Category Archives: New Orleans

Too Much Is On The Ballot/Hurricane Zeta Update

My latest column for the Bayou Brief is online. It’s my reflections on the upcoming election with a local emphasis. Here’s the tagline:

13th Ward ramblings on the 2020 election, Orleans Parish style. Sidney Torres is NOT on the ballot; he just acts like he is.

In other news, Hurricane Zeta strengthened in the wee small hours of the morning. After half-a-dozen games of hurricane dodge ball it appears headed our way. I’m not sure how this will impact my blogging, but I expect to lose power as this is a wind event. Anything I’m able to schedule this morning will appear but it’s unclear if there will be a Saturday Odds & Sods this week. Only the Shadow knows and we’re not speaking.

We just moved our porch furniture inside. Claire Trevor digs it. I thought she’d be unnerved by the extra clutter, but she just sniffed it and moved on. Cats are much tougher than humans.

I’ll try and check in later today. I *was* planning to write about why the 2020 presidential election is NOT 2016 but I need to remove any possible projectiles from our back yard. The good news is that Zeta is moving fast. It’s always better when an uninvited and unwelcome guest does not linger.

Believe it or not, we’re having a cold front tomorrow after Zeta zips through. 2020, man.

The last word goes to John Fogerty:

I wouldn’t advise walking in this or any other hurricane, y’all.

Guest Post: Ryne Hancock On Elections Past & Present

Guest blogger Ryne Hancock tells us how he spent Election Night in 2016. It was in a club in New Orleans with a bunch of comedians. The evening was anything but funny.

-Adrastos

Don’t Let “They” & Complacency Win by Ryne Hancock

Long before Chris Trew’s creepy behavior sank him and his comedy club on St. Claude, a group of local comedians, including myself, gathered to watch the results of the 2016 election.

Adding to the intrigue was the fact that we were celebrating Kaitlin Marone’s appearance on the ballot for United States Senate, something that was commemorated with a sign from Jessica Hong that read “We Didn’t Do It!!!!”

From the onset, I figured that the sign was about Marone’s campaign (as I recall she got over 4,000 votes) and not the presidential election. Like most of everyone and their dog, I figured Clinton would eke out a narrow victory in the electoral college with maybe 280 or so votes and we wouldn’t have to be annoyed by that orange turd.

Then shit happened.

What was supposed to be a celebration became a tragic day for democracy. Instead of electing the most qualified person ever to the highest office in the land, this country decided to elect a dribbling idiot.

You can sift through all the reasons why the orange idiot won, most notably the bullshit about both candidates being the same or the fact that the most qualified candidate ever didn’t represent true white womanhood, but the facts remain bare for all to see.

We as a country got too comfortable with the fact that the 2016 election was in the bag.

This time around, we can’t get tired.

We can’t get complacent.

It’s just like what I told a friend of mine that owns a business on Magazine Street.

“They want you to be tired. They want you to give up. Don’t fucking get tired. It’s weary now but morning will come. It eventually comes.”

That’s my message to you guys that haven’t voted yet.

Don’t let “they” win.

Because that’s what “they” want.

Stay in line, mail your ballots, run the fucking score up to fight for the soul of this country.

Because in the end, the morning comes.

And my lord, what a morning it will be.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wang Dang Doodle

Brownstones by Jacob Lawrence.

We’re not playing hurricane dodgeball this week in New Orleans. It had to happen. In fact, we’re experiencing what some observers insist on calling a “cold front” but I call a cool front. As always, it’s likely to lead to an orgy of overdressing by locals desperate to wear non-summer clothes. My coats will remain in the closet. I might, however, be daring and wear a long-sleeved shirt. That’s as rad as I’m gonna get for now. It will be back in the eighties next week.

Willie Dixon wrote Wang Dang Doodle some time in 1959 or 1960. The chronology is almost as fuzzy as with this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour tune. Here’s how the songwriter described what the title of  this rollicking song means:

 In his autobiography, Dixon explained that the phrase “wang dang doodle” “meant a good time, especially if the guy came in from the South. A wang dang meant having a ball and a lot of dancing, they called it a rocking style so that’s what it meant to wang dang doodle”

We have four versions of Wang Dang Doodle for your listening pleasure: the original recording by Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor’s hit version, the Pointer Sisters, and the good old Grateful Dead who performed the song 96+ times. All night long, all night long.

Now that we’ve pitched a wang dang doodle, let’s jump to the break.

