The Stress & Psychological Misfortunes of Post-K NOLA

30 October 2007

I mentioned before that I’m happy when I can’t get into something because it’s sold out (because it means we’re happening), and frankly, I wish it wasn’t that way.

When I was at the ACL fest in September, I saw everything through a New Orleans lens. I couldn’t just enjoy the music; I had to think about what they might be doing differently from us and whether we should change. I couldn’t just enjoy the crowd; I had to wonder how it compared to JazzFest’s. That sucks. It’s not I-have-nowhere-to-live bad, but it’s a drag, and I know it’s taking a toll on all of us. It leads us to be defensive and critical of others who don’t deserve it. It leads us to be closed-minded–If it’s not NOLA… it’s CRAP! And it probably leads us to be, at least occasionally, a big drag to our non-local friends and families.

I remembered some mook a while back had a letter in the paper from an ex-local who implored us all to move to greener pastures where we wouldn’t feel the weight on our shoulders. I cringed at the tone because nothing gets better without effort, and NO would die without its people, but her point also resonated some with me. As many people have observed, it wasn’t easy to live here before, and it sure as hell hasn’t gotten easier. I have no intention of leaving until, as Ashley says, til the last levee falls, but I’m envious of people who live where they don’t feel like the city rests on their shoulders. In the grand scheme, I don’t do that much, but I sure worry about it. I feel guilty when I don’t go see music or support a local artist. I live in regret over all the people I haven’t helped. I ask how the turnout was at anything I didn’t go to in hopes that I wasn’t missed (talk about egocentric), and I’ve felt anxious when I’ve been at poorly attended events.

It also sucks that one of our pre-K sources of comic relief–politics–is no longer very funny. I long for the days when I could have just laughed at the foibles of Nagin, Jordan, Foti, Vitter, etc, but these days, the stakes are higher, and although I confess to some amusement, I get pissed that they don’t take it as seriously as I do. The flood has taken some of the fun out of living in a banana republic, and that’s enough cause to impeach the prick on Pennsylvania Ave.

Kinda like a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac

27 October 2007

Adrastos oughta love this.  I thought I misheard the tv just now when they showed a commercial for a new Eagles album that ends with the words, “Exclusively at Walmart.”

I know I’m not the only person who hates Walmart, but I checked it out on the Internets, and it’s true.   Walmart says it’s because they’re “America’s biggest supporter of the music business” (note that they don’t say they’re the biggest supporter of musicians), and the Eagles say they’re doing it “because of the retailer’s drive to take a lead in sustainability and make a difference for future generations” (read:  “They paid us a shitload of money for an exclusive deal.”)

Much as I loved them back in the day (and I did shell out the $10k or whatever for a ticket on the Hell Freezes Over tour), I’ll probably be just fine if I never hear another Eagles song in my lifetime, and now I’m actively encouraging people to leave those damn things on the shelves.  I can simultaneously avoid Walmart and avoid these pathetic sellouts.  More money to spend at LMF!  Eagles not available.

Whatcha been doing all this time, Bobby?

27 October 2007

Although I’m glad Bobby and Kathleen are off to show a bipartisan united front to get some relief flowing in here, but what the hell kept them from doing it before now?  He was already a Repub, she was already a Demo, and she could have crashed at his pad over there and saved us some money.  Now he’s acting like his gonna be the governor of action, when a little action, say, a couple years ago might have made a difference.

Not-so-bold prediction:  W will eat it up and be all, “Now this is what I’ve been waiting for all this time!  Blanky, why couldn’t you have been this kind of gov’ner?  We could have taken care of you before, but it took this strapping young genius to make it clear.”

Are Californians as stupid as New Orleanians?

25 October 2007

The chapter on E’s-&-my (don’t know how the grammar works on that) book is on attributions in disasters.  That is, how do we explain the disaster itself and the behavior related to it.  Whether one calls it “Hurricane Katrina” or the “Federal Flood” implies different sources of responsibility and represents the attributional process itself.

Joan Walsh has an interesting take on the attribution shift by W and his minions.  Apparently, we’re stupid for not anticipating flood, but he’s not.

Perino also insisted comparisons between Hurricane Katrina and the California wildfires are misplaced, because wildfires are unpredictable, but “when you have a hurricane, there are days when you can prepare and prepare for evacuation.” That contradicted her boss, President Bush, who defended the government’s inaction two years ago by saying Katrina was a surprise, insisting: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”

This morning’s letter to the T-P

25 October 2007

Best thing about blogging is you can always publish your own letters, even if the paper won’t.  Here’s mine regarding the Walgreen’s story in the Money section (no, I don’t really read Money, but it caught my eye):

So Walgreen’s says it is “part of the community.”  Here’s how our “community” members think it’s appropriate to act: 

  • Abandon your stores and leave them boarded, contributing to the appearance of blight, while opening new stores just a couple blocks away.
  • Avoid competition by hanging onto boarded buildings for years rather than sell them to someone who might clean them up.
  • Ignore the express wishes of the neighborhood and historical construction standards to build in your own outdated style.

