Monthly Archives: February 2006

Carnival Diary: Bacchus Sunday

Mon, 27 Feb 2006 15:21:14

Bacchus Sunday was longer than a Russian novel this year: Bacchus and Encrappyion back to back was like reading “War & Peace” and “August 1914” in a single sitting. And I prefer Tolstoi to the Solzhenitsyn: the former is tasty whereas the latter is indigestible not unlike Bacchus versus Endymion. For the uninitiated there were 3 parades before Bacchus and I seem to have a standing around and lollygagging hangover this morning. That is if there *is* such a thing….

Item-1 Chris Rose and the Katrina Kaiser: In Sunday’s local rag Chris Rose was on target (as opposed to tar-ge) again. The Picayune poohbah has decided that he’s tired of caring about what people in Des Moines and Omaha think of us:  “From now on I don’t care what THEY think.

THEY think we’re drunk insouciant lascivious and racist. So be it.

THEY show the images of revelers flashing for beads on Bourbon Street as some sort of distasteful microcosm of the libertine life of New Orleanians — our callous dancing on the graves of the hurricane dead at Mardi Gras.

And the people in the Great Elsewhere watching these images in their living rooms are horrified at our behavior but is anybody going to point out that 98 percent of the people flashing and taunting for beads on Bourbon Street are from THEIR hometowns?

That THEY are watching a mirror of THEMSELVES not us?”

Mistah Rose is on a rant roll y’all. Me I never much cared what “they” think of us because as American citizens we have the right to federal assistance whether the religious right or Earl Turd Blossom of Rove likes us or not. We’re taxpayers and the Corpse of Engineers is an arrogant  federal agency that screwed the pooch. And we’re the pooch that needs unscrewing. It’s that simple folks.

Speaking of rolls: I *have* noticed that Katrina Kaiser Donald Powell seems to be more effective than anyone expected him to be. Maybe his being a dull gray banker who couldn’t overshadow your Aunt Minnie is an asset. Actually I think that Debrisville is benefitting from the Beavis-Duce administration’s long queue of political problems. It’s about fricking time.

Item-2  The Day Parades:
There were 5 count ’em 5 parades yesterday and we were insane enough to see 4 of them. Thoth came first and it was the source of some post-K sadness in my hood. Thoth usually rolls up Magazine Street around high noon so my neighbors throw de facto block parties: this year they lined up on Napoleon. Dr. A and I usually join our Valence Street neighbors in pre-Bacchanalian revelry. Our de facto local queen of Thoth is Maggie the Bookseller who I didn’t even see out on the parade route. Hey Mags it’s like being a Brooklyn Dodger fan in the Fifties all we can say is: wait until next year.

Thoth was followed by the Krewe of Mid City whose den (aka warehouse) was seriously flooded. They usually have 20+ floats and great bands but this year’s parade was smaller and bandless. It was also very poignant. Mid City is one of the prettiest and most distinctive parades: they use tin foil on the floats to catch the sun; nobody else in NOLA does that.


Mid City is NOT usually a topical or satirical parade but that changed for this year. The blue tarps on  the floats are covering up the flood lines.


Item-3  Bacchus Follows The Yellow Brick Road: The Krewe’s theme was “There’s No Place Like Home.” Yup that’s right the old surefire Wizard of OZ thing. This was the best Bacchus parade in years: I really haven’t enjoyed their recent efforts but this one had a good theme and superb execution.

Dr. A and I joined our old parade pals up at the Gumbo Guild. We didn’t eat any gumbo but we were initiated into the beef jerky cult. I had to pause and consider whether or not my eating something called jerky would be cannibalism. I decided to get past my ethical concerns and try it. It was small town Texas jerky and it was pretty good. I was hoping to offer some to a vegan but couldn’t find one in the crowd. Here are two of the main jerky cultists kicking back on the parade route:


Bacchus actually started 20 minutes early. I spoke to Deep Blog on the route and he/she/it told me that rumor had it that Chief Riley called the Captain of Bacchus to ask him to roll early as a favor to the NOPD. Like everyone else the Bacchus bigwigs were pissed off at Endymion for delaying its parade and that was the only way they’d start early. Thanks Chief.

