Monday, August 31, 2009

The most complimentary thing anyone will write about Tulane football this year

They are "flu-symptom-free" and ready to go.

Must have learned that from Nagin

Jeremy Alford: In endorsements, Jindal has the minus touch

Here's a bold prediction

Look for this to not go very well
The New Orleans City Council won't get Mayor Ray Nagin's proposed 2010 city operating budget for almost two months, but what is expected to be a contentious budget review process in effect began Monday.

At a joint meeting of two council committees that was attended at various times by all seven council members, the members had sharply critical words for almost everyone, from the Nagin administration to state bureaucrats, city recovery officials, various outside contractors working for the city and even the city's public defenders office.

Also... always good to see that the "serious" Mayoral candidates have clear strategies for dealing with this stuff.


At least they're consistent

Wow! Front page, even

My first thought was.. you know... slow news day but then I remembered that the Monday T-P really doesn't count as a full paper anymore. Plus it's only fitting that the day on which the famous "Viewpoint" page appears, that an otherwise obscure story about an independent and heretofore anonymous blogger makes the front page.

Bob Ellis, meet Jason Berry, the man formerly known as Ashe Dambala. He'll take you up on that coffee and has a few questions for you.

Berry decided to dispense with pseudonym for this news story; the anonymity wouldn't last anyway, he said. Berry said he's never hidden his identity out of fear, but as a way to encourage dialogue about corruption in a city where few problems are addressed head-on.

He is not related to the other local writer named Jason Berry, who wrote "Lead Us Not Into Temptation, " "Up From the Cradle of Jazz" and other books.

Berry, the man behind the American Zombie blog, works for an information technology company. He also co-directed a documentary on the pre-Katrina woes of New Orleans public schools, called "Left Behind." He calls himself Dambala, he said, after a snake god -- one mucking around in the snake pit that is City Hall.

Ellis said he intended to sue his accuser for libel, but needed to confirm his identity first. The whole dust-up underscores increasing tensions both locally and nationally between no-name bloggers and the targets of their at-times vicious prose and unverified allegations.

Is it going too far to ask if placement on the front page of the Monday Viewpoint edition relies, at least in part, on a story's personal significance to well-connected attorneys like Bob Ellis? I mean compare this to the Uncle Rico scandal which got a couple of front-page runs in the T-P. It dropped every lawyer-politico in the book PLUS it involved Hollywood and football. Somehow this story doesn't quite live up to that standard. Maybe it could go in one of those side blurbs the paper usually reserves for "medium-sized" oil spills, but for the front page, I want to see at least two Saints players and a guy with his girlfriend's corpse in his trunk.

On the other hand, I can kind of see the editor's point in running an above-the-fold double feature of a Zombie story in the right column and an Indian burial ground in the left. But, unlike Walgreens, I'm still not quite ready for Halloween.

Even so, I find it a bit chilling to learn that Mr. Ellis would take these steps against an individual who has basically just been airing out information about city officials and their business relationships and asking valid questions regarding that information. When his information turned out to be faulty or incomplete, he corrected it. In fact, sorting out the truth from the bullshit seemed to me to be the point of the exercise in the first place.

Plus he couldn't have been too far off since we now know that some of his questions are being asked by federal investigators. And other questions of his are also being asked by the Times-Picayune... about Bob Ellis... as recently as this weekend.

Are the feds and the T-P next in line to be sued? Or can we only expect individuals with limited resources to be intimidated in this fashion?

Note: Anonymous sources tell us that T-P reporter Molly Reid put this story together using incomplete and inaccurate quotations from individuals speaking on completely different topics from and well in advance of the matter their words are applied to here. But I guess she didn't use any "vicious prose" so nobody will sue her.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

Josh Marshall writing about retired Gen. Russell Honore's possible entry into the GOP primary for LA Senate in 2010:
Honore is a very interesting possibility in terms of potentially shaking up the race. Unlike most others associated with Katrina, Honore came out of it with a very good reputation. And while some national observers did not realize it (because of his very very light complexion), Honore is African-American. ('Is' is a fraught word in this context. Honore identifies himself as an "African-American Creole", which is to say a person of mixed race descended from the French-Spanish-African population of Louisiana from the pre-United States period.) I know enough about Louisiana politics not to be stupid enough to try to understand it. But some Republican GOPers in Louisiana and nationally might see his entry as not totally unwelcome, even an opportunity to unload the thoroughly damaged Vitter.

The T-P this morning gives us a taste as to why this may be so. (Can't find the link yet. Blame the freaking impenetrable NOLA.com)
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said Honore is popular and charismatic, and he wouldn't be surprised if Honore got into politics.

Asked whether he'd support him, Nagin said, "Oh man, I'll support that guy any way he goes"

This could make for yet another election defined by its unusual alliances and confused racial politics. But I'll have to see more of Honore on the stump before I decide that I'm stupid enough to try to understand it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fuck you too, Google

Google home page commemorates the fourth anniversary of the Federal Flood

8/29 : Michael Jackson's birthday

Friday, August 28, 2009

The ship floats but it won't float away*

Beginning around 11:30 today I started to play a little game with myself where I'd try to approximate the progress of our evacuation four years ago by posting to Twitter a guess at where we would have been at the time of each update. I gave up on it around 3:00 or so because 1) I had other stuff to do today and 2) It forced me to recall that by that time were still sitting in traffic on or near the (old) twin-spans.

In fact as I type this now I realize that we would have still been at or near Meridian, Mississippi where we searched in exhaustion and in vain for a place to stay. It wasn't until around 1:00 AM that we finally collapsed on a gym floor at a Red Cross shelter at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

I can still feel the cramp in my legs as I finally lay down on that mat next to a woman I had only known a few weeks at the time and who is now my wife. I'm struggling to remember exactly what I was thinking then. I was likely too beaten by the day to think anything more than, I'm tired, this is fucked, but we'll just figure it out as we go. At least that's a pretty good guess since it's more or less what I've been thinking every day since then.

Here are some links I noticed today.

  • Four years on, Katrina remains cursed by rumour, cliche, lies and racism

    Katrina was a fairly terrible natural disaster.** But it turned into a horrific social catastrophe because of the response of the people in power, spurred on by their willingness to believe a hysterical, rumour-mongering media. (Journalists on the ground were often fiercely empathic and right on the mark, but those at a remove were all too willing to believe the usual tsunami of cliches about disaster and human nature.)

