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Its A Beautiful Day January 31, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, music, New Orleans, NOLA.
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The trident spears, with gilded shaft ends gleam.
The feather-figured shield, of beauty rare,
He holds before him, all his foes to dare.
The Hsiao Jung

So much gloom. So many bills to file, including my car insurance (was AIG, now 21st Century Insurance). A billion dollar bailout, and they jack my rates $1,100, semi-annually. Fucking lovely.

So as I organize sudden catastrophe and simple cares into their neat little piles and file them I pop on blip.fm, and before I write the last painful zero in the checkbook I find myself wearing my Carnival hat, whirling like a dervish to the music, mindlessly happy for a moment. I step out on to the porch. Its A Beautiful Day.

The shield of beauty: this quote from Sun Ra keeps popping into my mind lately. I will never know if he took it from an old Asian poem above or if it spontaneously came to his lips out of necessity, a phrase the world needed to know. It doesn’t matter. The message is as old as Arjuna: life sucks, but its what you are called to do. Best get on with it and make what you can of it, knowing we were never meant to survive.

Time flies. We had best do the same, while it is yet a beautiful day.

There is only us January 30, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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“There is only us.”

I read that line on Facebook, from prominent local activist and blogger Karen Gadbois, in reaction to the news that Inspector General Robert Cerasoli will step down for health reasons.

There is only us. We all remember, those of us on the ground, what Ashley said a long time ago: Sinn Fein. Ourselves alone.

That is all we ever had, and that is in the end how it must be. If we can’t do it, then what hope is there for us?

Since 8-29 we have looked for heroes, thinking ourselves incapable of doing it alone. First came Lt. Gen. Honore’ Russel Honore’, the “John Wayne dude”. If he had not come and ordered the Guardsmen to stop pointing their rifles at the people of the Convention Center and the Superdome and start handing out water, how many more would have died?

He was a hero, our hero, for his short time in the limelight. But he is long gone, rejected as Gulf Coast Hurricane Czar when names were first floated.

Cerasoli was a hero, our hero, for his short time as well. And now he is leaving.

There is only us, but that is all we ever really had.

Between Honore’ and Cerasoli we made our own heroes, and a few of the bloggers were among them. Ashley Morris was our special hero among the bloggers, the spirit of an indomitable love for New Orleans that could not be extinguished. Karen Gadbois is another, one of our own and a leader of the movement against the entrenched inertia of what passes for government in New Orleans. Brian Denzer’s tireless work on crime and other data modeling, Eli Ackerman’s investigations into NORA and Matt McBride’s tireless dogging of the Corps of Engineeers just scratch the surface.

We are a rabble, all of us: the bloggers, the housing activists, the anti-crime activists, the guerrilla artists, all of us in New Orleans. We need more heroes to step up from our own ranks because there is only us, and we have to keep all these ground swells against the old and broken ways going.

Go re-read Ashley’s Sinn Fein pieces. He took the phrase from Ronnie Virgets, who said in a chapter titled “Sinn Fein: Ourselves Alone” that “New Orleans and New Orleanians were the only people that cared about New Orleans”. Yeah, you right.

There is only us. Sinn Fein, baby.

If we cannot save ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us. Cerasoli and Honore’ were the exceptions to the carpetbaggers and scaliwags who, like Ray Nagin, are reading Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctine like a business plan.

I keep getting drawn back to these words from a Wet Bank Guide piece from December 2006 titled “How Long, Lord?”, which I last quoted only a few weeks ago:

If we want a city that resembles the one of memory and desire, perhaps it is best if we are left to ourselves to build it. Give me enough people like Shearer, like the New Orleans bloggers listed at right and I believe we can do it: ourselves alone; Sinn Fein, as Ashley says. Going it alone…will be painful. Some will try and not make it, risk everything to return and rebuild or reopen, only to loose everything. If we must go it alone, this will certainly be a smaller city, and some will leave ruined and broken by the effort. Whether we are recalled as heroes or fools only history will tell, but I think know the measure of those who have chosen to come home and try. There is no finer place to be an American today than in their company

There is only us. We had best get busy.

Love In Us All January 28, 2009

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Jazz, music, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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It was so many years ago now my vinyl copy of this was lost. It simply was not among my records when I unpacked in Washington, DC. Any number of books and records vanished while I was living in Baton Rouge in ’86, working on the Breaux campaign for Senate, before they were put into storage and I left town. I was crushed to find this (and other dear records and books) gone, but at least I still had a cassette dub: until the DC pipeheads came and snatched my tape player with the cassette copy in it.

I first purchased this Impulse recording on a whim, having heard one or two Pharaoh Sanders songs on the WTUL-FM jazz show back in the early 1970s. (This was long before WWOZ, children).

I was new to jazz and just exploring blindly with no real guidance other than what was spun on the radio, and what I could pick up reading at the library. Nobody at my neighborhood record store knew much about jazz. So along my copies of Weather Report and Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock (all the dangerous 1970s gateway drugs of jazz rock that were sure to lead into a serious jazz jones; it couldn’t be helped), along with the obvious Big Names of post-war jazz (Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan; you know this list), this record came home out of the cut out rack. I loved the title, and I knew the second cut was a tribute to John Coltrane by one of his former sidemen.

The first time the needle slid me into this groove I was hooked.

I’ve been entranced by the glamor of Sanders and by free jazz ever since. This is the recording that came to mind when I first read Sun Ra’s term “shield of beauty”. This is the side I play when its all too much and I need to pull back in and recharge, or when I’m just overwhelmed by the beauty of the world like Hopkins flashing on the grandeur of god. I play it every Easter in lieu of a Christian observance, in honor of Spring. It is my shield of beauty.

My LP lost and the tape dub after it, I discovered the record was not easily replaced. Long out of print by the 1980s, the copies I could find were almost too scratched to listen to. Clean copies were hard to find and far out of my price range. I remember having the library in Fargo run a national search and exactly seven libraries in the entire continental United States held vinyl copies. These were not available for interlibrary loan.

