Archive for December, 2010

January
- We were all like, “Holy shit! The Saints won 13 games in a row then lost three and now who knows what the hell is going to happen.” Of course the haters were sure we were going to be one-and-done in the playoffs. A 7 point loss to the Cowboys and a 3 point loss in OT to the Bucs and a loss to Carolina by our back-ups was all the convincing needed.

- There was a hard freeze that lasted for like a week and a bunch of vegetation died. New Orleans looked like a landscape out of The Road. Actually, New Orleans was a landscape out of The Road. People’s pipes froze and many of us sported an Earthy, well-worn aesthetic.

- John Georges had a hard time with New Orleans bloggers. Excuse me, I mean dangerous people on the Internet.

- The Saints went to the Super Bowl and muh-fuckers went all crzy. The Saints demolished two future hall of fame quarterbacks on the way.This graphic sums it all up.

February

- The District C City Council race got all ugly in Algiers. And then it got all uglier.

- The Saints won the Super Bowl, Mitch got elected by 70% of the vote and then it was Mardi Gras and I am not exactly sure how I persevered.

March

- Hmmmm, what DID happen in March?

April

- I was particularly embaressed that I only posted twice in the entire month of April but, what the hell, the festivals take a lot out of a folk artist.

- But even though I wasn’t at my best in May and the blog was starting to fade, the whole thing got going again the next month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 13 men and sunk.

May

- The Deepwater Horizon explosion and leak continued to gush the blood of the Earth into the Gulf, killing oysters, pelicans, people’s livlihoods and essentially fucking everything up for probably the rest of my life, which may not be very long considering I am a living, breathing experiment on the effects of Corexit on a human physiology.

- Newt Gingrich called Louisiana a “testbed of government failure” and that fucking bastard was actually right.

- Of course there were always those fuckers who liked to sum things up and make everything seem so much easier to understand than the rest of us. These are the true geniuses of our society. The ones that are enlightened enough to see beyond all the details and simply see the big picture. Fuck all that small stuff. These are the people who need a picture of the food on their menu at restaurants. … Oh, uh, they said anyone who drove a car should STFU about the spill.

- Treme was in full swing by this time and several current and former New Orleans bloggers made a fantastic blog about the show called Back of Town.

- I can also cite this month as the moment the honeymoon was over between me and Barack Obama. Though I will still vote for him in 2012 because the GOP just can’t seem to figure out how not to suck.

June

- I started to realize local gumments were doing shit that, well, sort of sucked from the vantage point of the electorate. DUI checkpoints? Red light and speed cameras? 8 o’clock music curfews? Placard reentry. Hey guys, FUCK THAT.

- By this time the spill was all over the Gulf and people were either exasperated or infuriated. Others were desperately trying to come up with a solution because BP had their head up their ass. People were talking about sweeping it up with oil tankers and unleashing the river to fight it and Billy Nungesser was talking about building giant berms.

- A major step in the widening of the Huey P. Long bridge took place with the first of three “big lifts.” A completed second truss will be finished next year. So if you want to enjoythe Huey P as it was meant to be experienced, get over to Jefferson soon.

July

By July, some folks had pretty much decided the end was nigh. They had some dubious evidence and they decided it was enough to share with everyone. Folks being fascinated with their own destruction as they are, started having a lot of sex with each other. Actually, that last part didn’t happen.

- I sent a letter to Kristen Palmer about a dangerous intersection in my neighborhood and they said they were sending it along to the traffic department. I have never heard back from them and there hasn’t been much of a change at the intersection. I next need to send them an image of a stop sign that has been attached to a telephone poll a block or so away.

Also, this funny thing happened. I forgot what that whole thing was about. It was about rascism and agriculture. Fuck, I don’t know. Not sure how any of it matters six months later. 72 hour news cycle must be appeased I suppose.

August

- The 2010 Summer was long and relentless. The cicadas whistled strongly. “When cicadas sing strong, the summer runs long.

- August was a decent month for bloggers as a the collection “A Howling in the Wires” was released and the 5th Rising Tide Conference took place. It was agreed upon by many that it was the best yet. It was the drunkest one yet for me. Even the Keynote was cocktailed. Also, other stuff happened.

- The somber 5th anniversary of the Flood came and went. It will be another five years before America has to care again.

- I think BP plugged the well at some point but no one believed a fucking word they said at that point.

