Category Archives: The Adrastos Wayback Machine

Saturday Odds & Sods: Icy Blue Heart

The Mediterranean Coast by Henri-Edmond Cross.

It’s hot as hell in New Orleans. Anyone surprised? I’m certainly not.

The big local story remains the mess at the Sewerage & Water Board.  The temporary head of the agency tried to give two employees raises but they were all forced out instead. Score one for Mayor Cantrell. She finally put some points on the board amidst an early rebellion by the City Council.

The SWB billing melodrama continues. One of the people caught up in that clusterfuck is my old friend Karen Gadbois who wrote about it in the online publication she co-founded, The Lens. Check it out. You may need to check your blood pressure after reading it.

The SWB saga poses the eternal question: where have you gone Ed Norton?

That concludes this impromptu edition of Album Cover Art Saturday. Time to go down the sewer with Norton:

This week’s theme song was written by John Hiatt for his classic 1988 album Slow Turning. Icy Blue Heart is one of the best “tears in your beer” weepers of all-time. We have John’s original followed by a cover by the sublime Emmylou Harris with Bonnie Raitt on backing vocals. The Bonster is pretty awesome too.

The opening lines of that song get me every time:

She came on to him like a slow moving cold front.

His beer was warmer than the look in her eyes.

Now that we’ve wept bitter tears, it’s time to dry off and jump to the break.

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Throwback Thursday: Give Me Back My Name

I just realized that I blew a same name joke in my Malaka Robert Morrow post. Woe is me, bop. There’s another person of that name: actor Robert (Rob) Morrow. I loved him as the snarky Doc exiled to Alaska in Northern Exposure. Plus, he’s played real life lefty lawyers in Quiz Show (Richard Goodwin) and the new O.J. trial teevee show (Barry Scheck.) It made me feel like I was Schecking my duty as a Shecky to not have Rob Morrow demand of Malaka Morrow: Give Me Back My Name.

That brings me to today’s blast from the past, which works be it Throwback or Pulp Fiction Thursday. It’s time to take a trip in the Adrastos Wayback Machine to March 6, 2006 and a post entitled Mike Hammer Wimps Out. I didn’t miss out on *that* same name joke. I must be getting old or some such shit:

Mon, 06 Mar 2006 06:00. Mike Hammer Wimps Out:

I am of course referring to the NOLA investment banker Mike Hammer who ended his mayoral campaign with a whimper by not even qualifying; instead he endorsed Gorilla Ron Forman. His well-known fictional counterpart Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer is outraged. Regular readers of this blog know that the real albeit fictional Mike Hammer is a recurring visitor to the Adrastos Virtual Cafe and he’s my guest blogger today. Take it away, enraged fictional person:

An Open Letter From Mike Hammer to Mike Hammer: Give Me Back My Name-

Hey Mikey what the hell were ya thinking? I thought you were a stand up guy but now you’ve folded your tent and wanna slink off in the night like a weenie. I never figured you for a wuss who’d be scared off by a guy named Clarence. Imagine that: Clarence Ray Fucking Nagin. Chocolate city, schmocolate city. I was counting on you to slap some sense into C Ray pally. I’m fucking disappointed Mikey, you share my name so I share your shame. Damn, I’m rhymin’ like that preachin’ pol from Chicago now and it’s down to you Mikey boy. Look what you’ve driven me to. There’s not enough whiskey in the world to drown my sorrows tonight.  Not even my Sinatra records can make me feel better. And if the chairman of the board can’t pick a man up slap him around and make him whole again nothin’ can. I’m also blue because Darren McGavin who played me on the tube in the Fifties died last week and I was too busy shaking down drunks for beads on Bourbon Street to go to the funeral.  It’s just me and Stacy Keach left now so I gotta be careful. I dunno why an actor who played me has got a girl’s name but he’s a stand up guy in spite of it.

We Mike Hammers gotta stick together and you let me down, pally. It hurts man.I got an idea how you can make this right Mikey boy. Give my back my name. That’s right. It was mine long before you were a bun in the oven or even a glint in your lecherous pa’s eye. Give me back my name. Got a nice ring to it don’t it? My pal Adrastos tells me that there’s a rock song of that name  by some combo called Talking Heads. Now except for Elvis I don’t go in for that rock-n-roll crapola; give me Sinatra, Eckstine, Torme, and broads like Ella, Rosie, and Sarah any day.  But those Talking Heads they got a point Mikey boy. Give me back my name. I know their singer is a doofus in a big suit but even a dork can make sense some of the time. Tell ya what Mikey boy give me back my name and I’ll leave you be. I won’t even kick your ass for supporting that poser Gorilla Ron. A guy named Mike Hammer should be for the working stiffs and that Gorilla Ron jerk is just a stiff. Here’s my final offer: give me back my name and I’ll go easy on you pally.

