Just in case VatulBlog gives you the impression that there is not a lot going on in New Orleans or that I’m not overly concerned about it, please set aside these notions. The slow pace of recovery is increasingly worrisome, while the upcoming election is a daily cause for concern and contemplation. Add to that almost every Indian-American’s pleasure to see one of their “own kind” win the Louisiana gubernatorial race and you have quite the bubbling crockpot here. All is not thorns and burns, however, but glue and sequins what with the city gearing up for super-early Mardi Gras.
Governor’s race: Nothing in Louisiana will change if one of Jindal’s opponents wins the position, but Jindal isn’t the answer, either. A word to all brown convenience store owners in the area: Because you put his campaign signs on your storefronts does not mean Jindal gives a hoot about you. Just a heads up. In fact, only last year, George Allen lost his re-election bid by referring to an Indian-American as a “macaca.” Now a macaca refers to people who took the pain to come to Louisiana to protest the Jena 6 goings-on as “outside agitators,” echoing a term used by southern white pro-segregationists back in the middle of the 20th century. Oh, and who are you in Iraq if not an outside agitator? Shame on you for setting civil rights back by half a century, jerk. To apply Dangerblond’s apt sentiment for our times to the current state of Iraq and race relations, “I always thought the point of these movies was that the United States is on the right side of this dividing line.”
Additionally, Jindal’s cold shoulder towards the debates and questions concerning New Orleans is very palpable. All said, I may have to abstain from voting in this election as I did in the 2003 gubernatorial race. This Gambit editorial nails my concerns about Jindal, but also gets the fact that his victory is guaranteed thanks to the dismal opposition.
Bipartisan Dreaming: D and I both wonder if there’s something telling about Mitch Landrieu’s decision not to run for governor. My vote for lieutenant governor emphatically goes to him.
Local Races: I am lost when it comes to City Council At Large (I foresee a toss-up inside the voting booth, anyone got four-sided coins?), Senate District 5 (please tell me more) and Judge of Criminal District Court (can’t decide between Laurie White and Gary Wainwright). House District 93 is easy – Karen Carter again.
Rebuilding New Orleans: A few days ago, I met and spoke with a recruiter for the University of New Orleans whose mother is still displaced in St. Louis, MO. “With the Army Corps of Engineers and our current city government in charge, what do you expect?” I asked. The recruiter then said something that sent shivers down my spine, “They’re doing it on purpose. There’s no other explanation for the recovery being this slow.” His words shook me only because I’m starting to believe them myself. Here’s a smorgasbord of recent blog posts on what causes one to flinch and why:
* Oyster: New Orleans, Proud To Call It Hell
* A.M. In The Morning: Not Buying Bush’s Buyout Plan
* People Get Ready: “I don’t want to create an environment where all public officials are automatically perceived to be corrupt.”
* Our mayor says the new Inspector General cannot have his own lawyer, and has to pick one from the city cadre. Whoa. Dangerblond: “The attorney can spend a few hours going in and out of coffee shops ducking his own subpoena. Eventually, he’ll have to see himself in the mirror, and he’ll have to accept service.”
* We’re going to need a lot more than Inspector General
Clouseau Cerasoli to bring “honesty” and “accountability” to this town’s administration.
Carnival: This season, D and I are heavily involved in:
Krewe du Vieux – Our subkrewe theme is C.R.A.P.S. Mutinies. Costumes will be revealed on parade day. Until then, krewe, costume and float meetings and work rule our lives. Ronald Lewis, president of the Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club, director of the House of Dance and Feathers (another link), and Lower Ninth Ward activist has accepted the invitation to be the king of Krewe du Vieux this year. All hail King Ronald! Tell your friends and come out to see us on January 19th!
Krewe of King Arthur – It is my pleasure to announce that our float lieutenant, Ms. Sherry Watters, will preside as Queen Guinevere with Patrick Clementine, another dedicated float lieutenant, as King Arthur. Congratulations, Patrick and Sherry!
Mardi Gras Day – His for St. Anne’s and mine for Chartreuse. It’s going to be cold this year, so I can’t wait for a cape, gloves, warm bustier, boots and a full-face mask.
Can you believe it’s the middle of October already?