September

- Okay, first and foremost, Walgreens started selling BEER. As a Liquor Lobbyist I was thrilled. The free market prevailed over temperance.

- Now, fuck all that other shit because now it’s football season. And all season long, announcers have to identify us as the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

- By the end of the Summer, people were starting to lose it on the Square.

- The measure of Hartley began.

- The Macondo well was officially plugged but the flow of GCCF claims had just begun.

October

- Fall did not really show up for October.

- The Saints began to suck and the Uptown Ladies started coming out of the woodwork. One of them in the comments of this post, a guy named Mike with no e-mail or Web site, seemed genuinely angry about my optimism regarding the Saints ability to bounce back from losses. It was as if he had a personal interest in seeing the team suck. He also presumed I was a bandwagon fan and had me “pegged for Saints fan circa 2006, maybe 2005″ even though it was he who was actually giving up on the team. Anyway, the Saints eventually ended up winning six straight and him and all the Uptown Ladies got all shut the fuck up.

November

- Back in January, people got all pissed off about the NFL trying enforce it’s copyright on merchandise marketed toward Saints fans with black and gold coloring WITH fleur de lis or “Who Dat.” It got really obnoxious and finally just became absurd when David Vitter got all up in the NFL’s grill. In December, these guys made the same claim and no one seemed to give a damn.

- And I’ll just say it again right here, Left Eye deserves more money.

December

- This is really the most significant thing that happened in December 2010.

From Da Gambit…

d.b.a. quits smoking in 2011

The Frenchmen Street bar and music venue d.b.a. is going smoke free as of Jan. 3, 2011. It’s not the first local venue to do so. Tipitina’s does not allow smoking, and other Frenchmen venues that kicked the habit include Snug Harbor, Three Muses and The Maison.

I’ve developed a libertarian streak in recent years as it relates to vice laws (still a pinko economically). I don’t think everybody should be out banging hookers and doing blow but I believe people should police themselves in that regard. Even though hookers and blow certainly sounds tempting, I have never done it essentially because it is bad for your health. I bet some of yall thought I was morally opposed to it huh? Yeah right!

But smoking sucks indoors. Particularly at music shows. Up by the stage, it’s cramped. There are people everywhere. You have to push your way in. And then there are those who think that would be a great time to light one up. So you start grooving because, you know, the band is good, and then you feel a burning. Yes, the girl next to you grooved her ciggie into your arm.

By the third song or so, everybody is lit up. The people at the bar are all smoking, the people in the crowd are all smoking. The “social smokers” join in and then there is a cloud of carcinogens in the air.

There may be some smokers who look out for this sort of thing but too many of them don’t.

The bars on Frenchmen are setting a great example. If more people took a role in governing vices for themselves, we wouldn’t need as much popo governing it for us with nightsticks, tasers and new jails.

Smoking laws and stupid images of diseased lungs on ciggie packs are dreadful and childish. Bars respecting all their customers is very nice. There will always be other places that will take them I’m sure. I will eat my shoe is a bar on Bourbon Street follows the lead.

Took me a while but I found the “D on the Dirty Bird” pic and it doesn’t seem so bad…

This entire post is just supplemental commentary to this post over at the Yeller…

There was a commercial a little while back that stated the Saints gave the entire city of New Orleans hope. I’d like to go ahead and clarify that statement as it relates to this one guy…

Ways in which the Saints gave me hope:

I hoped they would no longer be associated with mediocrity.
I hoped they would have a winning season.
I hoped they would make the playoffs.
I hoped they would have home field advantage in the playoffs (for them and because it would bring a lot of tourists and media to the city who may frequent local businesses)
I hoped they would go to the Super Bowl.
I hoped there would be many hours of revelry and camaraderie after their victory.
I hoped for many get-togethers to watch games.
I hoped for the long and healthy careers of the players, coaches and staff.
I hoped for many great highlights to watch on Sunday nights.
I hoped the Super Bowl victory would get the Hyatt by the Superdome redeveloped finally.
I hoped more players would take leadership roles in the community through charitable organizations.
I hoped people who worked at or near the Dome would be very busy and make lots of money and maybe even get raises.

Ways in which the Saints do not give me hope:

The Saints can’t lower my health insurance premiums.
The Saints can’t build levees.
The Siants can’t build schools.
The Saints can’t build hospitals.
The Saints can’t build libraries.
The Saints can’t lower the rents.

