There Will Always Be Mississippi

As a beleaguered liberal resident of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, I can always look eastward at our neighbors in Mississippi and say, their lege is worse than ours: The Mississippi House on Friday passed a religious freedom bill that would allow businesses and public employees to deny services to people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, sending the legislation to Gov. Phil Bryant (R). The bill, passed by the state Senate earlier this week, also allows businesses to deny services based on the belief that “sexual relations are properly reserved to … Continue reading There Will Always Be Mississippi

Saturday Odds & Sods: Splendid Isolation

Father Mississippi by Walter Anderson.
Father Mississippi by Walter Inglis Anderson.

It’s been a relatively quiet week in New Orleans. There’s a new gentrification controversy involving changes to an Uptown green space known as the Fly. I’m for the status quo but I’ve decided to keep my fly zipped on this issue. I hereby apologize to everyone for that joke.

Meanwhile in Baton Rouge, the budgetary sky is falling. 8 years of Jindalnomics have left the state in such dire straits that not even Mark Knopfler could fix things. Once again, I need to apologize for that joke, which means I have to take the walk of life in atonement:

The new Governor gave a sort of chicken little speech about the state’s financial woes, which doesn’t seem to have moved many votes in the lege thus far. John Bel Edwards did, however, imply that if there were more budget cuts to higher education, the LSU Tigers might not play football next fall. Now that’s a serious threat here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana: No Leonard Fucking Fournette? Only time will tell if that helps, but the lege is loath to raise taxes on our 1%, which consists mostly of oil tycoons and people named Benson who own sports franchises. I have no idea what’s going to happen but it won’t be pretty. Neither was PBJ now that I think of it…

PBJ Spanked

This week’s theme song was, in part, inspired by the artist who painted the featured image. Walter Inglis Anderson was born in New Orleans but did much of his painting in nearby Ocean Springs, MS. Anderson was plagued with mental health issues and in 1965 rode out a hurricane with his own form of Splendid Isolation:

In 1965, months before his death, he rode through Hurricane Betsy on his beloved Horn Island, tethering his little skiff to his waist, climbing at night to the highest dune, wanting to feel the storm first hand. The water rose to his chest.

“Never has there been a more respectable hurricane,” he wrote, “provided with all the portents, predictions, omens, etc. The awful sunrise — no one could fail to take a warning from it — the hovering black spirit bird, the man of war, just one, comme il faut.”

Warren Zevon also lived life on the edge, but even the most extreme story told about him isn’t as wild as the tale of Walter Anderson and Hurricane Betsy. We grow our eccentrics larger than life here in New Orleans, y’all.

Splendid Isolation is one of my favorite WZ tunes; so much so that I’m posting three radically different versions. We begin with the piano driven studio version from the Tranverse City album:

Next up is a version with David Sanborn and the house band from the, uh, splendid but short-lived teevee show Night Music:

Finally, a live acoustic romp featuring Zevon’s fellow rock eccentric Neil Young:

Instead of putting tin foil on the windows like the character in the song, we’ll pull up our socks and muddle through after the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Splendid Isolation”

Blue Monday

I’ll be away from the computer a lot at the beginning of the week, so posting from me will be light; unless it isn’t. Every time I say that, something big arises and I’m on here bloviating away. We live in eventful times, after all. I’m working at Jackson Square today so if I were religious, I’d light a candle at St. Louis Cathedral in honor of Julian Bond who died yesterday after a long and eventful life at the age of 75. I just saw this tweet he sent last month: That reminds me that the Confederate monument removal process … Continue reading Blue Monday

Poll Worship & The Louisiana Silly Season

I hate articles about polls. There’s way too much poll worship in the world and when the polls are wrong, as they were in the U.K. general election, people freak out. It’s part and parcel of worshiping a false deity. Poll worship is wreaking havoc on national politics right now with the candidate trying to be the first insult comedian elected President leading the GOP field. The polls also show a backbench Independent Senator from Vermont doing surprisingly well in the politically quirky Granite State. All you need to know about that is that New Englanders often win that primary *and* that they love … Continue reading Poll Worship & The Louisiana Silly Season

