Category Archives: Television

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 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 Oscar Snarkathon

Tue, 07 Mar 2006 06:00:00

It’s time for the much ballyhooed little anticipated Oscar snarkathon. The problem with the Oscarcast is that there’s no ideal way to organize it; either you let everyone go on and on and on and it lasts 7 1/2 days (Halle Berry’s speech from 4 years ago is still going on) OR you do what they did last night and hire a bouncer/conductor (aka LSU’s own Bill Conti) to drag people offstage. And they still ran 30 minutes over the theoretical time of 3 hours. I thought pulling the plug on the producers of “Crash” was tackier than Mrs. Moron’s wardrobe and decor combined. On to the random ramblings and notes of a lunatic who is not named Kim:

THE HOST: First time host Jon Stewart has been taking some lumps but I thought he did a good job even if the WaPo’s great critic Tom Shales among others disagrees. Hey you hire Jon Stewart he’s going to do his schtick as did Billy Crystal Johnny Carson and Bob Hope.  Of course Hollywood is most comfortable with an insider as host but Jon was pretty darn funny.  Hey at least Jon didn’t pull a Letterman although I’m a proponent of Oprah mocking…

I particularly liked the negative ads: The Dames Against Judy Dench and the Charlize Theron: Hagging It Up spots were hilarious. I halfway expected the swift boat creeps to turn up…

THE BIG SURPRISE: The oddsmakers were right about many of the winners: Rachel Weisz Philip Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon. But “Crash”  taking the best picture award was a big and to me pleasant surprise. I thought “Brokeback Mountain” was a good movie but the weakest of the nominees. I would have voted for “Munich” but “Crash” was a deserving winner. The finale reminded me of the Oscars for 1998 when “Private Ryan” was the prohibitive favorite Spielberg won best director but “Shakespeare In Love” won best picture. I’m not sure how well that choice will hold up down the road but hey I think Christopher Marlowe wrote the Bard’s plays so what the hell do I know? That was a rhetorical question y’all; no need to answer…

One thing bugs me: why does everyone insist on calling “Brokeback Mountain” the gay cowboy movie? They’re shepherds for chrissake. Of course I know why I’m crazy not stupid: cowboys are American archetypes and shepherds are Balkan archetypes.  I hope that the Greeks  or perhaps the odd Bosnian call it the gay shepherd movie.  Btw I thought of making a few sheep jokes but thought better of it. Except for this classic: Brokeback Mountain where the women are few and the sheep are scared. There now I feel better.

FASHION COMMENTARY: What were Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts thinking? Charlize had that giant bow growing on her arm which looked like something out of a bad Roger Corman  ’50’s sci-fi flick. Naomi was wearing a color (beige according to my fashion consultant Dr A) that made her look as if she needed to run offstage to blow chunks. As Wayne Campbell would surely say at this point:  why hide your babe-itude? If Naomi had consulted with Kong this woulda never happened. He had her in the palm of his hand after all. <the groaning reverberates across cyberspace>

Among the men I got a kick out of the Wallace and Gromit guys wearing matching bow ties and then putting little matching bow ties on their Oscars. These oscars looked like George F Will after being dipped in gold leaf; a fitting fate for a Repub pundit. I also enjoyed seeing the great Larry McMurtry wearing jeans and cowboy boots with his tuxedo jacket. I think one of our greatest writers should be able to wear whatever the hell he wants. If the Swedes had any sense Larry would win the Nobel Prize for literature but they don’t so he won’t. But they did pick Harold Pinter last year so maybe there’s hope…

MOST PREDICTABLE MOMENTS: George Clooney blimps up looks unkempt with longish hair and a scraggly beard and wins the Best Supporting Actor award for the dreadful “Syriana.” Put a movie star up against career character actors and guess who wins. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a Clooney fan but this was a mediocre performance in a self-important and bad film. I’ll take his Dapper Dan-wearing hick slimeball in “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” any day. Well as long as I can stand upwind of him: he was a bona fide stinker…