Sometime in the early Oughts I finally resorted to the internet, and found a decent digital dub of an original vinyl release (you can almost feel the needle digging in, hear the bits of dust and entry groove scratch noise as it starts up). That served me for years, and I never felt guilty. I had bought my original copy, and two scratched up ones since. I figure I was entitled to a fair copy for my own use.

The last time I found this Japanese CD pressing online, I was shipped the wrong disk and by the time I got my box and contacted eJazzLines, the rest of the pressing was sold out. My bad luck. Back to my bootleg while holding the chewed up LP I had picked up somewhere.

I don’t know why I got an urge to search eJazzlines the other day, but I found it waiting there for me. This time, the right disk came. I can’t puzzle out the Japanese liner notes, but the film strip photos are the same as the original LP interior And I don’t need the liner notes. I just need to hear that first side again, clean and clear and all mine.

I don’t care what else you do over the boxed up left overs of a life when I’m gone. Just promise to play Side One over me before you put me away.

The divisions here are mine to fool You Tube into letting me post something of this length, an LP side of 21+ minutes. It is a single piece of music.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

P.S.–I bequeath this copy to WTUL-FM when I’m gone.

My Baby Doll January 26, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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No, not the Madame Alexander from MaMere in her lap; my baby doll is that little girl who today turns 17, my daughter Killian. Looking at this picture you can see we had not finished unpacking the boxes in the background after ur evacuation of Washington, DC to the suburbs of Arlington, VA. When we moved out we left behind us a neighborhood where three people had died in close proximity to our house, where not just sporadic gun fire but gun battles following the popping pattern of a pan of jiffy pop were a routine occurrence, where the helicopters of the DCPD would hover over our block with their powerful searchlights.

It was not a good place for my wife and small daughter to be home alone all day, or a comfortable place to lay our heads down at night.

Today she is a 17 year old young woman living in a city not much different than the one we fled almost 20 years ago. I want her to be safe as much today as when this picture was taken, as much as I will when I am very old and she has children of her own. And I want her to be able to stay in her adopted home of New Orleans, where outside of the inescapable hazards of teenage life she is genuinely happy with a large circle of friends, where she relishes Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest and Voodoo and hanging at the Fly.

I do not want to have to retreat, again. I will not uproot my family again. But she must be safe, as my wife and my 13-year old son must be safe. A long time ago I wrote that all I wanted for Christmas was New Orleans. On this birthday, what I want to give my daughter is a New Orleans she can enjoy without fear, free of the dangers on the mean streets. I have to find a way.

Been Down So Long January 25, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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In my own country I am in a far-off land
I am strong but have no force or power
I win all yet remain a loser
At break of day I say goodnight
When I lie down I have a great fear
Of falling.

— François Villon

This poem opens Hunter S. Thompon’s HELL’S (Hells) ANGELS – The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. The violence, the criminality tied to drugs, the pride in their pack trumping all ties to the mainstream culture they dropped out of of, of if you prefer which left them behind.

If you think it all sounds familiar, it is. Substitute any ward of New Orleans for the colors and you are there. The only unique thing about our city is how wide and deep this current runs.

Why did those young men of the 1950s and 1960s become Hells Angels? Perhaps if I were getting paid for this, I would take a couple of hours and skim the book and see what sort of sociological spelunking Thompson did, but I recall none of any depth.

What I do know, and do not require a degree in sociology to understand, is what is happening all around us in New Orleans. It is as simple as people who never give up against those who simply give up hope. It will sound like a sentimental excuse, but its a simple fact: we are living with the product of the second and third generation of people who have given up. I bookmarked a story a while back from the New York Times story Many Children Lack Stability Long After Storm, in which I found this quote from one of the people of Renaissance Village, an isolated collection of poisonous FEMA trailers on a gravel lot in the middle of no where:

Jermaine’s father, Joseph Griffin, has had trouble holding on to steady work and said he did not see much value in his son’s attending school this semester because he had already missed so much class. “If he doesn’t get no credits for it, what sense does it make for him to sit up in there?” Mr. Griffin said. “I was going to try to get him a job.”

If dad can’t find a steady job, what luck for the son the high school dropout? If the schools and the streets are a dead end, where else is there to go? If you’re not churched or your church itself has bought into the victim myth of no responsibility (how else to explain the phalanx of ministers who endorsed disgraced Rep. William Jefferson), where then do you get some guidance and strength to find a way out? That leaves parents, but even in the NYT story of a household with two parents, if the parents have already given up what can we expect of the children?

The same hollow eyes and gunman swagger you see in Somali pirates on the evening news, that’s what you can expect when culture and government and all of the things that make a civilization start to break down, and people just give up and do what they have to do to survive. And when the parents have given up, when they accept the street as the way it is, you start down the road that turns out the young men who jack ships off East Afraica and who stalk our own streets.

This Happens All Over, Cliff remind us. Yes it does, and Cliff’s answer the is real answer, but who the hell is ready for that intervention? How are we to convince the mothers with kids going down the slide to hell to step up and make a difference? Like that dad above, they don’t see the way out. It seems to be for them just the way things are. We are left considering the mother’s who turn in their children, sending them to prison for the rest of their lives. A heroic act in a strange way, but too late for the victim or the young perps.

Now I read Keith Spera’s column in the Times-Picayune and I wonder who else feels as he does, who else is closing in on that tipping point, the same place I found myself in Washington, D.C. when two people died within a block of my house in a few months, and a brutal abduction/rape/murder began in the alley (but ended a mile away). We were living their with my infant daughter at the time, and we finally fled to the suburbs.

I wrote long ago that I’m not ready to retreat, not this time, but I’m not such a brave fool to not worry about that commitment. I know as I knew then that we cannot just retreat behind our bars and alarms any more than we can retreat to the Northshore.

In the end, I return to the famous old misquote of Edmund Burke that came to me two years ago, not long after Helen Hill died.

