Corporate Sponsor for the Superdome Monday, Jan 30 2006 

Thanks to Brian Herrick of Houston, Texas for sending this:
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Democracy in New Orleans! Wednesday, Jan 25 2006 

iraqi finger.jpgNot to be outdone by Baghdad and the Gaza Strip, those bastions of democracy, the State of Louisiana has finally rescheduled elections in New Orleans.  Sure, a federal judge virtually required the Governor to do so, but she did so nonetheless.  The primary is scheduled for April 22, and runoffs will follow May 20. Qualifying will take place March 1-3.  Check this space for regular updates on the election.

P-Funk’s Chocolate City Wednesday, Jan 18 2006 

It turns out that Mayor Nagin is both racially insensitive and unoriginal.  Those of us unfamiliar with 1970’s urban music were interested to learn his “Chocolate City” reference derives from the 1975 funk music album by Parliament.

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According to wikipedia.com, the term had been used by Washington DC radio stations to describe the majority black city.  Bobby “The Mighty Burner” Bennett, a DJ on WOL, told the Washington Post in 1998 “Chocolate City for me was the expression of D.C.’s classy funk and confident blackness.” 

Right on, blood.  Just got Baton Rouge.  Here are the lyrics:

“Chocolate City”

Uh, what’s happening CC?
They still call it the White House
But that’s a temporary condition, too.
Can you dig it, CC?

To each his reach
And if I don’t cop, it ain’t mine to have
But I’ll be reachin’ for ya
‘Cause I love ya, CC.
Right on.

There’s a lot of chocolate cities, around
We’ve got Newark, we’ve got Gary
Somebody told me we got L.A.
And we’re working on Atlanta
But you’re the capital, CC

Gainin’ on ya!
Get down
Gainin’ on ya!
Movin’ in and on ya
Gainin’ on ya!
Can’t you feel my breath, heh
Gainin’ on ya!
All up around your neck, heh heh

Hey, CC!
They say your jivin’ game, it can’t be changed
But on the positive side,
You’re my piece of the rock
And I love you, CC.
Can you dig it?

Hey, uh, we didn’t get our forty acres and a mule
But we did get you, CC, heh, yeah
Gainin’ on ya
Movin’ in and around ya
God bless CC and its vanilla suburbs

Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya! (heh!)
Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya!
What’s happening, blood?
Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya!

Yeah!
What’s happening, black?
Brother black, blood even
Yeah-ahh, just funnin’

Gettin’ down

Ah, blood to blood
Ah, players to ladies
The last percentage count was eighty
You don’t need the bullet when you got the ballot
Are you up for the downstroke, CC?
Chocolate city
Are you with me out there?

And when they come to march on ya
Tell ’em to make sure they got their James Brown pass
And don’t be surprised if Ali is in the White House
Reverend Ike, Secretary of the Treasure
Richard Pryor, Minister of Education
Stevie Wonder, Secretary of FINE arts
And Miss Aretha Franklin, the First Lady
Are you out there, CC?

A chocolate city is no dream
It’s my piece of the rock and I dig you, CC
God bless Chocolate City and its (gainin’ on ya!) vanilla suburbs
Can y’all get to that?
Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya!
Easin’ in
Gainin’ on ya!
In yo’ stuff
Gainin’ on ya!
Huh, can’t get enough
Gainin’ on ya!
Gainin’ on ya!
Be mo’ funk, be mo’ funk
Gainin’ on ya!
Can we funk you too
Gainin’ on ya!
Right on, chocolate city!

Yeah, get deep
Real deep
Heh
Be mo’ funk
Mmmph, heh
Get deep
Bad
Unh, heh
Just got New York, I’m told

Neapolitan Metropolitan Monday, Jan 16 2006 

Speaking of MLK Day, the illustrious mayor-dictator of Newray nagin.jpeg Orleans made some idiot comments during MLK festivities today that will no doubt make the national headlines and subject us to more criticism for our dysfunctionality. According to nola.com, Nagin said:

Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it’s destroyed and put stress on this country. . . . Surely he doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We’re not taking care of ourselves.

He also made these comments, which I find offensive for both their racial and grammatical insensitivity:

We ask black people … It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. . . . . This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.

Sure, I like chocolate, but I like lots of flavors of ice cream. And by extension, I prefer to live in a racially diverse area. Call me a Neapolitan Metropolitan.