Ben Stiller the master of self-mortification did it again by wearing a lime green jump/leisure suit affair and pretending to be some sort of human FX. A piece of advice for you Benny baby: next time wear a jock strap or a codpiece. There are many people of both genders who want to see George Clooney’s naughty bits but not yours o son of Jerry. It was almost as traumatic as the time I saw Mr. Moron in drag…

Jennifer Anniston who was in every movie this year was also a presenter. Repeat after me: Jen is overexposed. She’s everywhere these days: I halfway expect Ms. Anniston to start fixing roofs or collecting debris in Topsy Turvy Town….

ACCENT COMMENTARY: No I’m not going to mock Ang Lee for his Chinese accented English or even the French Penguin guys. Ang’s accent is not bad at all. But I find it very interesting that Charlize Theron seems to have shed her South African accent for ceremonial occasions while all the Ozzies sound like Crocodile Fricking Dundee or former-PM Bob Hawke. I’m with the Foster swilling barbecuing Split Enz-listening abo bashing Ozzies on this one. In between hagging it up be yourself Charlize.

TRANSFORMATIONS- THE GOOD THE BAD & THE NOT SO BEAUTIFUL:  I enjoyed the Farrell/Carrell bad makeup schtick. But I didn’t notice if either was wearing lipstick. <groaning> That was the good the bad was Rachel McAdams with bleached blonde hair that made her look like Pamela Anderson without the flotation devices. Rachel I love ya dawlin’ but get thee to a hairdresser…

THE LUCY BUSTAMANTE ECCENTRIC PRONUNCIATION AWARD: Goes to Salma Hayek for calling the gay shepherd movie “Brockback Mountain.” I wonder if this was product placement for Brock candies or if Salma is lusting after Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock. Note to non-Debrisvillians: Lucy Bustamante is WWL’s incompetent new anchor who usually mispronounces 3 or 4 things every broadcast. Perhaps I should call her Lucy Malaprop. Nah that’s too kind…

CRAPPY MUSICAL MOMENTS: The Oscarcast is always full of them. None this time around were as bad as the infamous Rob Lowe/Disney dance number from the late ’80’s. The staging of the Kathleen York number from “Crash” was pretty atrocious though. It looked like the Causeway on a January morning. I wish I’d had the dry ice concession for the show. Now that I think of it Rob Lowe and Kathleen York have something in common other than this: both were on “The West Wing” but only one of their characters ever slept with Toby Ziegler.

As to the winning number: no comment. It *was* lively but I’ve never liked hip-hop and I’m not about to start now. Actually it’s not even creeping old-fartism: I’ve hated rap and synthesized percussion since the mid-80’s. Yeah that’s right I used to be a cranky young man. Now I’m just plain cranky. However I am not now nor have I ever been a pimp… 

Mike Hammer Wimps Out

Mon, 06 Mar 2006 06:00:00

I am of course referring to the NOLA investment banker Mike Hammer who ended his mayoral campaign with a whimper by not even qualifying instead he endorsed Gorilla Ron Forman. His well-known fictional counterpart Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer is outraged. Regular readers of this blog know that the real albeit fictional Mike Hammer is a recurring visitor to the Adrastos Virtual Cafe and he’s my guest blogger today. Take it away enraged fictional person:

An Open Letter From Mike Hammer to Mike Hammer: Give Me Back My Name-

Hey Mikey what the hell were ya thinking? I thought you were a stand up guy but now you’ve folded your tent and wanna slink off in the night like a weenie. I never figured you for a wuss who’d be scared off by a guy named Clarence. Imagine that: Clarence Ray Fucking Nagin. Chocolate city, schmocolate city. I was counting on you to slap some sense into C Ray pally. I’m fucking disappointed Mikey, you share my name so I share your shame. Damn, I’m rhymin’ like that preachin’ pol from Chicago now and it’s down to you Mikey boy. Look what you’ve driven me to. There’s not enough whiskey in the world to drown my sorrows tonight.  Not even my Sinatra records can make me feel better. And if the chairman of the board can’t pick a man up slap him around and make him whole again nothin’ can. I’m also blue because Darren McGavin who played me on the tube in the Fifties died last week and I was too busy shaking down drunks for beads on Bourbon Street to go to the funeral.  It’s just me and Stacy Keach left now so I gotta be careful. I dunno why an actor who played me has got a girl’s name but he’s a stand up guy in spite of it.

