Thursday, September 29, 2005

Decor Items

As mentioned in entry below...

Love The Abaya Girlfriend

Talk about a weird job. Karen Hughes, Bush's full-figured Gal Friday (and he sure has a full-flavored posse of Lady Envoys) is traveling around the Mid-East on a wacko "listening" tupperware party. She has to smile and nod a lot, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where she is appearing, unveiled, talking points in hand, to the Islamic masses. Staying On Message - that sort of shit. Pretty radical work when you think about it, but last I read no fish or bread had been distributed.

Other wacky things she has to do while on the new job, besides prop up the Bush Administration, is listen to weird statements from Saudi women such as this one, "I love my abaya," she (a Saudi woman) explained. "It's convenient and it can be very fashionable." Sure hon. Whatever you say. And Kate Moss went on the 700 Club to snort coke with Pat Robertson!!!

So I'm feeling Ms. Hughes' pain, or cluelessness at least. I'd get in sooooo much trouble over there, laughing my ass off at the non-stop absurdity. I apologize for my lack of global correctness and/or awareness, but these Saudi women are in some serious historical denial. Guess they just can't recognize freedom when it's being waved in front of their faces. Kinda like all those pesky Iraqi insurgents, right?

Just for the record Dear Readers, I keep a souvenir from Saudi Arabia given to me by a former news colleague after her stint covering the First Gulf War. (See above image because this amateur aparatus I'm stuck with for blogging won't let me upload more than one image per entry at them moment. See below for another.)

The journalist, Linda Pattillo, saw some serious front-line action/hell. I can't imagine anything I'd rather NOT do, might break a nail, but Ms. Pattillo did it with zeal and aplomb I'm sure.

So... back to the moralizing tale I was telling... I keep the placard from Saudi, which reads No Women. Women Cannot Be Seated Or Served Here, in my bathroom to remind me every day that dogs are treated better than women in some places of the world, and that some governments cultivate a mandate from their "God" to oppress women in often brutal, inhumane ways. Forget the garden variety tools of oppression, stuff like not allowing women to drive. It's the choppin' off of their freakin' heads we should be focused on.

This token also serves as a constant reminder for me to be conscious and diligent about the rights and fate of women wherever. And more so, to be get out there every day and be a proud and happy and grateful, fun-lovin', hard-working American feminist - because I can. It's a luxury I will never take for granted until every woman can "afford" it. Hear that youngsters out there? Eh?

And one other note. Here's me, your favorite freewheelin' feminist freelancer, working a dangerous corporate cube job while under attack from another fanatical camera crew. Jeez. Hope I go down bravely laughing my ass off.

Oops... maybe later. Having a heck of a time uploading photos right now. Don't know if it's a thing or the new-to-me refurbished cheapo digi-cam I bought outta the back of some dude's car the other day.

UPDATE: It was a thing. I have outgrown it already. Gonna have to start spending real money on this thing. Hate when that happens to me in cyberspace. But it inevitably seems to get that point. Kinda like a relationship... at some point you gotta decide if you want to put "real" money into those things too.

Gotta get me one of those camera phones. Talk about a wish list. Did you see the imbedded iPod in the Cingular camera phone out now? Man, oh, man. I normally don't get all worked-up about possessions unless they're the kind with lots of beads, lace, ruffles, spangles, and are made of velvet or butter leather, but even I couldn't help a little Golum-like pang for one of those lovelies. Me wants it...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Extreme Food Critic

In a wonderful obit you will not want to miss, NYT headline declares:
Tobias Schneebaum, Chronicler and Dining Partner of Cannibals, Dies

"In 1955, Mr. Schneebaum, then a painter, won a Fulbright fellowship to study art in Peru. There, he vanished into the jungle and was presumed dead. Seven months later, he emerged, naked and covered in body paint. The experience had transformed him, he would later say, but in a way he could scarcely have imagined.

Theodore Schneebaum was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, most likely on March 25, 1922 (some sources say 1921), and reared in Brooklyn. Visiting Coney Island as a boy, he was captivated by the Wild Man of Borneo, a sideshow attraction famed for its brute exoticism."

Funny, my brother, John Hurst, had a childhood fascination with The Wild Man Of Borneo, too. Makes me wonder where the hell he is these days...

Read full obit here.

Unfashionably Correct

Awww Jeez. Can't we have an one good anti-war protest in this country that isn't led by total geeks, for once? Cindy Sheehan was caught with that hideous hairdo grinning like a retard all the way to the paddy wagon this weekend. Yuk. I'd put a picture of her on my blog, but I want to keep things real pretty-like on here. I know you can understand my concerns.