    The story that few can wrap their minds around is that ordinary people mostly behaved well – there were six bodies in the Superdome, including four natural deaths and a suicide, not the hundreds that the federal government expected when it sent massive refrigerator trucks to collect the corpses. On the other hand, people in power behaved appallingly, panicking, spreading rumours, and themselves showing an eagerness to kill and a pathological lack of empathy.

    **As most of us have screamed until bloody in the larynx, the Flood was a man-made disaster of starved wetlands and faulty engineering but we'll just have to live with the error here.

  • Commentary: Does Obama care about New Orleans?
    President Obama, who has mainly limited his comments about New Orleans to feel-good boilerplate, did pledge to make good on President Bush's promise on that eerie, floodlit night in a deserted Jackson Square in 2005, to rebuild New Orleans better and stronger. But he has yet to actively intervene to make sure New Orleans gets state-of-the-art flood protection and robust and timely coastal wetland reconstruction. Like President Bush, President Obama so far seems to be acting as if just saying it makes it so.

  • Katrina: Four Years and One Inauguration Later

    The president’s decision to stay on the east coast this week did not come as a surprise to the people of the Gulf Coast, where kudzu-covered playgrounds, closed schools and decaying roads inspire little trust in public officials. Yet even if predicted, the president’s absence still has managed to leave a bad taste in the mouths of many here who expected more from the country’s first black president, a former community organizer who campaigned on a promise that he would make it “clear to members of my administration that their responsibilities don’t end in places like the Ninth ward – they begin there.”

  • EDITORIAL: We're Counting on You, Mr. President

    Our community is resilient and hard-working. Together with volunteers from around the country, we are striving to make this a better place than it was before the storm, with renovated houses, vastly improved schools and a unique culture that's as vibrant as ever.

    But there's no substitute for the focus, the energy, the commitment that a president alone can bestow. There's no substitute for you, as president, seeing our recovery and its halting progress with your own eyes, for taking time to walk in our shoes. So we ask you to bring your considerable intellect, your problem-solving ability, your influence to bear. When a president pays attention, so does the nation.

    In the past week, we have hosted several of your Cabinet secretaries. We are grateful for their visits. We were especially impressed with Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan. On this, his third visit since his appointment, he brought his entire senior team with him and committed himself to "building back not just what was there, but building back better and stronger."

    That was music to our ears. But it would be a sweeter sound coming from you and spoken on location.



If the Council race in District A is in danger of being taken over by mysterious masked vigilantes, is it not incumbent upon the citizenry... for the sake of the rule of law, mind you... to alert the authorities? Not saying that anyone relishes the thought of a "fascist" police force breaking up a political meeting. It's just that some neighbors might be a little afraid of Batts.

Useless Senator Gets Screamed At By Nutcases

Calls the whole thing a "success" Comes away more committed than ever to toothless reform. Blah blah blah. I hate August.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Doesn't anybody want this job?

A week and a half out before Arnie Fielkow's promised moment of decision, Eli compiles the latest in his series of Mayoral odds posts, this time for The Root. It makes me nervous that there are still only three officially declared candidates in this race. Especially when Eli has consistently pointed us to the many many ways the field can be so much more fun.

Melancon is officially in

At this point, it doesn't look like anyone can take down Vitty and I expect he'll find a way to make this even more difficult than it needs to be but, for various reasons, Charlie Melancon has no choice but to do this.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And I am getting old, aren't I

It's probably a function of my age but I have difficulty conceiving of the 2000s as a definable unit pop-culturally speaking. If someone were to ask me about the "music of the 80s" or 90s or any other late 20th Century decade for that matter, I'd have an immediate frame of reference. But ask me about the 00s in Music and I'm lost. What was the music of the 00s? Did we ever decide that there was any?

Hes the Uncle - Guided by Voices

Rachael Ray produces more dog food

'Nuff said.

Quote of the Day

Menckles: "Why the hell is David Carradine our quarterback?"


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two LSU/VA points

1) I would have just posted this on Greg's blog but I don't feel like going through the rigamaroll of registering. His post is about the revelation that the expected synergistic sharing of facilities resources between the two hospitals, which was a major selling point of the project, has been scrapped due to the now out-of-sync timing and funding for each hospital. I've noticed that opponents of the new hospital, who have worked diligently to delay or obstruct the project, are now claiming that the success of their efforts proves the dishonesty of the plan in the first place. I find this less than persuasive.

2) This is an interesting turnaround about which I was previously unaware.

Meanwhile, Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore added his voice to those calling for the federal government to help pay for a new hospital to replace Charity, a shift in position for the man who commanded Joint Task Force-Katrina in the wake of the 2005 storm. In May, Honore told The Times-Picayune that Charity should have been reopened after the storm and that "the state of Louisiana needs to pay for its own damn medical center."

"Contrary to what I may have said in the past, the federal government needs to step up and provide a decent grant (to replace Charity) because the storm did destroy the hospital, " Honore said last week.

"I think a medical center or teaching hospital is something the city needs and I don't think it can fit in Old Charity, " Honore said. "I do think it's time for FEMA and Health and Human Services to step up and help the city replace what was Charity with what could be the beginning of a world-class medical center."

"We need one in New Orleans and it needs to be able to withstand a flood, " he said. "This time the first floor needs to be a parking lot."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trees We Hate (# 4 in a series)

Why does everyone in New Orleans hate trees?

Back in May I posted a few pictures of, what I had considered, the elegant... sensual, even... sight of a Chinese Tallow tree in bloom on Prytania Street. I didn't know what the tree was called and posted the pics in the hope that someone could help me identify it. So I was surprised to learn from the responses that the Chinese Tallow is an invasive species and largely considered a "nuisance tree" by those of us who know about such things. I say I was surprised to learn these dark things about my favorite tree but not necessarily disappointed since I've long been at peace with my general attraction to "nuisances" of all sorts.

It was this conversation which inspired me to once again open the floor for discussion of the Crepe Myrtles when they began to flower all over town in June and then again regarding the Magnolia when this story was published about a tree in Mid-City slated for removal. In each case, the People Of New Orleans (defined as people who read and responded in these threads) displayed an uncommon aptitude for arboreal antipathy. The myrtle, it was decided, is "ornamental", difficult to climb, and unnaturally indestructible... among other things. Meanwhile the Magnolia turns out to be a "waxy" "high-maintenance" and even "dirty" tree.