We Mike Hammers gotta stick together and you let me down, pally. It hurts man.I got an idea how you can make this right Mikey boy. Give my back my name. That’s right. It was mine long before you were a bun in the oven or even a glint in your lecherous pa’s eye. Give me back my name. Got a nice ring to it don’t it? My pal Adrastos tells me that there’s a rock song of that name  by some combo called Talking Heads. Now except for Elvis I don’t go in for that rock-n-roll crapola; give me Sinatra, Eckstine, Torme, and broads like Ella, Rosie, and Sarah any day.  But those Talking Heads they got a point Mikey boy. Give me back my name. I know their singer is a doofus in a big suit but even a dork can make sense some of the time. Tell ya what Mikey boy give me back my name and I’ll leave you be. I won’t even kick your ass for supporting that poser Gorilla Ron. A guy named Mike Hammer should be for the working stiffs and that Gorilla Ron is just a stiff. Here’s my final offer: give me back my name and I’ll go easy on you pally.

Mike Hammer

Back to you Adrastos:

Thanks Mike. Those were lenient terms. Btw, the doofus in the big suit is named David Byrne and he stopped making sense years ago. And Mike I think Adrian Monk coined the perfect term to describe Banker Mike Hammer: he’s a muss; part man and part wuss. Yeah I know, Monk is too tidy for your taste Mike but you gotta admit he’s one helluva shamus…

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.

Blogging Impressionism: Ice People Olympics Opening Thingee

Sat, 11 Feb 2006 07:29:33

Some of you may think that I have better things to do on a Friday night than to mock the  Ice People Olympics opening thingee. Nope a blogger’s work is never done. Besides I love camp both high and low and the opening thingee is campy indeed. Mind you the Torino opener could not top the magisterial gooniness of Athens 2004 but it tried. Nobody can out cheese the Greeks although one would think that mozzarella could top feta under the right circumstances. On a salad for example…

Anyway I’m feeling lazy so I’m going to jot down a few random thoughts. (Even more random than planned I lost the most of the notes I took on my laptop during the show. Alas I’m painting from memory.) I’m not sure if it’s really impressionism or pointillism or maybe even cubism. But I’m certain that it’s not Maoism. I just know that it’s some sort of ism. Ism you is or ism you ain’t my baby. <rimshot> End of Shecky Green interlude or is that Henny Youngman? Take my blog please.

The start of the opening thingee was even goofier than C Ray’s chocolate city gaffe. There was a large man in a red Daredevil outfit beating the bejesus out of a fire breathing anvil with a big ass hammer. Hmm maybe it was Thor and not Daredevil. Thor was the mythological dude with the mythological hammer after all. End of Marvel comics digression or is that regression? Actually Doc Ock would have been mighty useful with that anvil beating thing: 8 arms are better than two.  I’m more of a Dr. Doom sort of villain myself: I’ve never been handy. Down Shecky; begone Henny. That’s what 3 or 4 glasses of wine and thoughts of Bode Miller’s hangover can do to a fella. I’ll try and behave…

The theme of the 2006 winter games is passion. I don’t know why but Bob Costas told me that and I believe everything Bob says; he’s my countryman after all. (The word countryman must be pronounced with a pronounced Greek accent.) Unfortunately Bob was joined in the broadcast booth by Brian Williams whose job was to be pompous and annoying. Well done Bri. He drove me batshit. Brian baby please stick to calling your junkie pal Rush Limbaugh and leave me alone. If I want to hear a lecture about Bosnia I’ll deliver it myself or invite Paddy Ashdown over for drinks.

