The Adrastos Wayback Machine

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This site is a partial archive of my 2005-2011 blog-city blog. Why a partial record? It’s a pain in the ass to upload the .xml files to any site so I’m opting for a Best of Adrastos approach here at WordPress.

I don’t expect to put all of my favorite posts up at once. Instead, I’ll be moving slowly and posting in an oddly methodical fashion for such a haphazard writer. My focus will be on New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood but I’ll branch out to make sure that the Best of Adrastos reflects my quirks as a blogger. You were warned. More warnings after the break.

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THE MAYOR’S RACE AS SITCOM

Tue, 17 Nov 2009 14:53:27

I’m beginning to warm to the New Orleans Mayor’s race; not because of substance there doesn’t appear to be any. The race as it slowly takes shape seems to have strong elements of farce. It won’t make for good guvmint but the comic possibilities are seemingly endless. It could be sitcomtastic or is that sitcomlicious?

There’s James Dot Com Perry who’s running his campaign on Twitter and Facebook and seems to spend much of his time raising money out of state. It’s a pity: James Dot Com is *potentially* an interesting outsider candidate but he needs to shut down his laptop stop tweeting and knock on some doors to meet some actual voters. This virtual candidacy thing is from hunger unless there’s some shoe leather expended in support of it. We’ve already had the Wizard of Oz for Mayor we don’t need a virtual one to replace  him.
 
Leslie Jacobs seems to be flirting with the idea of running even though her expertise such as it is is in education and the Mayor has bupkis to do with the schools. But she *is* rich and Sandy Rosenthal is her sister-in-law which could lead to a loose cannon relative sub-plot and that’s *always* fun. I was under the impression however that Ms. Jacobs is a Mike Foster Republican and this town isn’t going to elect a White Gooper. Just ask Rob Couhig. Oops poor comparison Ms Jacobs has a full head of hair and isn’t notably obnoxious… UPDATE: Ms. Jacobs had a meet and greet last night and said that she was a “lifelong Democrat” despite her association with Foster. That’s a fact that she needs to get out there. 

John Georges continues to disprove the notion that all Greeks have a bit of Zorba in them. He’s an opa nopa y’all. Mr. Georges has more money than God but no discernible personality. The only thing interesting about the vending machine magnate is his wobbly political journey from Republican to Independent to Democrat. (Hmm I wonder if he plans to revive the Whig party next?)  He mistakenly thinks that running first in Orleans Parish in the 2007 Governor’s race is significant when it was all about the street money. Georges has enough cold hard cash to finish as high as second or third in an open field but if he’s elected Mayor I will eat one of Mark Folse’s straw hats under the gaze of General/President Jackson in the Square. Having said that I do find Georges’ delusions of grandeur to be most amusing. He could play the eccentric millionaire who’s so dull that he’s funny in our sitcom. Yeah that’s the ticket.

Ed Murray’s part in the campaign is obvious: every sitcom needs a straight man and who’s duller than Ed? Well John Georges is but he’s already been cast. Murray’s main asset is that he’s not C Ray Nagin: a man who dreams big and delivers small. Murray looks increasingly like the tortoise in this race but now that I think of it there aren’t any hares. I have one suggestion for Murray to liven things up: he could claim to be baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray to capture the vital Orioles fan vote…

Mitch Landrieu is doing some polling to see if he should think again about considering to run even though he said he wouldn’t. I like Mitch; he’s a nice guy with a fine tenor singing voice but the Hamlet act is wearing thin. He’s becoming the Adlai Stevenson of NOLA politics: a guy who can’t make up his mind and wears his indecision on his sleeve. Adlai only won one election in his life so Mitch has that beat; except in New Orleans Mayoral races where he’s 0 and 2. Of course if he does run the Landrieus can revive their brother and sister act: Mary is currently dancing the old soft shoe about health care reform after all…
 
Finally I am somewhat alarmed about the impact that this sitcom of an election is having on Clancy DuBos. He seems to be channeling some movie or tevee wise guy in his latest column but I’m not sure which one it is. It can’t be Joey Pants from The Sopranos Jeffrey’s already got the pants angle zipped locked up. Clancy’s too tall to be Al Pacino in any of his wise guy roles although the fuhgettaboutit shtick is straight out of Donny Brasco. Hmm now that I think of it Clancy is more like Nathan Detroit of Guys and Dolls fame. Our local Damon Runyon Ronnie Virgets has been known to turn a colorful phrase or three in the pages of the Gambit after all. Btw Ronnie would be an outstanding recurring character in our wee sitcom: the zany Yat in a loud shirt who breezes in cracking wise and then takes every one off to the race track. Hilarity ensues..
 