Here's my suggestion for keeping things fashionable so that people want to actually look at you, not avert their eyes. All proceeds from the Cafe Press site go to New Orleans hurricane victims.

If you caught the amazing Bob Dylan documentary on PBS last night, you could see angelic young Joan wasn't any fashionista herself. Dylan on the other hand was quite the inadvertent trend setter, but he was no anti-war protest leader. He was, and will always be, far beyond the political. And all the rest of us mere Muggles.

Lordy Lordy, Joan sure loved that boy, now didn't she? What woman wouldn't? But Mr. Scorsese, what's with the yellow-toothed old folkies yammering on 'til the cows came home? Ugghhh and icks abounded. Let's hope tonight's Part 2 brings us immediately into the rock scene. Or to the whitening tooth paste-using population of hanger-oners at least.

Oh yeah, one more item for today, least you think I'm too busy being a clothing consumerist to notice, the insurgency we've flamed in Iraq is keeping busy killing school teachers now. Our tax dollars at work.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wackos For Dummies

The current crisis of leadership on both sides of the aisle, combined with the coming winter natural gas crisis has The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicles warning of a nation (ours) ripe for a rise in fascism, especially when you toss in our chronic knee-jerk, TV-dependent, megachurched, undereducated Do Something Do Something Do Something NOW mentality. Latest Clusterfuck Nation diary installment here.

And please, eat the BPMs first.

End Of The World As We Know It

And I feel especially fine. Yeah, smooth and cool and damn sure happy to be alive. I just experienced the most wonderful sensation, one that's really stuck with me and replaced my usual scowl with a smile, and just made me feel all warm and sweet and fuzzy and kind-hearted to Republican relatives all weekend long.

"Good Lord, woman," I can hear you hollering. "Have you gone mad? Again?" No, no, no and no. I was just very surprisingly blessed by the eternal light of Jesus while at a kiddy party at a roller skating rink in freakin' Smyrna, GA as I watched rednecks and "urban menace" boy teenagers skate to rap music.

What other explanation could there be? I mean you take a laundry list of all the things I loath most in this world:
-rap music
-male teens
-kiddy birthday parties
-Smyrna, Georgia
and you put 'em all together in one place and what do you get? A thing of beauty. I am sooo not kidding you for once.

Actually, I chanced upon the junior-thugs while at Sparkles, a roller rink in Smyrna, Georgia, Suburban Hell On Earth Capitol Of The World, where I was required to take Ava for Skyler, The Neighborhood Menace's birthday party this past Saturday. The boys there, the ones who were good, were skate-dancing together to a smooth kinda rap with an R&B infusion. Something on popular radio any 15-year old would recognize in a moment. The kids were Jam Skating. And Lord Awmighty, it was just wonderful. I'm serious. They danced on their skates so pretty and smooth and rhythmically that I went into a trance watching them float-dance around the curves in perfect synch with the music.

Of course I went way on back to my skating years, about '76-'78 or thereabouts, when I used to sashay around the local rink to Baby I Love Your Way. I was a pretty decent skater. Fairly graceful and smooth and syched with the sounds they were spinning then: Shannon, Saturday Night, Fooled Around and Fell In Love, If You Leave Me Now... you get the picture. Could've been better if I'd had a chance to practice more, but there just wasn't much concrete 'round the farm in those teen years. Too many chores, too little recreational activities.

Enough nostalgia.... If I hadn't just seen for myself four black men on horseback (western style) leaving a convenience store near Ponce and Boulevard on a sultry Saturday night in late August, I'd sit and argue with you that the Apocalyspe was all a bunch of yadayadayada fundamentalist blather of hooey. Now I might just sit and nod my head, play an Eagles album and enjoy the end of world. At this point, it's all too pleasant to waste time arguing about.

You can see a bit of Jam Skating in the Sparkles video here.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Trail Of Nonsense Continues At AJC

The idiocy rages on through the night over at the AJC, with yet another priceless nugget from our favorite Senior wingnut, Mr. Wooten:

"Two ways the war in Iraq is not like the war in Vietnam:
1) There's no Ho Chi Minh trail for resupply and replacement.
2) The Washington-New York media no longer have the monopoly that enables them to perpetuate gloom-and-doom debate. The Internet, talk radio and 24-hour cable now compete."

I know there is just a treasure trove of feel-good news and delightful photos out of Iraq running around the blogosphere. If only we had a link to get to it all. Try this...