With such much nastiness directed toward the local foliage coming from the populous, it can't be any wonder that the city's governmental and quasi-governmental institutions feel empowered (perhaps mandated) to wage this sort of jihad against the area's most infamous species.
Evidently the City of New Orleans bears some responsibility for restoring Harrison Ave through City Park. Not only are they widening the road–to the detriment of the oaks–but they’ve specified that a path be cut, evidently for sidewalks. Even the construction crew was surprised at the technical specifications which called for them to bulldoze the path. Now the trees have had their roots severed and are destined to be compacted and be abused by suffocating additions, likely concrete.

Why is it that as we rebuild we are killing so much of what matters in this town? What the floods didn’t take, stupidity is.
This is actually the latest in a series of posts on Nolamotion concerning the City Park renovations. There are pictures of the carnage also. Check it out and help cheer your municipal army on to victory!

More dispatches from the glorious war on trees available at Dying Oaks.

Upperdate: Just to be clear. If you'd like to take this opportunity to tell us what you hate about oak trees, please go right ahead.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm gonna consider this Sunday my funday; My I-don't-have-to-run-day, if you will

Yesterday's RT4 was another success. A quick glance at the usual places this morning gives me the impression that people are waiting a while before trying to post comprehensive re-caps. I'm tired too and intend to spend my Sunday reading. I bought some great looking books yesterday but I won't get to that until I've finished picking through a likely-to-be disappointing T-P interview with the President, and a certain-to-be outrageous Best of New Orleans survey result.

Meanwhile, Leigh has collected some of the initial reaction on the RT blog here.

More later... but don't wait up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Extra Points

Note: The following is cross-posted at the Rising Tide Blog and appears here because... and ONLY because I've always wanted to write that I had "cross-posted" something somewhere.

So one of the best kept secrets about this year's RT is the seemingly unorthodox decision on the part of the possibly Schlitz-addled organizers to make room in the schedule for a Sports panel. Why would they do this, you ask? Well other than its clever placement at the end of the day for the sake of a smooth transition into cocktail hour, it actually fits the program quite well. I don't necessarily speak for everyone involved but the reason I wanted to have a sports panel at this Rising Tide was because I think it dovetails well with the overall theme (particularly that of the first panel) of taking the city's cultural pulse, so to speak, four years after the Federal Flood.

In planning this conference we asked ourselves the question "Are We Ok Yet?" meaning what aspects of our lives in New Orleans have reacquired a functionality similar to what they exhibited before the flood? What has been lost? What has been preserved? And so forth. Our "Culture" panel asks these questions about New Orleans's folkways; its parading culture and its food and music traditions.

I think that sports also plays an important role in the civic and cultural life here. Our experience as fans or as athletes helps us define part of what it means to be New Orleanians. I'd like to talk with our panelists about how that identity has been affected by the flood. Have some things been lost or gained? Has sports been a psychic or substantive aid to recovery? Or has it been a distraction and a drain on resources?

But it isn't all heavy stuff. There will also be plenty of time to argue over how many games the Saints will win, whether or not the Hornets should have traded Tyson Chandler, and how soon is too soon to fire Les Miles.

Our sports panelists are Chris Wiseman, Alejandro de los Rios, and Leo McGovern. Chris is an avid and thoughtful sports fan and New Orleanian. His personal blog is called World Class New Orleans. Alejandro is a young professional journalist who writes and blogs about the local sports scene for the Gambit. Leo is a bit of both of those things. He is the editor and publisher of ANTIGRAVITY Magazine where he manages to fit in a fair amount of sports commentary among the usual alt arts and music coverage.

So if you haven't registered for Rising Tide yet, do it now. If you have, do it again just to be sure. And stick around with us for a bit of fun at the end of the day. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"The failed white Dennis Rodman"

The quote above is from a Deadspin post yesterday. It reads in part,

SHOCKEY! SHOCKEY! SHOCKEY! Oooh, loogit! It's the failed white Dennis Rodman. Hopefully, Shockey has been able to stay hydrated while in camp. Not that it will matter, given that Billy Miller will probably end up taking 80% of all snaps. Between Shockey and Reggie Bush, the Saints have quite a collection of players that are well known but not terribly good. (Fun prediction: Pierre Thomas runs for 1,300 yards and 12 TD's.)

We had a good chuckle at this yesterday and were reminded of it again today when we read the following account from today's Saints-Texans practice.
Houston's DeMeco Ryans was guarding TE Jeremy Shockey on a passing route. His fists were full of jersey and Shockey wasn't very keen on the idea of being held.

So, with his right arm, he swung behind his back and hit Ryans in the head.

Well, Ryans didn't like this, you see, and walked up to Shockey and began barking in his face.

Then he pushed Shockey and the melee was on.

While the world awaits Poochie's Tweeter Tube commentary let us take this moment to look forward to a hypothetical crucial moment later this season where this sort of behavior might be the factor which decides whether or not the Saints make the playoffs. Sort of like say this moment from 2001 featuring Poochie's spiritual predecessor.

Looking on the bright side, the odds are still pretty good that said hypothetical crucial moment will come during one of the 6-8 games that Shockey sits out with a stubbed toe or Goldschlager hangover or something.

Would this be before or after we're done ignoring Jindal's exorcism experience?

Take my 'First Lady's mom is a witch' exposé seriously, conservative pleads

Quote of the Day

This morning I'm going through my bookmarks and picking out discussion items for this weekend's RT sports panel. One thing, I hope to touch on is Tom Benson's recent agreement with the state aimed at keeping the Saints in the Dome. As part of the deal Benson agreed to purchase and develop the Dominion Tower and former New Orleans Centre. But this sale has been delayed presumably by complications involving the renovation of the adjoining Hyatt hotel. Anyway, the Q.O.D. comes from this City Biz commentary on August 10.

Once it is finalized, Lauscha said construction will begin to convert the former New Orleans Centre into an entertainment venue that should be ready for the 2010 season.

“Don’t be surprised to see scaffolding around there immediately. You’ll see cranes,” he said, sheepishly grinning with the instant realization that he had accidentally echoed former city recovery director Ed Blakely’s infamous prediction.

