“Unearned Arrogance”

30 April 2008

Those were the off-hand words that my esteemed boss* used to describe our “Zah” Dr. Edward Blakely. The man knows how to turn a phrase, and he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. After a week in which he kept company with the leaders of the US, Mexico, Canada, Qatar, and the Catholic church, as well as McCain and PlasticWife on campus, he knows about what he speaketh, and he clearly doesn’t hold this guy in high regard.

*E advised me not to link to my boss, but most of you know who he is, and that he’s pretty damn solid, as bosses go.

Musical ambivalence

28 April 2008

I’ll try to recap my kickass weekend at JazzFest soon, but for now, I’m torn on how to feel about musicians coming back to NO.  Of course the ones who really had to leave–and regretted it–I welcome with open arms and rejoice about their return.  But for those who trashed the city as they left, what about them?

Gary sent me this snippet from an article about the silent march last fall, and it’s interesting:

New Orleans musicians are not alone in griping about lack of work. Musicians in Austin, Texas, another city with a big art and music scene, share the feeling.

“Nobody comes to see live music in Austin,” said singer and songwriter John Pointer. “I’ve got nine Austin music awards and have appeared in five national television commercials and I can’t draw a crowd in Austin.”

More prodigal sons on the way?

The Edge keeps giving

23 April 2008

I’m not crazy of perma-nicknames (e.g., Sting) for anyone but bloggers, but I’ll continue to make an exception for The Edge.  Mr. Edge has been simply great to our city:

No one could ever come close to repaying the debt of those who have established this form (of music) that we all take totally for granted, this hybrid of European melody and African-American rhythm that’s given us jazz and R&B and rock ‘n’ roll

While we’re singing his praises, here‘s one of my all-time favs.

A few miscellaneous observations

18 April 2008

Is George “bowtie” F. “vitiated” Will really calling Barack elitist?  How’s the silver-spoon everyman we have in there now working out for you?

I don’t know if it’ll be there tomorrow, but the roasted garlic on the salad bar at Whole Foods tonight rocked.  Get it when you can… by the pound.

Speaking of WFM, tonight I ran into Troy Andrews and Deacon John there.  I love seeing greatness at my store.

For the record, I’ve liked Chris Rose more than most bloggers, but I thought his tribute to Ashley was really good.

Speaking of Ashley, is it just me, or does the “Remember Ashley Morris” picture (and I need someone to help me put that up) look like he should be posthumously dubbed thus.

Michelle Obama will be the perfect first lady, in my view.  (Note the legs comment down toward the end)

The perfect response to Obama’s “bitter” controversy:

Young ManArtie Jefferson,
Tour Guide
“Hillary knew a young, inexperienced Obama would slip up sooner or later and be honest with people.”

I’ve often said that the racism in NO would dissipate a lot of people would just come onto Xavier’s campus and eavesdrop on students’ conversations.  Yeah, there’s plenty of banality going around, but today was the first day of our Festival of Scholars, and there’s some damn fine work going on.

Today when I got home a poller from Tulane & Kaiser interviewed me on my life since K.  I noted that although I said my life is overall very good, I ended up answering that I’m dissatisfied with a lot of things.  It’s a bit like something in psyc we call “false uniqueness.”

Ashley’s in the book.  I’ve added a bit from Ashley’s obituary to the chapter from E’s & my Psychology of Disasters book that deals with the rally effect.  I know most of us were rabid pro-NOLA people before the storm, but I know that we’ve gotten more defensive and vehement since, much like the flag pins that emerged after 9/11.  I hope it’s a good bit of subtle tribute.

In solidarity with Tibet, I am refusing to compete in the China olympics.  You’re welcome.


14 April 2008

What a beautiful day for a fest!  I’m pissed at myself that I didn’t manage to get out there til today, but I sometimes fall apart when E’s gone and can’t get motivated to do anything.

I’m embarrassed to say that this was the first time I’d ever been to Preservation Hall.  Watched the Hot 4, and loved it, and man that place has some character.  I knew it did, but I didn’t realize it had pegboard covering the walls.  Now that’s upscale!  Such a real vibe there.

Numerous only-in-NO moments, capped by a brass band battle across Decatur.  Awesome.

Didn’t make it last night, but I did manage to go to V-Day.  My well-connected neighbor got me into the party afterward, where I got to meet Kerry Washington (stunning) and Mike McKenzie.  Pretty cool, and the Monologues were phenomenal.  Oprah was a no-show, but Rosario, Jane, and the rest were terrific.  Plus it was kinda fun that everyone felt free to talk about vaginas all night.

Now I gotta do my damn taxes.


12 April 2008

Ashley, we miss you.  I’m watching a chickflick in your honor (horror?).

Reflections on Ashley

12 April 2008

Alright, I’m the first to admit that I didn’t know Ashley as well as most, and I promised myself I wouldn’t blog after drinking, but Ashley would probably be ok with it, so here you are.

Damn, hell of a tribute, Howie, Ray, and the rest.  I mean really sweet.  I truly hope they’ll post their text soon.

I’ve thought a lot about Ashley this week, and I probably have nothing new to add, but I’ll try anyway.

Hana, you have more strength than I do, and I admire you and wish I could do more to help you.

Bart & Xy, I hope Persephone stays in town and catches the NOLA bug.  For all the reasons I didn’t reproduce, I hope your spawn makes the world better.  And I expect that’ll be the case.

FWIW, Maitri, your post was my news that Ashley had died, and you delivered the news as well as anyone could have.

It was a thrill to meet Dangerblond, and Howieluvzus, you rock.  Ray, that was the greatest eulogy short of (or maybe exceeding) my friend Michael Pierce playing Amazing Grace for his dad, who lived next door to us.

Ashley, I meant to bring you some booze, but as Maitri said, you had plenty, and I toasted you at Juan’s with G Jack.  We WILL miss you, friend.

The main thing I would’ve said about Ashley is how he welcomed me to the blogosphere.  I commented on his blog, and he said he’d put me on his blogroll.  Of course my numbers soared, and then ebbed, but that’s about right.  He and I chewed the fat at float construction for KdV, and again, he made me feel like I belonged.  Wish I’d told him how much I appreciated that.

Speaking of which, I got a call from Stewart tonight, who’d been hipped to my my blog from a friend, and it reminded me how much those posts can matter.

So, I hereby pledge, every now and then, to say FUCK, in Ashley’s honor.

Ashley, we miss you, and we feel empty without you.  Folks, we all need to be a little more free to prophecy, as Howie told us, and I’ll be there, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

We’ll miss you, Ashley

3 April 2008

Wow, I can’t believe Ashley Morris won’t be making my day with his sinn fein posts anymore (I never bothered to find out what that meant until Ashley).  Much worse, he won’t be rockin’ the husband/dad thing that he was so into.

We didn’t always agree on everything (I thought he was a little harsh on the Musicians’ Village), but he always made me feel welcome, was always friendly to E and me, and any advocate for New Orleans is a friend of mine.  Especially when they’re so damn genuine and love life the way Ashley did.