I am no more ready to give up hope now than I was a year and a half ago. Confronting the crime problem is no less daunting than contemplating how to rebuild a city more damaged than anything seen since World War II. All that is required for evil– and in the city’s case entropy–to triumph is that good men and women do nothing, as the famous misquote of Edmund Burke runs. Just as apt is an actual quote on the issue of American independence also from Mr. Burke:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one…

The good have already begun to combine, NOLA Slate tell us, in reaction to the lastest horrible crimes, to demand action and to take action themselves. What remains to be seen is if this effort can be sustained, if it can push our dysfunctional, near collapse police department and our weak and vacillating city government to do something.

As I sat in my car outside Elizabeth’s finishing a cigarette before diinera song came on the radio (in plaintive Appalachian a capella, but Billy Brag will have to do for this link). It put me not in mind of the labor movement of the early twentieth century but crime run amok and what we as citizens can do about it. it was this that put me in mind of crime and Burke. It was after I got home that I read Spera’s piece, and as I sat on my porch the song ran through my head over and over again. All I could think of was the meeting Slate has chronicled over Wendy Byrne’s murder, and the panic on my neighborhood mailing list over two crimes Saturday morning. It may me think: what the hell are we going to do about this?

We have all spent and given too much to be here to walk away now. So which side are you on, boys, which side are you on? Will you run to the Northshore, or add some iron and lights to the house and never venture out? Or is it time to stand up and demand immediate action and results, or dire consequences, for Riley and his boss Ray Nagin and from the entire city government.

Kirsten Brydum Remembered January 23, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, French Quarter, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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As residents of the French Quarter and the entire city prepare to Remember Wendy Byrne*, I want to share this comment on my 2008 murder victim list post.

New comment on your post #1941 “Remember 2008”

Today is Kirsten Brydum’s birthday. We celebrate in her honor her in San Francisco, CA by inviting everyone and anyone to join us in Dolores Park for a picnic and bonfire later on the beach.

Thank you for remembering and not keeping quiet about the violence the effects us all – we are all in this together (as Kirsten so aptly reminded us). Together we can unite and bring light to the darkness.

Author : Will

You can see all comments on this post here:

* UPDATE: The Second Line for Wendy has changed to Saturday afternoon. For updates, follow HumidCity.com

* UPDATE 02-01-09 : Here’s an LA Times story on Kirsten’s Odyssey and how it ended violently in New Orleans. I worry about the naivete of some of these punk volunteer anarchist types. They’re probably not big on Marx, but I suggest the bone up on the concept of the lumpenproletariat.

*** UPDATE 02-02-09 *** Members of the Iron Rail, an anarchist collective bookstore in the Marigny, are organzing a volunteer escort service called The Brydum Tandem Project for people who need assistance or just someone to help them get home safely in the Marigy and Bywater area. Details here. Given Kirsten’s leanings, I think this is an excellent memorial and a positive activity against crime.

Praise Song for the Day January 22, 2009

Posted by The Typist in literature, poem, Poetry.
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The following is a corrected transcript of the inaugural poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander. The original post from the NY Times was incomplete (see comments).

Praise Song for the Day

Praise Song for the Day
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration

Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.

HOME January 22, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, odd, oddities, Toulouse Street.
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Morning in America January 21, 2009

Posted by The Typist 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…

History, inside and out January 20, 2009

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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I watch the inauguration at a downtown lunch counter, one of those Odd place we so love here, frozen from the time our fathers ate at those same benches, where only the football team schedules change. A group of older men huddle at the end of the counter around the owner, a man with leonine silver hair and ham-lifting arms planted outward on the slab in the immortal pose of the innkeeper.

The owner and his court are the tipsy peanut gallery at a funeral of someone they didn’t like very much in life, cracking nervous jokes and looking to each other for approval. History has passed them by, retreated into the suspended televisions and left them here, watching the end of the antebellum. Death plays odd tricks and their “not in my lifetime” looks down upon them from the podium, triumphant.

The lone Black employee, the one who every week acknowledges my Monday entry into the shop with a nod and brings me without further ado a plate overflowing with red beans, bursts into applause, bouncing up and down and clapping rapidly like an excited small child. This is her day. History has taken her up to its bosom like Abraham, and left the old men standing nervously around the old brass cash register, sipping at their Cokes as their grandfathers did. They stare at the cook, and only the owner smiles as he feels he must, the fixed grimace of a man who works a counter. There is no other applause.

A delivery man enters and now there are two black faces in the restaurant. The small early crowd sits transfixed by the television or looks down at their lunch and the sports section, oblivious. None pay the cook or delivery man any mind. When the speech is over, I leave my sandwich half eaten and step out again into the day.

The sun is as brilliant, blinding as that light on the road to Damascus, my eyes adjusted to the dim restaurant its shine does not enter. I have work to do, so I shake off the pallor of the lunch room, its burdensome burnish of history, and hurry away step by second into the future.

My G-g-g-g-generation January 19, 2009

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, music, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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Screw you Pepsi.

This is my generation, baby. Born in 1957 I am supposed to be the last of the true Baby Boomers, and the Clinton’s are supposed to be my generation’s President.

Hell, no.

Their Traingularnessess represent everything that went off the tracks sometime around 1970, when the American Moloch (Moloch whose drink is Pepsi) tried to swallow and vomit back in clever shrink wrap every forward thought, every intangible positive vibration the 60s produced.

While Obama has more Clinton veterans on his dance card than Ken Starr had on his witness list, he is a much better representation of, is in some way the resurrection of the better angels of our nature that the 1960s promised.

My generation. This is my generation, baby.

Hit it.

Ice Dreams January 16, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA.
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“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

— One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

34, Ice, 34, Ice, 34, Ice. The little display in my car’s rear view mirror was incessant today, as if I didn’t know it was very cold, warning me of Ice. I had not seen it flash that warning in three years, since I had last driven it on the streets of Fargo, North Dakota. Thirty-four degrees Fahrenheit would be a nice day that far north, where the weather frequently turns aggressively arctic, dropping “below the donut” as the iconic local weatherman “Too Tall Tom” loved to say when it dropped below zero.

