Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Costume for All Hallows' Eve

In support of Ashley's post on things overheard this weekend at the Dome, I post the above picture.

Please note the beverage that this well-known fast food mascot is consuming. I can confirm that he did indeed flip off a denizen of the Dome Terrace who told him, "I'm going to Wendy's!!"

Please note the excessive number of empty seats in the Club Level of the Dome. This was at a point in the game when the Saints could've easily come back. As Berto writes, people who use tickets that their company or brother-in-law gave them tend not to stay long.

Possibly my favorite moment of the game that didn't involve Michael Lewis came at halftime. The Saints were down 28-7 and had just given up a cheap touchdown. The negative boobirds made a weak attempt at their old trick of booing them off the field. The cheers quickly came and drowned them out.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Imagination + Digitization = An Indictment and a Vision

Go see Ashley's link to see how things should've gone in Aug. / Sept. 2005.

Thanks to U2, Green Day, the Skids, and the computer guys who help us imagine a better world.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Sense of What We Add to America

A fellow Orleanian said to me earlier this year, with tears in her eyes: "We're the soul of America."

Even President Bush, in his speech at Jackson Square (don't EVER forget the promises he made there) said that one can't imagine America without New Orleans.

So here's a little experiment.

Green Day's song, "When September Ends."

Listen to the original version, with Rhapsody or iTunes or whatever.

Then listen to this version (also, see the YouTube clip below), from the Dome, which includes a little New Orleans brass (if you can call Rebirth and Trombone Shorty "little") backing up Green Day. Then tell me which one is better.

The first one's a nice song. The second one (which admittedly includes the Edge's great guitar) is THE FREAKIN' DEAL. Whatever it is that those brass players, and the crowd, add to the performance--that's what we bring to America.

Sure, and this Mother Teresa can also Jack You Up, Billick.

Here's what the Saints' next opposing head coach had to say this week:

"Everybody loves (them), and deservedly so," Billick said. "You go in and beat them, you might as well go and beat up Mother Teresa. You know, 'You scums, what are you doing here?'"

Yeah, whatever.

Can Mother Teresa do this?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Faith Corner (and faith sometimes feels like being painted into a corner)

In light of Mr. Mel's troubling dreams and other troubles, I (like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction) quote from the prophet Ezekiel today. After all, if the destruction wrought by Katrina and the levee failures is described as biblical, why can't our healing and resurrection be "biblical" too? Why can't "biblical" mean "filled with hope" as well as "catastrophically huge"?
. . . and the waste places shall be rebuilt. The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And they will say, "This land that was so desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined towns are now inhabited and fortified." Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places . . ..

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A hard crime to fathom...

You people are going to think I am nuts...but I went to go see my shrink this week and his last name is -- no joke -- Muse. God is a comedian and irony is part of his canvas.

Well the topic of my visit was my recurring symptoms of PKSD, which most recently manifested itself in a series of nightmares triggered from watching Tom Hanks in Castaway and the news of the grisly murder/dismemberment in New Orleans.

I don't know if there is a common thread between the two, other than being over the horizon of civilization, but both hit me at a low moment.

The article today about the Hall murder is on target, it could have been just a horrible drug/alcohol/post Iraq story without the hurricane and debacle afterwards, but it is not, and it never will be.

When the fabric is ripped asunder, the frayed edges are exposed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

As I Was Just Saying . . .

Re: The Unspeakable Crime

When New Orleanians move elsewhere and commit crimes, critics elsewhere ascribe it to the crime problem in New Orleans.

When people from elsewhere (in the case above, Los Angeles) move to New Orleans and commit crimes, critics elsewhere ascribe it to the crime problem in New Orleans.

If I were Sheriff Jack Strain, I'd start getting all self-righteous about how we're not going to let Californians come here and hack up women, because that's just not the way we do things in New Orleans. And I'd say that if you're driving a car with California plates, you can rest assured you will be pulled over and questioned.

Or if I were a certain city council woman from Houston, I'd start getting all uppity and talking about how New Orleans is a "workin' town," and we don't have time to hack up women.

But I'm not Sheriff Jack, and I'm not a certain city council woman from Houston, and New Orleans isn't St. Tammany or Houston. Those are fine places, but we don't want to be them.

New Orleans is a World Class City. We're horrified by barbaric behavior, but we're not going to start casting aspersions on entire populations of people because of the unspeakably evil behavior of one deeply disturbed man.

New Orleans is not a country club. We'll take anybody who wants to join our groove in peace and dignity.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oh, Wow. Listen to Who Dat Nation.

Yes, Reggie's return here is incredible. But listen to the crowd.

Or Halle Berry.

From Angus Lind, posted without comment:

When your team wins, the sky is bluer, the trees are greener, the birds are always singing, you eat better, sleep better, your beer tastes better and your spouse looks like Angelina Jolie. Or Brad Pitt.

UPDATE for Ashley:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Emeril's Factors into the Saints' Story Again

From Peter King, who's been very good to our city this year:
Sunday night, Drew Brees, speaking from Emeril's, is talking about what is happening in New Orleans. The crowd at the bar rose to give Brees and some mates an ovation, then the crowd in the entire place stood.

"I can't tell you how happy I am, we all are, to be helping this city in some small way,'' Brees said. "To be here right now, it's ... it's unimaginable. We even had some Eagles fans come up to us and congratulate us. One of them said to me: 'We hate losing, but we couldn't have been beaten by a better team, in a better city.' That made me proud.''

What a half hour. What a day.


This Was Even More Repugnant Than I Thought It Was

Found this on Youtube today. It's the first time I've seen all of Sheriff Jack Strain's comments.

He talks about a regional approach. I don't believe him. Or at least I don't think we'd agree on what a regional approach would look like.