Back to passion. A bunch of dancers in red tights joined together to form a beating heart. Then for no apparent reason two guys with flaming heads skated through them and broke everyone’s heart. Holy St. Valentines Day Massacre Batman. Those flameheads were real heartbreakers.

The producers of the opening thingee also felt compelled to restage the legendary Ricola commercial; the one with the alpine pipers in lederhosen. It *is* the Ice People Olympics so having cough drops around could come in mighty handy. I didn’t expect to see a group of Italian men in lederhosen though. It shook me to my very core. Thank god they weren’t Neapolitan. That would have been unbearable; sort of like seeing Laura Bush and Cherie Blair sitting together. I believe that they were discussing the merits of the cartoon controversy: Laura is a Beavis and Butt-Head fan of course but Cherie prefers watching “Futurama” repeats. I think Cherie identifies with the one-eyed super vixen Leela

Then came Dr A’s favorite part of the opening thingee: the bovine interlude. For no apparent reason skaters wearing cow bespotted outfits appeared pulling cows on snowboards. It was surreal dude. For some reason I started to crave Laughing Cow cheese and Brown Cow yogurt. Where the hell is Elsie when you need her? She probably ran off to Switzerland with Elmer…

The parade of nations at the Ice People Olympics just isn’t as kooky as it is at the summer games. I suspect that it’s harder to come up with ridiculous costumes that are warm as well. The women bearing the national placards were however decked out in skirts shaped like the Alps. That was a bit skewed as Johnny Carson would have surely said at this point. I miss Johnny at moments like these: he could tell an alpine joke with the best of them.

The music that was played during the parade of nations was as Bob the Greek put it random American pop music from the 1980’s. I particularly enjoyed watching the Mongolian and Nepalese teams enter to “Video Killed The Radio Star.” I don’t know about you but I always think of the Buggles and Genghis Khan together. Another good one was the entry of Serbia and Slovakia to “YMCA.” What’s an Ice People Olympics opening thingee without the Village People?  It would be like the parade of nations happening without a single country that ended in stan. What’s your favorite stan folks? Mine is baseball hall of famer Stan Musial.

Other tunes that turned up were: “Long Train Running ”  “Sweet Dreams ”  “Disco Inferno” and Homer Simpson’s favorite song “Funky Town.” Bob Costas was hoping to hear “Betty Davis Eyes” and I was waiting for “Invisible Touch.” We were both disappointed. (Yeah I know Genesis are Brits but I’m trying to be artsy fartsy and foreshadow something.)

Another musical moment: The dread Yoko Ono popped out onstage to read what was billed as a “psalm to peace.” Her English remains incomprehensible but at least she didn’t sing “Imagine” (my least favorite famous John Lennon song) she merely quoted it. Peter Gabriel was the one who sang “Imagine.” I did not know that he was Italian. I guess his presence explains why “Sledgehammer” wasn’t one of the random pop songs played earlier. It really would have fit the part where the guy in red tights beat the crap out of that fire breathing anvil.

Yet another musical moment: Luciano Pavarotti an actual Italian did sing but did not serenade us with any ‘80’s hits. Too bad. I’ve always wanted to hear his version of “You Better You Bet” or “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

Finally there was a long boring and incoherent section that paid tribute to Renaissance art Fiat cars and the early 20th century Italian Futurist movement. It made absolutely no sense but neither does my favorite quote from the founder of Futurism. F.T. Marinetti liked to claim that he came up with Futurism after driving his car (a Fiat presumably) off the road into a ditch: “Oh maternal ditch ”  he moaned.

I told ya it made no sense at all. And neither did most of the Ice People Olympics opening thingee. Hey it beat watching “Good Times” re-runs on TV Land. I’ll take Yoko over Jimmie “JJ” Walker any day. I cannot believe that I said that. I’d actually like to place the two of them on Exile Island and see who survives. That would truly be dyno-mite y’all.”