Full lunacy can be found here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No Internet Hangover for Bush

It’s so sad about President Bush; not only has he been shamed into cutting back on gym time to go about the business of appearing appropriately crestfallen during the Responsibility Admittance Phase of Hurricane Katrina, he can’t even have a lousy drink to shore-up his wounded pride.

Let’s all do some of our famous American praying that President Bush doesn’t relapse with the booze; if he did have one or two stiff ones, even group-think, Oprah types might have a hard time forgiving him if he fell off the wagon now.

Bush has taken a nasty, ugly blow to his popularity - and ego. Even way up in Air Force One or within the muted confines of the Oval Office, he somehow heard the Bush-bashing cacophony coming from the blogosphere alone. It’s so loud now you wonder if even Karl Rove will be left around The White House to hold his hand while he has a good cry.

It didn’t have to be so bad for Bush, on a public relations level at least. He could have given the appearance at least of having been semi-engaged in the events playing out along the Gulf Coast by immediately ending his vacation, had someone insisted for him.

He might have used some of that sculpted body mass he elaborately maintains to be seen pulling a senior citizen to safety. And no, that was not his job, but it sure would have looked good on him.

But it goes much deeper than a photo-op. Those who do their jobs in the hermetically-sealed environment of power and privilege run the risk of, imagine this, being out of touch with the rest of us – at a time when we have never been so in touch ourselves!

We’re tuned-in, plugged-in and communicating with one another like we never have been before. Americans are out here in the real world downloading and pod casting and programming ourselves into a veritable stupor of information. There are now withdrawal studies about those unable to back away from the Internet.

And Bush waits days for an aide to present him with a specially produced DVD of news clips to get a clue as to what’s going on down in New Orleans?

Is not even Fox News blaring through Air Force One during times of grave national concerns?

What is the one prop that’s missing from the hands of ALL the government leaders we’re seeing on TV, at any level? The one thing no modern American, rich or poor, would be caught flooded, evacuated, dead, alive, or practically asleep without? Answer is -- a cell phone!

Even if batteries could not be charged and service was down, I’d be willing to bet that a large percentage of those trapped at the Superdome or New Orleans convention center had a cell phone on them at the time; a wet, useless one no doubt, but nonetheless a personal technology delivery device.

The gross irony here is that average Americans are NOT out of touch. On the contrary. Never before in history have we been so able to communicate with one another. If you’re not working that BlackBerry, you’re a serious nobody these days, no matter what your line of work or play might be.

We Americans like to look busy, even if we’re calling the neighbor to find out if it was Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines she used for the bake sale brownies last week. And some wonder why we don't respond well to leadership that appears so glaringly otherwise?

I want to offer anyone in a position of authority appearing on TV my two-cents worth of PR-related advice: loose the analog-era props and go get yourself a BlackBerry.

What’s with the layers of handlers, the behind-the-shoulder posse and the tired old wooden podiums?

Our government leaders, at every level, have shown themselves to be so behind the techno-communications curve that it seems that they can’t even manufacture a decent photo-op (or disaster-op as Ms. Dowd calls them today) to send a shout-out to the world that they are even semi clued-in.

We were informed Mr. Bush. Too bad you were not.

Your kingdom for a laptop.

And for those who need to bypass that TimesSelect branding effort (sounds like coffee doesn't it?), just drop me a note for the right free tools.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

AJC Shows Signs of Alzheimers

Senility is setting in at the AJC. So deep into preserving something that just plain doesn't exist anymore (traditional media), columnist there are cranking-out myopic, last-gasp ravings of the desperately clueless. (I've GOT to stop using that word.) For example, this howlingly absurdist statement from Jim Wooten on 9-18-05:

As he did yet again in Thursday's fireside chat with a country mired in rancor and angst, George W. Bush demonstrated the remarkably adept ability to rise to the moment. Just as his critics are pronouncing him poll-dead and his second term an abject failure, he does two things that mark him as a leader destined to join the ranks of America's greatest presidents.

With thought leadership based on such blazingly pitiful mush, the world now belongs to bloggers.

We can go forward with courageous fire in our lean and mean media-minded hearts, knowing there is nothing standing in our way but a tired old home full of addled-brain geezers. Fire-up those laptops, surf the great expanse of a networked world and never, ever look back.

