Friday, September 28, 2007

I Know Where I'll Be Eating Next Week.

And I'll give ya a hint, you crazy kids: It won't be the Olive Garden.

Dear Beezlebub,

Please take Bill O'Reilly.
Please.
It's done enough here.

See: Dining at Sylvia's with Larry Wilmore.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What He Said.

"All of the hysteria over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speaking at Columbia University is so tiresome for so many reasons, beginning with the fact that it is all rather transparently motivated by exactly what Juan Cole says: 'The real reason his visit is controversial is that the American right has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran. Ahmadinejad is therefore being configured as an enemy head of state.'

In their minds, we are at war with Iran -- even though, in reality, i.e., according to our Constitution, we are not -- and all of the ensuing hysteria is rooted in the fantasy world they occupy in which Iran is our Enemy at War. By their nature, such fantasies cannot be reasoned with...

But what is new, and what most certainly is worth commenting upon, is this extremely disturbing report from The New York Sun regarding the threats made by Democratic State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to use state power to punish Columbia for inviting a speaker whom Silver dislikes. Silver -- who, among other things, has long been a leader in efforts to free convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison -- did not even bother to disguise the threats he was making:

As the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, prepares to address Columbia University today amid a storm of student protest, state and city lawmakers say they are considering withholding public funds from the school to protest its decision to invite the leader to campus...

What this really illustrates more than anything else is the true danger to our national character and basic liberties from being in a permanent state of war fighting. When we become a society that just leaps from one New Ultimate Hitler Enemy Who Must Be Destroyed to the next, we ensure that all of our political values and institutions become infected by this bloodthirsty mentality. When we have one Enemy after the next to annihilate, who really cares about dreary luxuries like due process or restraints on government power or the First Amendment? Saddam/binLaden/Ahemdinijad/Assad is Evil, a Hitler, and all power must be vested without limits in our Leaders so they can destroy him/them."

MAKE IT STOP.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Care Bear Pimpin'



Please consult/credit before reposting photos.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Untitled

Must be lazy, unstructured
to work this way
I cannot summon the energy
to be who I was
yesterday.

Broken Clock

"It’s been six goddamn years."

Ah, right on schedule. The ethos of certain "new" New Orleanians. The second-to-last line of the aforelinked essay stinks of it--stop right there: it just stinks. I don't know where these words originated, but they reflect something that comes rippling back to me in the form of a lifetime of living somewhere routinely castigated, judged and attacked--N.Y.--filtered through life in the second city I loved--N.O.--receiving the same treatment and then proceeding to fork it out.

The wonderful people interviewed in When the Levees Broke, at least one of whom has been senselessly murdered by a fellow New Orleanian since the documentary's release, seem a portrait of another time, a different ethos. An echo.

Hypocrisy: the apocalyptic swan song. A Nola friend bitching to me about the 2006 9/11 anniversary. A Nola writer telling me all about New York, how horrible it was, pushing the "rules"--no badmouthing New Orleans.

More and more, this kind of thinking became a popular post-apocalypse ethos--and when this particular rhetoric is stripped, what do we have left, per this faction? It's one thing to criticize apathy, but the desire to ignore, negate or ridicule the suffering of others--the very thing you decry--is this what you've become? Does it make you happy?

Having lived there for the better part of six years, I know that New Orleans was never much interested in the rest of the country. I'm not much interested in a lot of what's on offer from the rest of the country. In regard to "Katrina" and New Orleans, I'm much more interested in what should have been (and is still not) on offer from the federal, state and city government.

Never felt much need to go around blanket-bastardizing this "rest of the country" as is done so often among this subset of NewOrleansNow. Just as I have heard the people of Minnesota disparaged in the wake of the bridge collapse. Just as I did not hear a word from anyone in this set--outside of dreaded Yankees and regular, non-faux-diehard New Orleanians and other Southerners--on the actual day or, come to think of it, regarding the tsunami disaster, or any other major disaster. What I do hear from the clique is things like the Guardian Angels and other outside charitable organizations being put down despite their volunteer efforts. It's not good enough, not good enough.

Well, of course it's not because The Bitters are confusing the issue: people outside the city, people not from the city, people drowned out and turned away within the city can only do so much. The Bitters are too busy poisoning the well down there to listen to reason, driving the good people of New Orleans out. I can hear it in another friend's voice on the phone.

Did this pattern begin with the most recent levee failure? No.

But it did morph into this weird, uptight (weird because it's uptight and it's New Orleans), "only our tragedy" counts mentality that doesn't exactly encourage support. Get in line or get out. If you're going to leave, shut up and leave--you are no longer allowed a voice, snaps Poppy Z. Brite, who, in addition to writing, makes a practice of telling people what they should and should not do with their lives because New Orleans is more important than their lives. Who cares if you get shot dead there? Who cares about the people shot dead?

[Oh, and Poppy: Nah nah nee nah nah, still bitchin'---but back in NY! Flounce, Flounce!]

So, am I just some Yankee-fuck-Middle-American-Mountain-Woman-falling-into-the-ocean-California-crank suggesting New Orleans should not be rebuilt? Obviously

not.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Who knew?

I met the Statue of Liberty today at Battery Park and:
a) she was kind of a he-she who
b) spoke Spanish.