Can we just go ahead and make the crane our new state bird? Maybe that's what we should have named Benson's team.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This week in Gambit

Some time ago this site would periodically produce a "Gambit Preview" post consisting of whatever articles of interest the site author wanted to highlight from that week's Gambit which he had happened to read on either Sunday or Monday before the issue was made available online. For reasons that remain unclear, the tabloid's online and print publishing schedules remain oddly out of sync. But we no longer feel obligated to provide a "preview" post since the editor has made a habit of putting one of his own up on the Gambit's blog each week.

Except, again for reasons that remain unclear, no preview of this week's Gambit appeared on the blog site. After flirting briefly with the idea of canceling our subscription (the paper is free) and then organizing a boycott of Gambit's advertisers (alas, Green Parrot Nursery and Funky Monkey Vintage Clothing, I don't know how to quit you) we've decided instead to once again preview the paper ourselves... on Wednesday which, of course, only makes sense.

  • Noah Bonaparte Pais writes about the long-awaited publication of Josh Neufeld's webcomic A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
    Now a hardcover graphic novel — courtesy of Pantheon Books, which also published Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical 2000 account of the Iranian Revolution — the 13-chapter volume is being held up as one of the definitive accounts of the catastrophe, both by the media and the story's subjects. Novelist Dave Eggers, who spent much of the same period researching and writing his own Katrina report, Zeitoun, called A.D. "one of the best-ever examples of comics reportage, and one of the clearest portraits of post-Katrina New Orleans yet published."

    Earlier this week, A.D. received an uneven review from Newsweek and gets a far more favorable treatment from the T-P's Susan Larson today. Neufeld will be signing copies of A.D. on Saturday at The Maple Street Book Shop from 1-3PM and at Octavia Books beginning at 3:30. On Sunday there is another signing scheduled at Beth's Books/Sound Cafe for 1 PM. Also this Saturday, Octavia Books will have copies of A.D. available for sale all day at the Rising Tide conference (more on this in a minute).

  • The appropriately named Alex Woodward profiles local artist Lance "Varg" Vargas and his folk art creations made from recycled wood and found objects.
    Vargas moved to New Orleans in 2004 to find affordable housing following a graphic design gig at a newspaper in California.

    "I just said, 'I want to do it all myself,'" he says. "I'd rather make $8 an hour than $12 or $16 an hour working for someone else when you're just going to get let go." But he never takes himself too seriously.

    "It's asinine to me now to think, 'I'm going to take these chopped up pieces of wood, nail some stuff to it, spray-paint it and call it art, and go out projecting myself as an artist.'"

    His work — found at local art markets, galleries and amid street art vendors at Jackson Square — draws from folklore, music, anatomy textbooks, bottlecaps (Abita and Miller High Life), and voodoo. ("I'm not versed in voodoo or anything. It's voodoo-'inspired'. The voodoo people will get on your ass when you get something wrong.") Vargas, who writes his blog The Chicory (www.thechicory.com/blog), also promotes his art through his Web site (www.leveeland.com).

    Menckles and I are the proud possessors of a pair of Vargas originals we received earlier this year as wedding gifts. Here. I'll photograph one for you right now.


    Varg sells his work in Jackson Square on most Saturdays... weather permitting. It's the closest thing he's come to figuring out a decent "racket".

  • On page 22 of your Gambit there is a full-page psychedelic-looking advertisement for Irvin Mayfield's "The Love Sessions" These are a series of shows Mr. Mayfield is playing next week at his club in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Proceeds from these shows will go to benefit Unity for the Homeless, The New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Boys Town Louisiana, The New Orleans Public Library, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and the LSU Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry. We applaud Mr. Mayfield's effort to put on these performances... so long as we don't have to listen to them. If you would like to support any of these worthy charitable concerns and can find some poor soul to palm your ticket off on you may purchase it here.

  • David Winkler-Schmit previews this weekend's fourth annual Rising Tide Conference.
    Under normal circumstances, and even catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina, the blogging community is a virtual one: It's not face-to-face, but screen-to-screen. That won't be the case this Saturday, Aug. 22, however, when New Orleans bloggers get together for their fourth annual conference, Rising Tide, with comedian and writer Harry Shearer as the featured speaker. The event takes place at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center in Central City, and the main thrust is to provide and share information. It's not just for bloggers, but for anyone interested in New Orleans.

    "We're trying to morph from a conference that was heavily about blogging to one that is more about the city, its culture and its past, future and present," says Rising Tide organizer Peter Athas, who writes his own blog, Adrastos.

    For the record, Rising Tide has always been more about New Orleans than about blogging in my mind. The previous conferences have hosted discussions on flood control, education, the local literary scene, and of course, politics. All of this should be of interest to anyone who cares about the status and future of New Orleans. Winkler-Schmit explains a bit of the history in his article.

    By late 2005, local bloggers were finding each other. An Internet discussion group began, giving bloggers a chance to share tips and news. Someone suggested a conference, and Mark Moseley, aka Oyster, who writes Your Right Hand Thief spearheaded the effort with others, including Athas and Maitri Venkat-Ramani (Maitri's Vatul Blog). The inaugural Rising Tide conference was held Aug. 25-27, 2006, the weekend before the storm's first anniversary.

    "The Rising Tide Conference will be a gathering for all who wish to learn more and do more to assist New Orleans' recovery in the aftermath of the natural disasters of both Hurricane Katrina and Rita, the manmade disaster of the levee and floodwall collapses, and the incompetence of government on all levels," (Mark) Folse wrote on the first day of the conference.

    Though local bloggers organize these conferences and the central theme is New Orleans' recovery and future, Rising Tide isn't for bloggers only, nor just for locals. Since the first conference, there has been an effort to get the information to a wider audience through live blogging, YouTube and other new media. (George "Loki") Williams says he is promoting this year's event via Facebook and Twitter, two popular social media networks. Even if these efforts don't attract more attendees to the actual conference, it will create a permanent online record for anyone to access. Williams does, however, think this year's attendance could be the highest ever.

    This year's conference has adopted the theme "Sinking to New Heights" It examines the state of the city as the recovery era begins to transition toward the "new normal" whatever that might be.