Mike Hammer

Back to you Adrastos:

Thanks Mike. Those were lenient terms. Btw, the doofus in the big suit is named David Byrne and he stopped making sense years ago. And Mike I think Adrian Monk coined the perfect term to describe Banker Mike Hammer: he’s a muss; part man and part wuss. Yeah I know, Monk is too tidy for your taste Mike, but you gotta admit he’s one helluva shamus...

Okay, we’re back in 2016 again, which means that Nagin is out of office and in the slammer. The post was written pre-YouTube so I wasn’t able to give Talking Heads the last word:




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 think this strategy will work. The whole thing reminds me of a 2007 post I wrote at my old stand about PBJ and Teepell and why they like to be addressed as if they were 5 year olds, The Teevee Boys.

The Eddie Haskell Factor Revisited

This post started off as another trip in the Adrastos Wayback Machine to February 8, 2007. That’s when I published one of my favorite Bobby Jindal posts; comparing him to a teevee character both of whom are psalm singing sons of bitches like Diaper Dave. We’ll get there eventually, but Gov PBJ remains the Eddie Haskell of politics: a smarmy creep who kisses up and kicks down.

PBJ is back in the news with his latest pander to religious bigots and the far right of his party. A Louisiana house committee killed the so-called  religious freedom act, which spurred the Governor into spurious action:

Just hours after a Louisiana House panel overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to effectively kill one of his priority pieces of legislation, Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order that he said would continue to give life to the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act’s intent.

 House Bill 707 had sought to carve out protections for people who oppose same-sex marriage. The executive order is much narrower in scope, Jindal admitted, and some opponents of the measure have questioned whether the order will have much impact. But after the House Civil Law Committee’s 10-2 vote Tuesday to end the measure’s chances this session through a procedural move, Jindal argued that his possibly temporary order was the “next best thing.”

“It applies to all of the executive branch of state government,” Jindal told reporters minutes after issuing the order. “It will offer good protections for the people of Louisiana.”

Y’all have heard of a fig leaf, right? This is one. Despite all the outrage this action has inspired in the easily outraged sectors of social media, this order is of limited scope and will lapse when PBJ leaves office in 2016 unless his successor gives it CPR.

This is what happens when a Governor has a 32% approval rating, they lose key votes. I’m not sure who’s more delusional, Jindal or Chris Christie. At least Christie is a talented stump performer whereas Jindal has all the charisma of a Jello salad.  PBJ keeps serving himself up at church suppers in Iowa but it’s not working. When you’re that unpopular back home, it’s hard for voters to take your candidacy seriously.

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The Wayback Machine: (Political) Deathbed Conversion

I’ve been complaining of late how boring New Orleans politics have become. On the other hand, they may have been *too* colorful when I wrote this post in 2006. The City Councilmember in question, Renee Gill-Pratt, was a minion of the Jefferson machine and was convicted of a conspiracy to bilk the school system. She is currently enjoying the hospitality of the federal government and will be doing so for quite some time.

In my early days as a blogger, I nicknamed almost everybody. The one I stuck on her is perhaps the best of the bunch: Renee Gill-Pratfall. I’d like to claim credit for her defeat in the 2006 election but her time was up. So, dial the Wayback Machine to Sunday February 5, 2006:

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It’s time for another trip to the Adrastos Wayback Machine. Yesterday, I was putting some golden (moldy?) oldies online and I got First Draft confused with the archival site since both are on Word Press. In short, this sucker wound up posted here on the 2006 date listed below. I even got a compliment from Monkeyfister on Twitter so I had to re-post this re-post:

It was probably his first time seeing it but I’ll accept the praise. Thanks. Okay, let’s turn the dial on the Wayback Machine to 2006 when I routinely called New Orleans Debrisville:

Wed, 20 Sep 2006 16:06:17

The lead story on WWL’s Six O’Clock news last night was about a rat infestation at the Iberville Housing Project. The folks who have moved back in are positive it’s because there are so many empty units with full fridges and pantries. HANO asserts that all the fridges are empty and squeaky clean. Yeah right. Rodent removers have allegedly been hired but may not show up for weeks.

Anyway the story was chock-full-o-images of scurrying rats in need of exterminating. It occurred to me that there’s gotta be a way to whack the rats and raise some money to boot. Then a lightbulb appeared above my head, which made me feel like Bugs Bunny. The idea was inspired by seeing Sean Penn in town this weekend. In Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown, Penn played a nut job virtuoso jazz guitarist whose idea of a good time was to visit the dump in whatever burg he was playing and shoot rats.  Sean keeps telling everyone how eager he is to help New Orleans, so why not have a Celebrity Rat Shooting event at the Iberville Project. People could pledge X amount per rat whacked. It’s a natural. Penn’s All The King’s Men co-star James Gandolfini has extensive experience killing rats on The Sopranos, after all. I’m not sure that I can visualize “one of our finest actors” shooting rats in da bricks, but people would pay money to see Jude Law try.

