleanian on This American Life asks President Obama, “Is that pothole at Ursulines and Robertson going to be there for the next 20 years?”

I LOL’d but … is it?

Show link here.

Nolans make their appearance at the 45:15 mark…

Huey P. Long Bridge widening project sending drivers over the edge

There’s a 50/50 chance an editor will see this and change it. I am wondering if the Times-Picayune version of the story has the same hed but I’m guessing no. I can only guess they are going for folks who click the link thinking, “Wait, REALLY over the edge?” So being clear and concise using as little words as possible (a news hed’s essential function) is forsook in favor of getting hits.

At first I was dismayed to see Nagin getting a few seconds of face time in the crowd on NBC during Barack’s inauguration speech but then I realized it was when The President said…

And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

… and I understood. Whomever that director was, nice job.

There seems to be much hoopla surrounding the Inauguration of Barack Obama and while I certainly see why others may be excited about that, I’m optimistically cautious. He is, indeed, a politician and thus a civil servant and I don’t recall any rock bands playing when I have been hired at the many service jobs I have held in my time.

This is not to say that tomorrow shouldn’t be a day of celebration. But I am considerably more excited that George Bush is leaving the White House than Barack Obama coming in. I like Obama, but not nearly as much as I loathed Bush. Partly because Obama is so much more accessible to me while Bush was always in the air.

Let me explain.

It was 2000 and I was under the influence of some brilliant community college professors in San Diego. Though pretty pissed at Clinton, I was certainly anxious to get Gore into office as I understood the difference between a Democrat and a Republican was at that point (I have since misunderstood it).

I parked at the school, punched the lever for Gore, received my “I voted” sticker and went to work. Later that night I settled into a bar called The Turf Club and watched the results come in on the TV over the bar. I started with a Manhattan. Then they called Florida for Gore and I had another. Then they took Florida back and I had another. Then they called the thing for Bush and I had another. The Navy kids next to me were ecstatic, they said Bush’s victory was good for the military.

Some months later I was hired on at a weekly paper in La Jolla and, being a part of the liberal media, began writing editorials against Bush. I received the requisite mail and was called the obligatory pinko commie and continued my leftist ways unabashed. Then 9/11 happened and Afghanistan and Iraq and American Flags were flying from Hummers all over Southern California and many lunches were spent with me arguing about politics with the sales reps.

One Thursday morning while driving to work I looked out of my Sunroof to see several planes flying in formation heading out to the Pacific. The middle plane had a bulbous front and didn’t look quite right. I didn’t think much of it until I arrived at work and an hour or so later saw the same formation flying back. The classifieds manager told me it was Bush’s plane. Later I learned he had just inferred the mission was accomplished in Iraq. Even though it wasn’t. But there he was up there. Flying over us like a kid in a toy. Not worried about what was going on down below or over in the Middle East.

Fast forward to March of 2006. There I am peddling my bike on the levee in Algiers Point. It’s a few months after The Flood and I am on my way back home from the hotel I worked at. I never saw myself working in a housekeeping department but that was how the Universe unfolded at that stage of my life. I looked toward the Lower Ninth and there he was again. Bush in Marine One way above the Ninth Ward. Peering out the windows of his helicopter in probably the same manner he looked out of Air Force One in the days after The Flood. I stopped and look up at him and watched him scoot around, then disappear.

The last time I saw him was only a few months ago. I knew he was in town but wasn’t paying much attention at that point. My fiancee told me to look up because there was a strange formation in the sky. I went outside and saw a formation of jets leaving contrails across the sky. I knew it was him. Again, up in the sky.

That’s what he was to us – in the air. Though he tried to portray an everyman image it was clear he was a tarnished golden boy. An old money gent with names in his family like “Prescott” and “Herbert Walker.” He said as much by referencing Trent Lott’s destroyed house after the Flood while bodies lay unclaimed at St. Gabriel. Bush was to America as he was to me, in the air, in the air.

Hey George, the folks who operate helicopters are called “pilots” and not “drivers” and the other people who helped out are called crewmen. Y a know ’cause one guy pilots the thing and some others dangle out of it on a hoist.

But really, the Coast Guard did so a good job because they went rogue while the rest of you were twiddling your thumbs…


But really Dubya, folks think your response was slow because on the day the storm hit you did this…

Then we saw this…


And you flew over and did this…

While we saw this…

Then you said this…

Found this Modern Marvels Engineering Disasters episode in might Netflix Queue. What’s up with that “should we rebuild” shit?
Modern Marvels: Engineering Disasters: New Orleans

There is also a show on the National Geographic Channel that is described as, “NGC roams the halls with students as they tell their unvarnished accounts of high school life. Through student video diaries and personal accounts, NGC offers an exclusive glimpse into this gritty young world.”
Inside New Orleans High

Speaking of Netflix, if you have a penchant for ’70s Blaxploitation check this New Orleans-based horror flick trailer on YouTube and add it to your queue…
JD’S Revenge Trailer Blaxploitation