Deep Blog was full of it yesterday: he/she/it also told me that they’d heard that Encrappyion Captain Ed Muniz pulled the plug on his parade so they could roll at night. If so shame on them. I hope Captain Ed doesn’t run into Mike Hammer any time soon: he’s ready to feed Muniz a knuckle sandwich for being such a selfish egomaniacal bastard.

Back to Bacchus. Here are a few choice snaps courtesy of Dr. A:

It’s a pity that the pictures can’t capture the way the torches around Oz’s head flashed. It was spectacular y’all. On the right is the backside of the apple throwing tree float. The riders didn’t actually throw apples: they were probably afraid that the crowd would throw them at Endymion’s Captain Ed.

Item-4  Encrappyion:
I didn’t see the entire parade. (I’ll tell you why below.) There were some major snafus at the beginning which of course the local rag failed to mention in its coverage today because they’re in deep shit booster mode. In between parades a long line of school buses stopped  on Napoleon; stretching all the way from Prytania to Magazine which is a good 4 or 5 city blocks. The buses were full of disgruntled Encrappyion riders. It turned out that the drivers had either gone the wrong way or that the big shots of Endymion planned badly. Anyway the riders had to walk in costume carrying bags of throws for a good 6-12 blocks to get to their floats. Well done Captain Ed.

One more thing about my buddy Captain Ed Muniz. He proved himself to be a hardcore girly man: the Captain’s float was vacant at the start of the parade. He was either primping in the port-o-let or hiding from a crowd prepared to boo him. Your guess is as good as mine. Mike Hammer thinks the entire krewe should have worn pink tutus as a badge of wussiness after Saturday’s big wimp out.

The parade itself was as glitzy vacuous and endless as ever. This is only the third time I’ve seen Endymion and it leaves me colder than a lampost in Milwaukee. The only entertainment was provided by the zanies at the Gumbo Guild:

ON THE LEFT: Dr. A called them the liberals in training. That’s Caroline the younger and her best friend Celeste the youngest. The box and sign of course were used to attract attention and throws. It worked.
ON THE RIGHT:  I call this picture: dance sister dance. That’s Carol
the cowgirl Caroline the elder and Marie boogying on the stairs of the Gumbo Guild. Sometimes the girls just gotta sing finger wag and shake their collective booties…

Item-5 The Case Of The Missing Cell Phone:  In between the parade we retreated to Milan Street for a pit stop. Dr. A realized that she’d lost her cell phone. When Marie heard about this she swung into action and when Marie swings into action things get done. Marie told us that some drunken guys had found a cell phone at the Gumbo Guild and were asking if anyone was missing one. They were gone when we returned.

We tried calling Dr. A’s phone number on my cell but my battery was wheezing. But Carol the cowgirl was able to get through to them using her cell phone. It turned out that the happy drunks had left the parade route and were trying to drive home to the bucolic splendors of Zachary LA. Luckily for us they were lost lost lost and were still Uptown. They were too wasted to figure out how to drive through Audubon Park. They got lost several more times but Carol and Dr. A were able to finally direct them to meet us at the corner of Camp and Valence which is a mere 2 blocks from Adrastos World HQ. We gave them directions to get to I-10 and hopefully they understood them. I hope they stopped for coffee somewhere. I’d hate to think that our good samaritans got busted for DUI after being so helpful. Thanks guys for returning Dr. A’s phone.

Speaking of good samaritans Carol the cowgirl is someone we mostly know from the annual Bacchus bash on Milan Street. She didn’t have to knock herself out to be so helpful: I don’t even know her last name. Carol is also one of the people who was hit hard by that evil bitch Katrina. Her house took on 4 feet of water and her business is only now getting back on its unsteady feet. But she took the time to help 2 friends of friends. That’s the *real* spirit of Carnival not chicks from Boise flashing their boobs on Bourbon Street.

 T is for Tacky: Tucks/Endymion Wusses Out

Sun, 26 Feb 2006 06:13:34

I prefer taking it easy on the Saturday before Mardi Gras. We only saw one parade and had limited company; one of whom did some weeding free of charge. Eh good deal.