Pants says so much here…

American football fans spent 40 years not paying very much attention to the way New Orleans had woven its underperforming football team into its highly ritualized civic and spiritual calendar. New Orleans has a way of elevating or infusing joy into things that other cities may find embarrassing or, worse, take for granted. People think this is a lazy or backward or half-assed place but one thing New Orleans does not do half-assed is love. And New Orleans always loved its football team. For a while last year, people outside of New Orleans were forced to pay some attention to that. And many of those people, as is often the case, just didn’t get it.

Was the Saints Super Bowl victory cathartic? Certainly. But it wasn’t exactly a catharsis for Katrina. First and foremost, it was a catharsis to the many many years of (in good years) mediocrity and (in worse years) ineptitude. We are talking about touchdown play with four laterals and no time left to stay in the playoff hunt negated by a missed extra point. We are talking about never winning a playoff game in the twentieth century. We are talking about a quarterback with his helmet turned backwards stumbling around the field thinking he was blinded by a hit. This franchise broke down Mike Ditka and immortalized Jim Mora Sr. as man with no illusions about the performance of his team.

But I will admit it was a bit more than that. It also a catharsis to the struggles many of us face just living in New Orleans and witnessing the poverty, violence and victimization that exists here. And honestly, those things are what the flood was about in case anyone missed it while uttering, “they deserve it for living there.”

And the Super Bowl celebration was only marginally different than what I experience on most Fat Tuesdays. We are some cathartic motherfuckers. The Super Bowl celebration attached itself to us. We didn’t attach ourselves to it. There is some sort of catharsis on many Saturday and Sunday nights for me honestly.

Jonathon Vilma, Drew Brees, Sean Payton and the other Saints are being amazing community leaders. They are a great group of guys and I thank them for it. But there are many moms and dads out there doing the same.

Back to Pants…

We do what we do. Other people do what they do. Unfortunately what happens often when people who don’t get something are asked to explain that which they do not get is they make something up that they can get. The thing that made the most sense to national media covering the Saints in 2009 was the Katrina meme.

Yes! At the paper we used to call that the “hook to hang it on.” The flood is a good way for America to sum up New Orleans. The story is already there so the journalist has less work to do. The complexities are dismissed. And that’s why Steven Godfrey ended up looking like a jackass. That’s why many people who live in other cities and comment on New Orleans seem like jackasses. They are in such a hurry to assert themselves they ignore the details.

I am actually surprised Godfrey fell for it. I’m thinking if one is in the business of writing commentaries, there should be more critical thought. Everything should be considered. He apparently was critiquing the Saints fanbase for milking Katrina when that really wasn’t a huge part of it. But it’s too complicated (even though it isn’t) for short attention spans.

I never got to read the entirety of his article but if it was taken down by the publisher then he must have failed in his task as a writer somehow. It seems as though he was attempting to justify hating our city because we use Katrina as a way to elevate ourselves. It is amazing that he never considered that his own colleagues perhaps were the ones orchestrating the entire thing. He fucking FELL for it!

I guess when the Lions finally win a Super Bowl they will hang it on the collapse of the auto industry hook rather than the fact the team has been losing for many seasons now and has never made it to the Super Bowl. The Detroit fans need something to rally around and it will be football that gives them hope. Sounds like bullshit doesn’t it? I suppose John Lennon could have wrote that we are doped on religion and sex and football. Only many of us know where football ends and life begins.

I love the Saints. I watch every game. I listen the radio. I holler at my friends about them. I have much love for the defense. I watch replays a little too much. The teams gives me a certain amount of hope. But that hope remains in the realm of football and football related activities. My finances, my health, my marriage, my community – those things remain the same regardless.

And Katrina? I’m not sure if the national media knows this or not but sometimes, I actually go a whole day without even mentioning it. Without even thinking about it. But very rarely do I go a day without showing at least some sort of quiet love for New Orleans.

The look on Ian’s face at 2:20 is pretty much the same look I had at the time.

Check that melody! Go Caleb.

Cord Cutting Debate Takes Center Stage at UBS Conference

Okay, but Cable is starting to suck. I’m not talking about my Internet and my phone. Those are fantastic. I get what I pay for and it’s usually tip-top. If it goes out, I call, it gets figured out. Everything’s great. Bravo Cox on those. Cox customer service isn’t superb but compared to those douchebags at DirecTV, it’s like being at a damn resort. Here in New Orleans, it’s Cox all the way for me.

