November 28, 2005

Editorial in Disarray!

I was listening to the radio this morning during my 2 hour commute, which should only have taken maybe 45 minutes. I was driving in to Metairie from Slidell (through New Orleans), and on the radio they were chatting it up on WWL 870 AM. The DJ, Bob DelGiorno, was referring to different topics and what not concerning the Crescent City's Future. From Mardi Gras to the Mayor and to a skit that was played on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. It was a repeat from September, but it must have been the first time that Bob had seen it. He said it was in bad taste and showed what he felt that people outside of the area probably think of our situation. I can concur that to believe it fully, you have to see it, smell it, and feel it for yourself. I have friends out of state who grew up here for most of their lives, and on a recent trip, even THEY were shocked at what they saw compared to the coverage that New Orleans got after the hurricane destroyed everything in their hometown. The fact of the matter is, whatever the stigma is on Louisiana, it doesn't change the fact that this shit was seriously (and without overuse of the word) fucking devastating. With that said, I have no problem with Saturday Night Live poking fun at any situation. There are times where it's so sad, it's funny around here.. and comedy practically writes itself. The one particular skit that was the topic of discussion is basically a showcase for the different SNL cast members to do various impressions in a New Orleans-Celebrity-House-Rebuilding setting as shown on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 show. Plain and simple, that's the skit in a nutshell. My honest and unbiased opinion is that it was just not funny, and not because of any insult it may have caused some people, but because it was not written very well and was not humorous. In comparrison, the New Orleans-Katrina-Girls Gone Wild sketch was ok. Now I know funny and during the early to mid-90's, I looked to SNL as a sorta dream job when I was a teenager. Most people believe that the golden age was back in the Aykroyd/Murphy/Chase/Radner/Belushi era... well since I grew up in the 90's, Hartman/Carvey/Farley/Spade/Sandler/Myers where my heroes. Nowadays, the best I can hope for is for Christopher Walken to host again. Now, I can see how that skit could be considered insulting for some. If there was a variety show based out of New Orleans, and we poked fun only about a month after 9/11 happened (you know, when the twin towers fell), it would have probably been frowned upon by New Yorkers. Now in this hypothetical variety show, we would have depicted some guys looting ground zero, running with a broken fax machine while others are seen sawing off hands sticking out of the rubble so that they could steal someones jewelery... then a scene or rapings, beatings, and police brutality at Madison Square Garden... and finally a bad imitation of Rudy Gullianni looking like a clueless schmuck screaming "The towers are burning, the towers are burning!"... Well, I have my doubts that New Yorkers would have found that funny. Say what you will, but the only element that would make 9/11 a bigger tragedy than Katrina, is the fact that it sparked a catalyst for a greedy oil-driven administration to host a senseless military-death-ridden war (with reasons based on faulty intelligence, of course). Other than that, there's not much comparison. You see, Katrina didn't spark any patriotism, which is why it's not getting much US or congressional attention. When hurricanes attack, there's nothing to bomb, no people to hate or torture, and no catholisism... I mean democracy to spread. So as you can imagine, it doesn't sound nearly as much fun compared to playing in the middle-eastern sandboxes. The whole 9/11 incident and what followed is treated like the holocaust, where people are marked a backstabbing heretic, a villainous trader, or treasonous unamerican if they merely utter anything remotely similar to not completely agreeing that it was the end of the world. So how big IS the biggest disaster to ever hit America? Over 200 BILLION dollars in assistance estimated to be needed for recovery. Over 90,000 square miles of designated disaster area in Louisiana, Mississippi, & Alabama. Over 2,700,000 people left without electricity. Hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses, structures, cars, and boats all destroyed as well as hundreds of thousands of lives put into disarray. Hundreds of thousands filed for unemployment, thousands missing, and hundreds of thousands displaced. All this and no Toby Kieth song to show for it. You'd think that Uncle Sam would rather spend some money and time to help take care of business at home and rebuild the gulf south, instead of wasting billions of dollars "rebuilding" Iraq... hell, here there's also oil in it for them! Some would say: You'd think that Saturday Night Live, being based in New York and all, would know what the effects of a tremendous tragedy could bring to a city, even if it only took place inside of a couple of city blocks. And you'd think that with a whole week of preparation, that SNL would somehow be introspective, creative, and most of all, witty! But I suppose not.