Item-1 T is for Tacky: TucksTucks is the King of tat sophomoric humor and tacky throws. They throw plastic toilets that actually flush toilet paper and panties among other classy items. I believe they puchase their throws at Bloomingdale’s or Harrod’s…

Our friend Becky the Silent rides in Tucks and gave us some fur lined handcuffs before the parade. Oy such a throw. I don’t have a good picture of Becky on her float but on the left there’s a shot of two visiting whack jobs from storm ravaged Baton Rouge wearing knickers provided by the Beckstress. Then there are two snaps featuring  the Ducks Of Dixieland. The Ducks looked a bit skittish this year: there was a rumor that VP Duce might do some duck hunting along the parade route. Hey that makes as much sense as invading Iraq putting Brownie in charge of FEMA or turning our ports over to an anti-Semitic oil sheikhdom:

Item-2 Endymion Wusses Out-  Endymion’s Captain Ed Muniz is a Repub politician from suburban Kenner. Muniz displayed almost Bushlike “judgment” in prematurely pulling the plug on his parade. We had moderate to light rain not a deluge. And super krewes Orpheus and Bacchus have both paraded when it was pouring buckets. The year Billy Crystal was Bacchus he was one wet funnymensch.

The lamest excuse offered by Captain Ed was that he delayed the parade until tomorrow night because he didn’t want the Convention Center to get dirty. Since when did he turn into Felix Unger?

The real reason for the delay IMO is that Endymion loves to throw its weight around *and* Muniz being from Kenner doesn’t give a rat’s ass about New Orleans or our over-extended police force. Now we’re stuck with parades today from 11:30 AM to god only knows when Endymion will finish. Hopefully they’ll be back on their regular Mid-City parade route or even in Metry next year. Yo Captain Ed   keep your glitzy tacky parading ass out of Uptown in 2007. If you wanna make something of it I’ll send Mike Hammer to meetcha. He may be a fictional character but he’s a mensch unlike the wusses of Endymion.

I usually enjoy skipping Endymion but I plan to stay for the start so I can boo hiss and heckle. Besides Brother Martin is marching in Endymion so we’ll have another chance to embarrass the Kid…

Sing, Mitch, Sing/A Soap Opera: Oliver, C Ray and Dr. House

Thu, 23 Feb 2006 06:00:00

Item-1  Sing Mitch Sing: Singin’ Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu threw his hat in the Mayoral race ring today. Mitchell oughta consider putting his hat back on: the man is seriously bald but he’ll be a better Mayor than the current bald guy. Landrieu’s entrance into the race gives us a chance to ponder what his campaign theme song should be. Mitchell is a tenor so any number of Temptations songs spring to mind but “Ball Of Confusion” may well be the most appropriate. Hit it Mitchell: “Ball of confusion that’s what New Orleans is today hey hey. Ball of confusion time for C Ray to go away hey hey.”

Item-2  A Soap Opera: Oliver C Ray and Dr. House: Token City Council grownup and gifted amateur thespian Oliver Thomas who is African-American wants to change the culture in Debrisville’s housing projects aka the Bricks: “We don’t need soap opera watchers right now we need workers.”

Oliver also reassured law abiding New Orleanians that the City will no longer allow the Bricks to be breeding grounds for crack dealing trigger-happy homicidal gangbangers who mostly prey on other black folks. Let them stay in Houston or Dallas where there’s more to steal; in the immortal words of Tom Petty “don’t come around here no more.” That *used* to be C Ray’s position too but now he’s criticizing Oliver for being too blunt. Today he said that he wants “everyone to come home.” Are you nuts C Ray? Oh yeah that’s right he is…

I’m  proud of Oliver for having the guts to speak so plainly and bluntly. He’s also refused to backtrack or soften his words. Way to go Oliver. In a perfect Adrastos political world Oliver would be the next Mayor and Mitchell the next Governor.

It will be interesting to see which of his old friends C Ray or Mitchell gets Oliver’s endorsement. I bet a tenner on the tenor: C Ray has treated Oliver like warmed over shit post-K and never listened to him pre-K.