In New Orleans its an Odd thing to be so cold. Winter here is so much gentler than it was during my decade a little more than halfway to the North Pole. Perhaps it is to gentle; not assertive enough . Summer is liable to show up again and again on winter’s stoop like a bad old boyfriend, insisting they get back to the old times, to 85 and humid and January be damned…

Read the rest on Humid City.

The Spirit of the Mask January 14, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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To the Honored Members and Guests of the Krewe of Baubo and Ame no Uzume:

I was called by the Vikingess to explain why you should costume, and offer this:

When one is called to Carnival, the first question will always be: what do I wear?

For Caslos Casteneda, entry into Don Juan’s hermetic world required a medicine man’s chest of hallucinogenic plants to break down the initiate’s dependence on the mind paths of a trained academic. For entry into the secret heart of Carnival the gateway is not as Odd. You must simply find or make a mask, one that calls you to wear it, that dictates the costume that accompanies it, that leads you to surrender yourself to the spirit of the mask.

It need not even be a mask. My “mask” this year is a tri-corner, Asian-styled hat. I do not have the costume, but I already see the costume. When you can see the character in the object, when you can see yourself in the character, you will have found the one.

Without that mask, you can only be The Tourist. We see them at Carnival common as sparrows, and the camera is their mask. They come, take Carnival’s blurry picture and go home with fabulous hangovers. They see Carnival pass them by, but they are not of Carnival. They are like Lucky Dog vendors, a bit of the backdrop. Perhaps they have fun. I imagine they do. They do not experience Carnival.

If you come do not choose to be The Tourist. Carnival is an occasion to be the spirit you know inside you. The Casteneda analogy was not an idle one; in vodoun, a bit of rum is said to help one enter into the spirit, to open to the loa. So take on your mask, pour a bit of your favorite poison for yourself (spill some for the spirit in the mask) and enter through the gate The Tourists never pass, down the carriageway that opens into the courtyard at the heart of Carnival. It is filled with masks and spirits.

Don’t be The Tourist. Be the Carnival.

Battle of New Orleans January 13, 2009

Posted by The Typist in music, New Orleans, NOLA, odd, Toulouse Street.
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Thanks for Citizen-K for leading me to this surreal “reenactment” of the Battle of New Orleans. Love the Liberace coon skin caps. I was too slammed by life this weekend to go out and compare this video to the re-enactors who were out at the Battlefield this weekend for the Jan. 8 anniversary.

Errata, Mea Culpa, (Merda) January 12, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 8-29, books, errata, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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To everyone who has received a copy of “Carry Me Home” I want to apologize for distributing an initial printing which, upon close examination, contains not not on the final, approved manuscript but on a early pre-correction copy. It has numerous (previously corrected) typographical errors.

Chaulk this up to the vagueries of on-line, on-demand publishing. The lesson: in this world, nobody has your back except yourself. Check everything three times.

In this case, I had to make a change to correct a publishing issue (page numbers on the end pages, which in Lulu’s on-demand distribution channel–the books that will go out via Amazon, B&N, etc.–is a no no). Through my error the corrected manuscript was not the final one, but an older copy (which had ended up under the newer name on my local hard drive). When I went to proof the corrected version, I only checked for the page numbers, layout, table of contents, etc. without proofing the text. Big mistake.

I am already working with the publisher to correct this, and expect to have copies of the approved manuscript in a week or so days. The on-line ordering copy is already corrected. If you received a review or promotional copy or complimentary copy, what you have is not what is intended for final distribution. I will send the local reviewers clean copies as soon as they are available.

If you received the book announcement, have been contacted by me about taking the initial placement of the book, or have indicated your interest in the book, I am going to have to step back for a week or so until I have the correct copies in hand.

Anyone with a smattering of Romance language will recognize the third term in today’s Latin for Idiots (Latin Pro Bardus) lesson.

Afterthought: Hey, someday it will be a rare and valuable first edition, so if you have one, I suggest you hold onto it.

For the curious, see the page Errata for the details of the corrections to the book.

Nothin’ Federal Happened Here January 9, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 8-29, Federal Flood, Flood, je me souviens, levee, New Orleans, Ninth Ward, NOLA, Sinn Fein, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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“Nothin’ Federal happened here.”
— Herbert Gettridge, in the PBS Frontline
documentary “The Old Man and the Storm”

Yes, Mr. Gettridge, something Federal did happen. Not the relief we were promised, not the levees we were promised. Just what we call the Federal Flood.

It has been a long time since I wanted to cry. There were times, late at night sitting in the basement of a house in Fargo, N.D. with my family asleep, times past midnight when I knew I had to get up and go to work the next day and still I could not tear myself away from what I read about my home town and the compulsion to write about it, and I could not help myself.

Those timesfeel so distant and delirious as to seem not like memory but instead like dreams remembered, something that hints at the remnants of another lifetime lived, separate from this one. Sometimes it is like the experience of someone else. Maybe it is something I read once, or saw in a movie, a disaster film like “The Day After” with characters walking the ruins of an American city. Or maybe that sense of distance and delirium is not a disturbance but a kind of healing.

I haven’t see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, those moments in the final scene that leaves New Orleans theaters in tears. If you are reading this and have seen that movie and do not understand what I am talking about, why people might cry at scenes of the inundation of New Orleans, then you must see this: The Old Man and the Storm.

This PBS Frontline episode was worth waiting three years for. It is the single best thing done since 8-29 on the subject of New Orleans and the Federal Flood, and every American should watch it. It captures the whole story, both the broad sweep of the failure of government and the details of a single man and his family, the mote like a tear in the eye of Mr. Gettridge and the great, splintery beam in the eye of the nation that left him alone to rebuild his house.

At the end, the interviewer/narrator June Cross, asks Mr. Gettridge “if you had to do it over again, would you do it?”

The aged man who rebuilt his house alone in the Ninth Ward, against odds that would break most men, looks away from the interviewer and the camera. The last we see of him is looking down, and away, and shaking his head.

