Monday, December 31, 2007

Wet Bank Guide in Mid-Year Form, and the Year Hasn't Even Begun Yet

Mark is warming up nicely for the new year. Check it out.

In a related vein, UNO professor C.W. Cannon had a nice essay in the T-P a few days ago. Actually, not so much "nice" as "pointed."

Here is one of my favorite passages. I especially like the use of the word "darling.":
A transplant friend of mine, who still struggles with her choice to stay here, tried to put her finger on that nagging sense that New Orleans isn't a place to build a future. She said she just wasn't sure the city would even be here in a hundred years or so.

Instead of citing coastal restoration hopes, or pointing to the miracles of Dutch flood control, I just flat-out agreed with her. Yes. Of course. The city, in time, will be under the ocean, Atlantis. So will you, darling. In time the sun will supernova and the earth will be destroyed. In time the universe will expand into a dark cold place and the phenomenon of life will be no more. Do you really want to go there?

Maybe a little strategic delusion and denial is the height of rationality. Do you really think that glitzy new condo complex in some exurban boomtown is going to be there forever? Ask a homeowner with negative equity in South Florida or Phoenix. At least when we dress up like kings and queens on Mardi Gras, we don't think we really are kings and queens.

Far from being irrational, New Orleanian frivolity in the face of death and decay is actually built on a sober apprehension of reality.

And yet. And yet. I'm still going to bust my butt to make this little patch of God's green, wet, lush earth survive and thrive.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


The author of the Federal Levee Defense must leave.

And so must Devery Henderson.

And Jason David.

And Olindo Mare.

Reggie Bush must become a punt returner and slot receiver.

Deuce must return for two world class seasons at least.

To summarize:

Old New Orleans: No worries. Our Federal Levee Defense is okay. Just relax.

New New Orleans: This carpetbagger construction isn't good enough for our World Class People. We can do better. Go home, Coach Gibbs.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Back to Baked Goods

Dis one's fah Daneeta:

This Can Only Mean Trouble

But I have to start it:

Hello, fire. Let me introduce you to gasoline.

UPDATE: Okay, he took it and really ran with it. That didn't take long.

It's really cool to have a friend / NOLA blogger who acts like the Empath and draws out negative energy, experiences it more fully than we ever could, and then ejects it all into a really well done blog. Now, the Saints can truly go. Thanks, Dr. Morris. You done us proud.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Report Card Won't Be Pretty

Here are my resolutions for 2007, as posted last year. I'm working on a report card, which won't be too good.

Any of the ones I didn't do (and there are many), I'll carry over into 2008. I'm no good, but at least I'm persistently no good.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Change is Needed

Dear Coach Payton,

We need to get rid of Defensive Coordinator Gary Gibbs and his patented "Federal Levee Defense." Jason David does a good imitation of the Army Corps of Engineers, but really--that's enough.

Mr. Clio

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Must-See Levee Tee Vee

Daneeta made me aware of this stunning film. It's five minutes long, and I watched it in silence, crying. Amazing.

Then I realized that I taught the creator in high school. I am honored to have spent time in the same room as him. We traded emails yesterday. He said this is is first foray into film.


Again, here is the link:

Matt Faust's email is included at the end of the film. If you like it, show him the love.

Honestly, is this Academy Award eligible? I'm not an expert on all the categories.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Out of Rehab, Back in Da House

Saw this man in Walgreen's on Tchoup today. He had an armful of Christmas wrapping paper (tubes projecting out at all angles) and other holiday goods. He looked tired, like many of us do right now.

Glad to have him back in World Class New Orleans.

The Color of the Year

I always thought that the color of the year in even-numbered years was blackandgold, and the color of the year in odd-numbered years was purplegreenandgold. No need to vote on it at all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Self-Referential (or self-reverential)

For my post today, I am doing something that (I think) I've never done before: I'm quoting myself extensively.

In response to this brilliant post by Oyster, I commented as follows. This is pretty much what I have to say about the public housing issue addressed by the City Council yesterday.

Suffice it to say that after the vote yesterday, I am even prouder to be a New Orleanian from World Class New Orleans.

The "activists" (who seem more like "passivists" as in "passive-aggressivists") aren't interested in actual effective solutions.

They want the theater.

Looking for a good guy in this one is like looking for a good guy in the Contra/Sandinista thing in the Reagan years.

There are no good guys.

Stacy (Head) versus Tracie (Washington)?


None of the above.

The idiots (Vitter and the passive-aggressivists) have accomplished the impossible.

They have made the City Council look brilliant.

UPDATE: Adrastos really gets it right, and adds some historical/hysterical perspective.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Suddenly Relevant Again

Understand what I was saying about Carpetbaggers?

Here's what Jim Haslett, former carpetbagger here in our fair city, is up to now in St. Louis, according to Gregg Easterbrook of TMQ:
Single Worst Play of the Season So Far: With Green Bay leading St. Louis 20-14 in the third quarter of what was then a tense game, the Packers faced third-and-10. Green Bay lined up trips left with Greg Jennings the interior slot man. St. Louis defensive backs Ronald Bartell and O.J. Atogwe stood directly in front of Jennings, Green Bay's deep threat, visibly arguing with each other about which of them would cover him. At the snap, neither covered Jennings, who simply ran straight up the field alone. Brett Favre threw Jennings a 44-yard touchdown pass; the receiver was so alone he looked as though he was expecting to field a punt. St. Louis Rams, you are guilty of the Single Worst Play of the Season So Far.

