Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
But at least the UCC is being humorous, gracious, and compassionate in its rejection of what that idiocy represents.
Now can we finally lay this latest anti-christian/corporate-media bait-and-switch aside and get back to focusing on the real mess in our midst? Thank you.
Monday, January 24, 2005
As I begin to accelerate, the SUV speeds up. I add a little pressure with my right foot, ditto the SUV. It's almost on me now, and I'm running out of road space. I'm nearing the barrier which is placed here on my right side to prevent me from plummeting at high speed into the depths of the Big Muddy so far below me.
I look to my left where the SUV is alongside me now. I can see the whites of the driver's eyes.
The woman smiles at me as she transfers to her left lane. Without shaking her stare, I enunciate clearly several words describing her appearance, her lineage, her second-grade-level of education, and her lack of any classy reputation. Her smile fades as she pulls away. I imagine the last thing I see in those eyes is fear.
What is it with women and SUV's? Especially here in the South where there was once such pride in feminity? Nowadays these cracker broads are operating with higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of common sense than a sixteen-year-old boy at his homecoming dance.
Coming home was another trip. I know Mardi Gras is fast approaching, lots of tourists are making their way here for the cultural season. But, for crying out loud, don't be prancing in the streets and blocking our cars from getting us home. We haven't closed those streets yet for your pedestrian traffic.
No, what we have done is constructed these quaint pathways for your use. They're all over town. In the older neighborhoods we even call them by their original name, "banquettes." You call them "sidewalks." They're where they are for your use - use them.
Otherwise, don't be whining when we drivers start to clip you. We get points for that down here. Every hit is twenty-four minutes off a parking meter.
Don't you know me better than that by now? Next Tuesday evening, I will be driving in from work across the great Mississippi to meander my way through the Warehouse District and the Downtown Development District to find the last - the VERY last - available parking spot in the fucking French Quarter. There I will abandon my car and retire to my little slave quarter shelter, lock the doors, and order food deliveries until Ash Wednesday.
Oh, I will venture out from time to time to see what I can see. I hope to take some photographs, as well, to document for you the levels to which some people will sink when away from their own homes and friends and neighbors for the duration of this, their brief dip into debauchery. But all in all, I'd rather be napping.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Friday, January 21, 2005
Thursday, January 20, 2005
The Progress Report
The Eve of Destruction
A New Deal
They May Strut like Barnyard Roosters, But They're Scared
Torquemada's Rolling Over in His Grave
Once you've finished all that, call your mother and tell her you love her.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Condoleezza Rice responded to Barbara Boxer's recent presentation of her (Rice's) history of lies this way:
"Senator, we can have this discussion in any way that you would like. But I really hope that you will refrain from impugning my integrity."What integrity? She is a liar. Alberto Gonzales is a liar. They are all liars. Have we as a nation become the People of the Lie?
Here are some quotes to think about:
The three-year-old who lies about taking a cookie isn't really a "liar" after all. He simply can't control his impulses. He then convinces himself of a new truth and, eager for your approval, reports the version that he knows will make you happy.
Cathy Rindner Tempelsman, U.S. Journalist. Child-Wise, ch. 2 (1994)
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Attributed to Benjamin Disreali by Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Autobiography, p. 246 (1924)
Emilia: You told a lie, an odious, damned lie; / Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.
William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 5, Sc 2, 1. 180-1
Well, I'll tell you why. I have it on good authority that the military-industrial complex is at the heart of this gay agenda we keep reading about (heard about that "gay bomb"?). They created it and sold it to the rest of us for one big reason. Ya gotta have somebody you can push around who ain't gonna push you back. It's as simple as that.
Time was we used to have the n-word folks we could do that to. But not no more. Make one false move or say one wrong word to one of them and they'll bitch-slap you so hard it'll knock out your partials. But you can still do or say anything to the gays. They just run away down the sidewalks like girls, just squealing and squealing.
Course, you don't want to mess with no drag queen or dyke. The one will poke your eyes out with his Jimmy Chew shoes, the other will run you down with her hawg. Maybe the military should keep them in, don't you think? Make an exception. Show the world they really don't discriminate.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Monday, January 17, 2005
People who know more of my own work than I have posted here will understand my enthusiasm.
I think I could have managed the 12th and the 13th. All right, maybe not the 12th.
The GOP big wigs pay obeisance to the religious right because they provide the foot soldiers for their campaigns. The Republican establishment cynically manipulates the cultural issues because they recognize that a party that is dedicated to redistributing wealth upward has little chance of majority status. Once elected, Republicans reward the religious right with some crumbs while the real goodies are handed out to their wealthy donors and their corporate cronies.
