Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This Is What Mr. Clio Wants to Write When He Grows Up

This post by Oyster, whom I am privileged to call friend, articulates large swaths of what I am trying to live and be these days.

It's hard to pick one part to excerpt--the passages from Schopenhauer are stirring--but here's something that stays with me:

Nietzsche tells us to deal with the churning "outer" chaos of post-Flood New Orleans by organizing the "chaos" within. That is, by becoming the person you know you should be. You don't need to worry how your current self "fits in" with the new New Orleans. You can "fit in" by being yourself. There will always be room in the New Orleans parade for authentic characters. That's the beauty of this place. There's no point in wearing a mask if you're already cloaked in a "sham self", is there?

Trust that you are still living here for the right reason. Part of you, perhaps the best part of you, is authentically New Orleans... now reach for it and discover it! In this way you will revitalize New Orleans culture, and in this very personal way you will rebuild a city like no other.

Implicit in this is the idea that New Orleans and Orleanians are not frail entities. We're not afraid of or intimidated by people being who they are. We can handle it. We might knock you (or me) back in your (or my) place if you (or I) get a little out of line, but we're all adults here. So let's be adults together and pull ourselves out of this muck. That's why I'm here, with more energy than ever, and ready for the ride of my life--one that's just getting started.

Let's Keep Our Eye on the Ball, People

Please, is this Afghanistan? Or America? Or the Republic of West Florida?

Maybe if the Army Corps of Engineers would hang up a picture of Jesus, more people would show up and protest there. Now that's where we need more protesters.

I just don't have time or patience for this anymore. Yes, the ACLU can be pesky sometimes, but guess what? They're RIGHT on this one. Take the picture down, and let's move on. We don't have time for this silliness. The energy of 250 people could be used much better elsewhere.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Yesterday I Got a Haircut from Our Quarterback's Barber

Apparently Drew comes in after practice, after hours, to get a haircut in peace.

I'm calling my new style "the Number Nine."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Challenge Anyone to Top Chef Who Dat on How to Praise Michael Lewis

It can't be done:
Chef can think of only one, a very small token to Michael Lewis, the legend.

Chef's menu pledge: Budweiser at every course, every meal until
Thursday, September 6.

The recycled cans will be crafted into a life-size icon: a 5'8", 165-lb, 3D Beer Man sculpture donated to the
Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park.
Chef Who Dat knows no equal.

I've Been Looking for This. . . And THIS too.

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday again!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Incompetence and Ensuing Insanity Just NEVER STOPS

So I learned from that the Army Corps of Engineers released official flood risk maps.

It is deeply troubling to me that when I click on the map for my sector of the city, our sector is called "CB, French Quarter, Garden District, Broadmoor, Fairgrounds/Mid-city."


1. What is the "CB"? Would that be the Central Business District (CBD)?

2. What is "Mid-city"? Would that be Mid-City?

3. I'm confused: my neighborhood is not listed in the above list, yet it is included on the map of the sector. Do they think I live in the Garden District? I do not. Broadmoor. Wrong again. I live Uptown. This seems to be beyond the understanding of the Army Corps of Engineers.

I have no confidence in them. I have no confidence in the Texans and Iowans and Alaskans who are supposed to keep them accountable and to fire incompetent people there.

I am really losing it.


Now a Jefferson Parish Council member wants to ban taqueria trucks. Mister Louis Congemi says, "This is a matter of trying to be consistent and clean the parish up." Huh? A better way to clean up Metairie/Kenner would be to shut down the Applebee's.

I say Mister Congemi is against competition. I say Mister Congemi is forgetting that his last name ends in a vowel and that his ancestors no doubt benefited from the entrepreneurial spirit that helps make New Orleans great.

Thank goodness for some civilized voices in today's letters to the editor. They reflect the real spirit of this place.

Monday, June 18, 2007

How come the Feds don't show the same urgency about us?

From the New York Times:
To archaeologists, knowing that a virtually unexplored land of mystery is soon to be flooded has the same effect as Samuel Johnson ascribed to one facing the gallows in the morning. It concentrates the mind.
The land formerly known as Kush is apparently crawling with archaeologists eager to explore what they can.

We fit that description. Maybe we should staff the Army Corps of Engineers with archaeologists.

They couldn't do any worse than the guys already there.

Blake's Man Paul Potts WON!

As Clio III said, No duh!

Shout out to World Class Paul Potts from World Class New Orleans!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Point Proven Yet Again

From the Wall St. Journal, we learn that the Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood, is suing State Farm for bad-faith breach of contract. "Mr. Hood said State Farm has paid 300 claims in the deal reached with the insurance commissioner, out of more than 30,000 affected customers."

Please note that this comes from a state with a Bush-friendly governor and a supposedly less whiny attitude than us po folks in New Orleans.

Here's the real kicker:
A State Farm spokesman said the company's settlement with Mr. Dale is "moving forward."

What'd I tell you?

Monday, June 11, 2007

General Honore would not be impressed.

1. Mark points out that HUD, HANO, and developers are Stuck on Stupid. This sort of thing makes me shaky.

2. Matt McBride says we're in terrible shape if a heavy rain event hits while the new floodgates are closed. This is the result, no doubt, of crony capitalism. New Orleans - style corruption is Double A ball compared to what the Bush family does.