Congrats, Coach Haz!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lee de Fleur Won't Die

The Times-Pic ran his picture bigger than ever today on page c-12, with an article on New Orleans area running and races.

I was just examining his costume yesterday in my attic. It definitely has some battle scars.

All I can say about his future is that when Spiderman has to kick things up a notch and get all nasty-like, he goes with the black costume.

On the other hand, as bigshot has documented, the black costume look usually hasn't worked out too well for the Saints.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Taste the Difference

You can get these beauties (and buttermilk drops) at the Tastee Donuts on Clearview and West Metairie.

World Class? You decide. Damn good, I say.

Gotta love bakery items that share the name of Trey 4.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Carpetbaggers: Antithetical to Sinn Fein

The Bobby Petrino story has made me think of a few things.

First, as a Saints fan, I'm proud that the beatdown Monday night was so bad that it caused the coach to flee Atlanta and his multimillion dollar "contract."

Second, it made me think of carpetbaggers, whom Wikipedia aptly desribes as follows:

an exploiter who does not plan to stay. Although the term is still an insult in common usage, in histories and reference works it is now used without derogatory intent. Since 1900 the term has also been used to describe outsiders attempting to gain political office or economic advantage, especially in areas (thematically or geographically) to which they previously had no connection.
Apparently the term gained usage during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.

Coach Petrino got the Atlanta Falcons job after a "national search," I'm sure. The Falcons ignored the fact that he had just signed a 10-year contract with the University of Louisville.

Thus, it seems disingenous when the Falcons' leadership cries foul and plays the victim. That same leadership actively pursued a man who was under long-term contract with another employer.

Can they actually be shocked when the same guy shows no loyalty to them and chases dollars with another team? Can they be shocked when he shows no ability to fight through tough times (e.g. a losing record and player-related scandal)?

Now, let's bring this story home to New Orleans. We are in our own period of Reconstruction, though of a radically different kind.

Who are the carpetbaggers now? They're here--people who have come since the storm and levee failures not because of a concern for humanity and our civilization, but because it's a well-paid gig. I can easily point to some of them associated with prominent New Orleans institutions (but I won't do that here).

My point is that we should all give a hard look at the neo-carpetbaggers. They had better be darn good at their jobs, because we need to understand that they will just move on to the next gig, even if it means leaving here before their jobs are done.

They'd ditch us in a heartbeat. Or half a heartbeat.

Let's not bring in mediocrities who will leave us. If we have to do "national searches," let's hire only the best, or (better yet) find locals who have world class skills and intelligence AND have a real commitment and loyalty to World Class New Orleans.

Too many New Orleans institutions chase the mediocre carpetbagger over the World Class local.
Are there carpetbaggers in your life? Maybe their skills make their presence here worthwhile. Maybe not.

It's worth thinking about and asking, Are they really worth it?

In the end, Dr. Morris got this about right in February 2006.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Two NOLA Guys with Graham Crackers, Candy, Icing, and Other Materials

I went to visit Clio II at his boarding school in northern Alabama this weekend. As a parent-child team, we were tasked with building a gingerbread house. Other parent-child teams built some wonderfully traditional gingerbread houses. This is what resulted from our work. It was Clio II's idea and design, although I take some pride in crafting the curve of the roof (using the ends of plastic spoons and icing).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


"That call," [Bucs running back Earnest] Graham said of the fourth-down run, "won us the division."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a three-game lead with four games left.

Yes, they probably have won the division. However, the football gods do not take kindly to premature declarations of supremacy.


Sunday, December 02, 2007


I had posted raw despair here.

I've deleted the previous written material so as to make the Internet a happier place.

In Homage to Chef Who Dat and NOISE

Yes, one New Orleans chef got some bad news this week, but Emeril will be back strong, no doubt.

However, another New Orleans chef wins every week. He has a John-Wooden-at-UCLA-like winning streak going, with no threat of ever losing.

Chef Who Dat quite simply is the man. Right there with Deuce. One of the Most Powerful Men in New Orleans.

And he, with Coach and with Ashley, asks us for noise. (By the way, Mr. Fujita was on the radio this week asking us to bring the noise one hour early. Dilly and Berto plan to comply.)

So let's bring it today. Let's do it for Chef and Mrs. Who Dat.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How Does the University of Hawaii Ever Lose a Game?

It's late at night on a Saturday night. I'm watching the Rainbow Warriors play the Washington Huskies, and right now the undefeated Hawaii team is down 21-7.

Here's what I can't figure out.

You're a 17-year-old promising high school athlete. You're great. You get visited by the following people:

1. A football coach from Lincoln, Nebraska.
2. A football coach from Columbus, Ohio.
3. A football coach from Los Angeles, California.
4. A football coach from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
5. A football coach from Gainesville, Florida.
6. A football coach from Hawaii.

They all say, "Son, we want you to come and get a university education FOR FREE and play football for us."

Why would you not go to Hawaii?