Back to Oliver’s soap opera imagery. I can actually think of one soap opera watcher who *could* help us: Dr. Gregory House of Fox-TV fame. Mind you he’s a fictional doctor but he’s a brilliant one and he’s addicted to “General  Hospital” as well as vicodan and non-PC wisecracks. Besides he’s played by Hugh Laurie who’s one of the funniest people on the planet; just thinking of his Bertie Wooster makes me cackle titter and giggle. We could all use a few laughs here in Debrisville.

Paging Dr. House emergency come right away and bring Jeeves along while you’re at it. Indeed sir.

INTRODUCING DEEP BLOG

Sun, 19 Feb 2006 06:00:00

Woodward and Bernstein had Deep Throat and Picayune Columnist Angus Lind has Deep Float. I’m just as deep as any of those guys so I too have my own confidential source: Deep Blog. Deep Blog sent me some pictures and asked not to be identified. Here at the Adrastos Virtual Cafe we protect our sources so any attempts to uncover Deep Blog’s identity will be futile. One thing I can tell you: it’s NOT Mark Felt or Hal Holbrook.

I *almost* feel guilty posting these pictures after having such a nice chat with Councilman Batty on Friday but we bloggers have got to be hard hearted. Besides I have a secret identity so for all you know *I* could be Mark Felt or Hal Holbrook.


 

I get the impression that these folks do not  care for Governor Meemaw or Councilman Batty.

So Deep Blog your secret identity is safe with me. After all Mike Hammer is my chief of security and nobody gets past him even when they *think* they have the drop on him:


 

So remember:  Mess with Deep Blog and you mess with me. Mess with me and you mess with Mike Hammer. Sounds messy to me…

Meemaw’s Comeback/New Mayoral Candidates: Egos On Parade

Sat, 18 Feb 2006 16:48:36

It’s the first day of parades in Debrisville and we live right near where they line up so Carnival is inescapable. It’s usually noisy an hour before they roll but it’s eerily quiet right now. I better enjoy that feeling while it lasts: it’s bound to be a fleeting sensation. On to the Looziana political follies.

Item-1 Meemaw’s ComebackThe Special Session was on the verge of a meltdown in the middle of the week but Governor Meemaw got *some* of what she wanted. Instead of one levee board the pols passed a measure for 2 boards in the metro area: one on the West Bank and one for us non-Arabs on this side of the river. <mild rim shot> This wasn’t quite what Meemaw wanted but hey it wasn’t a total failure either. We will still apparently qualify for the federal money to study Cat-5 levees.

On other issues Meemaw won some and lost some but the biggie did pass so she can take a deep breath and enjoy her Adrastos grade of  B-. Most of these issues will pop up again at next month’s regular sesson so she can go bobbing for legislative apples again then.

Item-2 New Mayoral Candidates: Egos On Parade Rich white guy Rob Couhig and fiery black minister Tom Watson have both entered the fray against C Ray. Fat cat lawyer and Repub Couhig is already on TV with an allegedly zany ad poking fun at Mitch Landrieu Gorilla Ron C Ray and the rest of the crowded field. It’s mildly amusing. Less amusing was Rev. Watson’s calling himself a “heavenly son. ” These Prots drive me crazy I tell ya. They oughta don a cassock grow a beard and grab an incense shaker like a proper Holy Joe. Better make that a Holy Yiannis…

I’ll have more on Couhig and Watson later but the folks who got the tree off my house are coming over for parades so I gotta go.

C RAY’S RAP SESSION

Sat, 18 Feb 2006 06:13:21

The meeting was longer than a Grateful Dead concert or a Wagnerian Opera y’all. I believe that it’s still going on…

C Ray did his Lizzie Borden impression and axed the neighborhood leaders to bloviate opine and all that jazz. I went with my friend the Tomb Builder’s Son aka TBS; emphasis on the BS. He’s a very interesting guy: a retired theatre professor who is a civil war buff cat lover and well to my left politically which is pretty scary. As well as being a major character he’s one of the most reliable people I know: if you need a favor you can always count on TBS. Today he gave me a ride to C Ray’s Rap Session and I mean that in the ’60’s sense of the word rap. There wasn’t any hippity-hop music within earshot.