"Blog like everybody's reading; blog like you've never been dissed. Blog like traditional media doesn't exist; blog like it's hell on earth."
Louise Bryant Park Sun Twain

Monday, September 19, 2005

Life During Wartime

For almost two decades, I have worked in production. This means that for almost two decades, I've drawn a lot of blank stares and "Ohs" when I tell people what I do. Those of you with "normal" jobs like lawyer, doctor, banker, pimp, talk show host, teacher, fry cook, landscaper, money launderer, socialite, socialist, thief, postman have it soooo easy. People can define you and lock you in to the swamp of an unimaginative mind within a fleeting moment or two.

Me, I've spent my entire professional life with most of my family and friends wondering what the hell it is I really do. And I'm sure this extends to the personal as well, but that's another blog altogether.

Let me help clarify what production work is all about. What I often do is make people, who may or may not deserve such treatment, look far more important than they really are; pretty much exactly what producers did last week with W when they tried, and oh how they tried, to "Karl Rove" him (produce him) into trickin' us slow-witted 'Mericans that he was a Genuine Leader. (Note the former ABCer mentioned in excerpt below)

Of course they failed as miserably as I have been known to do, and The Beleaguered Shrub came off looking like he just stepped out of, clueless as ever, a show at Dollywood.

The fiery Ms. Dowd sums up the ludicrous production value of Mr. Bush's speech to the nation this way:

In a ruined city - still largely without power, stinking with piles of garbage and still 40 percent submerged; where people are foraging in the miasma and muck for food, corpses and the sentimental detritus of their lives; and where unbearably sad stories continue to spill out about hordes of evacuees who lost their homes and patients who died in hospitals without either electricity or rescuers - isn't it rather tasteless, not to mention a waste of energy, to haul in White House generators just to give the president a burnished skin tone and a prettified background?

The slick White House TV production team was trying to salvage W.'s "High Noon" snap with some snazzy Hollywood-style lighting - the same Reaganesque stagecraft they had provided when W. made a prime-time television address from Ellis Island on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

On that occasion, Scott Sforza, a former ABC producer, and Bob DeServi, a former NBC cameraman and a lighting expert, rented three barges of giant Musco lights, the kind used for "Monday Night Football" and Rolling Stones concerts, floated them across New York Harbor and illuminated the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop for Mr. Bush.

Before the presidential address, Mr. DeServi was surveying his handiwork in Jackson Square, crowing to reporters about his cathedral: "Oh, it's heated up. It's going to print loud."

As Elisabeth Bumiller, the White House reporter for The Times, noted in a pool report, the image wizards had put up a large swath of military camouflage netting, held in place by bags of rocks and strung on poles, to hide the president from the deserted and desolate streets of the French Quarter ghost town.

The president is still looking for a gauzy beam of unreality in New Orleans - and in Iraq, where a violent rampage has spiked the three-day death tally to over 200.

Dowd's full column here.

On to North Korea for me and Ms. Dowd! What a team. Think we'll find work in them there camps?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It Ain't Easy Bein' Southern

Now for something entirely way too Southern... don't miss Doug Monroe's wonderful, sad, kinda funny Creative Loafing cover story out this week about the life and times of Atlanta writer, Paul Hemphill, who has a new book out about Hank Williams. And yep, critics are raving.

Hemphill used to be one of the most popular columnists in the country. His first book way back when, The Nashville Sound, made him a literary super star. The Nashville Sound remains the definitive story of country music's emergence from the hollow and right on through to the rest of the globe.

Hemphill remains a fixture at Manuel's here in Atlanta every Tuesday (Assisted Literary Living) night. It's really sad when you see how gray the demographic at Manuel's has become. Anyone under 50 should have a sworn responsibility to eat and drink there at least once a week. If that place goes, we've got barely nothin' left of a genuine drinking establishment where real southerners go to talk about things other than their idiotic iPods.

Imagine if Manuel's was to close. Then we'd all get jammed into the Yacht Club for another 20 years! And Lord knows, every single one of us Rising Generation of Old Timer Atlantans has already gotten drunk with, fought with, woke-up with, laughed with, longed for, cried with, rode around town with, yakked with, married, divorced, remarried, slapped the shit out of and pissed-off about every other person in that place.

Go get Mr. Hemphill's book. This is our kinda stuff. There's a signing coming up, too:

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peachtree Road. 404-261-7747.

Soon enough, we too will be old and dusty and forgotten and prayin' for someone to talk to... hoping just one of those hip lookin' youngsters might download our book, visit our website, listen to our PodCast, visit our blog, pass us by in a place and say, "Hey, didn't you used to..."