“I’m kind of skeptical about that now. Once upon a time I could
answer that question in a split second for you. I can’t do that no more.”

I don’t want to just ask America to watch this show, I want to grab it by the hair and hold its head before the television and make the country watch the story of his man and his family, make them watch that final moment.

Two years ago I wrote these words, tonight they still ring true.

If we want a city that resembles the one of memory and desire, perhaps it is best if we are left to ourselves to build it. Give me enough people like [this]… and I believe we can do it: ourselves alone; Sinn Fein, as Ashley says. Going it alone, without fair compensation from the government for the damage they caused, will be painful. Some will try and not make it, risk everything to return and rebuild or reopen, only to loose everything. If we must go it alone, this will certainly be a smaller city, and some will leave ruined and broken by the effort. Whether we are recalled as heroes or fools only history will tell, but I think know the measure of those who have chosen to come home and try. There is no finer place to be an American today than in their company.

An afterthought: If June Cross does not win the Pulitzer and the Peabody for this, then those awards are not worth a bucket of warm shit.

Sinn Fein.

Carry Me Home at deVille Books January 9, 2009

Posted by The Typist in books, Hurricane Katrina, literature, New Orleans, NOLA.
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Carry Me Home is now available at deVille Books, 134 Carondelet Street, New Orleans.

I am working to place the book locally in advance of it hitting Bowker’s Books in Print and the wholesale and major on-line channels (which it should by the end of January).

If you don’t shop on-line, watch this space (and the banner ad at right) for locations carrying the book. And you can always get it here.

Also, here is a link to an on-line reading I gave of a piece as originally published on Wet Bank Guide done for WTUL-FM’s Community Gumbo show in September, 2006. (Thanks, Schroeder).

In The Brown Zone with Mother Cabrini

Remember 2008 January 8, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, Remember, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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“as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me”
— Jesus of Nazareth

So many stories came back to me as I transcribed this list of the dead in the killing fields of New Orleans. Nicola Cotton, the NOPD officer shot by known psychotic living on the street. Seeing two suspects listed with the same last name as one of the names from the 2007 list that gets the most search hits here. A retaliation killing? I will never know

I can’t skip work for the Silence is Violence Strike Against Crime, so publishing a list again on the blog will have to count for something.

This is the second year I have published this list: for Silence is Violence, who tries to make a difference; in remembrance of the victims and to shame their killers; and, once again for Chanel, cousin of blogger The Book.

As I work through the list and see how many of the victims “cleared a murder” (were identified as the suspect in another death), or as I look at the endless parade of mugshots by which many are memorialized, what I wrote about Chanel bears repeating:

Everyone person on that [2007] list, even if they had gone down that dark path and died with a handgun in their waste band and an empty look in their eyes, all of them were once as Chanel once was, as my own children once were: as innocent as a lamb in the lap of Jesus.

They were once as young and innocent as Ja Shawn Powell.

Here on Toulouse Street, we Remember.

You can see more information, including victim photographs and short news extracts, on the Times-Picayune Murder Blog. Thanks to the Picayune and it’s staff for compiling the list and sharing the information, which is more than the NOPD can manage.

As on my 2007 list post, if you know one of the victims I invite you to leave a comment remembering them.

Dec. 27: Coty Simmons, 20
4700 block of Galahad Drive – eastern New Orleans

Dec. 22: Terry Plaisance, 25 and Joshua Simmons, 29
1 Westbank Expressway – Algiers

Dec. 17: Brian Urby, 17
7100 block of Bunk Hill Road – eastern New Orleans

Dec. 15: Herbert Broussard, 27
300 block of Decatur Street – French Quarter

Dec. 13: Kenneth Monroe, 27
2500 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Dec. 13: Felix Pearson, 20
2500 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Dec. 13: Darriel Wilson, 20
2500 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Dec. 8: Keith Robertson, 21
1400 block of Conti Street – Cultural Center

Dec. 2: Tony Marsalis, 25
2900 block of General Taylor Street – Milan

Nov. 24: Bernard Littles, 36
Corner of Franklin Avenue and Mexico Street – St. Anthony

Nov. 21: Kendrick Peters, 20
1900 block of Cambronne Street

Nov. 19: Bernell Brock, 25
9000 block of Green Street

Nov. 19: Kevin Jarrow, 33
corner of Green and Hollygrove streets

Nov. 18: Julius Hills, 21
Corner of Third and Dryades streets – Central City

Nov. 17: Kendrick Thomas, 22
2400 block of North Villere Street

Nov. 15: Brian Thickstin, 37
2800 block of Chippewa Stree

Nov. 12: Dioplaus D. Hathorn, 19
2000 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Nov. 8: Javon Green, 15
2300 block of North Derbigny Street

Nov. 8: Kevin Rowe, 35
4100 block of Willow Street – Milan

Nov. 2: Mario Cruz, 34
1900 block of Piety Street

Oct. 29: Carl L. Leblanc III, 23
6000 block of Beechcraft Street

Oct. 28: Jorel Davis, 25
6000 block of Chef Menteur Highway –

Oct. 23: Anthony Quinn, 39
3800 Edinburgh Street – Hollygrove –

Oct. 22: Jamar Douglas, 20
2100 block of Cypress Acres Drive

Oct. 20: Kevin Maxwell, 29
2900 block of Cherry Street – Hollygrove

Oct. 17: Ryan Jones, 19
3300 block of Preston Place – Algiers –

Oct. 15: Brandon Martes, 22
2500 block of Constitution Place – Gentilly

Oct. 10: Wickham M. Parlante, 37
1400 block of Bienville Street – Cultural Center

Oct. 6: Demarrielle Walker, 21
7100 block of Read Boulevard – eastern New Orleans

Oct. 6: Albert Clinton McClebb Jr., 31
Corner of L.B. Landry and Erie streets – Algiers

