Friday, October 28, 2005

Is Chris Rose doing alright?

Read below: This seems like the kind of thing that might get you into trouble, but I guess the Picayune is so frustrated with the whole Katrina situation that they are letting Chris Rose say whatever the hell he wants... Enjoy. This may very well be taken off the internet soon:

The buzzards are swarming to pick at the pieces of New Orleans culture left in the ruins
Friday, October 28, 2005
By Chris Rose
This is only my second column here in the esteemed pages of Lagniappe but I fear it may be near my last.

The reason is not what might seem obvious: Poor job performance.

No, the real reason is that, in a matter of weeks, there, in fact, will be no events to report in these pages. No sports. No festivals. No parades. No music. No food listings.

It appears that while this city drowns under water, negligence, helplessness and poverty, the civic scavengers from other states are circling around us, trying to pick at the rotting corpse that is New Orleans.

The most obvious culprit is the sleazy and verbose mayor of San Antonio, Phil Hardberger, whose gleeful dance over our communal devastation almost makes Tom Benson look like a nice guy. He says the Saints belong to his city now. Done deal. And he's probably right.

Then, of course, the wags in Las Vegas announced that they would be happy to host Mardi Gras this year and why not? Since that city has done its best to turn New York City, Paris and Venice into theme parks, why not let them have the greatest free show on Earth?

Problem is, nothing in Vegas is free -- unless you lose a fat wad at the craps table and then they give you some steak and eggs for breakfast.

I just want to see the looks on the Vegas high school band tuba players when somebody tells them they have to march six miles every night for three weeks.

And then we have Austin, Texas, which will be hosting the Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indian celebrations next year. An event, which I can only assume, will be steeped in the grand themes of typical Indian parades -- culture, history, neighborhood, family, corner bars and go-cups.

If the Indians thought they had trouble with New Orleans cops, wait until a couple of Spy Boys get liquored up and start blocking downtown traffic in their beaded finery.

Iko, Iko, pod'ner, and off to jail we go.

And Galatoire's is opening in Baton Rouge. Personally, I can't imagine a city that is in more need of a four-hour Friday lunch consisting of a Godchaux Salad and seven martinis. But, are you kidding me? Galatoire's in Red Stick?

What are they going to take from us next? Certainly there's more of the carcass left. For instance, contrary to the graffiti on his house that says "R.I.P. Fats," it turns out that Fats Domino is, in fact, still alive, so certainly Branson, Mo., ought to come down here and scoop up the Fat Man so he can join Mel Tillis and the Captain and Tennille up there on the strip.

I hear that folks in Topeka are going to start burying their dead in above-ground mausoleums as a way of boosting their tourist industry.

And since the brimstone ministers tell us it was New Orleans' accommodation of gay citizens that caused the hurricane in the first place, maybe we'd better send Southern Decadence abroad as well.

I'm picturing Salt Lake City for that one.

Just who the hell are these people who are trying to pick and choose among our cultural touchstones and lay claim to them in their towns?

I mean, some are just plain stupid; I give the Baton Rouge Galatoire's eight months survival, a year at most. I mean, are there really enough alcoholic former queens of Carnival in Baton Rouge to keep that place afloat?

As for San Antonio: It's galling. I know you probably think so, too, so I'm doing the public service of giving you the mayor's phone number so you can apprise him of your thoughts on the matter.

It's (210) 207-7060. In case you're stuck in the '90s, the fax is (210) 207-4168.

Give Phil a call. See what else he needs from us. Like, maybe a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse? Or maybe the carousel from City Park. Or, what the hell -- why not see if he just wants to come over and cart that whole damn park away and put it on the Rio Grande.


Oh, that reminds me: They can take that guy, too. What the hell. As long as we've got our front stoops, a couple of guitars and some Abita Amber, I guess we'll be OK.

Or did I just hear that Miller bought Abita?

Anyway, that's the end of my rant. My time here is done. That's because the Las Vegas Sun is going to start publishing Lagniappe in its paper starting next Friday.

So thanks for all your support for all these years and hopefully our paths will cross again some day. Say, maybe next week at the Bridge City Gumbo Festival in Tuscon.


Blogger Slimbolala said...

There's undoubtedly some truth to this and I'm sure it must have been cathartic to right, but I'm still deeply optimistic. Seriously, no matter how many institutions are lost, the people are going to keep doing what they're doing. and they're going to be more determined about doing it than ever (at least I am and I think there are others of like mind). And Carnival? This year is going to be the weirdest, most interesting Carnival in a lifetime, regardless of what Vegas or anybody else does.

Fri Nov 04, 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

I think you're right (re: Carnvial) and I almost want to come home for it... something I haven't done in years and years. Also, I finally got my hands on a copy of Rob Walker's LETTERS FROM NEW ORLEANS. Thanks for the recommendation this summer.

Mon Nov 07, 10:20:00 AM  

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