For what ales ya

29 November 2007

I know things are tough around here, but the good people at Abita have made it a little easier by finally making an IPA.  Jockamo (yeah that’s how they spell it) is pretty good stuff.  I’ve never been a fan of their amber; it seems strangely dusty tasting to me, and I can’t explain what I mean by that.  No one else seems to agree with me.  Restoration ale was, to me, their best brew by far, although Andygator rocks too (don’t get me started on Turbodog, a great name but mediocre beer, IMHO).

Jockamo won’t replace Sierra Nevada or other good IPAs in my rotation completely, but I love me some hops, and they finally put some more in there.  Frankly, I could use a little more bite, but it always feels better drinking something almost-local.

Trashy Racism

27 November 2007

Few things rankle me more than someone illegitimately playing the race card. By that, I mean that I hate it when someone calls racism on an issue that isn’t racism, mainly because it calls attention away from the real racism. The straw racism argument does a detriment to everyone who’s trying to fight actual racism. In fact, probably the only thing that pisses me off more is actual racism.

In my prejudice seminar, we spend a good bit of time discussing what leads someone to determine that another’s behavior is the result of prejudice. There are individual difference variables that lead some people to see it in ambiguous situations more than others would. But we also take situational and historical data into account.

If a black man goes into a restaurant and receives bad service, he takes into account whether everyone’s receiving bad service, whether only the other black customers are receiving bad service, whether he’s received bad service from that waiter before, and so on. And, if he’s really thinking through it, he might consider whether he’s done something to elicit bad service or whether his perceptions are biased by expectations or racism or a bad mood. Not that we’re all so analytical in our everyday lives, but that’s some of the process that the research documents.

In Jena, we know that none of us ever heard of tennis shoes being considered deadly weapons, and we never heard of any white kids being tried for attempted murder when they beat up a classmate. We know that there is a history of racial harassment and tension in the school. So the sentences look pretty damn racist, especially for those of us inclined to think that the image of a group of black kids beating up a white kid strikes an all-white jury as a lot scarier than a group of white kids beating up a black kid.

In Atlanta, when we hear that a black 17-year old gets 10 years for consensual oral sex with a 15-year old, we can think there’s racism in the sentencing, especially among those of us inclined to consider the sexual primitive stereotype an aggravating factor in the judge’s thinking.

When powder cocaine gets a feathery sentence relative to crack, and we know that powder cocaine is associated with rich whites and crack with poor blacks, those of us inclined to be cynical about society’s treatment of different groups are going to see racism.

And of course, when people make it easy for us–Don Imus, Michael Richards, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and so on–we can see the racism, despite the perpetrator’s efforts to convince us it’s not the real them.

But when a trash company doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do and charges us a premium, firing them isn’t racism. In fact, their ripping off a poor majority-black city is doing more to hold down black citizens than a couple of companies that are overcharging at best and gouging and profiteering at worst.

I personally believe strongly in affirmative action to make sure that minority owned companies get a fair shot at the work, and I’m glad we did that. But this situation looks shady, and the people calling racism are doing a disservice to the people who are suffering real racism. Especially in a city that seems to think that Tony Soprano’s garbage business was legitimate.

UPDATE:  Here‘s the link to the T-P article I’m referring to, but please don’t lump me in with the commenters.  Thanks.


21 November 2007

Frankly, I thought Ashley was a little harsh in his assessment of Oliver Thomas.  I thought that his quick admission of guilt meant that he was principled and wanted the best for his city, even after he succumbed to temptation that might trap others of us.  I don’t think that any more, not after he shuts up to prosecutors because he does not “wish to be a rat.”

I have a student who’s doing his research project on whether rap lyrics that discourage “snitching” are influential, and I think, well, it’s just thugs and cowards that won’t blow the whistle when they know something.  I’m not sure which of those OT is, and maybe it’s both, but with friends like these, the city doesn’t need enemies.


A consolation team for you to pin your hopes & dreams on

19 November 2007

A few of my colleagues who know that my heart aches for the Saints have consoled me with “Thank God for Kansas, huh?”

And they’re right.  And if you’d like a distraction from the sad demise of the Black & Gold, I invite you to adopt the Kansas Jayhawks as your team to root for.  It’s college, so they’re a lot slower, but they have something for everyone.  They’re high-scoring, and they’re overachievers who were unranked until after their 5th win of the season.  And, historically, they’ve almost always sucked.  Still, there’s a nice bit of legacy there, with Gale Sayers and John Riggins coming from their ranks.  Plenty of room on the bandwagon.  And if they beat Missouri this Saturday (no easy feat) and win the Big XII championship against Oklahoma or Texas (not easy either), they’ll play (probably against LSU) for the national title right here in New Orleans!

To orient you, here’s the football website for you to peruse.  Get acquainted with the lineup, which includes an undersized but electric QB in Todd Reesing, a nice big runner in Brandon McAnderson, an outstanding LB in Joe Mortensen, and a CB who will make Saints fans drool in Aqib Talib.

Our coach is the great Mark Mangino.  I do mean great.  But he’s personable and smart and principled, and I hope he can take a joke.

KU football started in 1890, when Baker and the Kansas City YMCA were the only opponents on the slate (ended the season 1-2).  Started playing other midwestern schools after that, and I was wondering how the hell they made those trips.  Must have been by train, but getting them all to the field without cars must have been a challenge.  I encourage you to go here and browse, and check out the picture links toward the bottom of the page.

We appreciate your support, but if you’re all SEC all the time, you’ll enjoy this tidbit about ‘Bama’s loss this past weekend.

Rock Chalk!

Election Day (how exciting)

17 November 2007

Well, this was a pretty uninspired votecasting today, but it’s worth it just to see the sweet people who spell my name slowly.  “Well, you’re a tall young man!” I got today.  Guess I am.