The meeting was held at the gynormous First Baptist Church on Canal Boulevard at the parish line near the cemeteries. Fellow Debrisvillians know it as the big ass silver church off the interstate. Size notwithstanding it was kind of hard to find but TBS was equal to the task. First we pulled up in front of a building that turned out to be a funeral home. Oops. We would have gone in and paid our respects but the place was flooded and gutted; just like much of the city.

Finally we found the fellowship hall of the church. (Protestant terms like “fellowship hall” make me nervous. I halfway expected someone to leap out and bathe me in the blood of the lamb. As far as Greeks are concerned lamb is for eating not bathing.) The first fellow we met at the fellowship hall was Councilman Batty. We had a pleasant exchange and I was relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one who looked as if he needed a drink. I nearly asked Mr. Batty if he had a flask but decided not to. I needed to be sober and fully alert for C Ray’s Rap Session.

The meeting’s official as well as officious title was <drum roll> Mayor’s Urban Planning Committee Focus Group Meeting. I’m usually a wee bit out of focus but I try y’all I really do. Time for pop music digression number 96: Does anyone else recall the ‘70’s Dutch band Focus and their big hit “Hocus Pocus?” There was a lot of hocus pocus going down at this meeting he said circling back to the issue at hand.

C Ray looked subdued when he arrived a mere 15 minutes late. I’ve attended some other Mayoral dog and pony shows during his tenure and C Ray usually works the room in an almost Clintonian frenzy. This time he looked a bit grim and wary of the crowd; only greeting the folks he knew.  Many hands were unshook (unshaken? unshaked?) mine included. The good news was that C Ray was NOT chewing gum for once. I have an almost pathological dislike of gum chewing but if he had a cud it was tucked in his cheek.  Hey we all have our pathologies: for example Dr. A is pathologically punctual. She is not now nor has she ever been on NOLA time. Being late is almost an art form here…

C Ray made some introductory comments as did an equally tall woman aide. She turned the proceedings over to Joe Cannizzarro developer Repub and bete noir of 9th ward residents who suspect him of plotting to steal their land. I think they may be a tad paranoid BUT when I shake hands with a developer I always check my wrist to make sure they haven’t stolen my watch. Mr. C as the Fonz would surely call him is a little fella (no the C is not for Clarence) and cracked a joke about needing a box to stand on to reach the mike. Someone took pity on the mighty mite of magnates and handed him the mike man.

Then we were treated to the sort of power point presentation that would wow your Aunt Minnie but left me cold. After that it was a blur of comments on the four sections of the report. Long comments; endless comments; windy comments; epic comments; C Ray comments; audience comments. Blah and blah and blah. I gotta give C Ray credit for not playing with his blackberry and either listening or doing a good impression of someone listening. Chief Clone Meffert on the other hand was fidgety and kept peeking at his blackberry. That’s not even a criticism y’all I was as wiggly as Shane on Survivor: Panama. (He’s the guy who smoked 3 packs a day until he was stranded and now he’s crankier than Norman Robinson on crack. This nicotine junkie reminds me more of the Jack Palance character in “Shane” than its eponymous hero. Talk about a misnomer: Alan Ladd has gotta be turning over in his grave.)

A few speakers stood out because of their passion. A woman from heavily flooded Holy Cross had one theme: MR GO must go. MR GO is an acronym for the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet which is widely and correctly blamed for flooding New Orleans East and Da Parish. Another woman urged C Ray to think of the working poor when he makes his decisions. I somehow doubt that’s what Mr. C and the other COC types have in mind. Of course if C Ray goes soft on the “undeserving” poor the maggots I mean magnates can turn to Gorilla Ron Hornblower; a man who never met a tycoon he didn’t put the bite on…

I wish that I could say that I gained some valuable insights from this meeting but I didn’t. I had a headache so I was relieved that nobody started shouting at the parade of Cs:  C Ray Mr. C or Chief Clone Meffert. <cueing up CC Rider the Peggy Lee version>

The meeting was droning on when the Tomb Builder’s Son and I left. Neither of us said anything at the meeting: we’re among the lucky ones who live in what some people insist on calling the sliver by the river. I hate that phrase: it sounds too much like liver and the only liver I like is my own. In fact I’m quite attached to it and it to me. If Debrisville can survive jokes like that it can survive anything…

Dollar Bill In The Wapo/Norm The Ninny Strikes Again

Thu, 16 Feb 2006 19:24:54

There was a front page story in the print edition of the Washington Post about Congressman Dollar Bill Jefferson’s legal woes. There are even indications that a plea bargain might be afoot. Why? The case against him *could* impact his family. Check this quote out:
“In summer 2004 Pfeffer Mody Jefferson and others met in New Orleans at the law firm of one of Jefferson’s daughters who provided the legal work for the business deal. While in the lobby of the law firm Jefferson approached Pfeffer in private and told him that he would require 5 to 7 percent of Mody’s new Nigerian company the court document said.”
The Pfeffer mentioned above is the ex-Jefferson aide who copped a plea and ratted him out to the feds. It’s unclear as to which of Dollar Bill’s 5 daughters was the lawyer in question or if she has any legal problems of her own. If she *did* that would increase the pressure on Dollar Bill to make a deal with the feds. As a partisan Demo I can think of worse outcomes than a plea bargain: that way Dollar Bill would no longer be the poster boy for Repub claims that the “culture of corruption” in DC is a bi-partisan. This is also a very bad time for the Congressman from Debrisville to be in legal jeopardy. I think it’s time for Dollar Bill to resign and/or NOT run for re-election. I take no pleasure in this: Jefferson has been a pretty good Congressman but it’s time for him to go.
 
Interestingly the local rag did NOT run the story even though they subscribe to the Post news service. In the old days the Picayune would have been all over the story because it used to be overtly pro-Repub. Now they *try* to be fair and balanced and not in the Fox News sense of the term either. I expect however that they’ll have no choice but to get out of booster mode and  follow-up the Post story with one of their own. I’m sure that James Gill of Bunkie fame will be whomping Dollar Bill’s ass very soon.
 
Item-2 Norm The Ninny Strikes Again: As a well-known Demo turned Repub (sorta like Normie) once said: “There he goes again.” After getting smacked down by Brownie last week Senator Norm (The Minny Ninny) Coleman re-inserted his head up W’s ass and his foot in his own mouth. This time Norm the Ninny got in Homeland Insecurity Secretary Michael Chertoff’s face. Norm the turncoat said that:
“Chertoff failed President Bush by not warning him that Michael Brown who directed the rescue efforts as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency “was in way over his head.” Chertoff’s failure to tell his commander-in-chief what “all of America” already knew Coleman said led Bush to make his now infamous remark five days after the hurricane hit: “Brownie you’re doing a heck of a job.”
 
Yo Norm if Beavis bothered to read the papers turn on his TV or show the slightest bit of curiosity about events in his own country he would have already known. Instead he’s surrounded by sycophants and lives in that well-known bubble. Lyndon Johnson Bill Clinton or hell even Tricky Dick Nixon would have been all over this issue because they were well-informed.
What I love about Norm the brown noser is that even though he blamed Chertoff for much of the mess he hasn’t called for his resignation. Why? Chertoff has powerful patrons: Alphonse D’Amato George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani. In his Uriah Heepish way Norm doesn’t want to alienate Pataki or Giuliani who have been mentioned as possible Repub Presidential candidates. The Norm Colemans of the world only kick down never up.
Time for a closing digression: I for one do NOT get the Rudy Giuliani cult. I know that the Repubs are obsessed with 9/11 but looking stern and resolute does NOT make one a hero. Giuliani made major errors on 9/11 but has somehow emerged smelling like a rose. Quite a contrast to the stench surrounding him on 9/10/01. Then he was the discredited Mayor of New York who had an affair while in office brutally dumped his wife and then lived openly with his mistress in Gracie Mansion. Besides he’s such a big-time asshole that he *almost* make the Shooting Duce look avuncular. Unless Earl Turd Blossom of Rove supports his candidacy the Repub smearmeisters will peel him like a rancid grape. Besides can you imagine the bible thumpers supporting an adulterer who is pro-choice and pro-gay rights. Rudy is delusional as well as power mad I tell ya.