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Tweet Of The Day: Mama Told Me To Not Come

My friend James Karst worked at the Picayune for many years. One of his specialties is digging up obscure items from the newspaper’s morgue. This one is a doozy:

In case you can’t read Linda Coney’s letter in the tweet, here it is in all its dubious glory:

So much for Judge Coney’s claim to be open-minded about Roe v. Wade. She learned her views at her mother’s knee.

I’m not going to belabor the obvious pun in the post title other than quoting the song: “That ain’t the way to have fun, son.”

Instead, I’ll give the last word to Three Dog Night. Wilson Pickett, and the man who wrote the song, Randy Newman.

Three Dog Night put Not To Come in parenthesis. I’m sticking with Randy Newman’s take. He wrote the damn song, dammit.

FYI, Newman never released the song as a single hence the omission in the featured image. Mama told me to add that.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Winds Of Fear

Hodding Carter was a distinguished journalist. He was a Southern liberal when it was dangerous to be one.

I did not know that he’d ever written a novel but sometimes you strike gold when you go down an internet rabbit hole.

Trivia Time: The author’s son Hodding Carter III was the State Department spokesman during the Carter administration.

New Orleans Trivia Time: The author was married to Betty Werlein of New Orleans. People of a certain age will remember the much loved Canal Street music store, Werlein’s. It’s now the home of The Palace Cafe.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Delta Lady

Hummingbirds by Walter Anderson.

It’s been an unduly stressful week in New Orleans. For the sixth time this hurricane season, we were in the cone of uncertainty. My friend Chef Chris DeBarr calls it “hurricane dodgeball.”

Hurricane Delta obeyed what could be called Adrastos’ First Rule Of Hurricane Forecasting: If there’s a bull’s eye on New Orleans 4 or 5 days before a storm hits, it will not come here. It happened again. It’s pure luck but it beats the hell outta the alternative. Delta is following an eerily similar path to Hurricane Laura, alas. Best wishes to everyone in Southwestern Louisiana.

All is not gloom and doom in the New Orleans area. In suburban Pearl River, a man saw a Catholic priest having sex with two women. In the church. On the altar. The scene was being recorded. Instead of beating off like a proper pervert, the peeper called the cops. One could call this an altercation. But were they doing it dog collar style?

This story is funny because it involves consenting adults, which makes it an anomaly for the Catholic church. It turns out the women were rough trade. There’s been a raging dispute as to the plural spelling of dominatrix. Some say dominatrices but I’m sticking with dominatrixes because X is a funnier letter than C.

I’m feeling terse this week, so this will be a relatively short Saturday Odds & Sods. We will dispense with our second act altogether. I’m worn out from all the presidential* acting up so one less act sounds good to me.

This week’s theme song was written by Leon Russell in 1969. It was first recorded by Joe Cocker but I’m still putting Leon’s version first. I don’t want to trip over his beard or some such shit. Of course, both Leon and Joe are no longer with us.

We have three versions of Delta Lady for your listening pleasure: Leon Russell, Joe Cocker live with Leon Russell, and a mostly instrumental version by the great Rick Wakeman. It’s unclear if his cape attended the session.

One reason for the avian Walter Anderson featured image is that Leon Russell also wrote a song called Hummingbird:

Let’s fly or hover to the break. There may be pollen on the other side. Achoo.

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Guest Post: Hard Sympathy

Good morning. Tommy T is on the disabled list with a serious health problem. It is not, however, caused by reading the Freepers so we don’t have to. Here’s hoping our beloved friend and colleague gets well soon. That’s as mushy as I get, y’all.

Today’s guest blogger is my young friend Ryne Hancock. He’s the guy who inspired my Bad Karma post last week, which led to his first First Draft shout-out. I also owe him because his bike was stolen in front of my house a few years ago. Sorry about that.

Ryne is a native Memphian who moved to New Orleans right before the 10th Katrinaversary. Don’t worry, he’s not a carpetblogger. He’s done a little bit of everything since he arrived in New Orleans but what he does best is tell stories.

Cheers,

Adrastos

Hard Sympathy by Ryne Hancock

For three years, I had to deal with the ups and downs of having a crackhead for a landlord on Washington Avenue in Central City.

During the first two years I lived on Washington Avenue, things were pretty calm. Mainly because my landlord was in Mississippi for six months and I didn’t have to deal with extras from “Tales From the Crypt” knocking on the door all times of the night looking for him.