Soon enough, soon enough.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What NOT To Wear To The Apocalypse

You will soooo not want to miss a moment of the delightful fury raging through the wingnut blogosphere over the design of the memorial to 9/11 Flight 93, the "Let's Roll" one. And honestly folks, at the risk of sounding like one of 'em, only a totally clueless, PC art-school idiot could've come up with this:

And of course New Orleans is the Crescent City - surely a place where drunks pass-out facing Mecca.

Now if only those pesky jhadists would embrace symbolism the way we upright Americans do, then we could spot 'em coming a mile a way -- and deal with this menace in a more cost-effective, business-like manner.

Lordy Lordy. My My. Cluelessness will never die.

Keep Drinking Beautiful

Does anyone have any information about the fate of the Sazerac Bar? The Sazerac is the stunning, art deco bar of the Fairmont Hotel on Baronne Street in New Orleans.

This charming spot is the perfect example of how European at-heart New Orleans really is. I drank there once, in a delicious romantic haze that lasted way too long. So naturally enough, this lovely establishment is critical to the survival of the nostalgia-ridden, romantic glamour-swamp that is my head.

I loath travel writing (except for yours Timothy), so I'll let you Google more about the Sazerac Bar should you feel so inclined.

And please folks, let's do whatever we can to keep uber-yuppies from going back into New Orleans during the recovery phase with clueless, well-intentioned plans to make this city "new and improved." Other than the levee system, which could use a serious makeover, I do hope all locals will run stupid futurists and their idiotic ideas for "making things better" way outta their town.

Let's all work hard to keep New Orleans sordid!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Anderson Lets Good Ole Boy Hang Himself

As if I wasn't totally smitten already... now Anderson goes and gets on TOP of this outrageous story, one that first appeared in the blogosphere. And one that is, sadly, a likely indicator of how the future will play out in America when The Super-Sized Cluster-Fuck happens.

What happened is that white, do-gooder, Socialist EMT workers stranded during an EMT conference in New Orleans were, post Katrina, attempting to lead a group of huddled (black) masses from NOLA onto a bridge towards Gretna, Louisiana, a suburb of NOLA. The group was turned back by some overly-righteous, overly-fed (white) law enforcement types who proceeded to fire their weaponry over the heads of the sick, the elderly, women and children -- and then took away their freakin' food! At gunpoint.

Hungry were they, uh huh, these troopers. Sheer desperation, no doubt, as their gluttonous intake of several zillion gallons of calories per day was in disaster-related peril. After all, Gretna-area McDonalds had been closed for days. The hormone-laden, factory-farmed meat withdrawal syndrome was starting to hit 'em where it hurt - in their enormously hideous guts and fat-laden hearts.

I wonder if it's not so much that Gretna's whitest and finest didn't want NOLA blacks contaminating their community as they sure didn't want the Socialists! The combination of the two must have called forth their inner bulldog fer sure. Woof woof. Oh, are those cops gonna have some national-exposure 'splainin' to do now. Can't WAIT to watch that unfold.

I'm having some trouble pasting the JavaScript URL in here for you to see Anderson's lovely face/report (and those mini-epaulets on his shirt too. He is soooo channeling Peter Jennings' savoir faireness about right now), so you're going to have to work with me if you want to see AC himself. Here's what to do:

Click here for the CNN home page, then scroll down to the section titled U.S. and click the Video tab there. Then look in the video choices for the one slugged: Bridge Blocked Controversy.

You'll be glad you made the effort, and if there is someone out there who can help me link directly to that video clip on my blog, please give me a shout.

You go ON with your bad self, AC, you go.

Boy Go

Here's yet more proof that God never rests -- from punishing me. The perfect man does exist... on the other team, of course. Looks like this...

Says shit like this in the mainstream media - and gets aways with it, too:

"And when they hear politicians slap - you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours."

Sigh... AC can come sit on my porch any 'ole time, should he be needin' a fine bit of, uh, re-educatin' downtime.

Full story here.

Mainstream Media Caught Catching On

Is Sky News a CNN product?

Introducing FEMMA

This just in from The Poor Man Institute: For Freeedom, Democracy and a Pony

"(White House Press Secretary Scott) McClellan revealed that the White House would be teaming with NSA scientists to create a massive computer database of lesser officials around the country who could be blamed in the event of an emergency.

From governors and mayors on down to local police chiefs and EMTs, the Super-Computing Accountability Preventition Engine and Government Official Absolving Tool, or SCAPEGOAT, would create a cross-referenced list of patsies nanoseconds after detecting bad press.

This would be the first step of a massive government reorganization, which would see FEMA dissolved, and it, along with the rest of the government, folded into a new department called FEMMA, the Federal Emergency Media Management Agency, to be headed by Karl Rove.

