Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kinda Like What I Just Said, But Faster,

funnier and with pictures.

New Orleans Craigslist: You gonna leave this one up?
Come on, Craig.

Fail Safe:

$10000/1br - nola sucks

Reply to:
Date: 2006-10-31, 2:33PM CST

the aparmtents suck.you will shot,murdered,robbed,cooked.boycott these crazy rent prices to live in this crime infested slum.5 people were shot in the Fq last night.check the prices on cl for fq apartments and you will see what i mean.its not just Fq, all of nola you very likely to shot,murdered,robbed.these scumlords do not want you to know this,but they have been so stupid to believe that there investments are worth something which makes them come up with these nutty prices.its cheapier to buy a house than rent at these prices.

  • this is in or around nola
  • no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests



You know, I've been working for a while on an essay about falling in love with Nola, what I love about it, why I'm still here, and how hard it will be to leave, should I follow the seeming mass exodus of renters being renovated, i.e., shoved, out of their homes, but I keep getting "distracted" by things like five more people being shot up, this time in a bar on Decatur Street.

This is not to say that because Decatur Street is a main drag in the Quarter that it is more important, but, in my mind, it again goes to show how bad things have gotten when sticking to even main thoroughfares will not spare you the ever-flying bullets. My own neighborhood, the antiquated, ramshackle-mansioned Lower Garden District, also does not look like a ghetto, but, like the rest of the city, it essentially is in terms of the violence.

What makes all of this worse is the knee-jerk denial crowd, who will tell you a) there is no problem, b) it's the blacks, c) no one cares unless a tourist is shot, so why should I? Now, granted, the Times Picayune is happy to not report crimes, much like the gunshots I blogged about yesterday, but I don't feel that's a reflection on the populace so much as the in-one-another's-pockets, oligarchical nature of this city, which is as pronounced or more so than our current joke of a federal administration. I could write a treatise on this subject. But.

It boils down to this: Cities with high crime rates, like Nola, have been failed by the alleged watchdogs and, yes, by the police, who make a lot of noise about how unfair the "liberal media" is to them when, really? No.

I've watched cops literally stand by and watch while petty thieves were being pursued by the coffee store employees they had just ripped off and we all watched on national television while they beat the shit out of a teacher in his 60s -- but couldn't be bothered to step in and keep Bourbon Street bouncers from strangling a black kid to death for no damn reason.

By their argument, they are underpaid, which is true, and many are therefore unwilling to do their jobs, which is where my empathy evaporates. I.e., why does it take a pay raise to spark even a trace of basic decency -- enough to maybe intervene in a beating or, going back several steps on the decency scale, not beat people with no cause?

I guess going after the helpless is a lot more satisfying to them, as it is for our renovation-happy landlords. When I look at our firefighters, who, until recently, were only paid $8.50 an hour and don't make much more than that post-raise, that excuse just goes to shit because they put their lives on the line every day without half the whining or moaning of NOPD officers.

[NOPD: Prove Me Wrong, Please. On The Record, For The Record.]


the rest of us here at America's true ground zero are being squeezed out by criminals on both sides of the divide and there's less of us to pick on, thanks to over half the city still sitting in ruins and serving as prime feeding ground for criminals of all stripes: legally sanctioned business sorts, the faux rich, who are happy to remodel us out of our homes now that they've survived hurricane season and also seemingly happy to fuck the progress we've made out of truly short-sighted and stupid greed, and the broke street thugs and assorted psychos, who are happy to insta-pull the trigger, rob, harass, steal, slaughter and who, to be fair, are in much more desperate situations financially and psychologically than these Nouveau-Rich Small-Minded Creeps.

Maybe once Nola's working and middle class -- one of the finest collection of people I've met anywhere, by the way, making this especially awful and unjust -- are gone, the alphas from each of these two sick camps will do one another in, leaving their minions to tear each other apart over the scraps.

Poetic, if ugly, justice?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sleeping through Now-Standard Sirens

Six gunshots a block and a half from my house, 10 hours ago, per my neighbor on St. Andrew St.

Should I be concerned that I'm not more concerned?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Priorities, NOPD & TP-Style

Well, so long as the "police investigator close to the case" wasn't named, it will be just fine for the parents and loved ones of the--named--victim to read: "...they found her charred head in a pot on a stove, her legs and feet baked in the oven and the rest of her dismembered body nearby in [a] trash bag in the refrigerator..."

