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So long, and thanks for all the fish November 22, 2012

Posted by Mark Folse in Fortin Street, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It is too easy to slur Columbus Day and ignore Thanksgiving, for fear of upsetting the neighbors. Today we sit down to celebrate the complete incompetence of European settlers to feed themselves and contemplate the gratitude they showed to their Native neighbors, to offer our thanks to their omnipotently paranoid god who blessed the casual erasure of humans and bison from sea to shining sea, to engorge ourselves on indigenous corn and potatoes and African yams without a thought to their origins, eat thick slices from the engineered breast of a native bird bred like Chevrolets in a feed house it could not survive without constant dosing with antibiotics.

There is nothing America cannot conquer, master and seek to improve if it but sets its collective mind to it. All that is needed is a willing bit of trickery over those less blessed than us and there goes the neighborhood.

Let’s just fess up and admit our model of a republic is Roman not Greek, that we are setting out to a gourmand’s banquet at which we will eat until we are barely able to bend forward and reach the bottle to pour yet another glass of wine. I am Orleanian to the bone and have no problem with this. The gods of my hearth are not cosmic, are small and indigenous to this place and take great pleasure in our banquet. They are the absent ancestors whose places we have taken at the table. I will give thanks not to a remote god but to the stooped-back women who picked the cranberries and the men who wielded the power knives of the slaughter house. I will wish them joy of their possibly-distant families, camaraderie over food as best they can manage, and a day of rest.

Morning in America January 21, 2009

Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Lest you think my lunch experience completely spoiled yesterday: It’s A Beautiful Day, America. Don’t let it get away.

We’re coming home…

Spirits in the Night November 4, 2008

Posted by Mark Folse in Toulouse Street.
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It is not the specter of Bobby Seale but the spirit of Bobby Kennedy that walks in America tonight, not an angry radical reaction to the angry reactionary nightmare of the years just past but an eternal flame that burns not just on one lonely hill tonight but all across the land in the hearts of Americans.

It has been a long journey of forty years, wandering in the desert, since that night in 1968 when Kennedy told a crowd much like those we saw tonight–young, many African-American–that Dr. King was dead, and calmed their fear and anger with the words of Aeschylus. Neither man lived to see this day.

But I see the ghostly hands of King and Kennedy upon his shoulders as Barrack Hussein Obama leads this nation on our first step into the Promised Land.

I Tell You We Must Die October 10, 2008

Posted by Mark Folse in Toulouse Street.
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Tonight I went to the Deustch House Oktoberfest, listening to a bad Om Pah band play the Hogan Hero’s Theme and chicken dance endlessly. While I was walking up to the Deustch House my wife called, railing about the freaks at the latest McCain-Palin rally. While the phone was out, I checked my email. The counting house’s stock was down, again, another five percent.
When that wore itself out, I found my way to Frenchman Street in search of the Jazz Vipers. Instead, I found a rather hot Kelsmer band.

It occured to me as I sat at the bar at the Spotted Cat finishing my beer before I went home (since there was to be no Jazz Vipers or at least too late for my taste): I have tonight heard the soundtrack of Weimar Amerika. “Kill him,” they shout at their rallies.

Please just Show Me the Way to the Next Whisky Bar.

Goodnight, America July 4, 2008

Posted by Mark Folse in Toulouse Street.
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Fifteen thousands watts of oral circular polarization. That’s what he said, right? Ten hut!

Is this a great country? Or what?

“Why don’t the Pentacles keep their evil spirits away?”
– Jourma Kaukoken

The Sunday Blues Paper May 25, 2008

Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Leave that Sunday paper rolled up on the porch, except perhaps for what I still call the funny papers, because frankly all that gray matter is just another flavor of the funny pages. And don’t you dare turn that TV on yet: stay away from all of the inane high school popularity chatter and who’s pregnant gossip that passes for news discussion. And don’t you even think about letting yourself sink into a mindlessness of battling chefs or cottage flipping for fun and profit.

You need to read this instead.

There, now you’re free to go fire up that grill and contemplate all those who have died to bring us to this place, and wonder what the fuck for.

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