However, around the end of Mardi Gras 2019, my landlord told me that he was headed to some rehab in Jefferson Parish. I found the timing odd because it was the first of the month, which was when he got his lump sum (as well as my rent money) from Social Security.

That was when I learned that he owed money to damn near everyone in the neighborhood and was looking for a way to abandon his responsibilities.

The same night the Blues clinched their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 49 years, I received a call from my landlord, who was hiding at someone’s house on Seventh Street near Dryades.

Because of a phone conversation I had with someone, I was being evicted. Not because of late rent or my habits as a tenant, but a phone conversation. To my landlord, rent money was a sign of loyalty and the context of my phone conversation to him was an act of betrayal.

A couple of weeks later, while I was in bed at my friend’s house in the Bywater, my former landlord called me from a South Carolina number.

“Hey man,” he told me, “all my stuff got stolen in Alabama.”

After I hung up with him, I thought to myself, this guy wanted me gone two weeks prior and owed everyone money. Now he wants me to help him.

You hate to see people suffering, but it’s hard to conjure any type of sympathy for a person that did a lot of people wrong.

That same line of thinking applies for Donald Trump.

Despite the fact that Trump will go down as the worst president in American history, which means James Buchanan & Herbert Hoover are off the hook, it’s a shame that he has this deadly disease. Nobody should have to suffer through that.

But when you for starters, downplayed the seriousness of this disease and said that it was just like the flu, you indirectly signed the death certificate of over 200,000 people. 200,000 people that needlessly died. Sure, there was a travel ban, but that was as useless as those thin cable bike locks.

There was no type of pandemic education or anything that could help save lives because you decided to decimate the pandemic response team.

Ya know, the people that you needed in your corner?

Apart from the countless things that you’ve bungled during this pandemic, you had a man die after one of your rallies from the covid. But because he was black you didn’t even attempt to send your condolences or even acknowledge him at the Republican National Convention.

To you, Herman Cain was collateral damage, an ugly sofa that was in your way in the living room. If you had something that is known as compassion, you would have stepped back and stopped doing large scale rallies. You could have held virtual fundraisers, socially distanced outdoor rallies, things that slow the spread of this disease.

In other words, an example for our country like my bartender crush at my office on Magazine Street was an example for customers.

But you didn’t do that.

You took a cavalier approach to this pandemic, which for the most part most of your cult and party went along with.

Instead of turning the corner as you publicly said time and time again, the actions of your cult and yours for that matter has made things worse.

As I write this, the number of people dead is more than the population of Jackson, Mississippi (pop:173,514), Evansville, Indiana (117,429), & Clarksville, Tennessee (132,929).

The amount of dead could fill two Tiger Stadiums, six Wrigley Fields, and about eight or nine Fenway Parks.

It’s a shame that you and your cronies have this disease. I don’t wish ill on you or anyone for that matter.

But feigning sympathy for you?

Nah.

It is what it is.

That’s my attitude towards you because you decided to be a knucklehead. That you decided to not listen to science and people who know a whole lot more than you.

I would hope that this would humble you.

But knowing you, you won’t change. It’s just not in you.

Saturday Odds & Sods: For What It’s Worth

Flying Eyeball by Rick Griffin.

Some call it fake fall, I call it a tease. Whatever you call it, the weather has been mild and temperate all week. I’m not going to say more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.

The city of New Orleans is entering Phase 3.1. They’re loosening more pandemic-related restrictions since we did not have a major post Labor Day spike. I thought we would, but I was wrong. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Punditting is risky business. I’m still not going inside bars or restaurants but I’m hoping more of them will be able to survive. Let my people go-cup. You’ll have to read 2020 Fatigue at Bayou Brief to get the reference.

Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song in 1966. It’s the protest song’s protest song. It was originally written about clashes between hippies and cops on the Sunset Strip, but it’s become a universal protest song. It’s still relevant in 2020.

We have four versions of For What It’s Worth for your listening pleasure: the Buffalo Springfield original; CSN live with Tom Petty; Keb Mo, and Billy Porter with Stephen Stills from this year’s DNC.

Now that battle lines have been drawn, let’s jump to the break.

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Bayou Brief: 2020 Fatigue

My latest 13th Ward Rambler column for Bayou Brief  is online. In it, I concede that I’m as tired of 2020 as everyone else. I tried not to blame the year but it got the best of me. What can I tell ya? I’m only human.