PELICAN DROPPINGS

Tue, 14 Feb 2006 19:19:56

Yeah I know that’s an inelegant title but these aren’t exactly elegant times: it’s time for Mike Hammer not Sherlock Holmes. This entry is I hope a newsy roundup of sorts or is that out of sorts? Probably the latter…

Item-1 Meemaw’s Special Session Sauce Curdles: Everything seems to be going wrong for Governor Meemaw up in storm ravaged Red Stick. I’m beginning to wonder if anyone on her staff can count votes: why call a special session if you lose vote after vote? In retrospect Meemaw’s effort to consolidate Debrisville government should have waited until the regular session in March. It seems to have cost her votes with NOLA legislators without picking up any votes in the boondocks.

Item-2  Jindal Springs His Trap:
One of the measures that seems to be going nowhere is the Meemaw/Boasso/Carter levee board consolidation effort. This was predictable as the same measure failed at the last special session without Meemaw’s backing. In normal times a Governor’s support would make the difference but these are abnormal times. And Meemaw’s poll ratings are under 40% so her clout is way down.


The most interesting twist to this story is that Meemaw has fallen into a trap laid by her opponent in 2003 and probable foe in 2007 wily Congressman Bobby Jindal. Check out this passage from Monday’s Picayune:


“Blanco said she is concerned about language in a congressional defense appropriations bill that would prevent the state from getting $12 million for an advanced stage of a hurricane protection study unless the state forms a single levee board in the New Orleans area. She said the Senate’s amendments to her bill “put the $12 million in jeopardy.”


It’s not the $12 million it’s what it means ” Blanco said. If the Army Corps of Engineers does not take up the next phase of the study financed by the $12 million then the state could face a serious delay in getting better levee projects she said.


The $12 million restriction was placed on the federal bill by U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal R-Kenner who faced Blanco in the runoff of the 2003 governor’s race. Boasso said he wished Jindal had not placed the restrictive language on the appropriations bill.”


I’m sure that Jindal will claim he was just looking out for the best interests of the state but this was a brilliant maneuver. Why? Everyone but the Uptown society women who have been championing one levee board knew that it was going to be very difficult to achieve. Now those folks will blame Meemaw and turn to Jindal next year and many of them crossed party lines in 2003 to help elect our first woman governor. Machiavelli is proud of you Piyush.

I won’t be surprised if Jindal endorses Mitch Landrieu for Mayor as a way to help get a more formidable Demo safely out of the way. It’s also another way for Jindal to pretend to be above politics. Ya gotta watch these eager beaver types they’ll stick a knife in and twist it if you turn your back on them for even a nano-second. Jindal is our very own Uriah Heep (the Dickens character not the band) he’s the kind of guy who kisses up and kicks down.

Item-3 Chris Rose’s Potty Mouth: Madcap TP columnist Chris Rose talks about the explosion of cussing cursing and swearing in post-K Debrisville. I know that it’s f***ing true I used to talk like your basic maiden aunt pre-K. I also blush very easily and…let’s see is anyone buying this? I somehow doubt it after my ode to all things Zappa yesterday. Now *I* feel like the idiot bastard son

Item-4  Local Teen In Jeopardy: That should be ON Jeopardy but it I’m feeling tabloidy today. Ben Franklin High Senior Camille Bullock made it all the to the semi-finals of Jeopardy’s Teen Tournament before losing to a guy with what Dr. A calls Seventies hair. We were pulling for Camille who is 17 going on 40. Ya done good dawlin’.

AT THE MOVIES: IN CAPOTE BLOOD

 Tue, 14 Feb 2006 06:00:00

I am blogging from behind y’all. I saw “Capote” on Saturday before freezing my ass off at the Krewe du Vieux and am just now getting around to reviewing it. Lord have mercy on the frozen slacker blogger.

Earlier this month I made a few snide remarks about Truman Capote in a posting about the 2005 Academy Award nominations:  “I haven’t seen Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman is the favorite and I’m a great admirer of his work but I didn’t care for Truman Capote. He was a guy who wrote two good books and a whole lotta dreck. Besides he was annoying and feuded with Gore Vidal and I take Gore’s side in all feuds. Nobody feuds better than Gore.”