3. Our compromised healthcare system is proving incapable of meeting the healthcare needs of one of my kids. By taking on a loan, we are going to deal with it. What about the people who don't have the wherewithal to do what we're doing? What happens to them? John Edwards looks more like my candidate every day.

Not an upbeat day at World Class New Orleans.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Um, Well, It's Actually a Bigger Change Than That

Here's what new Saints running back Antonio Pittman said (with affection) about his new home in New Orleans as compared to his past in Ohio:
"It's just like being at Ohio State. All the players are a big family, the coaches are very supportive and the fan base here is great," Pittman said. "It's just a color change -- black and gold instead of scarlet and gray."
I understand what he's getting at. I just hope he remembers that here he doesn't have to wear sackloth and ashes.

How would the Mach 5 handle Orleanian potholes?

From Yatpundit, we learn the fun news that there will be a movie of "Speed Racer."

Quick, see if you can remember what each of the steering wheel buttons do.
I can't.

Friday, June 08, 2007

What I Learned from William Jefferson's Statement About His Innocence

1. I begin with the paragraph that begins "In a few days Andrea and I will celebrate our 37th Wedding Anniversary. We are the parents of five children . . ."

Jefferson then goes on to list the impressive schools from which his children have graduated.

What I learned in this paragraph is how the children of a Harvard graduate and successful politician can get into prominent universities.

Don't get me wrong: William Jefferson's story of coming from a disadvantaged background to go on to be a Harvard graduate is impressive. However, his children's stories fail to inspire me. Legacy status and daddy's connections are amazing things. Lots of really smart kids go to LSU and Loyola and Rollins College. Really smart kids with connections go to Harvard and Brown.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, his children's stories are irrelevant to his guilt or innocence vis-a-vis the charges against him.

2. From the following three paragraphs, I learned that the government has a lot of resources and a history of sometimes bringing charges that are not true.

AGAIN, I have no idea how this relates to Mr. Jefferson's guilt or innocence.

3. In the next paragraph (which begins "The people of my district know this"), Mr. Jefferson tells me what I know. I am in his district, and I must disagree. I do not know that he is above reproach.

4. Finally, in the last few paragraphs, Mr. Jefferson gets to the charges. He admits he made mistakes in judgment. (That's not really helpful. I made a mistake in judgment by believing that the Saints would beat the Bears and reach the Super Bowl. Is this the kind of mistake in judgment to which he refers?)

He also says that the $90,000 (I assume the money from his freezer) was from the FBI. If so, why didn't he bring it straight to the Times-Picayune???? Or to a blogger like Oyster? They could have told his story.

I have to stop now. I'm getting nauseous.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

THANKS METAIRIE! (I'm sick of this garbage.)

Kenny Vincent's place is getting shut down in Jefferson Parish. I guess that means we'll have fewer really classy commercials on pop radio.

Anyway, a guy who apparently has made a lot of money from Kenny Vincent's Southside / Key West isn't happy about losing a source of income. Mister David Prechter made this beautiful defense:
Prechter said the club's clientele had evolved over three decades to a hip-hop crowd, which he described as predominantly African American patrons who were joined by a very small contingent of criminals. At one point, he called the group "the black element."
The upstanding Jeff Parish Council lit into Mister Prechter for this defense. And then Elton Lagasse had this to say to Mister Prechter:
"I'm so very sorry you might lose some business if we shut down Kenny Vincent's," he said. "But I can tell you what: Maybe if you're not happy here maybe you ought to go to New Orleans and live if you don't like the laws and things that we're trying to abide by here."
I'm sick of this. Why didn't he ask Prechter to go to Laplace? Or Picayune? Or Baton Rouge?

Why not ask him to go to Greece? or Bimini? or Russia?

You're asking the wrong question, Mister Lagasse.

What happened to regional solidarity? What happened to human solidarity?

That is one seriously disgusting statement, Mister Lagasse.

I don't want people like Mister Lagasse in my neighborhood. If he moved in, I would get extra locks on my doors and install a powerful alarm. I would also keep my children away from his end of the street.

UPDATE: I just left a very detailed message for Mister Lagasse with his very polite assistant.

UPDATE 2: I ate at my desk today--takeout from Dunbar's. Smothered turkey necks with greens, sweet potatoes, rice, and cornbread. And icy sweet tea with a splash of lemonade in it. Oh, man.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Another June 1, Another Fun One

Mrs. Melpomene and I awoke this morning at 6 a.m. to the on rush of winds and rain connected to our June 1 storm, Barry. For June, we are living on the east coast of Florida in a little beach house with our two cats. It's shades of the past.

We bought our house in Lakeview in 2003 on our anniversary. We moved in, no joke, in the middle of a Tropical Storm, Bill, a month later.

After Katrina, I moved to Virginia Beach, VA about a few days before Hurricane Ophelia came bearing down, before veering off.

It seems every time we pull out that clear packing tape and a few boxes, there is a serious storm offshore. Maybe we need to move to Denver, and away from all this coastal lunacy.