FEMMA would employ a full-time staff of thousands of firemen, soldiers, fighter pilots, astronauts, and other heroic figures for the President to pose with in case of emergency, as well as a state-of-the-art Hollywood soundstage where the President could comfort stunt-victims in an endless array of convincing and topical disaster milieux. This would enable the President to perform all his critical photo-op duties without having to risk the unflattering moments that often plague real scenes of human suffering."

Full story here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Took The Weekend Off

As I could tell that Ava, who was so unnerved by Katrina that she couldn't even bring herself to utter the word "hurricane" and had to make up some pitiful euphemism about "that thing at the beach, but not our beach" just to attempt to tell me about how scared she was, needed to take a Dr. Phil-recommended empowerment-break from all the chatter (and some TV) coming from the obsessively news-minded adults in her life.

We put together a Lemonade and Krispy Kreme stand out on the side of the road, and Ava and her pal Mia raised $56-bucks in a coupla hours which I will match and send to The Red Cross. I promise not to divert funding elsewhere, like perhaps purchasing tix to see Mary Gauthier on the 24th at the Red Light Cafe.

When I first suggested to Ava that she and her chums sell lemonade to help those who had been really really scared by the storm, she immediately responded, "Cool. Then I can be on TV." Despite the initial narcissistic response, she and Mia were very pro-active and got right into the spirit of it all. And Ava forgot all about TV crews in the process too.

I wondered where this emphasis on PR came from, but then shut-up mentally when I realized that I was likely the primary source. After all, when we ran into a neighbor at the Kroger, I told the neighbor to be sure to visit our lemonade stand-for-a-cause later that same day. Ava then asked, "Why did you tell her about our lemonade stand, Mom?" And I answered, "Marketing Dear, marketing."

When the novelty of making money wore-off, my five-year old sales force abandoned their post for a rowdy game of hide-and-seek, but I was terribly proud of their initiative and genuine enthusiasm for excellent customer service.

That empowerment stuff seems to work well - for kids.

So maybe this will help priviledged five-year olds sleep through the night, the ones who, whew, experience this horror only through, Thank You God, the filter of geographical distance, overly-protective parents and sheer innocence. And if you think making nice-nice and not pointing fingers and "empowering" people with feel-good bullshit is helping anything, then... well, you probably voted for that Accident Waiting To Happen, W, anyway.

Here's what one angry blogger on the scene has to say about trauma, and how we Americans and our ever-lovin' mainstream media just love to pump ourselves up with ludicrous emotional fluff and denial:

"I am sure that there is a special ring of hell for the media: The survivor stories end-on-end for the titillation of the public. I heard Soledad O'Brien say something about the still unrecognized need to address the psychological trauma. I sent a response to the CNN tip-line that there were hordes of every manner of mental health professional working 24/7. CNN's response? Dr. Phil and the stories of the survivors on Larry King.

They went to the guy who lost his clinical license for serious professional infractions to tell the stories? I could see the "entertainer" down there gathering tales of the already exploited so that he and Larry could both pimp their ratings. The real unsung mental health heroes, the counselors, psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists dealing with un-medicated psychosis and severe traumatic responses were represented by Dr. "Keep-It-Real"? We don't need tabloid help from the media."

Yow. Think that stings? Well then, read the rest of this firsthand account. Shocking, heavily editorialized (for good reason it seems) paragraph after paragraph that rips away the filters we've kept on the massive cultural gap that really and truly must exist in this, as another angry blogger calls it, "The United States of Halliburton."

"Over and over, I kept hearing a framing of self that puzzled me until I realized that this is how it must have been for blacks after Reconstruction. Over and over, people said, "everyone has been so wonderful, thank you, thank you." When I said, "there is no need to thank us, you are our fellow citizens and we want to help you -- American to American," there would be a long pause as if the idea of being the same never struck them before."

OWWWW. This hurts... but I can't take my eyes off the page.

Actually, the mainstream media, CNN and CBS in particular, has been using some air-time as a forum for trying to connect all the very seriously displaced families. But don't blink, you might miss it.

Least someone get the seriously ludicrous idea that all bloggers are angry, whining, Socialist, humorless, white-guilt ridden, weak, un-visionary losers, and that this is not freakin' America we're living in fer chrissake, be sure to watch the video on the CNN/People Special Coverage section called: Club Owner Vows To Get Music Pumping.

