Saturday, November 18, 2006

Getting into Stacy’s Head

Ashley Morris thinks New Orleans Councilwoman Stacy Head looks like Tina Fey; however, that's where the compliments end. In his posting, entitled Stacy Head could just move to Metairie, Morris finds "fascist" the councilwoman’s expressed attitude towards littering and public drunkenness. From lawyer/mom to “fascist” in six months - a meteoric rise for the 36 year old Head.

The early election choice of uptown society voters and the young professionals, Head used that critical support to propel her into a victory last spring in the District B council race against ineffective incumbent Renee Gill-Pratt. Her election notwithstanding, Head was a largely unknown quantity for the voters of District B.

The young Councilwoman has also gotten the attention of other bloggers. In the posting One Year and 15 Days Later, a local blogger writes of her disappointment with Head and her “strident” and “screeching” outbursts at a neighborhood public meeting, which the blogger finds failed the “rationality” expectations that the blogger had of the new councilwoman. Bitch’s disappointment was echoed in a comment by Karen, who stated, “You left out the part where Stacy chastised the crowd and asked that we ‘make nice’ so that Ray (Nagin) would come back.”

Head has apparently also assumed a shoot-from-the hip style of presentation. For example, the Councilwoman advised citizens to all gather in Criminal Judge Charles Elloie‘s courtroom to object to the judge’s bond rulings that release from jail persons charged with serious crimes. She also recently suggested dealing with vagrancy problems by having the city set up loudspeakers in public places and blast the area with loud Barry Manilow recordings. At a recent public forum, she defended the practice of having the city council retain final authority on land-use and zoning matters, despite that during the campaign she supported the concept of a master plan with the force of law. Just last week the budget hearing for the overburdened police department was the setting for Head’s suggestion that the police should have a "zero tolerance policy" and issue more summons for littering and public drunkenness, an opinion which gave rise to blogger Morris’ comments about fascism, as well as comments by Loki that he will fight this “snippy soccer mom vision of the new New Orleans”.

Management by criticism and admonition and a shoot-from-the-hip style adds nothing of value to the public dialogue. The city council does not need a councilwoman with a "mouth-that-roared" style of governance, but rather it needs public officials with an incisive and thoughtful ideology that mirrors broadly-shared, progressive community values. The city needs effective action driven by wisdom, maturity and reflective policy analysis - true leadership to help it successfully meet the daunting and complex challenges that lie ahead.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What Tarot Card are You?

. . . is the question many of our local bloggers are answering this week, and others are fessing up, too.

Ashley Morris posts in Wow. I feel like George Shinn that his tarot card is The Devil. (Ashley's title suggests that he is having fun with George again.) In the comments' section Mr. Clio posts "I'm the Wheel of Fortune. Guess that makes me Pat Sajack." Ashley Morris follows up with "No, Clio. That makes you Vanna White."

Still others, such as Oyster, write that his card turned out to be The Fool. He answers with "Nobody's fool... nobody's fool...I'M NO FOOL..." Oyster is no fool. (Read how the card describes The Fool in Ashley's comments section, and then Oyster's blog site. Oyster is no fool.)

Gentilly Girl posts in "This is Confusing" that her card is The Lovers. Gentilly does not explain on her blog site as to why she finds her card confusing, but in posting her comments on Ashley Morris' site she writes, "This does explain the Past, and for the Present I have my Love: New Orleans."

Adrastos posts in I Feel Like Houdini that he is The Magician. Dr. A pokes fun with "Ha ha ha! The acorn didn't fall far from the tree." Adrastos answers with "Hey, watch your mouth, dawlin'."

These bloggers are having too much fun!

Thus, I too took on the questionaire. The card was interesting enough, but it lead me to consider how I might have answered in earlier years. This is what I found:

The Empress * The World * Wheel of Fortune * The Star

What Tarot Card are You?

Take the Test to Find Out!

A fun game going around . . .
The Nearest Book Meme

This is a neat little exercise, which bloggers are posting and are getting some interesting comments.

This is how it goes:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

What some of our local bloggers found to be their nearest book:

Blogger Scott Harney posted text from his nearest book, Unix System Administration Handbook, 3rd Edition. Evi Nemeth, garth Snyder, Scott Seebass, Trent R. Hein. Prentice Hall PTR, 2001.

Blogger Maitri posted text from The Control Of Nature by John McPhee, FSG, 1989.

An other local blogger quotes from Nussbaum, Martha. Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2004.

Blogger Bardiac was "in the middle of rereading some Jonson (in an anthology) when I decided to check some blogs. I am so busted!"

As for me, the first book I opened to page 123 took me to its index. I guess I don't read very in depth books, but hey, at least it had an index.

Now for any reader of this posting, try this yourself and see you what find out.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Come On Bloggers

. . . Here's Another Good One!

The Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO) was recently written up in the Living section of the Times Picayune. The article centered around the construction of ACNO's new Louisiana ArtWorks building, located on the corner of Howard Avenue and Carondelet Street. The arts writer, Doug MacCash, brings several interesting and provocative facts to light and raises appropriate questions about whether there is a need for such an arts center.

I shouldn't get started about the Arts Council because ACNO is a four-letter word to me. I have a background in the arts and don't have anything good to say about that bunch. On the other hand, why not say more? They have their favored few supporters who have fed at the trough, but for the most part artists have found ACNO aloof and condescending, and anything but the "coordinating" entity it was supposed to be. ACNO does not serve the arts, but rather the arts serve ACNO. There is no longer any justification for its continued existence. Certainly there is no justification for this arts center, and for the enormous expenditure that it demands. Its time, if it ever existed, is long gone.