Odds & Sods: I Don’t Like Mondays

Pedro and Marichal_MSJ
Pedro Martinez & Juan Marichal. Photo by Milo Stewart, Jr/National Baseball Hall Of Fame

You’re probably wondering why I posted the Pedro-Juan picture from yesterday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I decided to throw y’all a curveball and take this feature back to its roots and post one on a non-Saturday. In short, I’m messing with my readers. That’s why I thought I’d post a picture of the best pitcher in San Francisco Giants history with his fellow Dominican Hall of Famer. Of course, both Pedro and Juan had eleventy million pitches that they threw from a variety of angles. The first time I saw Pedro pitch for the dread Dodgers, I called him Juanito. Enough besibol nostagia…

The *other* reason I’m writing an omnibus post of a Monday is that I have a couple of subjects I want to write about in one fell swoop. I really ought to get on with it.

I chose I Don’t Like Mondays as the post title/theme song because Bob Geldof wrote it about a 1979 shooting spree that killed 2 and wounded 9:

Fear and Loathing in Lafayette: Governor PBJ has called this a senseless shooting and urged us all to pray. As you saw earlier, some of the Freepers consider this leadership. It is, of course, the abdication of leadership. It makes me wanna strip PBJ of his bigass belt buckle and cowboy boots:


The Lafayette Police persist in calling this a senseless crime when, as my friend Dakinikat pointed out at Sky Dancing, it is a particularly brutal outbreak of misogyny:

So, I’m not letting this mass shooting in Lafayette go for awhile.  Several things stand out to me.  First, the killer was a rabid misogynist who went on Talk Radio shows screaming about the Biblical roles of women. It shouldn’t be lost on any one that he chose an Amy Schumer movie which was going to have a larger than normal number of women in attendance and that a solid majority of his victims–including the dead ones—were women.

Since Houser had an anti-semitic streak as wide as David Duke, plus the fact that Ms. Schumer is half-Jewish and related to Senate Democratic Whip Chuck Schumer, that’s apt to be another part of this toxic brew of madness and hatred. Hence the Hunter Thompson inspired sub-header.

It’s easier for a small city police force to slot Houser into the deranged loner category and move on. I hope they don’t and do their best to get to the bottom of this appalling crime. Another reason I’m hoping for some answers  is that I have several mutual friends with Jillian Johnson who was one of the two women murdered by Houser. Here’s a clip of her band the Figs performing a spirited version of Psycho Killer:

Ironic doesn’t even begin to cover it. R.I.P.

More Monday musings after the break.

Continue reading “Odds & Sods: I Don’t Like Mondays”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Tombstone Shadow

Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp.

It’s been a tough week in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. The July heat has metastasized into even more gun violence than usual here in New Orleans, and more spectacularly in Lafayette. The notion of a movie theatre shooting is unnerving for someone like me who has spent vast chunks of my life in the dark watching flickering images on the big screen.  We’ve learned that the shooter is not just another demented loner but a Confederate flag flying wingnut. Nice.

Another sad fact is that it is easier to get a gun in Louisiana than it is to vote. Any attempt to limit our egregiously stupid open carry law is doomed to fail no matter who is elected Governor in the fall. Anyone surprised? I thought not.

Speaking of Governors, PBJ was in the state for the first time in a month and skedaddled to Lafayette to take part in a “looking concerned” photo-op and press conference. He had nothing of substance to offer. Bob Mann said it best when he wrote that all Jindal had to offer were “hugs and shrugs.” In other PBJ news, his staff were able to convince gullible reporters at Politico and the Advocate that an INTERNAL POLL showing PBJ at 8% in Iowa is a surge. 8 fucking percent? Give me a break.