Oct. 6: Vernon Johnson, 35
Constance and Race streets – Lower Coliseum Square

Oct. 5: Kendrick Sherman, 18
2500 block of St. Ann Street – 6th Ward

Oct. 5: Durrell Pooler, 23
2500 block of St. Ann Street – 6th Ward

Oct. 3: Harold J. Stanwood, 24
4600 block of Clara Street – Milan

Sept. 27: Kirsten Brydum, 25
3000 block of Laussat Place – Florida

Sept. 26: Bruce William Graves, 55
4900 block of Canal Street – Mid-City

Sept. 20: Darielle Rainey, 18
1900 block of Amelia Street – Milan

Sept. 20: Leslie Cannon, 19
Corner of North Prieur Street and Ursulines Avenue – 6th Ward

Sept. 18: Darrick Jack, 19
2000 block of Franklin Avenue – St. Roch

Sept. 11: Charles Dickerson, 30
1700 block of France Street – Upper 9th Ward

Sept. 7: Mark Stone, 38
7800 block of Olive Street – Gert Town

Sept. 6: Robert Santinac, 20
1600 block of Music Street – St. Roch
Santinac was the city’s first murder victim after the city’s evacution for Hurricane Gustav.

Aug. 30: Damion McCall, 17
Intersection of Touro Street and North Roman street – 7th Ward

Aug. 28: Celeste Hall, 39
7700 block of Chef Menteur Highway – eastern New Orleans

Aug. 28: Thomas Byrne, 40
Near the Elysian Fields Avenue overpass in the 7th Ward.

Aug. 27: Justin Laird, 18
1500 Murl Street – Algiers

Aug. 24: Kenel Schneckenburg, 24
1700 block of New Orleans Street – 7th Ward

Aug. 22: Allen Ivery Jr., 24
P2000 block of Felicity Street – Central City

Aug. 22: Keenon N. McCann, 32
6100 block of Dreux Avenue – eastern New Orleans

Aug. 20: Deron Hunter, 19
1100 block of North Roman Street – 6th Ward

Aug. 19: James A. Jones Jr., 39
300 block of North Robertson Street – Cultural Center

Aug. 16: Tyone Nions, 33
1100 block of North Roman Street – 6th Ward

Aug. 16: Bryant Langston, 17
600 block of Bordeaux – Uptown

Aug. 16: Travain Jones, 18
600 block of Bordeaux – Uptown

Aug. 13: Charles Jones, 39
1000 block of Newton Street – Algiers

Aug. 11: Jessica L. Hawk, 32
3000 block of Chartres Street – Bywater

Aug. 11: Rodil Rodriguez, 44
3700 block of Dryades Street – Milan

Aug. 11: Antoine C. Pierre, 27
Corner of Josephine and Carondelet streets – Central City

Aug. 10: Devin Legaux, 33
Corner of Pauger and North Rampart streets – Marigny

Aug. 3: Kevin Ford Jr., 24
3100 block of Bruxelles Street – Broad

Aug. 3: Joshua Brown, 24
Corner of Hamburg and Lafreniere streets – Gentilly

Aug. 3: Vance Brooks Jr., 23
Corner of Hamburg and Lafreniere streets – Gentilly

July 30: Kendall Parker, 37
5600 block of Dauphine Street – Holy Cross

July 30: Roy Wolfe, 34
1700 block of South Lopez Street – Broadmoor

July 27: Gerald Thorton, 20
6300 block of Kingston Court – Algiers

July 26: Ryen Tate, 20
1300 block of South Saratoga Street – Central City

July 25: Jerrold Smith, 58
8600 block of Hickory – West Carrollton

July 25: Roy Callaway, 30-
Corner of St. Bernard Avenue and North Galvez Street

July 24: Yen Nguyen, 72
14300 block of Dwyer Road – eastern New Orleans

July 21: Lawrence Robinson, 21
1400 block of South Rampart Street – Central City

July 20: Marvin Louis, 19
8700 block of Belfast Street – Uptown

July 20: Kerry Emery, 28
3300 block of Clouet Street

July 20: Walter Miguel Jovel, 41
Corner of North Derbigny and Spain streets

July 18: Anthony Brooks, 20
3100 block of Marais Street

July 18: Deshawn “Julio” Stewart, 18
Corner of North Prieur and Laharpe streets – 7th Ward

July 15: Terence “Sporty T” Vine, 41
5100 block of Painters Street – Gentilly

July 11: Luis Fernando Cardonia-Mejia, 28
7300 block of Read Boulevard – eastern New Orleans

July 10: Mark Westbrook, 33
4300 block of Lane Street – eastern New Orleans

July 6: Mervin Simon, 22
2300 block of A.P. Tureaud Avenu

July 2: Kelly Hill, 17
2100 block of Franklin Avenue – St. Roch

June 29: Robert Irwin, 47
5000 block of South Prieur Street – Broadmoor

June 29: Alvin Wilson, 21
Corner of First and South Prieur streets – Central City

June 26: Lorenzo Larvinette, 22
Corner of North Claiborne Avenue and Bienville Street

June 25: Victor Russell, 48
6300 block of North Rampart Street

June 19: Denzel Williams, 18
1700 block of Hero Street – Algiers

June 10: John Jordan, 36
Corner of Annunciation and Market streets – Lower Garden District

June 9: Dejuan Jason, 17
3200 block of Kabel Drive – Algiers

June 9: McArthur Carter, 45
1900 block of Philip Street – Central City

June 8: Kenneth Posey, 45
Corner of 3rd and South Johnson streets – Central City

June 8: Dwayne Stewart, 38
5000 block of Basinview Drive – eastern New Orleans

June 5: Tremika Bingham, 27
4500 block of Skyview Drive – eastern New Orleans

June 5: Christopher Williams, 38
4500 block of Skyview Drive – eastern New Orleans

May 22: Christopher Lewis, 23
3900 block of Royal Street – Bywater

May 21: Kenneth Lewis, 45
3100 block of Orleans Avenue – Bayou St. John
May 21: Brenda Joyce Jackson, 57
3100 block of Orleans Avenue – Bayou St. John

May 17: Dalvin Rainey, 24
Corner of L.B. Landry Avenue and De Armas Street – Algiers

May 17: Michael Reed, 21
Corner of L.B. Landry Avenue and De Armas Street – Algiers

May 13: Darnell P. Stewart, 23
3400 block of South Claiborne Avenue – Central City –
Suspect Andre Hankton
Suspect Telly Hankton
I left the suspect note from NOLA.Com on this one. Please see my past post about George Hankton, one of the most searched names leading to last year’s post. I hope this wasn’t a retaliation killing.