HDLC will fine you a hundred dollars for mounting a dish in the first ten feet of your historic home. Do you think DirectTV knows this? Perhaps, perhaps not. It doesn’t matter because they must not give a damn because you can see the dishes mounted on the fronts of houses in historic neighborhoods all over the city. Do the installers ask if the houses are in historic district? Mine didn’t. Almost cost me a C-note but I happened to notice HDLC snooping around and quick, got the ladder out.

Okay, so DirectTV sucks. I had a very long story about just how bad their customer service was on a past blog that no longer exists. Ask me about it some time.

So Cox is the best thing going here in New Orleans. Let’s talk about TV programming and providence. And with providence I’m talking about the stuff that really puts the user / viewer in control. I know, I know, it’s not what the media companies want. But they have to make us think we are in control. Like the plot line of one of those movies, there has to be a suspension of disbelief. So they offer us DVR and In-Demand.

DVR is where they allow you to record (I still say “tape”) an episode of your favorite show or movie and watch it at your leisure. So you don’t have to station your ass in front of the TV or run home from the bar so you don’t miss the first 10 minutes of Boardwalk Empire. That’s awesome. So, they only did it because Tivo was making it look easy and they probably saw they were getting jacked up. They came up with their own service and charged a monthly fee for it. Brilliant.

Except it sorta sucks.

First, the hard drive isn’t very big. So if you are taping HD, you only get about three dozen shows in there. Then it starts deleting old shows. You do have an option to hold the show until manually erased. But really, hard drives are vast these days. Make a little effort. Don’t let computers school you that hard. Show some vision. Give us a vast hard drive. We know they exist.

Second, it can only tape two shows at a time and it will often switch the channel you are watching to tape something. So prime time gets real crowded and you have to sort of be on your game if you want to tape a movie showing once before a TV show that will repeat later that night.

Third, even though it has an option to only tape first runs and never tape repeats, if you select repeats, it will tape EVERY repeat. Even if it already has the same episode taped. So you know how some cable channels run their shows in the morning, then in the afternoon and then at night. It will tape all three of the episodes. It fucking doesn’t understand that you want it to tape first runs and repeats THAT AREN’T ALREADY TAPED! So little DVR machine, IF THE FUCKING SAME EPISODE OF THE SAME SHOW IS ALREADY ON THE HARD DRIVE, DON’T TAPE IT AGAIN. I know programmers can figure this out.

So that’s what sucks about DVR. It’s still worth the money but it seems like they could do more with it. And I will say that the reverse and pause features are fantastic. Especially during Saints games.

(Speaking of Saints games, I want to take a quick paragraph here to say FoxHD sucks. It sucks so bad.)

So Cox DVR, a mixed bag. Could really be improved. But okay.

Where Cable really starts getting their ass kicked by the Internet is content and programming and how it is provided. This is less Cox’s fault and more the media companies’.

Yes, yes, everybody just loves “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men” and “Treme.” But let’s be real honest. They are only a small portion of what’s out there. What truly exists is a bevy of reality shows showing the coached, obviously produced lives of vapid fuckers who don’t even act that way in real life. In between the 22 minutes of Vapid Lives are commercials advertising other people’s Vapid Lives shows and all throughout are annoying ads that take up half the screen advertising the latest Vapid Lives.

Then there is some paid programming and then there are those QVC type channels. So even though we are paying for this stuff, the amount of actual content we are getting is pretty pathetic. The free market, like that line from Fortunate Son, needs more, more, more.

Every now and again there are good movies on basic Cable but the edits are fucking ridiculous and the commercials are too damn long. And does it seems like the channels are all in cahoots as to when to show the commercials? If I switch from “Empire Strikes Back” to “Office Space,” they both have commercials on.

Oh, and the ads. Commercials, whatever, I have a remote for that. Not what I’m paying for but I do have some control. But now there are even ads within the programming. Sometimes the ads obscure the programming. Like sometimes there are subtitles and you cant read them because they are advertising Season 4 of Vapid Lives all over the screen.

Over the last year or so, I have taken screen shots of some of the more un-fucking-believable instances of the onscreen bugs.

Witness…

Image 1: I was pissed at the subtitles being blotted out by ads and hit pause and then, amazingly, the subtitled words “stupid Americans” was blotted out by a show called “Ugly Americans.” On purpose? Hell no. But weird.