SPECIAL SESSION SAUCE/THE GREAT POTHOLIO/SKANKY WORKMEN

Mon, 06 Feb 2006 17:49:58

Item-1 Special Session Sauce: I’m not sure if it’s time to be scared or glad: Governor Meemaw has called the Legislature into special session. The agenda focuses so much on Debrisville that Meemaw will be giving her session opening speech here at the  Convention Center. I hope they have enough supplies for the pols. Btw it’s the first time in 125 years that the Legislature has met outside of storm ravaged Baton Rouge. (Note to my readers without ties to Red Stick: the people there act as if *they* took the brunt of Katrina. They never stop whining about it. In the immortal words of part-time New Orleans resident Raymond Douglas Davies: “It is time for you to stop all your sobbing.”)

The Gov’s special session call focuses heavily on recovery and reforming NOLA’s bloated government. It’s so bloated that even a big government social democrat like me wants them to make some changes. In Orleans Parish it seems as if every public official is elected: that’s how we wound up with the 7 Dwarfs aka tax assessors. Apparently going down to 1 assessor would immediately save us 800K with more savings down the road. Just imagine the headlines: Meemaw stomps on the 7 dwarfs Dopey flips out Grumpy weeps.

Governor Meemaw also plans to take legislators on a tour of the worst hit areas. Many of them are balking but I think those North Louisiana legislators *really* need to see what happened here. Then maybe they won’t divert recovery money to tennis courts in Bossier City or parking lots in Monroe. I’m a dreamer I know…

Speaking of special session sauciness: In Sunday’s Picayune   James (Bunkie Boy) Gill  wrote an hilarious column that’s worth quoting from:

“All official documents in Baton Rouge of course are written by a team of Martians who have been kept in the Capitol basement ever since their spaceship crashed next to Huey Long’s statue. “

Bunkie Boy also takes a look at the upcoming Crazytown mayoral race:

“Landrieu may well end up serving four or eight years as mayor of New Orleans since conventional wisdom says the job is his for the taking now that Katrina has changed the demographics. There are those who say that only a lunatic would want to be mayor these days and Ray Nagin’s recent pronouncements suggest he is amply qualified for re-election on that score.”

Yeah you right Mr. Gill. Sorry about that Bunkie Boy thing. Save the upper bunkie for me…

Item-2  The Great Potholio:
The streets here were always B-A-D and I don’t mean that in the James Brown sense of the word either. But post-K the potholes have turned into craters. Hand-lettered signs warning drivers about upcoming car eaters are popping up like mushrooms around town. Merci y’all. The biggest pothole near Adrastos World HQ is on the riverbound side of Napoleon Avenue near Coliseum Street. It’s been there so long that I’m thinking of naming it. How does the Great Potholio sound?

People here compete to claim that they have the bull goose (aka biggest) pothole; it’s become a parlor game. Speaking of parlor games the Council of Clowns and C Ray’s krewe of clones are playing pass the pothole buck. Last weekend a city spokesman actually said that they weren’t fixing the potholes because the big ass trucks driven by the dumbass relief workers would just tear them up again anyway. (The adverbs are mine all mine.) Chief flack Forman changed that tune but the potholes remain unfilled.

Item-3 Skanky Workmen Fuel Strip Club Boom: Just when you think that the news from Debrisville couldn’t get any weirder it does. There’s a story in Monday’s local rag about the strip club boom fueled by relief and construction workers. Makes you proud to be an American doesn’t it?

Check this quote out from a waitress (do they still call them B-Girls?) at Rick’s on Bourbon Street:

“Lambert said not all the men are motivated by skin. Some are bored and some are just plain homesick. “I had a guy from Mississippi tell me to please stop emptying his ashtray so he could feel more at home ” she said.”

Full ashtrays are homey? I did not know that he said in his best Johnny Carson imitation. Somebody call Martha Stewart and let her know.