Oh well this race could make the sanest person crazy and drive a Mormon to drink but at least it’s entertaining. It’s a pity however that the stakes are so high: the city is crying out for leadership and instead I’m casting a sitcom which is particularly ironic since the *original* 2010 frontrunner was Oliver the actor whose act is currently wowing them in the big house. 

 

THE (FANTASY) LIFE OF RILEY

 Wed, 03 Jun 2009 05:00:19

Someone in NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley’s family must have encouraged him to dream big reach for the stars and all that inspirational hokum. Unfortunately Chief Riley has an alarming tendency to confuse dreams with delusions. Last weekend I was gobsmacked to read that Riley is contemplating running for Mayor. LINK. My initial response was to laugh like a deranged hyena and make jokes about Riley spending too much time in the evidence room. I stopped laughing when I realized that it’s part of a pattern of Nagin-like self-delusion on the part of Riley.

Warren Riley is an unpopular and ineffective police chief running a department that has never recovered from its Katrina trauma. And make no mistake about it: the cops here were traumatized and their leader is a bureaucrat who is as inspirational as a CPA. It’s one of the reasons NOPD is the demoralized mess that it is today.  
 
Chief Riley is now contemplating applying his modest leadership abilities to politics. If he decides to run it won’t be Riley’s first attempt: he lost a race for Sheriff to Marlin Gusman. He ran of course as C Ray’s man and that’s how a run for Mayor would be seen as well. If you like Ray Nagin you’ll love Warren Riley. How’s that for a losing slogan y’all?
 
The last thing New Orleans needs is another Mayor who will surround himself with yes men and overreact to criticism. Warren Riley is just such a man: as his recent dealings with District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro make obvious. The Judge is not one to lash out at someone publicly before making the same criticisms off-stage. Indeed Judge Cannizzaro’s complaints about slow arriving (and badly written) police reports and cops not showing up for court have been made by his predecessors. Riley’s response has been indignation and pettiness. He’s always right because he says he is. Hmm where have we heard that before?
 
The latest petty move by Chief Riley involves NOPD Captain Jeff Winn. LINK.  I’m oversimplifying things but what’s wrong with a bit of oversimplification among friends? Here we go: Winn received some good publicity in the aftermath of Katrina and the flood. That in turn made Riley jealous and he began working to damage Winn by using his bureaucratic skills bury Winn and end his career. But Winn has proven to be a resourceful adversary. Riley dispatched him to the DA’s office as punishment but Winn has done such a good job that Riley has reassigned him in a fit of pique at both the Captain and the Judge. Way to go Chief.
 
Back to Riley’s most recent dispute with Judge Cannizzaro. They have profound philosophical differences. The Judge is a big picture man who wants more detectives so that his office can focus like a laser beam on the most violent offenders by clearing as many cold homicide cases as possible. Riley like the fictional Baltimore police chief in The Wire wants bodies on the street and dope on the table as I pointed out a few years back in this post. Chief Riley seems to believe that by asserting that things are getting better crime-wise they are. It’s another delusion masquerading as a dream which sums up Warren Riley’s tenure as police chief quite nicely.
 
Breaking: Riley has cleared the cops involved in the dubious shooting of Adolph Grimes in Treme on New Year’s Eve. LINK. The officers involved will remain on desk duty pending the results of a federal investigation. Hopefully the feds know the difference between facts and wishful thinking; something Warren Riley has never mastered.

PLANNING DEJA VU

PLANNING DEJA VU Fri, 26 Sep 2008 15:50:07

Hippies were big on deja vu the trippy notion that stuff repeats man. The powers that be in Debrisville are also big on deja vu man. There are more fracking planning meetings. In this instance they’re for a master plan as opposed to a recovery plan BUT the recovery planning meetings often covered ideas to be used in a master plan. Additionally there was a  completed but never voted upon master plan pre-K. Do we really need to go back to the drawing board and shell out more consultant fees?

Whassup with this? I realize that some people *love* meetings but the latest planning frenzy seems a bit fishy to me. The pre-K master plan leaned in the preservationist direction which probably made it insufficiently pro-demolition to suit C Ray Kaiser Ed and developers. I gave up in disgust on the planning process after only attending 444 meetings but many of my readers perservered out of either dedication or… uh…perversity. Any of you lot have any thoughts on the latest round? I could be wrong BUT my experience with the planocrats has made me suspicious. 