    The agenda (schedule here) features a keynote by the aforementioned Harry Shearer, as well as presentations by NetSquared Nola and The New Orleans Institute. There will be a panel on New Orleans cultural folkways moderated by Mark Folse. Mark writes,
    I am working with NOLA Slate on a panel on the state of New Orleans culture, with panelists who will speak on the state of parading, food and music culture in the city in Year Four after the Federal Flood. Speaking on parading culture will be Edward Buckner of The Porch Seventh Ward Culture Organization and the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club Our food panelist will be Susan Tucker, editor of New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories. Our music panelist will be Bruce Raeburn of the Hogan Jazz Archive and author of New Orleans Style and the Writing of American Jazz History.

    Holly Scheib will moderate a health care discussion. Leigh describes the panel here.
    The health care panel at this year's Rising Tide conference will explore this sad fact of post 8-29 living, as well as many other related subjects. Moderated by public health Ph.D. candidate and local blogger Holly Scheib, the participants will be: Cecile Tebo, crisis unit coordinator for the NOPD and one of New Orleans magazine's Top Ten Female Achievers; Dr Elmore Rigamer, medical director of Catholic Charities; and Sean Fitzmorris, local EMT and administrator of New Orleans EMTs Sound Off!(CORRECTION: Fitzmorris will, in fact, be unable to participate)

    Peter Athas will once again moderate the always entertaining politics panel this year featuring, Gambit publisher Clancy Dubos, cartoonist and radio commentator John Slade, Louisiana politics blogger Lamar White Jr, and writer Ethan Brown.

    Additionally, the organizers of this year's event have been prevailed upon to allow a panel on the local sports scene.

    Panelists include:

    Alejandro de los Rios reporter/blogger for the Gambit

    Leo McGovern Editor/publisher of ANTIGRAVITY Magazine which is the only local alternative music zine I know of that features a regular sports column. Leo is also a character in Josh Neufeld's After the Deluge (see above)

    Chris Wiseman (AKA Mr. Clio, AKA Dilly, AKA Lee De Fleur) Long-time local blogger, ever-enthusiastic member of the Black and Gold Patrol and locally famous Crescent City Classic participant.

    The big-picture discussion will be about the role of sports in the local cultural fabric and how that has helped sustain civic identity in the years after the flood. The rest, I'm sure, will be a knuckle-headed argument about the upcoming football season. It should be a fun way to finish the day. Unfortunately they've got the same guy running it who moderated last year's journalism panel which everybody hated.... so keep your fingers crossed.

    If you're interested in attending Rising Tide this year, you can still register at risingtidenola.net/

Thanks to the Gambit for covering these stories this week. Let's see if we can get them online faster next time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Like I keep saying

Someday this is going to be the Best Book Ever.

Killing Grandma again and again and again

WWL radio has made it a company mission to keep stupid health reform myths in permanent commerce. This morning Tommy Tucker (sitting in for Bob) spent two full hours lingering upon the point that fear of "pulling the plug on Grandma" has "galvanized the American public".

Never mind that there is nothing in the proposed health reform legislation which would require anything like forced euthanasia of the elderly. Never mind that the "end-of-life counseling" language upon which the euthanasia joke is loosely based is already being removed from the Senate version of the bill. Tommy Tucker wanted to talk about how awful it would be IF Barack Obama sent an agent to your Grandmother's hospital bed to disconnect her breathing apparatus (even though there is no possibility of anything like this crazy fever dream ever coming to pass) and he wanted to talk about it ALL MORNING LONG. And he did. One assumes that WWL management sees no conflict between its broadcast of Tommy Tucker's morning-long fantasy and its supposed claim to be a "news and information station".

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yeah good luck with this

The SEC media policy basically bans fans from using their camera phones at college football games. This will be about as enforceable as the longstanding no-alcohol policy.

What if they tried to hold a football game and a health care townhall broke out instead?

It might look something like this:
Thousands of New Orleans Saints season-ticket holders were turned away from the Superdome on Friday evening because their tickets did not contain the bar code required to gain entrance to the stadium.

As the lines swelled at Gate A on the Dome concourse, ticket takers turned away hundreds of eager fans because their tickets lacked the bar code that proves they are, indeed, season-ticket holders.

"LET US IN! LET US IN!" furious fans chanted as the clock ticked down to kickoff, against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Saints first preseason game.

Fans were directed to the Superdome box office on the ground floor, where box office employees began the tedious task of looking up each ticket-holder's name to ascertain he or she was a season-ticket holder.

Apparently, the packet of 2009 tickets sent to each season-ticket holder differed from previous years in that the required bar code could easily be overlooked when tearing each ticket from the packet, according to one season-ticket holder.

So, some fans improperly ripped their tickets from the full 10-game sheet of season tickets. The tickets in question either did not have the full bar code or only a portion of the bar code, causing the snafu.

Some disbelieving fans said they had been in line for more than an hour, amid shouting and cursing ticket-holders.

All the elements are there. In this story the Superdome's confused, unnecessarily complicated stadium entry system goes head to head with an angry mob of idiots incapable of mastering the fundamentals of basic ticket-stub technology waiting in line to make their voices heard. Luckily the situation didn't get too far out of hand before anyone brought up the fact that Sean Payton actually has a clear record of trying to kill fans' grandmas.

Considering, also, that beer prices have gone up once again,

8.00 draught beer

I'd say the Saints had a lot to prove to their volatile fan base in this first fake game of 2009. A few impressions:

  • Death Panel Alert: As I am typing this, we learn that Jason David has been judged no longer productive enough by the Saints' coaches' Death Panel. We stoically accept the decision of our glorious socialist managers. We suspected something was up when Dr. Williams offered this prognosis to the press over the weekend
    He had some good plays. We had some plays where guys would have helped him. It is what it is. Every day in this league is an interview. Each week I've thought he's bounced back and played pretty decent and obviously every week's important for these guys. Everyday's an interview. It's an interview for me and an interview for them and that the practices. When the lights go on, you need to be able to do in games what you do in practice. It is what it is. It's a tough league in that respect
    Repeated instances of it being what it is within the same paragraph of coachspeak is never a good sign. This is particularly so when in reference to Jason David being Jason David.

    Jason David (29) He was what he was (Photo by T-P's Micheal DeMocker)

    Dambala contributes a fun Jason David anecdote

  • Aside from this, the starting defense did manage to force two turnovers during the first quarter. If that pattern continues, we think we can live with it. Without looking at the stats, I'd guess that Jonathan Vilma's return yardage alone came close to balancing out the quantity surrendered by the newly departed David. On the other hand, Vilma's excuse for getting caught from behind twice is troubling.
    "I got a little tired," Vilma admitted. "I've got to get into game shape."
    We didn't realize professional athletes could be considered out of "game shape" after months of offseason workouts and most of training camp. Makes you wonder what kind of room service the players are availing themselves of at the Airport Hilton... and if the menu would have been approved by Obama's proposed Nutrition Czar.