You can tell that there’s a rougher crowd in the Quarter these days. It’s scary to be nostalgic for drunken frat boys and shit-faced conventioneers from Dubuque but we are. Dr. A’s co-dependent co-worker has lived in the heart of the Vieux Carre for years and says that it’s the noisiest its ever been. And that’s saying a lot y’all

We need relief from the relief workers and rescuing from our rescuers.  Kicking skanky workmen ass sounds like a job for Mike Hammer but he prefers classic burlesque strip joints and wouldn’t be caught dead in the Hustler Club. Mike has values folks.

Hey I know I’ll have Mike call fellow fictional characters Tony Soprano and Silvio Dante and get them to invite our skanky workmen to Badda Bing. They’d know what to do if any of those creeps disrespected da Bing.

 ELECTION DAZE

Wed, 25 Jan 2006 22:54:06

Item-1 Democracy Comes To NOLA: It looks as if we finally have an election date: April 22 to be followed by a run-off on May 20. There was some moaning and whining by Council Clown Gill-Pratfall but subject to approval by the feds we finally have a date. (Given what I’ve heard from my sources that’s a shoo-in.) Hopefully Gill-Pratfall’s whining because she’s worried that her worthless ass will get thrown out of office. Btw why on earth do they style themselves Councilmembers? Oh that’s right they’re a bunch of dickheads. Never mind.

Back to the April 22nd election. There are lots of questions of the who what and where kind. We don’t  know what serious candidates will run for Mayor besides C Ray and ex-Councilwoman Peggy Wilson. The problem with the current field is that they’re *all* gadflies including the incumbent and most of them are wannabes or never wases. Peggy Wilson is a  VERY smart person and despite being a Repub is good on preservationist and neighborhood issues BUT she isn’t known for playing well with others. (When the Pegstress was on the council she and Jim Singleton were frequently sent into time-outs.) Our City needs someone who works well with others listens and knows how to build consensus: qualities that both La Peggy and C Ray lack. Other rumored potential *serious* candidates include Council Clown Eddie Bad Hair token city council grown-up Oliver Thomas The Singin’ Lt. Gov Mitch Landrieu and State AG (and former longtime Orleans Parish Sheriff) Charlie Foti. I’m sure other folks are taking  a close look at the race with C Ray so vulnerable. There’s blood in the water and professional pols are like sharks.

The strangest thing of all is that C Ray may still have a chance to eke out an election victory. He’ll be better financed than anyone else in the field. He’ll also have the oompah-loompahs stumping for him and they’re a mighty force.

Anyway anyone who tells you they knows what will happen or who will vote is just yanking your chain. We’re all flying blind on this one.

Item-2 Oh Canada: Canada held a national election on Monday; not that you’d know it from our media. It was actually a very interesting election. The Liberals had been in power for 13 years but as happens all too often they grew complacent and corrupted by power. Sound familiar eh? Like Congress eh? I need a Moosehead…

Monday’s victory by the Conservative (aka Tory) party was a very polite very mild very Canadian repudiation of  Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government.  The Tories did not win a majority in parliament  and will have to govern with the sufferance of the semi-rightist/separatist Bloc Quebecois and the mildly leftist New Democrats. In short new PM Stephen Harper will NOT be able to allow the wingnuts in his party to undo some of the great accomplishments of the Liberals: expansion of the National Health Service and legalization of gay marriage among many others. I remember when the US used to have checks and balances and limits on the excesses of the government. Canada still does. Vive la Canada.

The most worrisome thing about Stephen Harper is that if he had been PM instead of Jean Chretien in 2003 Canada would have gone to war as a part of the coalition of the bribed and subservient. Also President Beavis is mighty pleased that the right has come to power in Ottawa. And anything that makes him happy makes me nervous.