Speaking of hippies and deja vu here’s CSNY:

THE FOLLOWERS OF CHAOS OUT OF CONTROL

Wed, 27 Aug 2008 16:21:17

Mr. Wet sucks. Let me explain why. He’s one of my best  friends in the NOLA blogosphere BUT the sumbitch stole my Gustav related post title: Achtung Baby. It makes me wonder if he’s a psychic from all those years of wearing a hat and living in the frozen North. (It somehow gives me perverse pleasure to imagine him plugging in his car whilst conversing with a neighbor who sounds like Marge in Fargo. Oh ja you betcha.) But if Folse *is* a psychic I’m thinking he’s a fake; sort of like Sean Spencer the goofy fake psychic tevee detective on Psych. Hmm now that I think of it Mark’s son Matt is a goofball in the Spencerian vein…


Anyway since Mr. Wet stole my thunder I decided to use a line from another great ’80’s “alternative” band REM. The song Disturbance At The Heron House is actually political but the line “the followers of chaos out of control” sums up rather neatly the panic in the air here in Debrisville. Me I’m just cranky that this fracking storm may goose step into town this weekend and force Southern Decadence to cancel. It’s usually a big weekend for Quarter merchants. For the uninitiated Decadence is a cross between boys gone wild and a gay pride event. As my good friend with a thick French accent and a Russian name Paul Nevski once said to me: “During Decadence everyone in the Quarter is gay. Even the ‘omophobes are gay.”

Back to Gustav; at least the motherfracker has a proper scary name. I can respect a storm named Gustav; it evokes saurkraut beer gardens and Prussian militarism. As of now we don’t know where this Teutonic twit of a storm is headed but Dr. A and I are eyeing it cautiously and plan to indulge in a bit of brinksmanhip before deciding what to do which means we’ll be inviting ourselves to my cousin Tina’s house in Dallas if we need to bug out. Katrina was the first time we’d ever gotten out of Dodge and we’re only doing so this time if Gustav is a giant Stasi agent of a storm headed right towards us.

So it’s time to wait watch and prepare. I don’t think freaking out helps anything but I understand why folks who were hit hard in 2005 are flipping out. It’s time for us to be ghouls and root for Gustav to go elsewhere which only people in the Hurricane belt are allowed to do.  I usually hope that storms head to Kleberg County Texas home of the King Ranch where there are more cattle than people. So Gustav moove in that direction so the followers of chaos won’t get out of control:

WOMBAT MANIA

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 05:22:13

Wombat Mania

It’s a northern hairy nosed Homan wombat.

Some days I hate the internets but most days I love it. Where else could I learn more than I ever wanted to know about northern hairy nosed wombats at a site called Wombania.com? Where else could I learn that the Australian Treasury Secretary plans to spend his vacation babysitting wombats? The wombats are an endangered species down under and said Aussie Labour pol Ken Henry plans to do his bit to help said wombats survive. I applaud Mr. Henry’s wombat mania and for inspiring me to keep writing the word wombat which is one of the silliest words known to man woman child or I daresay wombat. Thanks Mr. Henry.

In all seriousness I hope that the wombat survives; hairy nose and all. I may not be as wombatty as some Ozzies because all I knew about the critters before tonight was that my high school crony David wrote a song called Wombat. Our little adolescent garage band used to play it but the lyrics were very un-PC so I shan’t repeat them here. All I can say is that wombat mania rocks.

Since we never recorded David’s little ditty there are no songs about wombats on YouTube; so here’s Oz’s own Midnight Oil doing a tune that is NOT about wombats. Damn I love that word. Must stop must stop…

Btw the Midnight Oil connection is less far fetched than it may seem. The Oil’s lead singer Peter Garrett is one of Henry’s cabinet colleagues he’s the minister for environment heritage and the arts. I suspect he’s a wombat fancier and/or marsupial maven as well.

Finally whilst YouTubing I learned that there is indeed a band called the Wombats and they’re not only Liverpudlians (another word I love) but also pretty good:

The key comment follows:

Holly

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 02:20:22 I love this. We’re a WOMBAT household… my husband’s nickname became wombat years ago as a co-op worker during college (the nickname was based on ‘a wombat’ as Waste Of Money Brains And Time) and since then, as a telecommuter for a group of 5 with 3 of them having the same name, it became his professional name. Wombat is on his business cards and for years, many of his co-workers didn’t know his first name. Some people thought that he didn’t even exist — we were flown up for an office party where I overheard two people saying that ‘they heard WOMBAT was there!!!!’ and wondering if it was a man or a woman. Anyway. This post totally made our night.