Sheriff Strain doesn't understand that he's the sheriff of a civil parish. He thinks he's the membership director of a country club.

Does This Track Look Familiar?

I'm doing a little writing project for my job, and in the course of it I stumbled into info about the Hurricane of 1901 that hit New Orleans and southeast Louisiana. It breached levees in the city and inundated St. Bernard and Plaquemines.

Here's a map of the track, which looks awfully familiar.

Those people, our ancestors, fought their way through that one. They didn't have bulldozers, air conditioning, Microsoft Excel. We can do this.

This Is What Recovery Looks Like

Nice pic by my neighbor Alex Brandon.

Also, I'm not happy that my posts lately have been substantively skimply and heavily focused on the Saints. Come to think of it, that's the way I'VE BEEN lately.

I'm working on it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

They'd be Amassing Outside the Copeland Estate

I read in National Geographic yesterday that there were 9 billion chickens harvested (?) in the United States last year, along with 250 million turkeys.

That's a lot of birds.

Imagine if they organized. There would be roughly 30 chickens and one turkey for each man, woman, and child in the United States. I guess the turkey would be the leader of each little bad-ass flock.

I'm not sure if I could take on 30 chickens alone, and I'm sure my youngest children couldn't.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Why is it that when people who live or who have lived in New Orleans commit crimes in places like Slidell or Houston, it's part of New Orleans's "crime problem"? The stories make front-page news and get national attention, and "respectable" commentators and "heroic" law enforcement officials tut-tut and roll their eyes and talk about "those kind of people" from New Orleans.

On the other hand, when people from places like Slidell or Houston come to the New Orleans area and commit horrible crimes (please, check those links--are those horrible enough for ya?), it's still considered part of New Orleans's "crime problem." The stories get limited coverage (so little, in fact, that it's difficult to find good links to them via Google). As New Orleanians, it seems that we're just supposed to tolerate this stuff as one of the costs of living in the Big Easy, and then we're supposed to beat ourselves up about what a rotten, corrupt, ineffective place we live in.

I'm not buying any of the garbage, but neither am I going to become one of THEM.

THEM [sic] are the kind of people who see their cities as country clubs. Only THEIR kind of people need apply. In response to problems with post-levee failure New Orleans exiles, a Houston city council member said: "'That's what the Houston mentality is, this is a working town.'" The implication is that we New Orleanians are not. THEM ascribe problems to oustiders, non-THEMs.

I refuse to respond to the hypocrisy demonstrated in the first two paragraphs above by responding in kind, by whining about those horrible outsiders who on occasion do terrible things in my city. What makes a city a city is that it welcomes outsiders.

Can you imagine a truly world class municipality playing us-and-them games? That's why some people in St. Tammany have some work to do.

NOTE: Don't even think about accusing me of playing us-and-them games with this post. It's not hypocritical or inconsistent to call out us-and-them people precisely for their intolerance.

SECOND NOTE: Nor is this post a defense of New Orleanians who go elsewhere and do terrible things. If they do something wrong, arrest their asses and throw da book at 'em. Trust me: I wish only the worst for peope who commit crimes here, too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Proof We Still Have the Magical Weirdness

Okay, so we may be a city proper of only 185,000 at this point (please note the large margin of error in that survey, and I actually agree with Mayor Curly that the number should be higher), but signs abound that we still have what much larger cities can only wish for.

To wit:

1. I was in Kinko's on Tchoupitoulas yesterday. I saw the following:
A. A college-age African-American woman wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt (complete with the Confederate flag in the background).

B. A well-dressed, older Caucasian woman who rolled her Winn-Dixie basket full of groceries right into the middle of Kinko's to take care of her business there.

2. We are having trouble getting Clio II to go to school (he's in ninth grade). So today, (up early and unable to sleep), in hopes of providing an incentive for Clio II to get up, I took the 10-minute drive to the Quarter to pick up some beignets. On the way back, I flipped the radio to FM 100.3, the Cajun station. There were Cajun ladies reciting the Rosary in French at 5:45 a.m.

3. For a long time after our return to the city last October, New Orleans felt very small and very unpopulated. It doesn't feel that way anymore. There is no longer a near guarantee that I'll see someone I know at a public event or store. I don't know everything that's going on in town. I don't live under the illusion that I understand everybody here. That feels really good. Even if all our people aren't back yet, the city has the feel of a large, complex, unpredictable landscape. The city feels so much bigger than my mental landscape.

4. Morgus is back. On his myspace site, he offers the following apology, which is a classic:
At any rate I must apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused you by last summer's unusual weather. Just between you and me, I'm afraid that Chopsley and I may have been partially responsible. You see, in mid-August last year, I was working very hard on a new invention, ingeniously designed to repel Hurricanes from the Gulf Coast. Thus repelled, the offending Hurricanes would instead rush off to Latin America or the Carribbean, leaving me free to work on my experiments uninterrupted.

The only flaw in my otherwise brilliant design for the "Hurricane - Repello- Matic 3000" was in creating two settings for the machine: One for Repel, the other for Attract. During the first test of my device on August 28th 2005, Chopsley set the dial on Attract and the rest as they say (ahem) is history.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Mr. Louis Armstrong plays and sings our anthem:

Mr. Clio Down for the Count (for now)

Been in bed for awhile with 102 fever.

Perhaps it's a reaction to my lunch with a guy in Chicago on Monday, at which he suggested that much of New Orleans be plowed under and turned into a park. As a professional, I did not react violently. Now I wish I had.

P. S. I'm not worthy to appear in a Suspect Device cartoon, but I did. Here. (click on "the usual spot.") With the cartoon's appearance in Gambit on Sunday, I started getting calls. What a kick!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Warmup

No, this is not Dillyberto's blog, but I'm still riding the high from Monday. Let's get warmed up for Sunday's game, shall we?