If anyone out there knows any federal judges, please beg them to order Governor Blanco to reschedule the indefinitely delayed elections in this city. Nagin’s term expires at the end of April, but he is expected to continue as mayor-dictator indefinitely. No new date for elections has been set.

I voted for Nagin twice: once in a crowded primary and again in the general election. And assuming elections are ever rescheduled, I haven’t decided whether I’ll be voting for a mayor who’s chocolate or vanilla. But I do know the flavor we’ve got right now has got to go. We can’t have New Orleans no other way.

Shocker AP Poll: Blacks Likelier to Celebrate MLK Monday, Jan 16 2006 

The Associated Press really went out on a limb with this shocking headline: “AP Poll: Blacks Likelier to Celebrate mlk.jpegMLK.” Hello, Jay Leno called, and he wants to use that no-brainer in his Headlines segment tonight.

According to the story, “just under a fourth of the population said they planned to commemorate King’s birthday,” while “a solid majority of blacks, 60 percent, said they would be involved.”

Did we really need a poll to tell us that? While most of us, regardless of skin color, have great respect for the civil rights movement and Dr. King’s historic contributions to it, I’ve never known whites to feel particularly moved to commemorate MLK Day in any special way, such as going to a rally or parade.

Maybe I’m in the minority (pardon the pun). I marched in an MLK Day Parade years ago in Atlanta. OK, it was only as a loyal member of the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, but I still marched. Virtually all the spectators along the route were polite, even supportive, except for a few who yelled for us to dance instead of march. They obviously preferred the innovative techniques of the Florida A&M Marching 100. But we just were a different style of band. (Read: boring).

Anyway, I need to get back to work. Our employer didn’t give us the day off.

Christmas Morning 2005 Thursday, Jan 12 2006 

There’s nothing more beautiful than a child on Christmas morning.

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LSU “Fighting Tigers” a Racist Nickname? Saturday, Jan 7 2006 

Speaking of silliness in college football, check out this incisive piece by George Will on the the NCAA’s ridiculous crack down on school mascots deemed “hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin.” Although teams like the FSU Seminoles and the Utah Utes can keep their mascots – the two tribes that are the schools’ namesakes are evidently unoffended – another dozen schools, including the Illinois Illini and the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, need to either change their names or lose the right to host postseason tournaments or events.

illini.jpeg Offensive? renegade2-lg.jpg Not Offensive?

Watch out fans of the LSU Fighting Tigers; Mike the Tiger could be next. No, nothing is offensive per se about a bengal tiger. Even the most strident PETA loyalist must admit Mike is treated royally in his new digs near Tiger Stadium. It is not a stretch, however, in this age when “being an offended busybody is considered evidence of advanced thinking and an exquisite sensibility,” to consider the “Fighting Tigers” nickname inherently racist. Yes, racist.

miketiger.jpgleestigers.jpg Racist???

According to historians Arthur W. Bergeron and Terry L. Jones, the name “Fighting Tigers” is derived from a notorious group of Confederate soldiers from Louisiana whose drunk and rowdy behavior was tolerated only because of their incredible results on the battlefield. They write that the volunteer company nicknamed the Tiger Rifles, sometimes called the “wharf rats from New Orleans” and the “lowest scrapings of the Mississippi,” became part of the Confederate batallion commanded by Major Chatam Roberdeau Wheat. In time, Wheat’s entire battalion was called the Tigers, and the name was later applied to all Louisiana troops of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

That’s the same Confederacy that is today freely associated with slavery, hatred, and racism. Although only a tiny fraction of Southerners owned slaves during the Civil War (a/k/a the War Between the States), the NAACP vehemently protests at any public display of the Confederate Battle Flag, even when it is flown at a memorial site in honor of Confederate Memorial Day.

So if team names like the Bradley Braves and UL-Monroe Indians are racially hostile, is not it equally offensive to have a moniker honoring those who, in the NAACP’s view, were American traitors and fought a war to maintain the enslavement of an entire race of people? Before we have that debate, one can only hope the NCAA will take Will’s advice and retreat from its foray into sensitivity politics. Or alternatively, realize that “Fighting Tigers” is the perfect nickname for LSU. As even the most ardent LSU supporters must admit, the institution does at times embody those distinctive traits of drunkenness, disorderly behavior, and bravery in battle.