The genuine agenda of the Bushies was magnificently spelled out by Nicholas Confessore in the New York Times Magazine,
"In theoretical terms, Bush's cuts have brought the United States tax code closer to a system under which income from savings and investments aren't taxed at all and revenues would be raised exclusively from taxes on labor. The consequence of those policies is that a greater proportion of tax revenues now come from what the middle class earns and a smaller proportion from what the wealthy earn."
Ah, the comfort of euphemisms. The man is talking about more war. How did we Americans surrender so much oversight to a band of outlaws like this administration? Every day hands us more glaring examples of governmental abuse and waste, yet we go on like none it it is going to boomerang back on us.
Don't even get me started on the people who elected this cabal, never realizing they are its ultimate target, its expendables. Stupid lemmings. What will go through their minds when they finally realize, too late, that what this group really wants is for them to be dead and off its land? Can the immoral rich want anything else than more wealth? People, wake up. None of what they do is for your good.
What's the use?
Please, God, for once let Hersh be wrong.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
I met Conrad in the late 1970's through Gerry Morales, who was my mentor at work. Back then he was managing the Contesta Apartments in the French Quarter. His home office was at 921 Chartres Street.
Conrad collected things (objects, pictures, fabrics, anything) having to do with grapes. And he lived a hard life with grace, kindness, and laughter. He was the landlord who placed me in the slave quarter apartment I have called home for the past two decades.
His last several years were spent coping with illnesses. The most debilitating was his diabetes. Shortly after losing a leg (the first of several amputations) I saw him at Carnival.
There he was on Bourbon Street, a roaring eye-patched pirate with a stuffed parrot tacked to his left shoulder - and a wooden peg leg.
Good night, Connie. We'll meet again.
Here's how I gather it would work. You've got your two armies lined up in battle formation, right? You charge. As you approach the enemy, you whip out your little bottle (or cannister - it is a war, after all, and glass breaks) and spritz the enemy. Voila! They all turn gay and fall in love with their comrades
Or would they fall in love with you? Maybe that's why this concept was not pursued.
Or was it not pursued? Could this be the shadowy fountainhead of the so-called gay agenda? Is our vehemently heterosexual government spritzing its citizens with lavendar crop dusters? Next time you go into your local Macy's or Dillard's, watch out for those lacquered babes who rush to you with their "perfume" samples, buddy. You cannot be sure you are safe in this uncertain world. Better to stick with Walmart.
But I wonder now, does this mean there are no major appliances to be had for every new gay recruit?
Thursday, January 13, 2005
The City of New Orleans has new parking meters. As you can see, they are particularly appropriate to the toute ensemble of the Vieux Carre. They fit in just as nicely in the Garden District, the Faubourg-Marigny, even Uptown. I just heard on the local evening news that we will be able to start using these honeys soon. The city government has kindly thought to place instructors in strategic locations to teach us what to do with them. I thought we already knew.
If you know anything me, you know I don't get my news from the Times Picayune. The only time I go to it is when I'm doing some kind of research. But if you're in or from Louisiana and you see the name "Rideau," you know it can only be Wilbert Rideau. So I pulled up the article and read it.
Today, Wilbert Rideau is a 62 year-old black man. In 1961, at the age of 19, he robbed a Lake Charles, LA, bank and took three hostages. He shot all three. Two survived, the third died after Rideau cut her throat. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. When the U. S. Supreme court abolished the death penalty, his sentence was commuted to life without parole. His conviction was later thrown out on appeal. He was retried and convicted again, only to win on another appeal. This same scenario occurred a third time. He is now undergoing his fourth trial for this crime. He has been in Louisiana's Angola Prison nearly 44 years.
The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate of January 2, 2005, says this about Rideau:
He has admitted the crime. In 1981, he videotaped an interview in which he described his actions and said that he hated white people at the time.
Rideau arrived at the state prison at Angola at age 19 with an eighth-grade education and a death sentence. He taught himself to read and began writing while waiting for the electric chair. His sentence was changed to life in prison without parole in 1972, after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Louisiana's death penalty.
Refused a job by whites at The Angolite prison magazine, Rideau founded The Lifer and began writing a weekly column for a group of black newspapers. In 1976, he was named editor of The Angolite and transformed it from a mimeographed newsletter into a slick magazine that has won a string of awards.
