A little known fact about me is that I used to give tours in New Orleans. I was quite good at it too. It helps being a ham. One of the places I used to take my groups was St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 right outside the Quarter. Something I used to urge my people NOT TO DO was this:
That’s the reputed tomb of Marie Laveau, the reputed Voodoo Queen. The Xs are supposed to bring you good luck/juju or some such shit. I call it desecrating someone’s tomb, but some clueless malakas provide instructions on how to do it. One of them is a hack travel writer by the name of Rita Cook and that is why she is malaka of the week.
Ms. Cook wrote an allegedly “unsponsored” travel piece at Satan’s Botoxed Handmaiden’s joint, the Huffington Post. In between plugging Lexus, she doled out some largely vapid travel tips except for this one:
To be done at St. Louis Cemetery #1 at the foot of a tomb. Draw an X on a piece of paper with a red pen or marker and place the paper on the gravestone marker. Kick your right foot backward three times. Kick the grave three times with your right foot. Knock three times. Turn to the right three times. Bow. Put your right hand on the X and make a wish. Give your offering. (Your offering can be three to five pennies.)
Ms. Cook issues a pro forma disclaimer telling people they shouldn’t do this. I’m not buying it. It’s the old don’t do as I say, do as I do thing, which may have inspired Cole Porter to “do that voodoo that you do so well” or maybe not. I just felt like quoting Cole…
The rest of the article is an ode to Lexus and a compendium of kitschy New Orleans tourist cliches; at least she didn’t spell it N’Awlins. (Only the late Frank Davis could get away with that without relentless mockery.) I don’t know about you, but I’m more interested in offbeat stuff when I travel, not in learning how I can drive a Lexus to the nearest allegedly haunted house.
My second favorite meaningless disclaimer comes at the end of the article:
NOTE: This author does not and will never take any money from any automotive brand or destination/restaurant/activity, etc. in exchange for coverage – the views are strictly the authors opinion.
If that’s true, Ms. Cook is not only a malaka, she’s a fool. I, for one, don’t buy it for a second. If she were writing a genuine unsponsored travel piece, it wouldn’t center around the glories of the red Lexus hatchback she just happened to be driving around the Quarter. Get out the car and walk, lady. You might see something other than touristy cliches. You will not, however, run into Lestat or Lasher…
Here’s the deal: I may enjoy horror movies but I don’t believe in ghosts, haunted houses, or things that go bump in the night. I’m tired of people coming to New Orleans to get drunk and puke in the gutter on Bourbon Street, and of those who think our culture revolves around Voodoo. There are people who practice Voodoo as a religion but not many and it’s not as central to our history as hacks like Ms. Cook or the makers of AHS: Coven would have you believe. (Btw, the desecration of tombs in the cemetery long predates AHS or Cook’s malakatude. That’s not on them but she perpetuates it while pretending to criticize the defacement. Guess that makes her two defaced.) Most people don’t know that the majority of African-Americans here are Catholics and not Voodoo-ites or even Baptists.
This post was suggested to me by my friends and fellow Spanksters, David and Brett whose critters have been featured in guest catblogging. Brett is a buggy driver/tour guide with a passion for historical accuracy. She called out Ms. Cook on her malakatude on Twitter. She, in turn, issued a kinda sorta apology for the piece and promised to make changes. I suspect that’s when she inserted the disclaimer without a difference. I’m not sure, I never saw the piece in its original form. I tend to avoid Satan’s Botoxed Handmaiden’s joint like Dracula avoids mirrors or garlic.
Ms. Cook is currently on a trip to Crete. I hope she doesn’t call them Cretins. They don’t like it. Also, try not to mention Zorba the Greek. He’s a fictional character who was played by a Mexican-Irish actor. I suspect Ms. Cook cannot help herself, manipulating touristy cliches in between plugging products is what she does. And that is why she is malaka of the week.
Finally, the Freak Show recap will be posted at some point on All Hallows’ Eve. I was busy rooting for a certain team in the World Series last night and we won. It was written, it’s an odd year.
Let’s circle back to the legend of Marie Laveau: