Getting to the end game

Nov 21, 2008 by

“Remember us – if at all – not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men”
— T.S. Eliot

Another one is dead. I’m tired and I should be going to sleep instead of typing this but I must Remember. It is part of what I do.

His name was Brian Thickstan, but the media picked up his stage name on from some rock band and called him Brian Turd. Just another kid from out of town, here to make a place for himself in the new Bellona. He had a MySpace page where he wrote stupid stuff, and perhaps he was in over his head in a strange place.

That’s what we can tell ourselves, right? Just another stupid kid from out of town who didn’t know what they were getting into, right? Like Kirsten Brydum? Is that our new excuse? (I guess I’m old enough now to call twenty-somethings kids). We write off the young black men because of drugs. Now we have to find some way to talk around the murder of young white people who come to New Orleans.

What is our next excuse?

Thickstan was murdered at just after 8 p.m. while walking his dog hear his house in the Irish Channel. Where he died a broken crime camera sat watching, just like the one that didn’t catch the murder of Kendrick Thomas.

Maybe the crime cameras aren’t supposed to work, not down here. Maybe it’s just another experiment, like the one we’re conducting on our children and preparing to conduct on our poor, sick and elderly here in our own brave new world of New Orleans.

Perhaps somewhere They are hoping that if enough people die in front of enough broken cameras we will all scream for cameras, demand them on every corner in American, insist on them in our own homes, scream for them like Winston in Room 101 with the rats clawing at the thin wire mesh.

No, I’m not that paranoid. Not yet. Paranoia, Thomas Pynchon once said is ” is nothing less than the onset, the leading edge, of the discovery that everything is connected.” Everything, everyone is connected. That which you do until the least of these. Everyone one of those young people, black and white, they were all once like my own children.

There is a memorial planned. Of course. This is now part of what we do now. We have adapted the customs from our African-American neighbors around the corner who’ve been living through the War On/For/About Drugs since the early 1990s. We will gather on the corner and try to dance away the devil. Of course there will be a benefit. And t-shirts. There must be t-shirts. Lord David has the details below.

It is not enough, but at least is it something. People coming together to Remember.

What will it take for us all to come together to remember as a city, to take a step beyond remembering and into honoring, into taking action? No one is going to forget Dinerral Shavers or Helen Hill soon, but it has not stopped.

When can all this remembering become a memory? The pieces keep getting taken off the board. When do we get to the end game?


Below is an email from the young man’s employer.

On Saturday, November 15, 2008, at approximately 8:20 p.m., there was a homicide in the 2800 block of Chippewa Street. The victim was walking in the block when someone approached and shot him several times. There were no witnesses and the motive is unknown at this time. If anyone has information concerning this incident, please contact the NOPD at 821-2222 for a non emergency response and 911 for an emergency response.

This person is Brian Thickstan. He just moved from Gulf port to New Orleans and was just hired by The Bulldog as a grill cook. Till this day I can find nothing on NOLA or the news about this person. This was not just another John Do. I wanted to wait a few days before approaching crime stoppers, but The Bulldog is going to put out a reward for the person that shot Brian.

Monday Brian’s Mon drove in from Gulf Port to identify his body. She was very upset and obviously why. Nothing like this has ever touched me so close. I only met Brian once, but I feel like his murder means nothing.

Since Katrina crime has spiraled out of control and our company has seriously considered what New Orleans holds in the future. We have recently opened in Jackson and will be opening in Baton Rouge next month. We have tried very hard to be a positive image for New Orleans, but I am afraid New Orleans will hit the point of no return and we need to be ready to leave.

How can you turn around a city that does not acknowledge it’s problems.


Herb Dyer
The Bulldog

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