Don’t stand for being stood up.

Sep 13, 2007 by

Have you ever been stood up? Had someone promise to come and take you out, meet you for some reason, set a time & date and then just not show up? No call, no reschedule, nothing? Even worse, you run in to them later, and they’re deeply engrossed in someone else, ignoring you completely? I have.
And if you live in New Orleans, so have you.
Let’s start with the President. Of the United States of America. Arguably the most powerful national leader on the planet. Supposed to have a hand in solving the world’s problems. Well, besides that being a cruel joke all it’s own, he told us he’d be back. He told us it would be better. He told us we would get rebuilt. He stood us up, left us at the gate.
Then there’ Ray Nagin, the second term Mayor of New Orleans, who makes his appearences as August 29th approaches, and, in his sense of duty, has decided not to run for Governor just yet, because the city might need him. How about finishing the job you have, Mister Nagin? The one that’s still not out of the starting gate. The gate where you left us, stood us up.
In a more entertaining aspect is radio talkshow host Neil Bortz, broadcast on WIST, right here in New Orleans. He flew down to our fair city right after Katrina, is his cute little Cessna and told the station managers and employees that “he’d be back” like the Terminator. He never returned. Somehow, he got enough insight duing his little visit to appraise our situation well.
He frequenlty rants on his daily program, in a stylishly squealing voice, about Katrina Refugees. New Orleans is full of ’em. Sitting around waiting for a bag of money. Won’t do a damn thing to help themselves, all they gotta do is roll up their sleeves and get to work… In the stood-up-date senerio, I suppose Mister Bortz is like the School Dork, who heard rumours about the girl, never dated her, but wrote nasty things on the wall, anyway. Like her, I have three words: buzz off, creep.
Last night I watched a news crew across the street on Helen Hill’s doorstep. Reporting on the New Reward. I told them that the news crews were there, too, when I asked Troy Carter & the NOPD reps to walk to Spain & Rampart with me. In front of the Town Hall meeting, they declined, saying that we should report crime by email. The cameras watched me tell them that somebody was gonna get killed over there by year’s end if steps weren’t taken. Helen was dead five days into 2007.
Sorry Helen.
We tried.
We got stood up.
Getting stood up on a date, or having a creep say ugly, untrue things about you is part of growing up. We’ve done our growing up here, I hope. We don’t have to take that anymore. The realization that everyone is not your friend is a tough one, a rite of passage duly noted by Shakespeare & Salinger, a catharsis that brings us to something new in & from ourselves. Let’s have one now, shall we?
The government is not your friend. From City Hall to the White House, they are not looking out for you. They are trying to get elected, stay in office, become power brokers, control your money, your country, your life. These elected officers are using you as a career move.
Neither is the corporate press your friend. They are selling fast food and diet pills, MTV and the New Fall Line to make you look as unique as everyone else, for twice the price. They are reporting sensationalist news bites to get ratings and assisting the political powers that feed them best.
Paris Hilton & Britney Spears are not your friends. They don’t know you exist, and wouldn’t let you carry their coffee if you somehow got past their security. They are junkies for your attention, spoiled beyond measure and clueless as to the state in which we live. Stop reading about them. Ignore them until they go away.
I could go on & on, but I believe you get the picture, so I won’t. Why? Because I AM your friend. Really. How can you tell? Because I don’t want anything from you. I want things for you. Like a better life. Less hardship. The truth. Yes, the truth. The TRUTH. So here’s a little bit right now, just to prove I’m serious…
You can have your life back.
You can make things right.
How, you ask?
Vote, for starters. But not the Old Way. The New Way. Learn who your choices are, from City Council to Congress and the White House. Go on line, or get a newspaper and read about them. What do they say they believe and how have they shown that? Does their voting record reflect their commitments & promises? Did they steal stuff last time, do they cheat on their spouses or did they go to rehab? These are stupid romantic cliches for Hollywood Stars, not for the people who run your country.
Are they career politicians, jumping from job to job in order to further their own greed? This isn’t Wall Street in the eighties, and a lot of those people went to jail, anyway.
Do they say they can get you special treatment? Even if they can, they do it by short changing someone else. The hell with that. Your dirty end of the stick will certainly come around. Maybe with the FBI in tow.
So, here we are. Where you knew we’d be eventually.You have to work at it. You have to get involved. You have to make a difference. Why? Because you can. Because it’s not right to put people in formaldehyde ridden trailers, demolish their homes, tie their recovery money up in special interests, take their sons & daughters and send them halfway around the world to die in some god forsaken place while their families are forgotten in the Ninth Ward and Canal Stret gets rows of palm trees. That’s why.
And if that insanity isn’t enough, then do it to be a friend to someone that needs one. There’s a lot of that around. I know, I’m your friend. I may not know you, or ever have seen you, but I am. You’e the one who got screwed by the electric company during the hottest months of the year, the one who didn’t get the job because you don’t speak spanish, the one who had wind insurance instead of flood or flood instead of wind. The one that came back and found your job outsourced to cheaper lands where lead paint on your childrens’ toys is No Big Deal. You’re the one who the magazines say is too fat, too short, too skinny, too black, too white, too poor, too old.
And you know what? I love you anyway. Each and every one of you. I’m sure you’re a pain in the ass sometimes, too. Because you’re just like me. An American in New Orleans trying to make it work. Someone who got stood up.
So here’s the part where I ask for something. You knew it was coming. Here it is. But it’s not for me. It’s for all of us. In fact, it’s for you.
Please, make a difference.
Get involved.
Have meetings at your neighbors’s houses.
Drink beer or coffee, or koolaid for that matter, and talk to each other like I’m talking to you.
End this madness.
Vote these assholes out of a job.
Elect Ed from down the street, or Thibodeaux from the Parish.
Somebody who only wants what you want.
A fair deal.
For God’s sake, stop voting for crooks and thieves because you recognize their names. I’ve listened to guys in a bar name every player in the NFL and all their stats. Learn this much about the folks that hold your future, your children’s future, in the palm of their hand. And act. Now. Take back your life. It’s the only one you’re ever going to have. Don’t waste it, my friend. And don’t stand for being stood up. You’re better than that. Aren’t you? I certainly think so.
Lord David
Pirate & Artist
Skull Club
New Orleans

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