    Meanwhile, Darren Sharper looks ready to play. Sharper forced a Cedric Benson fumble, knocked Laverneus Coles near unconscious, and ran down a reverse all in one quarter. Sharper's play along with that of Kendrick Clancy and Anthony Hargrove has us feeling pretty good about the Saints' post-Davidectomy defense.

  • Uh oh the kicker still sucks (and now the snapper does too): Garrett Hartley was 1 for 2 on Friday night. The 1 happened to be a 54 yarder which is nice but it's that botched chip shot that has us concerned. Particularly this bit.
    Hartley wasn't completely to blame for the 20-yard miss Friday night, according to Payton, who said it appeared on the field that the snap and hold weren't in sync. The Saints brought in new long snapper Jason Kyle this offseason and switched the holding duties from punter Glenn Pakulak to backup quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Joey Harrington. So Payton said there has been an adjustment period to deal with in all aspects of the kicking process.
    The Saints are already feeling the effects of the Uncle Rico scandal. Don't expect the addition of 200 year-old (Death Panel eligible?) John Carney to clear this up very easily.

  • Offensively, there isn't much worth mentioning. Poochie caught a touchdown, there is no running game to speak of, and Robert Meachem continues to be Mr. August.

But frankly, we think we've already said too much about one fake game. Best to just leave it at that since we know you all need to get back to legislation read-aloud hour with Bob DelGiorno anyway. In the meantime, Saints fans are advised to continue their pre-season regimen of shouting obscenities, watching out for Grandma, and checking to see if the legislature decides what to do about Tom Benson's public option.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Otherwise known as a Who Dat WTF


I know, I know, no explanation necessary... Thank God. Anyway if you're going to the Dome tonight, please keep in mind Pre-season football is sort of like orientation day at school. Look around, get your seat-assignments, have your picture taken, and, of course, drink a lot of beer. But rest assured nothing that happens will be covered on the test.

So save your excess blood pressure for something serious... like the prospect of beer prices increasing again. I'm starting the over/under at 8 bucks.

Today in the Tweeter Tube

Here's a dirty little secret

I think I'm quietly rooting for Jason David to make the team this year. Maybe it's the new jersey number.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shorter Pete Finney

"The truth is, all this stuff just bores the fuck out of me."

Update: As Leo points out in comments, Finney's latest is even worse. Although we can at least be reassured that Finney is no longer bored since he's back in his comfort zone of writing fawning society columns about Saints management or coaches and their delightful wives.

Upperdate: And then there's this. It looks like, this week, the T-P sports desk needed to assign one reporter to follow the head coach around for a day and another to follow the owner's wife. I wonder if Finney got first dibs.


Are the Hornets secretly outsmarting all of us? We knew they wanted to cut salaries. But we also thought they were just a little muscle and one more scoring threat away from becoming an elite contender. Somehow they've arrived at a place where IF (big if) some things go well, they've maybe accomplished both of those tasks.

IF Okafor can provide enough offense

IF Diogu is.. you know... somebody

IF Marcus Thornton is an exceptional rookie or Julian Wright becomes an exceptional vet

It's not likely, but you can almost see it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009



Really? Wow that's quite a get.

Of course, if reports of widespread practice of the Dark Arts among NOPD are to be believed, it only makes sense. On the other hand, there are some aspects to this story which tempt one to want to check the Inspector General's office for evidence of polyjuice potion. Sometimes these people aren't exactly who they say they are.

Besides, everyone knows that each DADA instructor arrives at Hogwarts under suspicious circumstances and this appears to be no exception.

Moody currently works under Odom as his first assistant inspector general for audit and review. He joined the office last summer.

In the e-mail Tuesday, Odom referred media inquiries to Moody and did not respond to requests for comment. Moody could not be reached for comment.
Now I think it's okay to promote from within but several critics have complained that the interim IG's having hand-picked Moody from the beginning made something of a sham of the selection process. (See discussion below this WCBF post) Interim IG Odom's response doesn't do much to refute this notion.

Odom, who is serving as interim inspector general until a new head is named, appeared to address criticism in his office's e-mailed news release, saying he conducted an "intense nationwide search."

He noted that the position was posted online at CareerBuilder.com and that 659 people checked out the application details. The posting was also listed with several law enforcement industry groups, he wrote.

"Intense nationwide search" = 659 people visiting a website. Granted there could be more to Odom's defense than the paper chooses to highlight but that line itself is particularly weak. About that many people visit this website every three days or so... most of them through random googling of the terms "pictures of exploding things". I wonder what the pool of 659 CarrerBuilder trolls looked like.

Anyway Jarvis Deberry sums it up well here.
If committee members thought the process was problematic, one can only imagine what the far-away applicants must have thought.

They must have felt like they'd been used to give the appearance that the selection of Moody was on the up-and-up.

They have reason to be suspicious and reason to be angry. So do the people who call New Orleans home and desire a Police Department they can admire. If they can't trust the recently created inspector general's office to act with integrity and transparency, the future looks grim.

If New Orleans can't be convinced that the police monitor was properly chosen, what possible good could that monitor be?
Here's the kicker. The police monitor (salary $131,468) his assistant (salary $90,567) and their "outreach director" ($73,300) are officially invested with the power to.... occasionally write cordial letters regarding the possibility of errors in NOPD's internal investigative process.
The monitor's office will not directly investigate allegations of misconduct by police officers, but it can recommend the reopening of an internal NOPD investigation it determines was not thorough or fair.
So you can see the seriousness with which we should take the selection of these indirect investigators. I say we reopen the process, throw all the candidates' names into the Goblet of Fire, and see what pops out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I keep saying someday it's going to be a great book

Here's BSJD on Dollar Bill... and also on tattooed librarians or... something.

Housekeeping note: There was some interesting health care discussion in the thread below yesterday's post which I'd like to address soon but I may have used up all my internet time for today already. I'll get there sooner or later.

Update: I do happen to have enough time to tell you to keep reading Greg.