I watched the CBC’s excellent election coverage first on C-SPAN and then on streaming video from the CBC. It’s one of my quirks: following the political scenes in Canada and the United Kingdom very closely. Dr A says I never met an election I didn’t like. I dunno about that: I’m a Democrat and I can think of lots of unpleasant election nights. My track record isn’t so great anywhere these days: I’m for the Liberals in Canada and the third party Liberal Democrats in the UK. Actually if Tony (Bill Clinton’s Clone) Blair ever steps aside I might find Labour more palatable despite their authoritarian tendencies and Iraqi war folly. Of course Blair may be the only pol who smirks as much as W; now that I think of it Labour PM-in waiting Gordon Brown is the only pol who glowers as much as VP Duce. He does however have much better hair and he parts it on the left…

Anyway as interesting as Canadian elections can be they take a backseat to British elections. I love the part when the candidates all go to the constituency election office to hear the returns in person. Whoever is Prime Minister always has some really off the wall opponents in weird costumes. It’s also amusing to watch pompous pols who expected to win lose their seats. You can see their balloons pricked right before you. Schadenfreude both rocks and rules.”

C Ray’s Chocolate City

Tue, 17 Jan 2006 04:28:21

I hadn’t planned to blog again tonight until watching the 10 O’Clock News on WDSU. I’m usually a WWL person but lately I’ve been tuning in at 10 to get WDSU’s tougher slightly tabloidy take on the news.

Enough exposition today Mayor C Ray put his foot in his mouth again by saying that God wanted New Orleans to be a chocolate city. I thought it was funny myself; just C Ray being C Ray which means saying something dumb without thinking. WDSU ran a survey on its web site tonight that found that 94% of the 14 000+ people who answered the question as of 10:30 thought C Ray’s chocolate city comment was “inappropriate.” Me I woulda used the word goofy. Besides a chocolate city is a yummy city. Who wants to live in a yucky liver or cauliflower city? Not me.

After an uproar began to build C Ray tried to spin the comment; badly as usual. If Bill Clinton is the artful dodger C Ray is the inartful dodger. He told WDSU’s Ed Reams that he was talking about hot chocolate which he makes by stirring chocolate into white milk. In short a chocolate city is a racially diverse city. Thanks for clearing that up Mayor Willy Wonka.

As a satirist today’s comments made me as giddy as a 12 year old schoolgirl but the semi-sober semi-responsible adult in me is groaning. It’s typical of C Ray to say something silly and then insult the public’s intelligence with a preposterous explanation. I’d prefer it if he would just one time stick to his guns after saying something controversial even if he’s dead wrong;  at least he’d show that he believes in something anything. But unlike the band Hot Chocolate I don’t “believe in miracles since you came along you sexy thing.” I think instead that  I’ll just follow Neil and Tim Finn’s advice and have another piece of chocolate cake.  <end of semi-obscure and semi-coherent pop music references and this blog entry>”

TWELFTH NIGHT BLOGTOPIA

Fri, 06 Jan 2006 17:52:25

Today is a blogger’s dream so this will be long. Pour yourself a cup of coffee if it’s morning or something stronger if it’s the nighttime, wah doo day. To paraphrase that wizard and true star Todd Rundgren, “City in my head, blogtopia…”

ITEM-1: IT’S CARNIVAL TIME- Today, Twelfth Night, is the official start of the Carnival season. The notion of a post-K Carnival has been controversial but those of us in Debrisville need the respite from rebuilding and regrouping. It’s also part of the fabric of our community, a fabric that was badly tattered by Katrina and its aftermath. We didn’t cancel Thanksgiving, Christmas or Chanukah did we? Canceling Carnival would be the same for New Orleanians.

The group that customarily kicks off Carnival is the Phunny Phorty Phellows. As my friend the Tulanian Scribe a lapsed PPPite likes to say “We’re like the Holy Roman Empire which was neither holy Roman nor an empire. We’re not all phunny phorty or phellows.”

The PPP will however be obliged to deviate from their customary routine of gathering at the Carrollton streetcar barn and riding up the avenue (St. Charles for the non-locals reading this) downtown. This year they will gather in front of the former Krauss Store on Canal Street for a shorter jaunt up Canal.

