Just a few thoughts about this year’s conference…
- It is always a succinct pleasure getting together in large or small numbers with this group of bright, chaste and sincere folk. The group, as always, was truly magnificent. Much love to all the organizers. In an era where all everyone wants to talk about is how America is going down the tubes you are all exemplary and inspirational in your love and devotion to your neighbors.
- There was a batshit lady harassing Leigh at the door and whining about the fee. She kept saying something like, “you wouldn’t charge rats to run through a maze would you?” I was tempted to ask her what the hell that meant but just calmly continued to alphabetize name tags. If I wasn’t so uncomfortable with the awkwardness of confrontation I would have. This lady stayed until the very end but my defense mechanisms knew where she was in the room at all times. If it was later in the day I may have called 211 but I didn’t know what it was at the time. If anyone is wondering who I may be talking about it was the lady who needed more support.
- Another lady opened the door and asked when John Barry was going to speak.
- It was hard to decide what pastry to eat and decided on a big ass bagel. It was so delicious.
- I had my doubts about the brewing on site of the coffee but it ended up quite awesome. Mad props there. So much better than cambros.
- Here are a bunch or words that can describe MC Loki: animated, anxious, ardent, avid, crazy, devoted, dying to, eager, earnest, ebullient, exhilarated, exuberant, fanatical, fascinated, fervent, fervid, forceful, gaga, gone on, gung ho, hearty, intent, intense, keen, keyed up, lively, nutty, obsessed, passionate, pleased, rabid, red-hot, rhapsodic, spastic, spirited, tantalized, thrilled, titillated, vehement, vigorous, wacky, wholehearted, willing, zealous. Everybody pick one. I am going with enthusiastic. I admire the fact that he seems to be keenly aware of his own energy level and just accepts it.
- Culture panel was a great idea. Great panelists. Perfect. Perhaps the main focus next year could be what can everyone do to help preserve them. I think we all know some are in trouble. So what can we do about it? This year’s group was awesome. Stellar choice putting Susan Tucker in there. Sustenance is such a part of who we are. Even the most mundane folks can come together over food.
- Net2NO presentation made it sound like a perfect organization for local techies. The speaker seemed uncomfortable speaking before a crowd and said so many times. This made me uncomfortable. Public speaking is a huge fear of many people and I salute her for it. But when a speaker says how uncomfortable they are, it really bleeds into the whole crowd and everyone wants it to be over. But the group sounds damn cool.
- Dear Harry Shearer, you do indeed rule! Thanks for coming. Our conference was greatly helped by your name recognition. Thank you also for all your hard work defending New Orleans. You are a true warrior of Care Forgot and I hope you stay one for many years. I say that last part because there were a few things you said that made me think you may be growing weary and I’m worried. At the onset of your speech you asked yourself if your affinity for New Orleans was some romantic fascination and then quickly talked yourself out of that. Then you said the battle for the truth about the flood was “lost” rather than losing. That indicates there is no hope left. And your exasperation at playing the inside game when we all know it is a slow process made me wonder in the back of my mind how much you had left in the tank for us. Even if you gave up tomorrow, you have done so much. I hope my vague intuition was off base.
- Lunch was great soul food and it made my tummy all warm. It wasn’t super greasy. It tasted robust with flavor and there were even healthy options.
- Muffin’s politics panel was quite entertaining. So much to talk about. It was also however, very agreeable. The panelists agreed on many of the points and the folks in the room agreed with them as well. So great panel but more discourse could be a goal for next year.
- Lipper’s health care panel was insightful because I didn’t expect it to be as focused on local health care as it was and that really jived with me. I especially liked learning about the 211 number because I see any number of folks every weekend who could qualify. I didn’t have a chance to ask Cecile Tebo if the person in crisis has to use the number for them self or can others call for them.
- The Ashley award was given to Keyser Soze. I’ve not been bashful about how uncomfortable I am with bloggers using fake names. We all have responsibilities in this world. Not taking responsibility for your actions means there is less accountability because the character remains unscathed. If we are going to allege serious grievance against other people we should step up and take responsibility for them. Truth is absolute. Our words and actions are stronger when we stand behind them. We face those who we accuse and allow them to face us, not in some digital realm but in the community we are a part of. Mad props to Keyser for his devotion to New Orleans. Somewhere in there perhaps there is a hero. But until we know who we are talking about, should we call him one? What do we know about him? And if there are certain people in the know about him, where does that leave the rest of New Orleans? Out of the club I guess. One may say Keyser would lose his accessibility by revealing himself and if that’s the case he can operate just like Deep Throat and act as a source for journalists who can reveal their identities. I hope one day to meet Keyser and we can discuss this further. I don’t mean this as an attack on his character (because I am in no position to judge it).
- Pants’ sports panel was unfortunately poorly attended and that was a downer because a devotion to the Saints is a huge part New Orleans folk. Not sure the Hornets apply so much. But the Saints, and their arrival in town just before the population began to decline, make for many meaningful moments and a rich custom of success and failure. Like the food in the first panel, it is these seemingly less analytical things where New Orleanians culture reveals itself so richly. With some critical thought into why, these are vast topics.
NOTE: This post would have been awesome with links and stuff.