I’m not taking anything back.  I have my snide pride. And I’ve got Ralph Waldo Emerson on my side about consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds and all that jazz. Besides this self-referential quote gives me the excuse to post a vintage picture of Vidal Capote and Tennessee Williams from the late 1940’s:


Gore Vidal calls 1945-1949 the golden age of the American empire and perhaps it was. But we blew it with Vietnam. More recently we screwed up our post-Cold War ascendancy with W’s endless wars. End of brooding lefty digression. Back to the moving pictures:

Capote” is a remarkably good film with a brilliant performance by star/executive producer Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman who is one of our best character actors submerges himself in the part. After a while I forgot that an actor was playing Capote: Hoffman has nailed the little sucker. Hoffman was so good that I actually liked *his* Truman Capote more than I expected to. it’s a nuanced performance that has as many layers and motives as the real Capote.

 
“Capote” is probably such a strong film because it follows Capote as he researchs and writes what was by far and away his finest book “In Cold Blood.” Hoffman plays Capote as part con man part jerk part sensitive soul part egomaniacal monster. He never hits a false note. Catherine Keener as Capote’s childhood friend Harper Lee adds flavor and depth to the movie as the only person who *really* understands the complexity of Capote’s motives as he burrows into the heads of two murderers.

Speaking of great character actors Chris Cooper shines as the small town sheriff into whose life Capote inserts himself by playing the New Orleans card with Cooper’s wife who was in exile from the Crescent City. An unrecognizable Amy Ryan of “The Wire” plays Cooper’s spouse. Finally   Clifton Collins Jr. who plays articulate killer Perry Smith equals Robert Blake’s chilling potrayal from the classic 1967 version of “In Cold Blood “ which was directed by Richard Brooks. It was fascinating to watch the onscreen Capote and Smith use and manipulate one another: guilt and manipulation at its finest…

A big tip of the Adrastos virtual cap to director Bennett Miller writer Dan Futterman and the film’s driving force Phillip Seymour Hoffman for making one of the best films of 2005.

GRADE: A

Family Affair Redux: The Formans, Heatons & Arnolds

Sat, 11 Feb 2006 15:29:35

Item-1  Sally Forman’s Resignation Love Letter: Leave it to the gossipy New Orleans politics column in the local rag to help fill in some of the blanks on the Forman Saga. They published former flack Forman’s resignation letter which sounds like either a Valentine or an endorsement of C Ray. Check this  out: “Forman who until just a few days before Ron Forman’s announcement was telling reporters she was sure her husband would not run concluded the letter to Nagin: “I know we will continue our friendship for years to come and look forward to supporting your efforts to Bring New Orleans Back!”

Ms. Forman said that she was quitting to focus on her family but made no mention of the elephant in the room: her mayor wannabe husband Gorilla Ron. Yeah I know that was a mixed animal metaphor but it’s cold here so my brain is frozen. 

Here’s a fortune cookie-like summary of today’s lesson in family values: Debrisville politics are like a box of animal crackers and a political spouse must understand animal husbandry. Please pass the Kung Po chicken…

Item-2 Family Ties & the 7 Dwarfs: The sitcom titles keep flying here at the Adrastos Virtual Cafe. The family ties in question have nothing to do with Michaels J Fox or Gross. (I’ll get to Michael Brown later today or tomorrow.) We’re talking the Orleans Parish Tax Assessors aka the 7 Dwarfs. Yesterday a state house committee killed the bill that would transform the 7 Dwarfs into the Jolly Green Giant. Two of the members voting to kill the change were: Alex Heaton the brother of  current assessor Sleepy Heaton who succeeded their father; and Jeff Arnold whose father Grumpy under assesses property on the West Bank.
In fact my assessor Dopey Coman just followed his mother into office and she in turn succeeded her husband. 

Both Heaton and Arnold denied that there was any conflict of interest in voting to save Sleepy and Grumpy’s jobs. Instead of family values this involves family valuations or the lack thereof…

I don’t usually give a damn about goo-goo issues like this one but I hate blatant nepotism. And the 7 Dwarfs are more dynastic than the Bushs Clintons and the Windsors combined. Yo Dwarfs if the Big Apple and Chicago can muddle through with only 1 assessor so can the Big Uneasy.