Here’s the tagline:

“13th Ward Ramblings on bad years in American history, Metry woman’s nomination to SCOTUS, Jeff Landry, the Gret Stet Senate race, and the NOLA go-cup controversy.”

Let my people go-cup. Confused? This image may or may not clarify matters:

Via Howard H on Pinterest.

Thus spake the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe of Mishigas in 2014. It wasn’t a great year, but it beat the hell outta 2020.

To understand the go-cup shtick, you’ll have to read the column. Go figure.

Saturday Odds & Sods: You Won’t See Me

Masks by James Ensor.

It’s been cool all week in New Orleans. It’s unclear if Fall has fallen or it’s a cruel hoax. My money is on the latter. The heat doesn’t usually break here until sometime in October. The good news is that we’re not under threat of a tropical system. It feels odd not to be checking the spaghetti tracks every few hours but that’s another autumnal augury. End of obligatory weather-related opening passage.

This week’s theme song comes from one of my favorite Beatles albums, Rubber Soul. It was one of the first albums I ever owned. When my father saw the cover he said, “Those are the ugliest women I ever saw.”

To this day I’m uncertain whether or not Lou was joking. The only one who would have made an ugly woman was the drummer. Sorry, Ringo.

You Won’t See Me is a Macca song, but it’s credited to Lennon & McCartney as were all the pair’s songs. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We have three versions of You Won’t See Me for your listening pleasure: The Beatles original, and covers by Bryan Ferry and Canadian songbird, Anne Murray.

I never expected to post an Anne Murray song at First Draft, but I might as well go big and post her monster hit from 1970:

Let’s spread our tiny wings and fly away to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Wasted On The Way

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso.

New Orleans dodged a wet and windy bullet earlier this week. Hurricane Sally dumped two feet of rain in some areas on the Florida-Alabama border. I don’t guilty for being relieved. If I were Poseidon, I’d send all tropical systems out to sea. I do, however, feel bad for folks in the affected areas. They got slammed by that evil bitch Sally. Blow ill wind, blow.

I had put this feature to bed and tucked it in when I learned of Justice Ginsburg’s death. I wish everyone would dial their predictions back. It’s unclear what impact RBG’s death will have on the election. I also wish that those who admire Justice Ginsburg would show more respect for her passing, especially since it’s Rosh Hashanah. There was, however, a moment of unintentional levity when the crowd outside the Supreme Court started singing Amazing Grace. It’s a Christian hymn, y’all. I’ll have more on Ginsburg’s passing on Monday.

In some ways, this week’s theme song matches the featured image. Three Musicians = Crosby, Stills & Nash. Graham Nash wrote Wasted On The Way for CSN’s  1982 Daylight Again album. Eagle Timothy B. Schmitt added harmony vocals making that Four Musicians. So much for the Picasso analogy. Oh well, it was imperfect to begin with.

We have two versions of Wasted On The Way for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version without Timothy B. Schmitt. Go, Team Picasso.

Stills’ intro to the live version is poignant. I rarely do poignant but sometimes the mood strikes me.

Before we jump to the break, a Neil Young song from the Buffalo Springfield days:

Holy Wall Of Sound-style production, Batman.

Time to take the plunge. See you on the other side.

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Bayou Brief: Stuck On Stupid

My Bayou Brief column is usually published every other Wednesday. That changed this week because of Hurricane Sally. I was concerned that many of our readers would lose power and internet connection. Instead, Sally decided to visit Alabama and Florida. My condolences to everyone in the impacted areas.

Here’s the tag line for this week’s column, Stuck On Stupid: “13th Ward Ramblings on the Louisiana Democratic Party, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and wayward wingnut pundit Dan Fagan.”

The part about Gret Stet Dems has received the most attention but my favorite bit is about former Picvocate pundit Dan Fagan. That’s Fagan with an A, not an Fagin with an I like this guy:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Six Months In A Leaky Boat

Blue Painting by Wassily Kandinsky.

It’s September and it’s still hotter than hell in New Orleans. Pandemic fatigue is widespread here just like everywhere else. Unfortunately, America didn’t do the work needed to suppress COVID-19 so we’re still muddling through.

The NFL season opens this week and I find myself utterly indifferent. I’m mildly amused by wingnut fans who say that they’ll boycott the season because the NFL has gone BLM on their asses. These are the same people who claim they want sports and politics on separate plains, make that separate planets. The Saints will be playing on Sunday at an empty Superdome. It’s hard to get excited about any of this. So it goes.

