Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carnival Time 

Even though Jeffrey should serve as your indispensable Carnival blogger, I do have to share one moment from last night that occurred at the intersection of Prytania and Napoleon, just prior to Krewe D'Etat.

A young boy of about ten years, wearing camo pants, a black sweatshirt and a spelunker's headlight decided to commandeer an unattended parade ladder. (Mind you, there was still an infant strapped into the seat, but the adult guardian had stepped down to chat and drink with friends, and had his back turned.) So, the boy quickly climbs to the top of the ladder. There, up high, while surveying the sparkling nighttime crowds below, he raises his arms as if to make an important announcement:

"Attention!" he says.

*respectful pause*

"ATTENTION!!"

*pause again while people in the crowds begin to take notice*

"ATTENTION!!!"

*another pause while more people stop talking and look up*

"ATTENTION EVERYBODY!!"

*long, long dramatic pause while a small smile curls up his mouth*

And then, the young boy makes a commandment from on high:


"DANCE!!"


The crowd is startled.

"I SAID DANCE!!!" the boy cries.

"DANCE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER DANCED BEFORE!!!"

....

Now, I wish I could report that everyone exploded into an impromptu street dancegasm... but, sadly, most everyone either laughed or ignored the boy's order.

Not me, though. Will I ever let such an expression of Carnival spirit go unrewarded?

Hell to the no.

So, I commenced to shake it. And I danced-- grooving my arms and my ass-- because... that young boy gets it.

Likewise, this Mardis Gras I want you to dance like you've never danced before. Become infectious. Make the whole street jump.

---
You bring a nickel, and I'll put a dime
Honk it together now and we can drink some wine
All because it's carnival time
Well, it's carnival time
Well it's carnival time
Everybody's drinking wine

The whole street is jumping from one side to the other
The joints are jamming packed, and I'm about to fall
All because it's carnival time
Well, it's carnival time
Well it's carnival time
Everybody's having fun

---
*

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Friday, February 16, 2007

K-Fed is whack 

Since Ian has moved to Missouri, I am now forced to do more Britney Blogging since he is outta da gret stet.

So, here we go. An In Touch Weekly exclusive reports that

A friend of Kevin [Federline], tells In Touch, "Britney [Spears] was into threesomes and girls." He says Britney would often invite a bunch of girlfriends over to the couple’s house to party.

An insider who knows the couple well says that over the course of a night, Britney would often disappear into a bedroom with her girlfriends. "Sometimes it was three girls, and sometimes there were more like six," the insider says. "I heard about her being with girls at least 20 times while they were married."


According to the article, K-Fed wasn't interested in being with Britney plus six other naked women. She begged him, but he wouldn't partake.

YRHT analysts are concerned that these stories of K-Fed's sexual timidity might scar his reputation as a world-class "player", and "rapper".
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"As if finally acknowledging a lover’s destructive impulses..." 

From today's NYT Front Page article:

A year ago, Ms. Larsen, 36, and Mr. Langlois, 37, were hopeful New Orleanians eager to rebuild and improve the city they adored. But now they have joined hundreds of the city’s best and brightest who, as if finally acknowledging a lover’s destructive impulses, have made the wrenching decision to leave at a time when the population is supposed to be rebounding.

Their reasons include high crime, high rents, soaring insurance premiums and what many call a lack of leadership, competence, money and progress. In other words: yes, it is still bad down here. But more damning is what many of them describe as a dissipating sense of possibility, a dwindling chance at redemption for a great city that, even before the storm, cried out for great improvement.

"The window of opportunity is closing," Ms. Larsen said, "before more people like us give up and say it’s too little, too late."


"Too little, too late". I recall hearing that same formulation about another national project of ours.

Uggh.

Did we already blow our "one chance to get this (recovery) right"?

Is our "margin for error" now less than zero?

I don't know, but desperate times make me want to fall in line behind a benevolent dictator and hope for the best. Give him the power, give him the money... just make it all better.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Do you get it? 

I was sitting next to two old lawyers yesterday (one a former State Senator), and overheard this exchange regarding the recent tornadoes in New Orleans.

Former State Senator: This place is snakebit, and will always be snakebit.

Old lawyer: But my problem is, I don't want to live anywhere else.


New Orleans' contradictions are profound and irreducible.... and beautiful! It took me years to understand and appreciate that. (In fact, some of these contradictions were described nicely in the recent American Experience program which I recommend watching.)

Tonight, in freezing temperatures, New Orleanians will gather on the St. Charles neutral ground to take part in one of the best parades on Earth. Incredibly, some of the celebrants lining the avenues have been flooded and tornadoed in the past year and a half, yet they still understand the importance of Carnival-- even if it only appears like friviolous "camp" to some soulless outsiders. It was important to have parades last year, and it will be important to have them again this year.



The drums beat, the people dance, and we revel in the annual Dionysian flow. We know that life will persevere through the absurdity and the calamity-- and that's a truth that is worth celebrating together, as one community. It's not about the cheap plastic Chinese beads... it's about the fact that a community decided it was important to come together, on the streets, en masse, to grasp and reach for cheap beads!

As a 19th-century Continental thinker might say: "The Olympian laughter of the deeply wounded is not naive laughter."

Or, as the 20th century dance music group The Real McCoy memorably sang:

I'm serious as cancer
when I say rhythm is a dancer!


---

You don't hear the "cancer/dancer" rhyme very often in discotheques nowadays, do you? But that's nothing. Check this link to view the surprisingly un-p.c. lyric that precedes the one I quoted. You've heard the song a million times but I doubt you ever sang those words.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tornado 

Some deadly tornadoes swept through the New Orleans metro area this morning around 3am. I hope my fellow bloggers and friends were not scathed by the storm. It rained damn hard at my house and for a couple minutes it sounded like light hail was falling. Wicked stuff. (No word yet on how the tornado rated on the Fujita scale.)

When I was younger, I often had dreams involving tornadoes, but they were always set in the daytime. As you may know, I'm not a big fan of tornadoes at night. That's just too scary. One of the most frightening moments I've had during my interstate highway travels was the time I was driving through a tornado zone on I-59 in Mississippi at night. Visibility was low, emergency radio reports were bellowing, and the atmosphere had that dark, gusting, ionized, "tornadic" feel to it. But instead of pulling over I just floored it, figuring that would be the quickest way out of the danger zone. Afterwards, I'm not ashamed to say that I was as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

I've seen a waterspout develop in Naples, Florida when the sky turned blacker than squid ink. Another time, I was in a brick apartment when a "gustnado" swept through Tallahassee. And I was outside Des Moines when I finally got to see some tornadoes in person. I stopped at an overpass where I viewed several tornadoes dancing in Iowa cornfields. I took some pictures of the scene, but later lost the photos when my house flooded.

---
Update: When I read that last paragraph it almost sounds like a pretentious re-working of Roy Batty's (Rutger Hauer) final line in Blade Runner:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost in time, like tears ... in rain.



---
Update #2: Ashley has some pictures from his Carrollton neighborhood.
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Monday, February 12, 2007

Quote of the day 

Patrick Cockburn:
Then [4 years ago] President Bush and Tony Blair claimed that Iraqis were technically advanced enough to produce long-range missiles and to be close to producing a nuclear device. Washington is now saying that Iraqis are too backward to produce an effective roadside bomb and must seek Iranian help.



Hmm.
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Douggie has an "operational relationship" with mendacity 

Though stem stells may enlarge tits, mammoth stupidity cannot enlarge one's penis. (More on Feith, and Iraq, here.)
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"Political Mischief"? 

Per usual, Moldy City finds the key quotes.
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