If Walgreen’s was really a part of our community, it would clean up its messes before making new ones.

No really, we’re compassionate conservatives…

25 October 2007

Wake up, Dick.

And an optional war doesn’t?

24 October 2007


I watch too much football

23 October 2007

I’m one of those lucky guys whose wife enjoys watching sports almost as much as he does. In fact, E’s about perfect because she’ll watch the games with me, she knows the stuff, but she still thinks I know more than she does, so she’ll ask me for clarification or opinion, which just makes me feel masculine. So through KU basketball (and–damn–now we have a football team that’s on national tv 2 weeks in a row!) and Saints football, we’re there. Love it, even if I feel guilty Monday morning that I watched 3 games and didn’t get any work done.  The Monday game always helps me through the pain.  A few reflections:

I’m glad to see the Saints win a couple, but jeez, we tanked in the 2nd half against Seattle and won ugly against Atlanta. Might even make it 3 with the hapless 49ers. Somewhat hollow victory, but a victory nonetheless. I still think this team should be good, but that doesn’t make them good.

Our Saints tickets are pretty high up, but we’re about at the 50, so it’s a bargain ticket. An Atlanta couple was coming up the aisle, when fans started booing them (much better than the days when we were outnumbered when ATL came to town), and the guy said, “Damn, y’all got the same record as us.” Not quite, but point taken.

Randy Moss is definitely a great receiver–truly great. But c’mon, he doesn’t deserve all the praise for that catch in the endzone with his elbow. Lucky, and he should have been called for interference. Maybe if the pass came from Culpepper.

I like rooting for one team each game, even if it’s for weak reasons.  I usually root for the Mannings because they’re from here, but I hate Peyton being a Bushie and Eli refusing to play for SD (I hate prima donna rookies).  But still, I’m all about NOLA, and at least I haven’t heard them bash the city.  Otherwise, I go for the underdog because I don’t want to look so bad in comparison.  And I have to hate NE because I have friends who went to Michigan State.  A tangled web of loyalties sports bring.

I’m one of the few who actually likes broadcasting most of the time.  I’m surprised to like Keyshawn Johnson on ESPN; he’s pretty sharp and pleasant to watch, much moreso than as a player.  Still, I tell E to take a drink everytime he says, “At the end of the day…” just like we did whenever Theismann would talk about when he played.

Elections, etc

22 October 2007

As usual, I’m adopting my usual, “well, at least I voted so I can complain” mentality after Saturday’s elections.  There was some bad news and some less-bad news.

Yeah, I’m really bummed that Jindal won without a runoff.  I don’t like him one bit, and it always pisses me off when someone I can’t stand wins and then talks about “unity.”  Well, ok, then change your views, and I’ll unify with you.  I think LA drank the koolaid, but frankly, I don’t think Foster turned out to be the disaster I expected.

I was surprised how emotional I got when I saw that a country singer was briefly threatening to go to a runoff with Mitch Landrieu for Lt Gov.  For some reason, Mitch is one of those rare politicians (career, at that) whom I trust, like, and respect.  I like what he’s done for an office I knew very little about before him; I like what I hear him say about taxes, culture, etc; I’ve bumped into him a few times around town, and he strikes me as a genuine, nice New Orleanian who wants things to be better.  If “name recognition” for Sammy F*in Kershaw would have kept him from balancing power a bit in BR and doing what he’s good at, I would have blown a gasket.

Glad Foti’s done.  Bummed that Percy Marchand and Tommie Vassel didn’t have a better showing.  I like them too.  I don’t know what I’ll do for St. Rep, but I’ll vote for Willard-Lewis over Jackie.  Even though I don’t like Malcolm Suber saying that whites shouldn’t run for the city council slot, I want that to be my decision.  Truth is, I want to live in Chocolate City, so if it’s reasonably close, I’m voting for the black candidate.  (Note that I voted for Mitch over Nagin’s re-election).  I’ve talked to enough black friends who retain a hint of suspicion about white candidates’ goals that I am inclined to do a little more to maintain adequate black representation.

On another note, it’s sappy, but I really like voting.  We walk the dogs and take turns watching them and going in to vote.  We know our poll workers, and the people going in there are such a cross-section of the city, that I feel a little faithful.  Even if it doesn’t always seem to do much, I feel good casting my ballot.

Now, etc:  I’m still going to post on McGuire’s demise, but now heading home.  Who knew that a university in New Orleans would close for rain?  A good chance to get some writing done…

Foster Campbell Tactics

20 October 2007

We got a rather urgent call this morning from a friend saying not to vote for Campbell.  She said that another friend had called saying that Campbell’s literature distributed in N. La had “tinges of racism.”  Because none of us knew exactly what to make of that without the specifics, I went ahead and voted for him, but I worry that I’ll end up reading about something akin to Jindal’s “outside agitators” comment, and I would really not enjoy that.  Let me know if anyone’s seen anything controversial; I’d like to reassure myself that there’s been a misinterpretation, as he seemed like a decent guy.