Adrastos Mon, 30 Jun 2008 02:37:38 Holly: Glad to be of service. Now I’m *really* glad that I didn’t quote those lyrics…

WE DIDN’T DROP IT

 Sun, 13 Apr 2008 03:21:57

Ashley’s funeral was a real Tale Of Two Cities moment: it was the best of times and the worst of times. There were many tears and much laughter. The speeches by Ray Oyster and two old friends of Ashley were fabulous; especially Ray’s take on Kermit Ruffins’ This Is New Orleans. And Howie Luvzus did a great job presiding over the event as the minister selected by the atheist…

My main fear about being a pallbearer didn’t happen: we didn’t drop the coffin; mostly thanks to Mr. Clio and Dillyberto. It *almost* slipped once but we didn’t screw up. Of course Ashley would have been the first to laugh if we’d dropped the casket…

The Jazz procession at the cemetery was led by Ashley’s favorite the Hot 8 Brass Band. The entombment was the hardest part of the day but the second line after it and the subsequent wake we’re joyful as hell. We drank too much swore too much and toasted the Mime repeatedly. 

I’ve posted Dr. A’s pictures at our Flickr site. LINK.  Derek Howie and Karen have posted some snaps of the Jazz funeral as well.  

UPDATE: Lisa Pal and Maitri have also posted pictures. 

GUTTED

Thu, 03 Apr 2008 15:18:12

I was just about to sit down and write a post mocking the Mayor but decided to check my email first. I had some truly terrible news my friend and fellow blogger Ashley Morris died Wednesday morning. He was a wonderful friend father and husband. I’m stunned numb and in shock right now. Ashley was the first NOLA blogger I met and he *always* had my back. I miss him already.

THE STOOGEUM

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 16:39:08

Stooged

The traditional museum is a highbrow or at least middlebrow place. Things are changing. There are now all sorts of non-traditional museums including one devoted to the emphatically lowbrow comedy team the Three Stooges. The Stoogeum is run by a guy who’s married to Larry Fine’s niece. Larry of course was the stooge with the Jewfro who was relentlessly bullied by the tyrannical Moe.

I’d never heard of the Stoogeum until last week when Dr. A sent me a link to a story about it in the WaPo last week. It’s somewhat ironic because like most women Dr. A doesn’t care for the knockabout dumbshit slapstick that’s the specialty of the Stooges. She is however a good sport who has resisted the temptation to use a wrench on my nose a la Moe. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
The great comedian David Steinberg had a classic routine about the Stooges which alas is nowhere to be found on the internets. The Steinbergian thesis was that the Stooges were archetypal figures and that all guys fit into a Stoogian category. Howzat for highbrowing up the lowbrow? I’m not sure that I entirely agree but it’s fun to contemplate. Moe was the ego Curly the id Larry the doormat with Shemp being somewhere between Curly and Moe. As applied to the NOLA political scene: C Ray is definitely a Curly,  Marc Morial a Mo,e and Arnie Fielgood is a Larry to the core. Among the NOLA bloggers Loki and Ashley are clearly Curlys but there’s a dearth of Moes or eenie meenies for that matter. I think Jeffrey has some Shempian tendencies. Note the resemblance:

Shemped

I’m just busting his chops y’all. Dr. A in fact thinks that Mr. Gloomy Pants is the cutest boy blogger and Shemp wasn’t exactly a matinee idol. He had a face that could stop a clock. I don’t think there are any Larrys among the NOLA bloggers and if there are calling someone a Larry isn’t very nice and I’m working on my image. I want people to answer the phone when I call at 3 AM even if I’m doing The Curly Shuffle:

I’m not really a hardcore Stoogemaniac. When it comes to comedy teams from the distant past I’m more of a Marx Brothers guy but it’s fun to bloviate about the Stooges. It’s also quite insulting to compare anybody to one of the Stooges as someone soitenly knew when they photoshopped this image of some Arizona Republican pols:

Three Arizona Stooges

McCain is definitely all Moe. Me, I’m just a wise guy.

THE RETURN OF RENEE GILL-PRATFALL?

Sat, 29 Dec 2007 16:35:07

No the dipshit former Councilwoman and State Rep isn’t planning to run for office BUT she’s been nominated for an administrative position at Dollar Bill U SUNO. LINK. According to a former senior SUNO staffer Gill-Pratfall is completely unqualified to act as director of recruitment and a bunch of other stuff. But SUNO is one of the last places that the Klepto Congressman has any pull and RGP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dollar Bill Inc. Is this a major scandal in the context of Debrisville muck? No but it *is* a travesty. Plus I love the nickname that I gave her so much that I never miss a chance to deploy it. Repeat after me: Gill-Pratfall.

In other tales of Debrisville muck: former Council Prez and convicted felon Oliver (the Bad Actor) Thomas’ friends held a political style fundraiser for his family. I have nothing against Oliver’s wife but he should have socked away his bribe money for a rainy day instead of once again putting the bite on campaign contributors. Oh well once a pol always a pol…