May 11: Ivy Ranson III, 25
800 block of North Claiborne Avenue – Treme

May 11: Roddy Usher, 36
3300 block of Garden Oaks Drive – Algiers

May 10: Arthur Mitchell, 15
2100 block of South Robertson Street – Central City

May 5: Elijah Bentley, 21
10200 block of Castlewood Drive – eastern New Orleans

May 5: Juan Pena-Gomez, 34
4300 block of Dale Street – eastern New Orleans

May 4: Brandon McCue, 22
7700 block of Chef Menteur Highway – eastern New Orleansscene.

May 1: Lakeisha Taylor, 24
1400 block of Conti Street – Cultural Center –

May 1: Patrick Fleming, 20
2900 block of Banks Street – Mid-City

April 30: Candice Gillard, 24
10600 block of Old Gentilly Road

April 30: Jarnell Sanders, 22
10600 block of Gentilly Road

April 27: Marquise Charles, 20
2600 block of Dumaine Street – Treme

April 27: Sylvester Cash, 17
2600 block of Dumaine Street – Treme

April 26: Louis Bertholotte, 25
2100 block of A.P. Tureaud Avenue – 7th Ward

April 25: Margaret Wells, 21
2300 block of Laharpe Street – 7th Ward

April 25: Tony Wells, 22
2300 block of Laharpe Street – 7th Ward

April 25: Johnny Crawford, 20
2300 block of Laharpe Street – 7th Ward

April 23: Robert C. Hurst, 34
1300 block of Gallier Street – 9th Ward

April 20: Michael Allen, 32
4700 block of Miles Drive – Gentilly

April 19: Nathaniel Osborne, 19
2500 block of Upperline Street – Freret

April 19: Antoine Martin, 18
6000 block of Chef Menteur Highway – eastern New Orleans

April 19: Lorne Simms, 20
1400 block of North Johnson Street – 7th Ward

April 18: Yohance Shabazz, 18
2300 block of Seminole Lane – Central City

April 18: Keith Williams, 23
corner of Dufossat and Freret streets – Freret

March 25: Natasha Martin, 28
I-10 near Michoud exit – eastern New Orleans

March 24: Kraig Carney, 19
I-10 eastbound near Airline exit – Mid-City

March 24: Jason Williams, 29
3900 block of Dowman Road – eastern New Orleans

March 22: Troy Mayfield Sr., 28
8200 block of Almonaster Avenue – eastern New Orleans

March 21: Lerman Robinson, 25
1200 block of South Johnson Street – Central City

March 13: Lance Zarders, 17
1600 block of Frenchmen Street – 7th Ward

March 11: James Brooks, 46
3600 block of Lotus Street – Gentilly

March 9: Lester Harris, 37
200 block of North Robertson Street – Cultural Center

March 9: Dominque Weber, 16
1400 block of Frenchmen Street – 7th Ward

March 8: Leyon Gaines, 32
7300 block of Pitt Street – Black Pearl

March 6: Jeanell Green, 42
3300 block of Lancaster Street – Algiers

March 3: Freddie Hilton, 30
3500 block of Garden Oaks Drive – Algiers

March 2: Jerome Jones, 24
corner of Jackson Avenue and Willow Street – Central City

Feb. 29: Don Lewis Jr., 42
8900 block of Forshey Street – Hollygrove

Feb. 27: Michael Spencer, 27
3600 block of Danneel Street – Milan

Feb. 27: Brandon Spencer, 19
1300 block of St. Roch Avenue – St. Roch

Feb. 26: Leonard Fant, 53
2000 block of Elizardi Boulevard – Algiers

Feb. 26: Richon Jones, 21
1300 block of St. Roch Avenue – St. Roch

Feb. 11: Keith Harrison Jr., 25
2400 block of Allen Street – 7th Ward

Feb. 11: Nathan F. LeBlanc Jr., 21
7900 block of Bullard Avenue – East New Orleans

Feb. 8: Brian Miller, 19
2300 block of Washington Avenue – Central City

Feb. 6: Edward Causey, 26
corner of St. Mary and Annunciation streets – Lower Garden District –

Feb. 3: Javonte Morgan, 15
1700 block of North Galvez Street – 7th Ward

Feb. 3: Jadace Craft, 24
1600 block of Marigny Street – St. Roch

Feb. 2: Allen Porche, 24
1200 block of Delery Street – Lower 9th Ward

Feb. 2: Terry Robinson, 26
1200 block of Delery Street – St. Claude

Jan. 28: Nicola Cotton, 24
2100 block of Earhart Boulevard – Central City
Cotton, 24, a New Orleans Police Sixth District officer, was fatally shot in a struggle with a man she was questioning. The shooter was later determined to be psychotic.

Jan. 27: Henry Butler IV, 21
1900 block of Foucher Street – Milan

Jan. 25: Courtney Thompson, 19
corner of Abundance Street and Florida Avenue – Gentilly

Jan. 26: Joseph Canselo, 19
6400 block of General Meyer Avenue – Cutoff

Jan. 20: Bertrand Winfield
corner of Gannon Road and Hayne Boulevard – East New Orleans

Jan. 15: Altheus Myers Sr., 26
corner of Jackson Avenue and Willow Street – Central City

Jan. 14: Monroe “Money” Walker, 20
corner of Magnolia and Philip streets -Central City

Jan. 12: Gervais Nicholas, 16
corner of Tulane Avenue and South Lopez Street – Tulane

Jan. 11: Jody Johnson, 47
3600 block of Piety Street – Desire

Jan. 11: Scott Dorsey, 25
Petit Bayou Lane near Willowbrook Drive – Village de l’Est

Jan. 7 – David Sisolak Jr., 25
1700 block of Hero Boulevard – Algiers

Jan. 6: Ryan McClure, 23
5700 block of Wisner Boulevard – Gentilly

Jan. 6: Michael Augustine, 23
1100 block of Lizardi Street – Lower 9th Ward

Jan. 4: Jose Francisco Ramos, 44
100 block of Pinewood Court – Algiers

Jan. 2: Kendrick Quinn, 18
6800 block of Parc Brittany Boulevard – East New Orleans

Beyond Jena January 8, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Bloggers, New Orelans, NOLA.