Under Rideau and Billy Wayne Sinclair, who became co-editor in 1978, the magazine won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award. The two also won the George Polk Award in 1979 for articles about homosexual rape and a killing in prison.
The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and dozens of others have written glowing profiles of Rideau, as did Life magazine, which dubbed him "The Most Rehabilitated Prisoner in America."
Rideau, 62, also co-directed "The Farm," the documentary about Angola and Warden Burl Cain that was nominated for an Oscar and awarded a prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. He wrote and narrated an award-winning National Public Radio documentary and collaborated on a film about an execution for the Discovery Channel.
I believe that last sentiment and the nature of his renown are what keeps those gates locked on Wilbert Rideau.
He "hated whited people." He might as well have requested his own lynching, and he almost was. I'm not much younger than Rideau. I was born and raised in southwest Louisiana around the same time. Many black people hated white people. More white people hated blacks. I live in New Orleans today, and I know whites who still hate blacks. They are not all from the deep south either. Just a few days ago, one of them, a transplanted New Yorker, recounted with distaste his visit to the local Food Stamp Office where he was forced to sit in the midst of many blacks and wait as long as they before he could get his little pittance of survival scrip. Just a few hours' drive away from here in Jackson, MS, a white man will soon go on trial in the so-called Mississippi Burning Case. But Rideau "hated white people."
In the current retrial, the jury is composed of people from Monroe, LA. A Lake Charles jury could not be presumed to be unbiased. I wonder what a jury can do once it hears in open court that Wilbert Rideau committed the crime he is being retried for. Can they stand as one and find him not guilty? Of course not. But can a judge commute a sentence to time served?
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Well, guess what I saw? ME! Omigod. I am not worthy. I'm on my knees right now choking back tears because I am so not that worthy.
Somebody's actually reading this shit.
I better start watching what I say.
Verti Mart is an important place in the Lower Quarter. A small convenience grocery and deli, it feeds the masses who converge on our community for whatever occasion our city fathers and mothers and money grubbers can dream up. At those times it is not unusual to find flocks of gutter punks mingling with ladies and gentlemen of the elegant classes all balancing their Verti Mart styrofoam boxes on the convenient trash barrel or on one of the newspaper dispensers right outside its front door. Fortunately, the store also delivers.
Veri Mart's endless orders of supplies are delivered to this side door.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
According to this article, if you're an artist in Louisiana and you hope to sell your work by showing it, you have to pay taxes on what you might reasonably expect to receive for it from a purchaser. That's even better than the IRS taxing a restaurant server on the amount of an assumed tip. I wonder, do we tax cock fights yet?
People say such ugly things about Louisiana, but isn't this tax more creative than anything Leonardo ever dreamed up?
I'd be curious to know if any other state or city has a tax on unsold, exhibited artworks.
Monday, January 10, 2005
So much for the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. Let's go further back in time to take our cues for how we should live today. Everone, on your knees as we approach the Cave-of-the-Resurrection of the intellectual Dodo Bird!
Sunday, January 9, 2005
It's turned into a dreary Sunday. No sun, drizzle. Sundays are downers anyway since Mondays follow. The first workday of the week has always been a dreaded thing to me. I don't know why. My office staff is always pleasant - and mostly present. My assistant, D, will be there when I arrive, having opened the office and gotten everyone started. She and I will exchange our usual humorous morning banter. S, my clerk, will be waiting for me, all smiles, ready to get me breakfast. Hmm, maybe it won't be so bad after all. As Mel Brooks would say, and has said from time to time, "It's good to be the king."
Saturday, January 8, 2005
Why didn't you ever call her? you might reasonably ask. Because we thought she had moved to England. She spoke of that often, and wistfully. But no, she had just screwed up her back and could barely stand upright for a while, much less slog a mop.
Now that she's fit again, we can put her back to work. She'll be arriving around eleven this morning to make our little nook respectable again. Finally, we'll be able to eat in like we used to do back in the olden days.
I see by my clock, it's getting on to ten. Time to run and clean up the place before she gets here. Back later.
A few years ago, our friend Lucille (the slut!) gave us a few cuttings from her plumeria plants. They had not done that well in her garden. Now she was moving and couldn't take all the flora with her. (She wasn't leaving any fauna behind, mind you. Long before Cher and certain middle-school teachers, Lucille had a penchant for younger men.) Well, we took the cuttings and put them into our courtyard where we treated them with the respect and affection they deserved. They thrived. They bloomed.
Now we wonder. After this nasty winter, it looks as though they may have passed. We'll have to wait and see. But in their glory days, weren't they glorious?