No Three-Peat (or Repeat) for USC Thursday, Jan 5 2006 

Here’s a great article addressing why USC’s attempt for a “three-peat” was not only unsuccessful, but a sham. Little known fact: LSU won the BSC in the 2003-2004 season; USC lost to Cal that year! And this picture says it all:

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Flashback 8/01: Best Bank Fantasy League Busts Up Tuesday, Jan 3 2006 

Split Lip Spells Splitsville for Spin-Off

NEW ORLEANS – The unnamed fantasy football league thatleaguelogo1.gif only last year declared its independence from the juggernaut Bayou Big Ten is reeling this morning after an organizational meeting turned violent last night.

Sources within the league, dubbed by its critics as the “Best Bank 4,” say Jeffrey Davidson, a pugilistic lawyer in Plaquemines Parish known for his penchant for tank tops and sweat pants, struck co-founder John Bair in the chops during an argument over one the league’s rules. Bair, who was rushed to the emergency room by fellow league owner Roger W. Kitchens, is said to have suffered lacerations to his face and lips as a result of the
blow.

“We’d gotten through 95 percent of the meeting pretty well,” said Kitchens, who refused to disclose which proposed regulation provoked the altercation. But toward the end of the night, Bair and Davidson began to argue and Bair “put his hands behind his back and challenged Davidson to punch him in the face,” said Kitchens. Davidson obliged with a right hook to the kisser.

When apprised of the fistfight, Bayou Big Ten Commissioner Michael H. Pinkerton said he was shocked and disappointed by the the actions of his former fantasy league mates. “We knew there would be some spirited debates within the new group,” said Pinkerton, who led his underdog Pachyderms to an incredibly narrow – and to members of the new league, controversial – victory in Bayou Bowl VI. “But we never dreamed it would be physically violent. Our prayers are with those guys and we hope they’re able to patch things up.”

But Kitchens and others within the new league were less optimistic. “Davidson punched Bair and there is no league,” said a clearly downtrodden Kitchens, who was only minimally buoyed by the fact he never relinquished his Bayou Big Ten franchise. “At least I never quit the Bayou Big Ten.”

Davidson and Bair declined comment.

Cat Reappears, Family Ecstatic Sunday, Jan 1 2006 

New Orleans – The venerable orange tabby known as Catley Pinkerton f/k/a Hadley Pinkerton made a shocking return to her family home Friday night after a mysterious 20-day catley_wanted.jpgabsence. The beloved pet, who had been missing since December 11, suddenly reappeared at the back door during the third quarter of LSU’s lopsided win over Miami in the Chick-Fil-a Peach Bowl.

A tearful reunion followed. “She didn’t come back from her evening stroll around the backyard,” recalls her longtime mother/companion, Meredith Pinkerton. “For days, we crawled under the house and the deck, canvassed the neighborhood, called the animal shelters, posted signs, offered a reward, and took out an ad in the paper. We had some leads, but it was always the wrong cat. We had pretty much given up hope.”
catley reunion.jpg
Her family can only speculate as to where and how Catley spent the past fortnight. But previous conjecture she was being spoiled by an elderly matron in a St. Charles Avenue mansion has been ruled out as overly optimistic. Upon her return, Catley had lost 35 percent of her body weight and had the aroma of a post-Katrina curbside refrigerator.

catley reunion2.jpg

A leading theory is she was trapped in the garage of one of the many neighbors who have not permanently returned to the area since the hurricane. Others believe the cat, having suffered a stroke in the past, wandered off after falling ill, or even left voluntarily, vowing to escape the well-intentioned but rough treatment of Hadley and Spencer, the family’s 3-year old toddler and 12-year old longhaired male cat, respectively. Still another possibilty is she was ensnared under the patio deck. In fact, the family’s nephew Wilton Pinkerton, 10, visting from Atlanta, now claims he saw the cat under the deck earlier in the day as he was retrieving a soccer ball. But a prolonged entrapment under the deck seems unlikey given the extensive search in that very area and the certainty Catley’s distinctive, arguably strident meowing would have been detected in such close proximity.

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“I guess we’re not getting a dog, but that’s OK,” says Catley’s step-father/companion, Michael H. Pinkerton. He plans to resume regular use of Claritin sinus medication to keep his severe cat allergies in check and claims his morning chore of cleaning excrement from his bathtub – Catley’s aversion to litter boxes is well documented – was actually missed during the hiatus. “The important thing is that she’s safe and sound and back home.”

Since her return, the family veterinarian has examined the cat and recommended plenty of rest and a high-protein cat food to compensate for the weight loss. Catley is expected to make a full recovery.

(Photos courtesy of Jenny Lane Designs)