This week’s theme song was written by Tim Finn in 1982 for Split Enz’s Time and Tide album. It refers to the amount of time that it took British pioneers to sail to New Zealand and is also a metaphor for the songwriter’s nervous breakdown. That’s a lot of substance for a song that still rocks like crazy.

We have three versions of Six Months In A Leaky Boat for your listening pleasure: The Split Enz original; a 2000 live version by Tim Finn, Bic Runga, and Dave Dobbyn and a 2006 performance by a reunited Enz featuring some stellar keyboard work by the great Eddie Rayner.

Kiwi singer-songwriter David Dobbyn has his own nautical classic:

Now that we’re all seasick, it’s time to don a life jacket and jump to the break.

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Bayou Brief: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Writing My Katrinaversary Column

I inadvertently took a month long hiatus from writing my bi-weekly column at Bayou Brief, The spell was broken yesterday.

My titles are typically short and punchy. This one is long, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Writing My Katrinaversary Column.

The column takes a look at hurricanes past and present and revisits some highlights of my post-Katrina and Federal Flood life:

I attended many “rebuilding meetings.” I saw then Mayor C Ray Nagin primp in front of a mirror and several City Council members show up drunk. I’ll omit the names to protect the guilty. Those in the know will know who I’m talking about. They’re long out of office so there’s no point to outing them many years later. Besides, who could blame them? Those were stressful times.

Those were crazy days indeed.

The column title was inspired by one of my all-time favorite musicals, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. The last word goes to Zero Mostel from the 1966 film version:

Hurricane Laura & Other Disasters

New Orleanians should have heaved a collective sigh of relief yesterday as Hurricane Laura headed due west of us. Instead, everyone who was here for or evacuated from Katrina was triggered. It’s a mere two days from the Katrinaversary. Plus, the storm is following in the footsteps of another devastating 2005 system, Hurricane Rita. People are unnerved, jittery, and depressed. 2020 continues to be the year from hell.

We’re expecting some rain bands associated with Laura today.  It will be nothing compared to what happened some 240 miles west from here. Lake Charles is the largest Louisiana town in the initial path of the storm; reports are grim but as of this writing there are no reported fatalities and the storm surge wasn’t as high as feared. It’s still a fucking mess that will leave thousands homeless.

In other news, the rolling ethical violation that is the Trumpvention continues. The MSM is shrugging-off the impropriety of holding purely political events at the White House. Fuck those guys. It’s the people’s house, not Donald and Melania’s house. The coverage of her speech was nauseating.  She’s complicit in her husband’s crimes and responsible for the lesser included offense of removing rose bushes planted by past First Ladies in the people’s rose garden. They’re slowly but surely eroding the norms of our civil society; make that uncivil.

The citizenship swearing in ceremony on Tuesday looked like a hostage video. It’s of dubious legality and participants were not informed that they were to be props in a Trumpist farce. The lying never stops.

I could go on and on about the freak show that is the RNC. They’re fond of red baiting so let’s respond in kind. This attempt to rewrite the history of the Trump regime is reminiscent of the Stalinist rewriting of Russian history. They’ve told so many lies this week that it will be impossible for them to keep them straight. Stay tuned.

The Impeached Insult Comedian has challenged Joe Biden to take a drug test as a condition of debating. Team Biden should throw its own gauntlet on the table: produce Trump’s tax returns or the debates are off.

Finally, I’m keeping a wary eye on events in Southwest Louisiana and East Texas. I feel a tinge of survivor’s guilt, but I’m relieved it didn’t hit my city. Nobody deserves to be hit by a devastating tropical system such as Laura. The fact that Acadiana has turned ruby red in recent years is irrelevant. People are suffering. It doesn’t matter how they vote. I’m sending waves of empathy their way. It could have been us.

The last word goes to Lucinda Williams who was born in Lake Charles:

 

Bits & Bobs, Not Odds & Sods

Tropical Storm Marco replicated the 2016 Rubio campaign and fell apart. It’s unclear if it will become Hurricane Laura’s sycophant thereby perfecting the Rubio-Trump analogy.