Monday, August 10, 2009

They're also winning

Many things can and have been said about the opponents of health care reform. They are engaged in a campaign of misinformation, fear, intimidation, etc. They are organized and funded by industry lobbyists and political operatives. They throw a lot of borderline crazy to totally crazy shit out there with impunity.

Sure sure. But one thing that most observers on the left tend to gloss over is that the crazy, phony, fear-mongerers are also winning. Why do you think that is?

Busy day but I'll try and answer that later. Meanwhile, you have a stab at it.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Deja Vu

Nearly 4 years to the date of the Federal Flood and here we are looking at more pictures of flooded libraries.
A flash flood in Louisville, KY, that began at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday wreaked special havoc on the Main Library of the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL), which library director Craig Buthod said is the worst-hit building in the city. About 50,000 square feet of the 170,000 square foot building was affected by seven feet of water, he estimated. (Photos here.)

The NOPL website no longer hosts images of the extensive flood damage to its buildings. I wish I had downloaded and preserved more of them. Here is a link to Jackson Hill's photos of the King branch in case you are feeling nostalgic. Anyway, here's wishing all the best to the staff in Louisville. I can personally attest that picking through that sort of damage for salvageable materials is... not fun.

Also: Some information on how you can help LFPL with flood relief is available at the bottom of this post.

Die, you marketing scumbags

Just logged into Twitter for the first time in weeks. First thing I read was,

Know a local small biz using Social Media? Promote 'em 2 win fabulous prizes

Immediately signed back out.

Clunkers for Booze

The city take-home vehicle controversy goes out with a whimper.

The New Orleans City Council voted Thursday to eliminate a legal limit on the number of city employees who may drive their city-owned vehicles to and from their homes.

An ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and approved 4-2 after heated debate, says any employees who perform "a critical function that contributes to the overall operations and recovery of the city and maintenance of its infrastructure" and who "respond to critical needs on a 24-hour basis" may be assigned take-home cars.

Remember even the Inspector General in his many talk show appearances during the height of this controversy suggested that one way to address the habitual violation of the take-home car limit would be to simply remove the limit. There actually are sensible reasons to make these decisions at a departmental level so long as there are clear guidelines for making them. But that wasn't going to happen until the Dragonslayers stopped frothing at the mouth long enough for anyone to speak sensibly.

Now you could argue that the wording of this ordinance isn't clear or specific enough. However a perfectly reasonable response to that could also be, "stop making such a big fucking deal out of stupid shit" which is basically what this exchange says.

Midura said terms such as "critical function" and "critical needs" were so ambiguous the ordinance should be sent back to a committee for clarification, but Hedge-Morrell refused. She said the law limiting the number of take-home cars was "antiquated" and was ignored until "someone happened to stumble over it and make a big deal of it."

So we're done with that. Now Hedge-Morrell can go make a big fucking deal out something even stupider like making it harder for people to buy beer.

Now the city council has stepped in and said that business owners who want to start a business and sell alcohol in District D--from the Lakefront, to the Upper 9th, and including New Orleans East, will have to come through them first.

Residents hope it entices the right businesses they say they need for recovery, while discouraging the ones who they say are hampering the process.

"What we are hoping is that when businesses renew licenses they will take a hard look at them and see how is this affecting our community, and then bring us in and have residents give our input so they can understand how we feel about it," said Trepagnier.

Morrell said there are two businesses in her district that were granted their liquor licenses in error. She is reviewing that to see if the city can revoke those licenses.

A few weeks ago, Stacy Head was also on WWLTV trying to revoke liquor licenses in her district because they were too close to churches. Could it be that the City Council, previously divided over issues of public corruption and race is putting aside these issues to come together under the noble banner of temperance legislation? Also why is WWL the go-to news outlet for all things teatotaling?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Fire Miles 2009!

I was hoping for a higher pre-season number, but a number 9 ranking is fine since we know Miles can still fail to meet even that expectation.

The only surefire hangover cure I know of

Run that sucker off. A quick four miles will do the trick. I don't care how hot it is out there. Said hangover was acquired last night at Igor's where we came accross this piece of artwork.

Hurricane Party

I think it's the dog on the roof that really makes the thing work. Anyway, it seems like kind of a lame idea to have a hurricane party with no actual hurricane. The last time I attended a hurricane party at Igor's we were expecting Ivan to at least bring us a little rain. (Although it hardly even did that.)


WWLTV reports that the Saints lined up in "wildcat" formation with Frenchy Thomas at QB for one play during practice today. You may not think this is very big news but, trust me, it is. At the very least it allows me to state publicly for the first time that I would not mind at all if the Saints were to bring in Michael Vick to run this play. It also prompts me to ask if we can rename the formation, "wild serval" since they seem to proliferate in these parts.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Actually I think I'm with Nagin on this one

Why we would need to spend 2 million dollars a year on a self-congratulatory business booster's supper club has always been beyond me.

And while we suspect the Mayor arrived at this decision more out of spite than reason, I'm not going to complain.

"What a waste"

Clancy Dubos on Bill Jefferson:

Bill Jefferson came from nothing, a childhood in the oppressive poverty of Lake Providence, Louisiana, the poorest county in America. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps and earned a Harvard law degree, won election to the state Senate and became Louisiana’s first black congressman since Reconstruction.

But apparently no amount of cash could wash away the bitter taste of poverty that he carried with him.

What a waste, indeed.

Go read the rest. Clancy's reflections are a welcome relief from the pompous glee-fest going on between Spud McConnell and Chick Foret on WWL during the past hour.

I've already said this elsewhere but someday someone is going to write a book about Jefferson's career and it's going to be the best book about New Orleans politics ever written. So, you know, it might not all be such a waste after all.


Why does everything involve Dallas in one way or another?

New Orleans mayoral hopefuls heading to Dallas on Six Flags fact-finding trip

I've been informed that Twitter is back up

Guess this means that James Perry won't be dropping out of the Mayor's race after all.

And they said Ricky Williams had hippie tendencies

Check out Bobby McCray's venture into Eastern philosophy.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


If a Congressman can be convicted for soliciting bribes even if the so-called bribery payments are unrelated to the Congressman's official duties, then doesn't that mean every former Congressperson/Senator who goes to work for a lobbying firm selling his or her influence and connections is guilty of the same thing? If so, how soon can we indict John Breaux, Billy Tauzin.... pretty much all of K Street?

Update: More instant reaction from Adrastos and also from Eli and Humid City.

