Short Stuff

Dec 8, 2008 by

This past week, we drove by a Campaigning Nexus of New Orleans (a.k.a., Napoleon Avenue and St Charles Avenue), observed a bunch of Joseph Cao supporters waving the signs out there for the Republican Congressional candidate, and my son got very worried.

“Mom, there’s another election coming up?”

“Yes, honey, this weekend.”

“But…will Barack Obama still be the president????

Nothing like having to allay your child’s fears that the President-Elect will be voted out of office only a couple of months after he was elected.

Of course, different sorts of fears will have to be allayed in the next two years now that Cao is the LA-02 rep. It wasn’t an overwhelming majority of voters who elected the man, and the signals definitely lean towards a rejection of a Jefferson-dominated Democratic machine rather than a clear mandate to support Cao…but, I am ashamed to say that, in all the time I’ve lived in NOLA pre-and-post-my time in NYC, this is the third time I didn’t vote in a local election (the last two times – the school millages earlier this year, and, before that, the bid Marc Morial and his minions made to get the number of consecutive mayoral terms jacked up from two to three – I was out of town and forgot to get hold of the absentee paperwork. Dahr.) My husband didn’t vote, either, and neither did our pal Edie, who decided to take a long walk on Saturday to see if she’d be inspired to choose someone and instead found that the same ambivalence abounded amongst her neighbors. We’ve kinda gotten what we didn’t vote for…not that there was much choice to begin with.

We shoulda just written in a candidate not on the ballot en masse.

Any suggestions on who it should have been?


To paraphrase what I heard from contestant Adam Felber on the NPR radio quiz show Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me: the abovementioned panelist on the show had apparently always been down on Hannukah, but, now, in these tumultuous times, a holiday that celebrates fuel efficiency doesn’t look too bad.

Now, Hannukah might lend itself to possible modern interpretations having to do with your Prius traveling across the country on one tank over eight days, but I’ll only rejoice in this more wholeheartedly when those who celebrate Hannukah can really follow through and shake off the idea that the Festival of Lights must compete with the consumerism of Christmas in this country – in other words, don’t go running off and buying eight gifts to give to everybody and his brother over eight days. There’s a recession goin’ on. Conserve a little. Appreciate what you’ve got. Give responsibly.

And don’t cook those latkes in too much oil…


Over the past month, I’ve been going a tad berserk over the Prospect.1 exhibits and the local satellite shows and works all over town, because I am a freaking art fool at heart. I read Doug MacCash’s Times-Picayune article on the international art critics’ takes on P.1, and was seriously disturbed by one observation by a visiting critic on attending the Shirin Neshat exhibit at the Newcomb Art Gallery:

(Art collector Joel) Mallin voiced only one complaint. In the 90 minutes he and the others spent watching videos by renowned Iranian artist Shirin Neshat at the Newcomb Art Gallery on the Tulane University campus, “not one student came in.”

“These are some of the finest art videos you’re ever going to see. They’re about women’s position in Near East society. I would have thought the place would have been crowded with students.”

That’s a serious amount of apathy that is disturbing, but it may well have been based on the time of Mallin’s visit: if it were in midday, then many students would most likely be in class.

If that were not the case, however, then there needs to be some serious thought given to how general studies liberal arts colleges look at contemporary art, especially when that art is in their midst. P.1 has made itself readily available to host tours of the exhibits for children, adults, and university students, and there are even some lesson plans online. No self-respecting art instructor or art history professor should fail to take some advantage of these cultural opportunities…and when there is not a substantial number of students going to an exhibit that is right in their midst, that situation is downright criminal, in my opinion.

But, then again, I am an art fool….


And finally….

I committed a major faux pas that will, from this moment on, never happen again…don’t get on the computer at a relative’s home during a visit. I believe I am projecting the wrong messages as a result of such a dumbassed mistake: that 1) I am so, so addicted to the internet that I will neglect familial duties and interactions and 2) I believe that anything I blog will somehow save New Orleans.

I love my husband and son. I want to do my best to do right by them and stay relatively sane while I am doing it, because that is what will be best for all of us. But asking me to stop blogging completely is like asking me to chop out my voice box once I’ve figured out how to sing excellent opera consistently. I’ve found a voice, and I’d like to continue to express myself with it…which leads to whether or not what I write will somehow “save New Orleans”…

This city will certainly continue on in some form without me voicing my opinions about what goes on here. I’m not gunning for political office and I am under no illusions that everything I say will be read by the entire universe and acted upon. There are simply many things that I consider to be serious, funny, quirky, annoying, beautiful, and just downright amazing about the place where I live, the people that I’ve met, the things that I’ve read, and the life that I see my growing child living every day, and I have felt the need for nearly three years now (!) to document all of that in some way and to put up some virtual signposts pointing to what I think is important. It is a unique personal chronicle of my thoughts on things and is not much more than that….by itself.

What makes it more meaningful are the relationships I’ve developed with many others through this little portal of mine…and for those people I’ve gotten to know, I am quite grateful. It is one of the few things that keeps me going some days, and while it might be advisable to cut down my time online and live a little more (which is something everybody could use whether you are on the interwebs or are just a crazy-ass workaholic), I don’t think I’ll be deleting my blog anytime soon.

I will be staying off of my own for a bit, though, just to satisfy the offended relative.

Perhaps I should have adhered to another message I missed: don’t let your extended family know you are blogging.


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