Since I wrote the bulk of this post on Tuesday and may never have another chance to repeat my Goodbye Rubio Tuesday pun, ladies and gentleman, the Rolling Stones:

 

We did not lose power but I’m still feeling triggered since Laura has blown up into a major storm. It’s not coming here but I haven’t felt this jittery about a tropical system since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Andrew wandered the Gulf like a mendicant seeking alms, so everyone spent days on edge waiting for it to light. My then landlords/upstairs neighbors first evacuated east then west. They landed in Baton Rouge, which was where Andrew ended up after knocking the Miami area on its ass. That concludes this walk down hurricane alley memory lane. At least Carl Hiaasen got a good book out of the Andrew mishigas:

The combination of two tropical systems, memories of 2005, the pandemic, Paul Drake’s death, and the neo-Nuremberg rally held by the GOP have me feeling overwhelmed. I had originally planned to write a Katrinaversary column for the Bayou Brief this week. It will have to wait until next week. I don’t feel like dredging up those memories until Laura has left the stage. I’m *almost* as confused as Dana Andrews in the featured image right now.

My regular features Album Cover Art Wednesday, Pulp Fiction Thursday, Friday Catblogging, and even Saturday Odds & Sods are on hurricane hiatus this week.  I already cooked up something tasty for the Friday Cocktail Hour before feeling so rattled by events.

 

I have some random and discursive thoughts about what’s going on in my world and your world. I suspect they’ll be more scattered than usual, but I think I can muster some jokes.

There are two things I hate as much as endless storm chatter. First, people complaining when a storm is NOT as bad as forecast. Out of an abundance of caution, there were many Monday closures for Marco. Nobody should whine and moan about that, especially if it’s a large institution. They have to pull the trigger 16 to 24 hours in advance. Y’all should be happy that it was a dull Monday, not angry. No wonder I feel triggered.

I also hate the patronizing tone that our leaders adopt during a storm. In New Orleans, we’re hurricane professionals. We know the drill. We don’t need the Mayor or Governor talking down to us. Of course, the word patronizing sums up Mayor Cantrell’s style. Voter’s remorse thy name is Adrastos.

My social media feeds are consumed with storm chatter and the Republican convention. I used to watch both major conventions gavel-to-gavel but who needs to see Gavin Newsome’s ex-wife scream? Additionally, all of Trump’s speeches are variations on the theme of me, me, me. I’m glad the Kaiser of Chaos is speaking each day. Repeat after me: every time he opens his mouth, he loses votes.

The Republican Party has declared intellectual bankruptcy. They have no platform other than: In President* Pennywise We Trust. I’m surprised they didn’t advocate adding his head to Mount Rushmore and replacing General/President Grant on the fifty-dollar bill with the Impeached Insult Comedian. The Lost Causers don’t like Uly, but they adore the Racist-In-Chief.

I’m uncertain what to make of the War of the Conways. While it could be a scam, it’s hard for parents to talk teenagers into anything so it might be genuine. Beats the hell outta me. One thing is certain: they’d never cast Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as George and Kellyanne.

Danny DeVito, however, might work as George.

I realized how little I’d missed Adam Nagourney’s punditry when the Gray Lady published his ludicrous ruminations on how Trump could still win in 2020. Adam’s solution is that the Impeached Insult Comedian should imitate Poppy Bush in 1988. The analogy falls apart for a variety of reasons:

  1.  Michael Dukakis was a cold fish. Joe Biden is Mr. Empathy.
  2.  Bush was the Veep, not the president. People also liked him and his boss.
  3.  The Reagan record did not include 175K and counting deaths caused by their grotesque incompetence.

It’s also distressing that anyone at the Failing New York Times should be in the business of advising Team Trump. I know they’re big on both-siderism, but this is ridiculous. Only The Tubes can wash Nagourney’s nitwittery out of my hair:

 

Now that I’ve bashed the Gray Lady, it’s time to take a whack at the Amazon Post. I don’t understand why everyone’s hair is on fire about the NYT oped page when bootlicking Trumper Hugh Hewitt writes for the WaPo. He makes Brett Stephens look like Tom Wicker. Hewitt is an embarrassment to Hughs past and present: from Grant to Downs. There should be a hugh and cry for his removal…

A brief explanation of the post title. Like Odds & Sods, Bits & Bobs is a Britsim for Bits & Pieces. Sustained thought is beyond me right now.