Local blogger Bart Everson is organizing Beyond Jena, a conference on social media and social justice at Xavier University on Saturday, January 31.

Rising Tide, the annual Blogger’s conference on the recovery of New Orleans, is a community sponsor of this forum.

The details are below. I encourage you to attend.

A Forum on Bloggers of Color, Education and Social Justice in New Orleans
January 31, 2009 — Xavier University Center Ballroom

The 2007 demonstrations in Jena, Louisiana, were “a civil rights protest literally conjured out of the ether of cyberspace, of a type that has never happened before in America” [Chicago Tribune]

Nearly a year and a half after these cyber-driven protests, this innovative forum will continue exploring the relevance of social action initiatives like Jena, as well as the blogosphere and grassroots media as vehicles for social justice. Convening diverse panels of bloggers of color, faculty, students and activists, the forum will also focus on the rise of the blogosphere in New Orleans and the unique ways that grassroots media can be utilized to enhance pedagogical practices as we seek to realize the Xavier mission within the classroom and beyond.

How can we merge new technologies, pedagogy and grassroots media to realize the Xavier mission in unique and innovative ways? We’ll address this and other topics through two exciting panels:

PANEL ONE: The Rise of Blogging and Grassroots Media as Tools for Social Justice in New Orleans and Beyond

PANEL TWO: Using Blogging and Grassroots Media as an Educational Tool to Realize the Xavier Mission: A Discussion of Best Practices and Student Reflections

Beyond Jena: A Forum on Bloggers of Color, Education and Social Justice in New Orleans will be held Jan. 31, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom at Xavier University of Louisiana. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Admission is free and open to all, but registration is required.

Register here.

Beast of the Epiphany January 7, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
Tags: , , , ,

On Tuesday, Jan. 6 (the Catholic Church’s Feast of the Epiphany and for Orleanian’s the start of the Carnival season), elements of the N.O.P.D. in plain street clothes battered down a 100 year old door and entered Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church arresting parishioners holding a vigil against the church’s closing.

According to the Archdiocese, the closures were necessary due to financial constraints and shortages of priests for the pulpit. But Good Counsel parishioners report they had 350 families on the parish’s books, and had met every performance goal to remain an open church, including financial, and the Archdiocese has broken ever promise made during the process to the parishioners.

I left the church spiritually and physically years ago, but I have kept the bargain’s I made when I married my wife in the church, and seen my children through baptism, their religious education, communion and confirmation. Now, they are on their own, and they can read in my eyes what I think of this Church when these items come on the news. I keep my bargains. The Church does not.

Ultimately this is not about the Church, it is about a church in a neighborhood. Our experience in New Orleans is clear: where churches returned after the Federal Flood, neighborhoods followed. Where the Archdiocese decided to close a church (sometimes to its immense financial profit, as in the case of St. Francis Cabrini), the neighborhood struggled to return.

Not just the uglier voices on the NOLA.Com forums but even some members of the NOLA bloggers mailing list decried the efforts of the parishioners to occupy the churches in spite of unclear title or in open opposition to lawful authority. Someone suggested that those who supported the protesters supported “mob rule” over the rule of law.

Sometimes the rule of law and the established order is so rotten and corrupt to the core that there is no resource but to the mob, or so the founding fathers of this country thought. Archbishop Hughes is of a piece with Nagin, Riley and the rest of our thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional leaders. Hughes sent a known pedophile back into a parish during his years in Boston, tried to close the oldest predominately Black parish in North America, who appears to be plundering parishes with cash or valuable land to prop up the church post-Flood, with no regard for the people he is anointed to serve.

I see in him corruption like in some Hollywood film–Emperor Palatine, or some zombie creature in a withered, worm eaten body dressed in the robes of it’s office in life. I begin to understand Thomas Jefferson’s defense of the French Revolution and the guillotine. What the hell else do you do with people like this? I’m open to reasonable alternative suggestions.

For now I think it the duty of everyone who loves New Orleans to do what they can to support the protesters and oppose the Archdiocese. As I said, this is not a church issue. This is not a property issue. This is part and parcel of the question we face in every institution and setting in this city: will we allow the corrupt and incompetent to destroy this city around us eve as we try to rebuild it?


The clip below leaves out an interesting line at the end (at least of the vinyl recording) when Jesus yells to the lepers: Can’t you heal yourselves?

Happy Damn New Year January 2, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Everette Maddox, New Orleans, poem, Poetry.

I found today that www.everettemaddox.org is back online after a brief hiatus. Thank you Tom Woolf.

On account of this great occasion and the New Year, consider this:


Oh hush up
about the
Future: one

morning it
will appear,
right there on

your breakfast
plate, and you’ll
yell “Take it

back,” pounding
the table.
But there won’t

be any

— Everette Maddox, from The Everette Maddox Song Book

Mid-City Bonfire January 2, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA.

In spite of the new configuration of a bonfire in a firebox surrounded by police barricades, my 13-year old son and I managed to run (ok, jog and sometimes walk as fast as we could through the crowds and around all the emergency vehicles) three times around the bonfire.

I kept looking for any sign of other people trying, but did not spot anyone.

All your good luck is belong to us.

Later I will organize some thoughts about the bonfire and New Year, but staying at Mick’s until 3 a.m. then getting up to help clean up the neutral ground left me pretty drained out yesterday, and today is back to work.