WARNING: Be sure to stop video presentation if viewing is accompanied by positive, multimedia-related feelings of too much technical priviledge and/or success!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Trying To Break Our Hearts

What is it about New Orleans that goes so far down into our hearts and psyche and changes us forever? The great songwriter, Randy Newman, offers his thoughts about this on NPR today.

Is there anything more plaintive than Aaron Neville singing Randy Newman's song, "Lousisiana 1927?" Neville's rendition is on the tail-end of the Randy Newman NPR interview today. He also sang it on Larry King last night.

Larry King has been very thoughtful and mindful of the musical legacy of New Orleans. He is closing each show in the aftermath of Katrina with a musical guest singing something New Orleans-related. Of course you have to be able to stomach the likes of Celine Dion on some nights, but it's worth the effort.

News, commentary and music all rolled into one show. Right up my alley. Now if they'd just put that human lightbulb, Nancy Grace, on there instead of the ancient Mr. King. I got a feeling she don't know nothin' 'bout music though. Been too busy with all that fancy lawyerin' and such. At least King has an oldtimers keen sense of music's relevance and importance in the cultural gumbo that was New Orleans.

Boy, the media lines are getting seriously blurry now. Thought for a moment I was reading The Onion, but this is actually from The NYT today:

"Some holdouts seem intent on keeping alive the distinct and wild spirit of this city. In the French Quarter, Addie Hall and Zackery Bowen found a unusual way to make sure that police officers regularly patrolled their house. Ms. Hall, 28, a bartender, flashed her breasts at the police vehicles that passed by, ensuring a regular flow of traffic."

Full story (sorry, no cleavage photo though) here.

And folks, I'm kinda burying this interview with an honest-to-God survivor of this horror, courtesy of an amazing Sista In Blogging, Jeneane Sessum, from right here in Hot'lanta. I give you fair warning - it will break your heart.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Boys Just Wanna Have Fun

The NOLA pics below are from pal Timothy State: a world-class, boy-oriented travel writer. Take a quick click to his site and blog, Barnes Place.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New York Times Believes in Ghosts

Can somebody please put Maureen Dowd in touch with Anne Rice? She needs to hire a vampire or two.

"I thought you evacuated the Cambodian baby."

From today's NYT:

"New Orleans's literary lore and tourist lure was its fascination with the dead and undead, its lavish annual Halloween party, its famous above-ground cemeteries, its love of vampires and voodoo and zombies. But now that the city is decimated, reeking with unnecessary death and destruction, the restless spirits of New Orleans will haunt the White House."

Read the full story here.

And more on the Bush Administration's legacy of chaos, confusion, suffering, pain and arrogance from the usually placid Mr. Friedman here.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Censor This!

From the LA Times...

The Show Didn't Benefit by Censors
By Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
September 4, 2005

"As we enter the celebrity telethon phase of the Katrina tragedy, NBC's "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" stands as a blueprint for its own kind of institutional failure. By censoring Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West's remarks critical of President Bush during its West Coast feed of the program Friday night, the network violated the most moving and essential moment in an otherwise sterile, self-serving corporate broadcast.

'It would be most unfortunate,' the network said in a statement defending its action, 'if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion.'

Excuse me, but whose tragedy is this: NBC's or America's?"

Read the full story here. Then go screw the network censors! Buy and wear your own personal network on Moe Wampum.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

How Do We Love Thee, NOLA? We'll Show Ya

The snaps below are from pals Tom and Cheryl Roche. If you send me your Best of NOLA, I'll put them on the blog. Some things are worth our tears. But then let's dry our eyes, be strong and do whatever we can to help in the Hurrican Katrina relief effort.

And as I like to say...whatever you do, be sure to look good doing it. So here are a coupla cool sites with hip gear. And all proceeds from sales go to hurricane relief efforts. One site even supports New Orleans area bloggers, many who have done amazing things to keep the flow of information going throughout their ordeal. Now how cool is that!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Real Leader Sighting

Let the big dogs out! Just when things were at their darkest, General Honore appears outta the blue. And yes, we desperately need a hero right now. This guy is out there barking and biting, and showing a heart and head the size of all America -- in all its wild and amazing glory. Here is a genuine voice of hope for those desitutes in NOLA.

General Honore has ordered troops to point their guns down, look the people in the eye and Get Stuff Done - NOW. It's all about talking loud and with authority, and not being afraid to go and scoop-up the babies falling out of mothers' arms, something he was reported doing on CNN just now, 11:30am, Sept 3, 2005. And he didn't have to bring along his daddy to tell him what to do, either.

Forget lawyers, guns and money - just send this guy! If ever there was a case to be made for requiring military service of our presidents, then here he is.