The last word goes to Boston with today’s earworm:

 

Letter From The Hurricane Zone

Dear Readers:

I’m usually not rattled by news of an approaching storm, especially if they’re Cat-1 or lower. This time is different. We’re having a doubleheader: first Marco, then Laura. The cool kids on the tweeter tube are calling it a doublecane.

It’s unclear how and even if the two systems will interact. If it were out in the ocean, I’d be interested in seeing it play out but since it’s not, I’m not.

This is not an original thought but 2020 is too damn much, y’all. Too many deaths, too much Trump, too much of anything and everything. Now too much damn weather. 2020 can go fuck itself.

What is it with Republican conventions and tropical systems? In 2008, we were in Bossier City after evacuating for Hurricane Gustav. In 2012, Hurricane Isaac led to an epic power fail that caused us to miss seeing Clint Eastwood talk to a chair. Watching it on the YouTube spoiled the element of surprise. I missed making a joke about the Neil Diamond song wherein the singer does the same damn thing:

 

I should apologize for posting a Neil Diamond song during such stressful times. I told you I was rattled.

In other news, Melania Trump has paved over the Rose Garden just in time to give the speech I plan to miss this week. What can you expect from people who have gold terlets?

I’m writing this on Sunday morning because I expect to lose power for some or all of the week. I doubt if I’ll post my regular features (other than the Friday Cocktail Hour) unless the one-two punch of Marco and Laura turns out to be a dud like Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.

MONDAY UPDATE: Marco has been downgraded to Tropical Storm status, but Laura is strengthening. Hopefully, it will NOT be as big in 2020 as the movie Laura was in 1944. The storm should follow in star Gene Tierney’s footsteps and retire to Texas. As Lyle Lovett would surely say at this point, “Texas wants you anyway.”

Sorry, Texas. Hurricane season brings out the worst in all of us.

I’ll check in and update y’all if I can. I hope I’m wrong about the power loss thing. It won’t be the first or last time.

The last word goes to The Who:

 

I bet you expected a hurricane song. I like to surprise my readers.

Love,

Adrastos

Saturday Odds & Sods: Band On The Run

The Bird, The Cage & The Forest by Max Ernst.

I’ve gone on about NOLA rain in this space this summer. It was the wettest July in recorded history, and it happened without any tropical systems getting too close for comfort. That much rain can be inconvenient, but it keeps the temperatures down. That concludes this brief weather report. If I had a green screen, I’d go on longer, but we don’t have the budget for it.

Like everywhere else in the country, life has been grim in New Orleans of late. Small businesses, especially restaurants have been failing daily. It’s estimated that up to 50% of restaurants here will close for good. They need help and since the government ordered them to close, it should come from them. I am not optimistic that Moscow Mitch and his merry band of miscreants will reconsider and ride to the rescue. In the immortal words of Mel Brooks:

This week’s theme song is an ironic choice for this moment in time: ain’t no bands on the run or even on the road.

Paul McCartney wrote Band On The Run in 1973. It was the title track of Wings’ smash hit album, Band On The Run. Was that a run-on sentence? Beats the hell outta me. I’ll stick a band-aid on it just in case.

We have two versions of this Macca classic for your listening pleasure: the Wings original and a raucous cover by Foo Fighters.

Let’s run to the other side of the break. I think I hear band music in the distance.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Higher Ground

Blue Night by Edward Hopper.

The tropics have been busy this week. There are two named storms in the Gulf. Neither is headed our way, but it’s been a wet week. Oh, to be on the dry side of a storm.

It was qualifying week for the 2020 election in the Gret Stet of Louisiana.  Senator Double Bill Cassidy gained a name opponent when Democratic Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins filed to challenge him. He has his work cut out for him: he’s not well known in South Louisiana. The spineless incumbent remains a heavy favorite.

The most interesting local race is for Orleans Parish District Attorney. Incumbent Leon Cannizzaro is retiring, which makes it a wide-open race. City Council President Jason Williams looked like a very strong candidate until he was indicted on federal tax charges. The funniest moment of qualifying week was when Williams told us not to be distracted by his indictment. Dude, you’re running for DA. You need a better argument than that.

This week’s theme song was written by Stevie Wonder for his smash hit 1973 album Innervisions.  It’s about reincarnation or some such shit but I like it for the funky groove.

We have two versions of Higher Ground for your listening pleasure: Stevie’s original and a 1989 cover by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Glad I was able to funkify your lives today. I took lessons from the Meters:

That George Porter Jr. bass line makes me want to jump…to the break. See you on the other side.

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