Considering that the perp killed himself and will therefore not be hunting down investigating officers any time soon, why the secrecy?


When I first read and linked the above article, the above referenced phrase, "a police investigator close to the case, who asked not to be named," was, in fact, in the article.

Now, it is not.

Instead, we have "police said," "police said," "police said," "police said."

Funny how things magically disappear on the Internet.
Is a TP staffer mayhaps reading this blog and/or did someone get an angry phone call?

C'mon, Chris Rose: Just Admit It.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

James Brown, Nola-Style

James Brown has put on some weight and seems to be limping less when I see him on St. Charles this week, as opposed to earlier travels.

"Is it wrong to love a woman?" he asks me, impassioned, on what turns out to be my last night at the St. Charles Tavern.

"Depends on the woman," I say, setting his usual coffee and water, which he tips 100-200% for, down beside his little boom box.

I remember hearing, but not really seeing, James Brown prior to last August; a tall, kind of hunched, long-limbed black man hobbling up and down Camp St. blaring 50's love songs or more modern, pre-Bad MJ, small though sturdy cassette player held aloft on shoulder.

Kathleen, who lived across the street before being kicked out to accommodate her now-former landlord's family last fall, tells me he is the paramour of the cat lady four doors down and, at the time, she had thrown him out.

I forget this during our first actual conversation, partly because I'm keeping an eye out on all sides in the snakepit, partly because whatever his mental and physical disabilities, James Brown, self-proclaimed, is a charismatic speaker.

"Don't ask me," I sigh in answer to another rhetorical question, glimpsing the hot 'n cold bartender over my shoulder. "A lot of our regulars can be kind of crazy."

"I talk to you because you're not crazy," he tells me, long arms flying up, fingers flaring out.

He leaves soon after, disappearing as he does, amid the Friday evening rush of the rare well-adjusted customer, like the bespectacled, pert lady who plays her poker and drinks her two white wines, the drunks, the 50- to 60-year-old filthy-fingernailed geniuses, self-proclaimed, who expect fawning and are disappointed during my shifts, the screamers, the braver friends that appreciate my heavy hand.

One day, several months later, I look out my desk-side window, talking to again hot bartender on my cell while not working, and see James Brown standing there on Camp St., sans boom box, carrying on a conversation with someone the rest of us don't see, the shadows

bounding off and around him, never

Friday, October 06, 2006

For What, Exactly?

From yesterday’s Times Picayune:

“BATON ROUGE -- The governor's pay should be increased by $35,000 a year and other statewide elected officials should get a pay boost of $30,000, a special compensation panel recommended Wednesday.

The Compensation Review Commission, which represents lawmakers and statewide elected officials, said the governor should be paid the same as the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, about $130,000. The governor's salary is $95,000.

The commission also recommended that the other statewide elected officials -- lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, commissioner of insurance and commissioner of agriculture and forestry -- receive $115,000 a year, a little less than the $117,200 salary of circuit court of appeal judges. The statewide elected officials are now paid $85,000 a year.”

Income snapshot
New Orleans, Louisiana vs.

Median household income





Source: 2000 census, U.S. Census Bureau

"The commission approved its recommendations to the Legislature on the new pay levels by a 5-0 vote. If passed by lawmakers at the April session, they would take effect July 1, the start of the fiscal year.

If the new gubernatorial salary passes as recommended, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who worked against a pay raise two years ago, would be the fourth-highest paid governor in the South and the 18th best-paid in the country, according to data supplied by the Council of State Governments, a think tank for public officials.

The regional average pay for Southern governors is $113,267; the national average is more than $106,000. Last year, the commission recommended setting the governor's at $101,650, an increase of 7 percent. [Editorial insert: Hello, TP editors! Ever hear of AP Style - numerals-under-10 rule? Ring any bells?]

It also recommended that the pay for other statewide elected officials be raised to $90,950, also a 7 percent increase."

Median household income, 2006: Even shittier.

Population 2000: 484,674
Population 2006: 190,000

Gouge your way, you can gouge your way....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

For Any of You Fellas Feelin' Lonely,

this made its way to my inbox today:

"Can we chat? I am looking for nice single man. You should know I live in russia and to come visit. Can I send you nice picture? My mail is Julia@globalzity.com"

Here to help.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Spotted On Carondelet St.

All tore up!

A Mantra For Troubled Times.

Upon waking, a voice:

Sell your car and move to Amsterdam.

Sell your car
move to Amsterdam.


to Amsterdam.