Speaking of CNN, someone needs to snap-up their military analyst, retired General James Marks. Least I think that's his name. Talk about a born anchorman! What a class-act he appears to be. Wish I could post a picture of him, but can't find one at the moment. Just watch CNN. He's the stunning military man not in uniform, darn it.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Soggy Vampires

No, New Orleans wasn't my city, but I sure loved to party there. It's where the pros go to hone their socializing skills... and now thugs, thieves, murderers, rapists, tormenters, drug addicts and pushers, any of the most rotten scum of the earth too. Who'd have thought we could top Haiti in the abject misery category? Only in America, folks.

Full disclose -- I just came off a week with ABC News here in the Atlanta bureau, headquarters for all of the ABC News operations and coverage in the Southeast. Areas of responsibility include Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and Texas for some reason. In other words, all states impacted most by Katrina. It's the Hurricane Bureau, a place that exists to support cunning, aggressive, pretty-boy reporters as they hone their field skills and duke it out for on-air time. Personally, I'm digging that David Muir dude about right now.

There's really no place too miserable that money and initiative won't get you in and out of - with amenities even. Like RVs and a/c, water and some food and hot showers - and all the big-daddy electronics you could ever dream of. Only one thing's missing - Peter Jennings.

What the federal government couldn't get rolling on 'cause its ass is too enormously fat to jump when a pesky little bit of anarchy crops up, about five people in Atlanta managed to set in motion with a wave of some very high, Disney-related credit limits. Don't you just hate the "liberal" media? Or do you just secretly loath the rich and the corporate?

Of course I'm sure every terrorist intent on destroying our country is watching the pathetic response time by our clueless feds, or Friends Of W. Heck, I bet even Afghanistan could've raised and dispatched an entire naval fleet with which to invade our country by the time our Great Leadership decided to respond.

In case you missed it, ABC News was at the Louisiana convention center with cameras (NOT blogs) as the first National Guard troops went in to that special cess pool. But did our soldiers set to work aiding and assisting the wretched, sick, huddled, native masses languishing in agony there?

No, instead they immediately set to work like they were an elite, private security force (mercenaries spring to mind), escorting out a Spanish "diplomat" and his family who had been trapped there for days in some gross "diplomatic" snafu, trapped alongside the great seriously unwashed, i.e. poor people. Likely it was just some seriously covert operative on vacation with his mistress. Ooops!

And just to clear up the loose rhetoric flying around our heads, these people in New Orleans are not "refugees." There're freakin' fellow Americans fer chrissake.

Lemme tell you, the SuperDome sure didn't get one piece of lint in it when the Republicans were there in '88. The snaps below are me pretending to work that special event in those clueless times. Ahh to be young and foolish in the eighties, set loose in NOLA with a corporate credit card. Sigh... OK. OK. I'll stop now least I go off on one of my frequent nostalgia-fests right here and now.

Those Spaniards sure had some friends in high places, and it's a shame Bob Woodward, the heir-apparent being groomed to replace Peter (like that's possible), buried this political gem of video at the end of his opening package last night, September 1. I'm trying to find more on this sneaky little incident, but since no one gives a rat's patooty about network news anymore I'm afraid it may get lost amongst the severe shuffle that is this coverage operation. And that's a shame. All the best overtly-sincere-yet-kinda-fakey coverage money can buy, and all America wants is blogs and blather.

Blogs, in case you care, are not considered a real source of news in the real news world. They are referred to as "blather," along with Fox, CNN and any other news entity equipped mostly with alarmist, lip-flappers in air-conditioned offices somewhere in NYC. But even ABC News folk out in the field are allowed a very un-interactive blog of their own on the site, but no one gets to respond back. That's not blogging, folks. That's blathering.

What does it mean to not have money in America? Turn on Fox and find out. Look, there are poor people everywhere! Who'd have thought? Yes, these folk still exist in America. Particularly down south. We just all kinda forgot about 'em. Been soooo busy living the dream.

And if you have the grave misfortune of being poor in America, better use your last few bucks to move inland quick. Or at least until this "phase" of globally-warmed, apocalypse-related, oil crisis kickoff, Atlantic hurricane cycle of a perfect cluster fuck passes over. Or buy a bike. Or hell, just shoot heroin on a beach with smoke blowin' up your ass! We're all gonna live forever anyway, right? Why bother to do a goddamn thing? W's in charge and looking out for each and every one of us. Sleep well.

Personally, I'm hording all my money for the pending Goth Relief Effort telethon.