Upperdate: This is worth remembering.
It's worth noting that the jury did not find Jefferson guilty on the Foreign Corruptions Practices Act, which was the count linked to the money in the freezer.

The one element of this case recognizable to even the most casual observer is a count on which Jefferson was acquitted.


Keith Olbermann is a damn fraud. More importantly, so is the entire cable news industry.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"And the reason for it, sir, is we do get a lot of misinformation."

Congressman Melancon shows Bob Delgiorno how to claim the Nigerian Prince's fortune while signing up for free cell phone service and enhancing his man parts all in one tweet.

This morning on WWL radio, Bob DelGiorno hosted Congressman Charlie Melancon for a discussion about the state of health care reform legislation currently before Congress. Melancon is a member of the Blue Dog coalition who recently voted against part of the legislation in committee. Delgiorno is a loud clown of a man who has made a career of throwing his unabashed ignorance into competition with his faux outrage to see which one can generate the biggest brightest stupidnova of any given morning.

I've transcribed a few highlights of the conversation between the two men, one a news and information professional and the other a U.S. Congressmen, as they grappled with the complexities of accessing pending legislation. (Audio here. Transcribed conversation picks up around minute 37:00)

Bob: Do you have this bill HR 3200 in nice binding... all thousands of pages or so? Why can't the general public get access? I went to Housegov.com [ EDITOR'S NOTE: "housegov.com" is not an actual website] I clicked on bills. I went to HR 3200. I went to the American Affordable Health Choices Act 2009 and I got ring-around-the-rosie. I had to put all this information together to go -- go to committees and comments... why can't we look at that bill? WHY CAN'T THE TAXPAYERS LOOK AT THAT BILL?

Melancon: Bob, as far as I know you can.

Bob: How?

Melancon: Well I'd have to ask my staff. I don't get on the computer all day. As a matter of fact I'm never by my computer all day. But they can get copies and know were to go and what...

Bob: But WE DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO! And we want to find out where we can look at it.

Melancon: That's what I want to do for you.

Bob: And the reason for it, sir, is we do get a lot of misinformation.

Melancon: Sure and one of the things and please give this out.

[Melancon recommends "www.politifacts.com" (yes he spelled it out) as a "non-partisan web site" that sorts out "myths and facts" It is not.]*

Bob: But still back to the question, why can't we get on the internet and get HR 3200? Tell me how to do it! How do we do it?

Melancon: I don't know. I'll get my staff...


Melancon: I'll get my staff to email to you the address where you go to get the bill. And if there's some difficulty getting the bill downloaded from the site... whatever it is.. please let us know because I want government to be responsible...

Bob: So when are you gonna get this information so I can pass it on to my listeners?

Melancon promised he would have "my staff" email the appropriate information to DelGiorno later. But since Melancon is "never at my computer" and DelGiorno is a blithering idiot, I can't imagine that operation will go off very efficiently. Bob has a lot of spam to click though in between his obsessive refreshes of "housegov.com."

During the next hour, Bob updated us on the state of things. Obviously Melancon's staff had not yet emailed.

He's gonna send me all this information on how to access this bill. They get a nice binder and we gotta get on the internet and just go crazy trying to get all this information and verify the crap we get... you know.. what's true what's not true.

Here's what's true. HR 3200 is available online. I'll get you there in one click, if you like.

What's also true is that if Bob were to find the bill, it would be the most disappointing development of the day for him. It would invalidate his smug insinuation that it's being hidden from his view for some devious purpose. Worse than that, he might even feel obligated to read it. And that would suck since, as we all know, it's not Bob's job to actually read and understand the bill... or read summaries of the bill... or read any reliably sourced piece of news about the bill. All he's paid to do is shout about it on the radio. Although I can't imagine why WWL continues to agree to such an arrangement.

* Clarification: I feel a little bad about not pointing out that the Congressman was obviously referencing the site politifact.com however that isn't what he said.

Out of focus

2009 Tix

The 2009 Saints tickets don't seem to photograph very well. We think this means the outlook is uncertain.

Update: I was planning to embellish this with a camp update post but again I am outclassed by GW. There's just nothing to add to this.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It's the Brooks Brothers Riot all over again

Except a bit dumber and waay angrier and brownshirtier this time since that does seem to be the style nowadays.

Of course it would just be funny if it didn't work but it does seem to work pretty well.

Way to go, guys. Enjoy your healthcare FAIL.

Random observations

  • Jumping the gun?

    Halloween in August
    I took this picture last night (Sunday August 2) at Walgreens. I get tired of Summer too but looking forward to Halloween this early will just make the days seem to drag even more.

  • Buy local

    McMain Bear

    The Rouses on Tchoupitoulas is selling these teddy bears dressed in paraphernalia from Uptown high schools. (This one obviously supports McMain.) There were also Cohen bears available. Does the Mid-City Rouses sell Warren Easton bears?

  • I'll just come out and say that I don't like White Linen Night. I'm interested in art well enough and I certainly don't have anything against public street festivals. But this event always seems to be more about scenesterism than anything else.

    On the other hand, the participants who end up in the Quarter afterwards can do some entertaining shit. As we were on our way to Fahy's Saturday night, we encountered a young man dressed in his White Linen finest having an animated discussion with a woman we presumed to be his date. We wouldn't have stopped but the guy was kind of screaming, "YOU'RE WRONG! NO, YOU ARE WRONG! LISTEN TO ME I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" Each "WRONG!" was punctuated by a turn and punch to the wall they were standing beside. "LOOK IN MY EYES I AM TELLING YOU YOU ARE WRONG!" (quick turn and uppercut delivered to wooden latticework) We decided to hover on the corner for a few moments, if only to determine what the poor girl could be so WRONG about.

    Turns out it was about directions. "NO, LISTEN! CANAL STREET IS THAT WAY!" (lifts presumably bruised hand to indicate Canal St.) "SATCHMO PARK IS THIS WAY!" (points bloody stump down Toulouse toward Rampart street supposedly in the direction of Armstrong Park.) And so my question here is this. "Satchmo Park"? What? I'll admit to a degree of unhipness but is that really a thing? Are the cool kids who have "flash-mob pillow fights" at douchey art parties taking it upon themselves to rename shit? Or is the seersucker panted angry fellow acting on his own accord?

Update (because it seems to fit with this post somehow): Meanwhile, dismembered bodies continue to behave strangely.