So, here’s how it went:

Cheryl Gray–easy choice for me.  I like her and don’t like Jalila, so there you go.  It was downhill from there.

I’m taking people’s word that Laurie White would be good, but I don’t know much about that race.

I went with Walker Hines over Una.  Tough call, but I figure what the hell, give the kid a chance.  Even if Una’s husband left a personal voice mail at our house, using our real names, so I assume it was real.  Beats the hell out of the loud auto-messages that start before the machine picks up.  I also cracked up at the bushleague flyer Hines sent around with a picture of himself writing some important piece of legislation or whatever.  It was funny because he’s concentrating like a 3rd grader learning cursive and has one of those bic ballpoints.  Not too stately, but at least I haven’t heard he’s corrupt.  Guess you don’t need to take bribes if you live with the folks.

Then I threw that logic (and the advice of bloggers) out the window and cast for Cynthia Willard-Lewis.  I just think you need more than one Cynthia with a hyphenated last name in the council.  Actually, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for whitey in that slot.  I’m not totally at peace with my logic there, but I’ve talked to too many black residents who’re worried about further disenfranchisement.  I’ll only take that so far (as in, I didn’t vote for Nagin), but since I didn’t like either choice, it swayed me here.

Now I’m trying to get some writing done on the book before the KU-Iowa State game starts.  Never thought I’d see the day when I could watch a KU football game on tv here for 5 weeks straight.  My how things change.

Tomorrow it’s the Poboy Preservation Festival for a while.  Love the idea, and it’s right around the corner from me, so I can’t miss it.  Dammit, we just don’t have enough festivals around here!


16 November 2007

Just sittin here watchin the wheels go round (KDV preview)

Really, I’m watching Oregon in deep danger against Arizona.  Don’t really care about either team, but an Oregon loss and a KU win this Sat against Iowa State would put KU at #2, which is simply surreal.  KU is a b-ball school, and I’m guilty of only passing interest in football, although I’ve been to a million games at Memorial Stadium.  I’ve been there for a few 72-3 type losses (sometimes a blurry vision from the hill looking down on the stadium), so seeing the ‘Hawks become good is a real blast.  I already have tix ready for the Sugar Bowl, but they’ll be more reliable if it’s not a game against LSU!

It’s pretty fun to watch Ryan Leaf’s little brother suck, even if he is hurt.

Tonight was the Psyc Club’s and Psi Chi’s career forum, and I was very proud of the job our students did putting it together.  Not a great turnout, but a nice presentation by everyone.

Now we know that the Never Brothers are returning to JazzFest.  I’ll skip it, not to be Mr. Negative, but because I truly resent citybashers.  I don’t sweat people who have to leave, but I have no tolerance for those who have to justify their decision by talking as though they’d be stupid to stay.  The truth is, this is a tough town, but it’s also the best town, and leavers need to leave quietly.  As a psychologist, I’m pretty sensitive to people’s need to rally others around their decision to bail, no matter how justified their own decision might be.

More later…  Just babbleblogging.

Quit doing this to us, sportswriters!!!

9 November 2007

Check out what Don Banks is predicting:

NFC South: New Orleans — After that 0-4 start that shook them to their foundation, the Saints have stared into the abyss and survived. New Orleans and Tampa Bay should fight it out for the division lead until the very end, but the key game will be the Week 13 showdown against the Bucs at the Superdome. Tampa Bay is the only remaining Saints opponent with a current wining record, and beating the Bucs should put New Orleans in control of its own fate.


NFC Playoff seeds: 1. Dallas, 2. Green Bay, 3. New Orleans, 4. Seattle, 5. Tampa Bay, 6. Detroit.

Wild-card round: New Orleans defeats Detroit, Tampa Bay defeats Seattle.

Divisional round: Dallas defeats Tampa Bay, New Orleans defeats Green Bay.

NFC Championship: New Orleans defeats Dallas.


Super Bowl XLII: New England defeats New Orleans.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d be absolutely thrilled to see us get a round further than we did last year, but sheesh, whatever happened to first impressions?  Aren’t we still supposed to be written off?

Think how Buddy D would feel if we finally made it to the big one, only to be knocked off by the cheaters!

Saints are Doomed!

8 November 2007

Yep, Dan Marino sealed our fate last night on Inside the NFL when he guaranteed we’d be in the NFC championship game.  Well, it was fun while it lasted.

The Ron Paul cult

7 November 2007

When I was at the ACL fest in September, I was struck by how many longhairs were passing out Ron Paul paraphernalia.  Signs have been popping up around uptown with “Ron Paul Revolution” spray-stenciled on them, with EVOL reversed.  Yes, Ron Paul=Love.

Now I hate the Iraq War and the Drug War as much as most sane people, but you gotta wonder why Ron Paul hasn’t really caught on before now.  Is it because he’s ahead of his time?  Or is there a more parsimonious explanation?  Maybe it’s because he’s a dick.

Skeptical liberals have already seen this, but I think it’s a good reminder that Ron Paul is not a friend to the left.  I like the libertarian slant to a point, but a commitment to social justice has to be a part of any political philosophy, in my book.

Another list we’re not last in! Sports notes

7 November 2007

CNNSI ranked the NFL venues, and the Dome came in 18th of 32.  Seems a little low for a historic building, but not everyone appreciates history like we do.

Speaking of the NFL, I think Jon Kitna would fit in very well in New Orleans, if this Brees thing doesn’t work out.  Despite what good writer/Saints booster Peter King says, this isn’t any more offensive than the girlfriend gumbo costumes of last year.

E&I enjoyed watching the Gold Rush paste Wesley College (no, not Wellesley, this one’s in MS) last night.  Even on a small scale, good college b-ball is always a blast.