How was that for a cheery opening note for this week’s Saturday post? Don’t worry, the usual contingent of jokes and puns will be forthcoming. On to this week’s theme song, John Fogerty’s Tombstone Shadow. There *is* a connection between it and the iconic image of Henry Fonda in John Ford’s My Darling Clementine but we’ll get to that after the break. But first let’s rock with the original CCR studio version followed by a 2005 live version from John and his crack band. I opted out of the Creedence Clearwater Revisited rendition because it has all the vices of the original (the same mediocre rhythm section) and none of its virtues.

We’ll get oddsier and sodsier after the break if such a thing is possible.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Tombstone Shadow”

Christie Throws His Ego In The Ring

Timing is everything in both life and politics. In 2012 and 2013, Chris Christie was on top of the world. GOP fat cats were begging him to save the party from Willard Mittbot Romney and sure defeat in 2012. Thinking Obama would win, he passed. In 2013, he was the GOP frontrunner for 2016 and won a landslide re-election victory. Times have changed: Christie is the second least popular Governor in the country; second only to his fellow delusional Presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal of #AskBobby fame. Like PBJ, Governor Asshole seems absolutely convinced that he’ll be taking the oath of … Continue reading Christie Throws His Ego In The Ring

Advertisements For Myself: #AskBobby Edition

We leave issues of the New Yorker lying about the house, poised to be read when the mood strikes us. Oscar and Della quite like sitting on them. My theory is that they absorb knowledge through their…never mind, no need to go there…

What’s the point of that first paragraph? Since that was not an existential question, here we go: I picked up the June 1st issue the other evening, and turned to Thomas Mallon’s review of a book called Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties. The sub-title goes OTT into the stratosphere since they were more like frenemies whose relationship was sporadic at best. They certainly got along better with one another than either did with Gore Vidal but that’s a story for another day or never.

That was a helluva long setup (I seem to be turning into Rachel Maddow) so here’s the payoff. The review got me thinking about one of Norman Mailer’s most egomaniacal book titles, Advertisements For Myself. Mailer figured that if you can’t plug yourself who can? I agree, which brings me to the Jindal camp’s attempt to bring some life to their boring candidate. Some knucklehead came up with the idea of a Twitter Q & A session under the hashtaggy rubric #AskBobby. It was like feeding time at the zoo and, as far as I know, no questions have been answered as of this writing.

More unanswered questions after the break.

Continue reading “Advertisements For Myself: #AskBobby Edition”

Fuck Yeah, Jefferson Parish

The floodgates are finally opening in Louisiana: Jefferson Parish will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses to anyone who applies for them on Monday, Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer said.  Gegenheimer’s office made the decision about 10 a.m. after speaking with his agency’s legal counsel, attorney John Litchfield. Litchfield spent the weekend reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide and said Jefferson Parish should begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples immediately. By about 10:30 a.m., Gegenheimer said, Jefferson Parish issued what appeared to be Louisiana’s first same-sex marriage license to a pair of … Continue reading Fuck Yeah, Jefferson Parish

Fuck Yeah, America

As expected the Supremes have legalized same-sex marriage in the entire country in a 5-4 vote. The majority opinion was written by Anthony Kennedy thereby cementing his place in history as the Gay Rights Justice. To those pundits who insisted that Kennedy was the “swing vote” in this case: You were wrong and I was right. I cannot wait to hear the reaction here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. PBJ just shit his pants. Continue reading Fuck Yeah, America

Yawn: The Jindal Announcement

PBJ’s campaign launch was as dull as the candidate himself. He gave a boilerplate right wing speech and his attempts at humor were typically cringeworthy: “I’m tanned, rested, and ready to go.” Yes, he said that. I had to explain to the young ‘uns on Twitter than PBJ stole that from Tricky Dick. That kept me briefly awake during Jindal’s sopoforic speech. One would think that word salad would have a crunchy sound but it doesn’t. In fact, PBJ’s speech was word salad without any dressing. Yawn. Here’s how I described the crowd reaction on the Tweeter Tube: The much … Continue reading Yawn: The Jindal Announcement

