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The Brydum Tandem Project February 2, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 504, Crime, New Orleans, NOLA, satire, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Members of the Iron Rail, an anarchist collective bookstore in the Marigny, are organizing 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 recent murder victim and fellow Anarchist Kirsten Brydum’s political leanings, I think this is an excellent memorial. More importantly, it is a valuable demonstration of how citizens who feel they cannot rely on the police for protection find ways to make themselves safer on their own.

Robberies and muggings in the areas below Esplanade have always been a problem,with criminals treating the large number of service industry employees traveling home with tips in their pockets as walking ATM machines, and the Fifth Police District is proving one of the most demoralized and least effective in the city. At least, they don’t appear to give a crap about the people who live in Bywater and St. Roch.

To volunteer, please email btpnola@gmail.com or call 504-259-4670.
I wonder about some of these punk/anarchists kids who come down here with stars in their eyes and wander about our dangerous city with a misplaced Rousseauian view of people. (See my remarks about the lumpen proletariat in mt last Byrum post). This initiative shows they have some sense about them.

What’s Odd about this is a conversation I had with someone Saturday night. We were discussing where to send their rising kindergartner for first grade. After we talked through the craziness of our fractured, semi-public school system, and agreed that while it was crazy, it couldn’t be worse than what was there before, I found myself wondering aloud: why stop at the schools?

Why not just disband city government entirely and replace it with some sort of syndicalist co-ops? It’s not as if City government works in any recognizable way. Before you think I’ve fallen off my rocker, I’ve lived places where the only fire department (and EMS service) was a volunteer department.

Why not just keep going and let me hire my own cops? Oh, wait, we just did that in the Mid-City NOPD Private Detail Shakedown, uh, I mean Mid-City Security District. We can contract out the incarceration, prosecution and jailing to whoever is the low bidder, and put convicted prisoners back to work doing something useful like fixing the streets. Isn’t this the Reagan dream? Does it get any more giant-car-dealer-flag Patriotic that this?

Why can’t we just start patching our own streets and replacing our own burnt-out street lamps? Asphalt patch is easy enough, and I’m sure I can borrow a ladder. And hell, I can pick my own garbage contractor based on best price, or start my own service. The cost couldn’t possibly be worse than what the city has negotiated.

As soon as I get the Sewerage & Water Board part figured out in a way that does not involve installing a cistern and dumping chamber pots in the streets, I’ll be calling an Urgent Torchlight Meeting on the subject. But first I have to find that old Bakunin t-shirt I had in the 70s.

If this post seems to be veering into sarcastic snark, I didn’t originally intend it that way. I have lived places where services like fire protection were staffed by volunteers. I’m already paying a premium to guarantee some of the finite number of police officers spend more time in my neighborhood (instead of yours; this is a Very Bad idea, as least as it exists today).

If we’re going to dismantle the completely dysfunctional public school system, why not have a full and frank discussion about how to do the same to city government?

Until we get to the One Big Union, I want to remind people with time and bicycles they can volunteer for the Brydum Tandem program by contacting btpnola@gmail.com or calling (985) 628-1330. This really strikes me as a good Syndicalist sort of idea (compared to, say, throwing stink bombs into fast food restaurants at international economics meetings).

Joe Hill would be proud.

Later: updated phone number per a comment.

Through the drinking glass February 10, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Odds&Sods, satire, Toulouse Street.
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1 comment so far

One thing was certain, that the white cross had nothing to do with it…

Krewe du Vieux Goes to Hell February 8, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Catholic, Dante, French Quarter, Hell, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, satire, Toulouse Street.
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Ed Note 5-13-08: Sorry, kiddies but, no, I don’t have a cite for these. Perhaps you should try looking in that big building behind the student union, you know the one with all the books in it that doesn’t sell t-shirts?

As a first-time marcher its probably way out of my league to make suggestions to the assembled captains of the sub-krewes that make up the Krewe du Vieux, but I think the appropriate response to the trumped up protest by an out-of-town group against the parade’s past themes is to adopt the theme:

Krewe du Vieux Goes To Hell

Think Dante and the circles of hell. Think of all of the wonderful examples of sin that could be represented. Imagine Bill Donahue clutching his chest and turning purple. I think this is far superior to my original idea of Great Popes of New Orleans (as I hum the jingle to the old cooking show, sung I’m pretty sure by a girl I had a terrible crush on when I was 11).

No, I think if these guys are right and we’re going Down Under–sans koala’s and Fosters–I say we ought to go out in style. And Heck, looking at these maps of Hell (its been a long time since I crack the Inferno), it looks to me like those of us who Choose du Vieux get the good seats, with an excellent view of the hypocrites and pretty much everyone in local government down below.

Sure, it may seem a bit harsh to pick on these pathetic protesters, but this isn’t a devout group of local churchgoers. This is a group protesting the 2005 parade in 2007, a group that comes every year to try to save us all from the debauchery, the heirs to the Grape Force whose real mission is to abolish Mardi Gras as we know it. Look closely and you may see a few of them on Circle Six.


Again, it’s probably not my place as a first-timer new to my krewe to propose themes. But, I’m just saying…