ITEM-2: DEMOLITION MEN ACT TWO- There’s been a ferocious pushback after Mayor C Ray and his Chief Clone did their blow stuff up kabuki dance yesterday. Demonstrations court orders you name it. Mind you some of these buildings *may* need to be bulldozed but people need to be informed. If they can have an orderly process in Da Parish (St. Bernard) then we city slickers can do likewise. Update: A judge has ordered a halt to demolitions pending a hearing on January 19.

ITEM-3: GOVERNOR MEEMAW LECTURES COLLEGE OF CLOWNS- Yesterday the Governor appeared before the City Council and urged them and Mayor C Ray to act like adults and settle the FEMA trailer site imbroglio. Governor Meemaw threatened to send them to bed without dessert and to ground them for two weeks. The Clowns responded by holding their breaths until their faces turned blue…

ITEM-4: ORLEANS PARISH ELECTION WATCH- We’re supposed to have elections on February 4th but Governor Meemaw and Secretary Of State Not Fox delayed them. The result was litigation litigation and litigation: 3 suits and counting. In response to one suit Not Fox moved the election date up to April 29th. That was not good enough for the federal plaintiffs and their lawyer (and my friend and neighbor) the Z-Man. The Z-Man quite correctly wants us to act like a democracy and give the people a say in picking their leaders. What a concept.

Another proposed slogan for the Mayor’s re-election campaign. This time on a billboard Re-Elect Nagin: I’ve Been On CNN & You Haven’t. Accompanying the text will be a picture of Mayor C Ray sticking his tongue out.

ITEM-5: YOU SAY BYZANTINE I SAY OTTOMAN- The Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I  will bring his long white beard to New Orleans this weekend. Hey, I was raised Greek Orthodox so I have the right to joke about it or anything else for that matter. I believe the Easter Service from 1973 is still going on at my former church…

Anyway I’m posting about this NOT to mock the Patriarch himself I’m glad he’s coming to show his support for us post-K. Thanks Bart. No my target is the pompous president of the board of Holy Trinity Cathedral here in Debrisville. The Greek-American Prince was on the WWL-TV Morning News and kept referring to a certain city as Constantinople. Hello? It’s been Istanbul since the 15th Century. Wake up and smell the Turkish…I mean Greek coffee.

Even my *very* proud to be Greek late father though that it was Istanbullshit to call it Constantinople. (My father’s motto could have been: if it’s not Greek it’s crap.)

My favorite part of the interview was when the Greek-American Prince told anchor/local icon Sally Ann Roberts that the Pope would be going to Constantinople soon. I hope that Benedict’s travel agent knows he’s not going to Istanbul. As Ira Gershwin would surely say at this point “Let’s call the whole thing off.”

Irredentism like that of the Greek-American Prince is a big problem in today’s world which brings me to the next item.

ITEM-6: PAT THE PUTZ- Well there he goes again. Pat Robertson thinks that Israeli PM Ariel Sharon was struck down by the Big Guy for even contemplating making a partial peace with the Palestinians. He also said that the same thing happened to one of my heroes the late great PM Yitzhak Rabin. Damn Pat the Putz’s God is always pissed off at someone isn’t he/she/it? Oh I forgot that Pat the Putz’s God is butch and loves war. It makes me proud to be an agnostic.

Adrastos to the press: stop covering this pischer every time he says something incredibly idiotic. It’s the only way Pat the Putz gets any pub nowadays. Oy such a schmuck. Speaking of Chickenhawks who love war…

ITEM-7: WHITE HOUSE IRAQ DOG & PONY SHOW-  King George the W pretended to consult with 13 former Secretaries of State and Defense yesterday. Even heathen Democrats like Madeline Albright and Robert McNamara were invited. And McNamara knows something about quagmires. According to David Sanger of the NYT the “consultation” involved a 40 minute briefing 10 minutes of comments by the former luminaries and then a photo-op. After the snapshots were taken W and his krewe of clowns Rummy and Condi left the room. Message: W Listens….NOT.”