Also, what should take everyone's breath away is the fact that ACNO is spending $24,000 a month on something that does not exist, and that in their efforts to raise this kind of money for the last many years, this out-of-control organization has drained financial contributions to the arts in general.

Just yesterday a Letter to the Editor was published. It gives sound advice to the Arts Council in that the author suggested "the solution is to sell the place, get the Arts Council out of the real estate and arts and crafts business".

Time to pull the plug on this disaster!

Hi Bloggers,
you missed a good one!

After all that has been written about FEMA, I looked everywhere for a local blogger to comment on this photo. It appeared in the Metro section of Sunday’s paper.

As for me commenting on its irony, I feel that the caption says it all. Still, I am just a little curious to know how much money Broadmoor raised for FEMA’s dunking and if anyone showed any particular enthusiasm at the prospects of what the booth had to offer.

Possibly the Broadmoor Improvement Association can tell us more.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Planning that Next Birthday Party

With all that local bloggers have on their minds, sometimes a silly posting can tickle one’s funny bone. I found this to be true when I recently came across an October posting by one of New Orleans’ better known local bloggers, Ashley Morris.

His posting, entitled “Beer for da party” made me laugh out loud because it brought to mind a recent birthday dinner I had just given for my husband and how I handled it. I planned the menu, then had the wine and champagne selected based upon the ingredients in each course. Ashley Morris didn't worry about such niceties. He went straight to the heart of the matter, and asked which beer should be bought.

How can one argue with this New Orleanian's thinking? He appears to have his priorities just about right. I am only sorry I was not invited. Once the beer was selected, I would have brought the appropriate food.

Next party I plan I will remember the Ashley Morris approach. I may just cook around the "da" beer that is chosen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

There's No Crying in Baseball

"There's no crying in baseball, y'all" so writes Adrastos in his blog entitled "Midura Cries, Dollar Bill Lies". Adrastos' comment refers to the emotional response Councilwoman Shelley Midura exhibited after being verbally assaulted by a council gadfly during last week's city council meeting. No one has used a better coined phrase to describe the lesson Midura must learn if she is to avoid repeating the spectacle Channel 4 aired of her last Thursday night.

On the other hand, why has no blogger mentioned the very well written column by Stephanie Grace in Sunday's paper? Grace makes a good argument as to what was going on and why. She effectively critiques the council's two Cynthias for their loud silence in the games the council played last week. Grace also sheds light on the shameful behavior that resulted in “no member of the black majority” having the courage “to state the obvious”, which could have blunted the racial tension.

For me, this fiasco can just as well be laid at the feet of Oliver Thomas, president of the council, as he should have intervened to protect his colleagues from ill-mannered speakers spewing foolish and unsubstantiated accusations. Thomas should have done more to ensure that a well intentioned but novice young politician was not pilloried for her temerity in proposing honest and above-board legislation to a public body that historically has little tolerance for progressive legislation. If the public has the right to abjure Midura that "There’s no crying in baseball", then Councilwoman Midura as well has the right to fair treatment from the public.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

When I Think We All Grew Up

. . . and others might imagine that they have too, stuff just keeps coming up to prove me wrong.

While taking a closer look at our local bloggers, I found a posting from 10/27/06 by Gentilly Girl, which offers a link to another site. Upon opening it, I almost popped out in laughter. For me the visual says it all.

Continuing to read Gentilly's posting, I connected to the next link. This one saddened me, but not because of what Harvey Weinstein is quoted as saying, but for how he is trying to posture his client's situation.

The Dixie Chicks have enjoyed freedom of speech. They were not arrested for what they said or for the manner in which they said it. They are just experiencing the public's reaction to what they said.

As for NBC, one does not need to look too much further than to the fact that they are a corporation with a bottom line. Ironically, the Dixie Chicks did not stop to think about theirs.

These links are about damage control. Nothing more. They are a cover for the Chicks inability to accept the reactions of others who also can exercise their right of free speech. This first amendment stuff cuts both ways.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Say It Ain't So!

Do you recall Humphrey Bogart challenging the banditos posing as Federales in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre? "Badges? We ain't got no... stinking badges!" came the reply.

Tell me that the recent Ashley Morris post entitled "Tenure? We don need no steenkeeng tenure!" isn't true, that "this article" in the Tulane Hullabaloo isn't a so called "thinly veiled plan", and that Tulane has not succumbed to such conduct. Just tell me that "this article" is a Halloween prank, and that I can keep my illusions about something being right with the world. After all, I have waited so long and worked so hard to be able to attend a university like Tulane, and I hate to be disillusioned in life once again.

I have long had a saying in my household for such conduct. It is, "I thought we all grew up." In so many words, I thought that by a "certain age" most all of us would have developed, well, standards of ethical and proper behavior; and that those in positions of authority would so act because they understood what is needed in leaders and that with position and power comes responsibility.

I will stick with "Say It Ain't So!" for now.

Post-Katrina Blogging in New Orleans

The word blog is defined in Webopedia as a "Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual". It is short for Web log, and is typically updated daily, reflecting the personality of the author. In further research states that "blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news".

This could not be more true than what is being written by bloggers in post-Katrina New Orleans. One such blogger is Adrastos. In the blog's opening sub-title the phrase, "Politics, Life & Culture (or what passes for it) in Post-Katrina New Orleans.” expresses the orientation of this local blogger. The site daily offers well written and strongly held personal views and observations on the city's culture and politics, as well as movie reviews and links to music and other videos. It represents an interesting personal journal in an ever-changing publicly accessible format.