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Image 2: Yes, that is Sheri Moon Zombie’s cute little butt being obscured by an advertisement for blogs! Get that shit out of there! Sex is a HUGE reason why people pay for cable! (And the Internet too for that matter.)

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Image 3: What kind of graduate assistant is he? We don’t fucking know!

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Image 4: Oh man. This is the scene where Jimmy Conway tells the young Henry Hill never to rat on his friends. It’s foreshadowing because later in the movie…SPOILER…Henry rats out Jimmy and Jimmy goes to jail for the rest of his life. Everybody knows DeNiro acts with his mouth. The same mouth that we can’t see because Bravo wants to tell us Tabitha’s back. Who the fuck is Tabitha? I think she’s on that show Vapid Lives.

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Image 5: What’s Bourdain so pissed about? It’s because he makes a point of showing us all the nasty bits and the nastiest part of this episode is being obscured because Travel Channel is bragging about showing us their shit in HD. What’s the fucking point of watching it in HD if you can’t see the nasty bits?

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Image 6: Finally this one was the one that inspired the whole thing. Every time I watch Blazing Saddles I revel in Madeline Kahn’s song onstage, Gene Wilder’s fabulous acting and dialog and this otherwise unknown redhead’s immaculate breasts. Get your stupid graphic off them AMC! WTF!?

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So when programming isn’t filled with Vapid Lives, Vapid Lives: Miami and Vapid Lives Rewind, they are bombarding us with ads during our favorite movies and shows.

But there is also this thing called InDemand. I have HBO so therefore I have HBO InDemand so I can watch selected shows whenever the hell I want to. Typically for movies they will have like 35 to choose from. A terrible, terrible comparison to Netflix streaming which is only $7 a month and features thousands and thousands more titles. But you know how I said there were 35 to choose from? That’s actually more like 25. Because 10 of those are “making of” shorts.

If there is anything I hate more, it’s “making of” shit. It was cool back in the day when you saw dudes building models of the Mellinium Falcon and blowing up little X-Wings and what not. Or like when the sound guys made laser sounds by hitting a rod against a tension wire?

Now it’s just a guy in a suit against a green screen with little ping pong balls on him and another guy at a computer overlaying a monster skin on him. Not taking away anything from those CGI guys. They are talented. But it doesn’t really do the “making of” concept any justice. We know how yall made it. You made it on your computer. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.

That’s just with special effects movies. They also have “making of” offerings for flicks like “Wedding Crashers.” These are just commercials for the films and publicity for the actors. I sense a lot of bullshit in them.

I want Ina Garten, Bourdain and Two Fat Ladies for my wife and Cosmos, American Experience and The Boondocks for me. I don’t want Vapid Lives, chopped up versions of Casino and “making of” shit.The long tail is so long these days, Cable needs to be agile to keep up. They have to get out of the concept that they can provide everything the viewer needs. I am shocked that Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Netflix and just about anyone else were able to get in on the the limitless content of Internet on the TV first.

But look, cable channels, you need to understand that advertising that takes away from the experience you are providing is the shittiest way to deliver it. You do nothing for your advertisers and diminish the very thing you are trying to sell to them, that people will stick around for the ads in spite of invasive advertisements.

I’ve recently got a wi-fi port on my blu-ray player and it has cut down on my cable watching. It would have been awesome if my cable box had one in it.

Nobody ever believes me when I tell them there are a chain of Cafe Du Mondes in Japan and they sell stuff like hot dogs with scrambled eggs on them and beignets with fruity sauces…

So here it is… CafeDumonde.jp

And here’s that hot dog with egg on it…

This is just a gift to you all. Just because I love you and you are beautiful…

Well the Saints have won five straight and I do seem to remember some folks all crying and what not back when we were 4-3. This gentleman reminds me of them…

If you think I might be talking about you, I am.

It seems weird but I now have a favorite penalty of all time…

Saints draw Bengals offsides

And in the best name fore a “play” since Ambush, Heath Evans talks about “No Brainer Freeze.”

Andrew Das from the Old Gray Lady describes Brees thespian chops…

the Saints called timeout, then huddled up and went through an elaborate 20 seconds of play-acting as Brees looked agitated in the backfield, shouting out orders and formations and then settling under center to bark out the signals.

That story also has a great hedline: “Drew Brees Suckers a Bengal” Sounds like a children’s novel.