The GOP’s Alternate Reality: Jindal Campaign Edition

I’m feeling unoriginal today. I’m not exactly sure why but it *is* Monday so perhaps that’s it. The evidence is overwhelming that the Republican base doesn’t view the world in the same way that rational people do. Their reluctance to admit that Dylann Roof was racially motivated and not an “anti-Christian lunatic” is merely the latest example of this. Jeb Bush claims to be a centrist who will speak the truth to the base when it’s wrong. It took him almost 16 hours to admit that Roof was a racist who thought the massacre would cause a race war. Mustn’t offend the … Continue reading The GOP’s Alternate Reality: Jindal Campaign Edition

Tweet Of The Day: Gret Stet Politics Edition

I missed this one until it showed up in Gambit’s Y@Speak Tweeter Tube feature. Oh well, better late than never. It comes from Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson: The only good thing about the parlous state of the Gret Stet party is that it allows me to use the old Will Rogers quote: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Since we’re on  the subject of the late, unlamented legislative session, here’s a link to Clancy DuBos’ regular post-session feature da winnas and da loozas. Hint: a certain fast talking, delusional Governor … Continue reading Tweet Of The Day: Gret Stet Politics Edition

Malakas Of The Week: The Gret Stet Grover Grovellers

Being embarrassed by the Louisiana legislature is not an unusual state of affairs. They’ve passed many crazy laws over the years but their latest act of self-mortification really takes the biscuit. It involves a letter sent by 11 Republican legislators to Grover Norquist begging for his absolution as if he were the Pope. I wasn’t aware that Grover had the power to grant indulgences to sinners in the church of Norquist but these bozos act as if he does. And that is why the Gret Stet Grover Grovellers are malakas of the week. When I first heard about this, I thought it … Continue reading Malakas Of The Week: The Gret Stet Grover Grovellers


The appeal of the entire homeschooling phenomenon has always eluded me. I think that kids need to be socialized as much as they need to be educated. It’s become a right wing evangelical thing over the years; one that erstwhile Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is eager to tap into in his upcoming run for the GOP nomination. The key player in this strategy is PBJ’s right-hand man, Timmy Teepell who was homeschooled himself. My old friend Lamar White Jr. has written a swell post about Bobby, Timmy, and the homeschool movement at Salon. Check it out. Btw, neither Lamar nor I … Continue reading Homeschooled

The Jindal Candidacy: To Protest Or Not To Protest?

I guess I should be pleased that more people have started to detest my alleged Governor, Bobby Jindal. PBJ is genuinely detestable but there’s been  a lot of anti-Jindal bandwagon jumping of late. I wish some of these folks had been paying attention when his name was on the ballot but that’s how it often goes on the American Left. Remember the Frank theorum: Conservatives vote, liberals protest. Jindalism is a spent force here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. He’s lost control of the debate as well as of the lege. That’s a tall order in a state where the Governor … Continue reading The Jindal Candidacy: To Protest Or Not To Protest?

Stephanie Grace On Bobby Jindal’s Fall From Grace

I’ve been following Bobby Jindal since the beginning and like to pass myself off as an expert on his currently imploding career. Gov PBJ continues to believe that this phase is the end of the beginning when it’s clearly the beginning of the end. The one thing that PBJ shares with the household God of his party, Ronald Reagan, is the capacity to believe in his own rhetoric. Unfortunately, for Jindal he lacks Reagan’s legendary communications skills and, as I have pointed out repeatedly over the years, the only time he faced a tough opponent, he lost. In California, Reagan … Continue reading Stephanie Grace On Bobby Jindal’s Fall From Grace

The Why Not Me Campaign

For those of who us who like strange and quirky campaigns, 2016 is shaping up to be a corker. Everybody is running for President. George Bloody Pataki has come out of retirement to run for the GOP nomination. Nobody was demanding a Pataki candidacy, but he looked at the field and said: “Why not me? I took out Mario Cuomo and served 3 terms as Governor in Albany.” He’s not the first former New York Governor to run for President, but he’s the only one to do so nearly 10 years after leaving office. He looked at the field and said: … Continue reading The Why Not Me Campaign