Just imagine the thrill of watching celebrities kill rodents to raise money. It’s a winner, I tell ya. Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper will be back here faster than you can say ratatouille or Dr. Raoult Ratard. Btw Dr. Ratard is the state epidemiologist. I am not making that name up. I’ve been wating for months to have an excuse to slap his name into a post. My life is complete.

I realize that this is not an entirely original idea: Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee’s deputies went nutria hunting a few years ago, BUT they didn’t use it as a fund raising device. Anyone have any suggestions as to who would be a good celebrity rat shooter? Maybe Bob Geldof of Boomtown Rats and Live Aid fame would cross the pond to take pot shots at the Iberville rats. I hesitate to suggest Vice President Duce: he’d probably shoot an innocent bystander. But the possibilities are as endless as this post.

Exit Poll Flashback

I’ve been following the Israeli election very closely, hoping that the electorate would wake up, smell the coffee, and vote Likud out. It didn’t happen obviously; in part because a personally unpopular Prime Minister waved the bloody shirt of racism. He barely bothered to dog whistle, making a direct appeal to people’s worst instincts. It worked depressingly well. It usually does, alas.

In the run up to the election, pundits assured us that the Israeli exit polls were accurate; certainly more so than the ones in the US & A. Josh Marshall had to walk that belief back earlier today. I get where it was coming from: Israelis vote for a party list of candidates, not for a specific MK. Perhaps that’s why past exit polls were passably accurate. 2015 didn’t quite turn out that way, so it conjured up images of our 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections.

Who among us can forget the way the networks played handball with the Florida results in 2000? Ping pong or boomerangs might be a better analogy but the exit polls got it wrong and the election wound up being decided by the Supremes.

In 2004, the exit polls leaked like a sieve and showed John Kerry as the victor. I avidly consumed them and was absolutely convinced that Big John had won. Holy letdown, Batman. I have never, ever placed any faith in exit polls since then. If the Israeli exit polls had been right, the two major blocs would be deadlocked and there would have been an outside chance of a non-Bibi led government. Instead, the world has to put up with that goniff’s mishigas.

Back to 2004, while sifting through my archives I stumbled on this 2007 post called The Night I Kinda Sorta Met The Canal Street Madam:

How’s that for a teaser? And no I did not frequent her bordello. Get your minds out of the gutter folks. And that means you blondie.

T’was the night before the 2004 Presidential Election. Dr. A and I joined a group of friends,  Romans and countrymen at the corner of Napoleon and Magazine to wave Kerry-Edwards signs and encourage people to vote out the dolt. We all know how that turned out.

At one point I was on the neutral ground across the street from Miss Mae’s bar. There was a tall brunette who a tabloid writer would call statuesque. I suspect that Ashley or Ray would call her something else. Anyway I chatted with her for a few minutes about how horrible Bush was and I predicted that Kerry would win. We all know how that turned out too.
A few minutes later someone (I can’t recall who but it might have been Bob, Cookie Tom,  Julie or Jen) said to me: “Did you realize who you were talking to?”

“Nope. But she looked kinda familiar.”

“It was the Canal Street Madam.”

Since, I have the 2004 campaign on my mind, I’ll give Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty the last word:


The Adrastos Wayback Machine Is Online

It’s going to be a long, slow process because uploading the blog-city files collectively  has proven to be almost impossible but there’s enough meat on the virtual bone at the site to post this link, Adrastos: Welcome To The Wayback Machine.

I’ve opted for the greatest hits approach and have focused on the period between 12/2005 and 5/2006 to begin with. That covers post-K tales as well as the 2006 municipal election, which was by far and away the most interesting one since I’ve lived in New Orleans.

There’s an introductory post pinned to the top of the blog. I still have no clue as to why my commas went missing; maybe they’re pro-Nagin and disapproved of my mocking the then Mayor.

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The Adrastos Wayback Machine: Re-entry Blues

The Adrastos archival project continues anon. It’s a real pain in the ass to upload all the files from my blog-city blog so it looks as if there will be a Best of Adrastos site coming to WordPress fairly soon. I’ll be doing it in bits and bobs because it’s an exhaustive, as well as exhausting project. I’ll let y’all know as soon as it’s online.

This is one of the first posts I wrote for my original blog. It tells the story of how we snuck back into town and how tricky it was to do so. That’s one of the lesser known things about everyone’s Katrina exile: how residents were kept out of the city while all sorts of alleged do-gooders were on the loose. It’s a detail that still aggravates both Dr. A and me and you’ll hear about it after the break.

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