So Lame! I give it four and a half Fallons!

Posted by Reese at 8:46 AM

November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving & Holidays Fun

"The Great Pumpkin Died for Our Sins, Charlie Brown" - Linus

Ho Ho Ho, it's that time of year again. Time for the home stretch, where three major holidays exist in close proximity, each with different and multiple meanings. Pick your poison, it's going to be a turkey-eating christ-loving present-unwrapping firework-watching booze-fest no matter how you slice it! Suicides will be up... temperatures will be down. Start your engines, open your hearts, wallets, and palettes, and enjoy.

But before you go off setting up shop in your home and plotting more lies to your offspring about the fat jolly one, ponder your own childhood for a moment. I got to thinking why is there a Santa Claus? Why is he so accepted? You tell your kids to never lie to you, and yet you get elaborate schemes (sometimes with half-eaten cookies and such) to ensure their belief in the easter bunny, tooth fairy, santa clause, the maternity stork, etc. Call it a vision, but I can predict that in the future, "Fisher Price CSI Kits" will be given to kids as gifts and they will be able to perform DNA testing on half-eaten cookie samples, which will reveal the truth in shocking fashion! (Also, I wouldn't encourage letting them swab your bedroom with that kit, or you'll be explaining more than you bargained for!) Anyway, these are just the widely used fibs... I'm sure that each parent explains a multitude of things to their kids in as few words as possible as to not have to deal with the lengthy problems that come with telling the truth. All I know is that it would appear to be more family-like and heartfelt if parents would just tell their kids that they loved them so much and would like to buy them some nice things that they may have wanted for the holidays. Gifts coming from my parents instead of some mystical figure would seem more bonding from parent to child, don't you think? Probably not... my devil's advocate paragraph could surely be disputed by hypocrites all around.

Jerry Falwell has a crusade of his own nowadays. Join the "Friend of Foe" campaign.. to fight for Christmas. Forget the countless retailers who manage to spread jingle jolly sale advertisements with obvious exploitation of the holiday season. No, he's not after them. His group promises to file suit against anyone who spreads what it sees as misinformation about how Christmas can be celebrated in schools and public spaces. He'll boycott, sue, or threaten to kill (oh wait, that's Pat Robertson... Sorry, I get all those self-righteous faith-exploitist snake-oil bastards confused!) any groups that subvert Christmas. Now, I can handle boycotts. That's actually my preferred method of public disapproval. Peaceful, safe, and legal. But legal action is unwarranted. He wants people to "draw a line in the sand and resist bullying tactics of the ACLU and others who intimidate school and government officials by spreading misinformation about Christmas." Ignorance and narrow-mindedness are to blame for people who can't see that the ACLU is fighting for the rights of EVERYONE equally, not just one group, race, or sex. The ACLU is right in that we should keep church and state separate. That includes schools where people of different faiths , race, and sex congregate to learn FACTS, not conjecture.. no matter how widely believed it is. "People are free to worship in their homes and their houses of worship and if they rent out a hall," said the ACLU's Jeremy Gunn, national director of the group's Freedom of Religion and Belief program. "That they're doing this in the name of religion is very, very sad," Gunn said. "It would be one thing if they're talking about consumerism of the season or something, but they're not." When Christians believe that the world should be catering to their unique viewpoints on religious studies while shunning anyone who believes otherwise, they are no better than radical muslims.

Now before you go on calling me anti-christian or Lucifer. I will say that I do back the Catholic church on certain things. A pregnant (and unmarried) teacher is suing a Catholic school for firing her. Call it discrimination or what not, but my stance is clear... The school is a privately funded non-public educational center who should have the right to dismiss any employee for any reason they wish. On top of that, she had agreed to the rules layed out in the employee handbook that says that each teacher must "convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by his or her words and actions." Had this been a public school, i'd say that foul play had occurred.

Speaking of having a christmas wishlist... it appears that liberals, democrats, the UN, and Iraqi leaders all have something in common.. they want the US Government & Military to set dates for leaving Iraq. Unfortunately, the one's against the plan for leaving Iraq are your president, his administration, most republicans, oil tycoons, and haliburton contractors.

Posted by Reese at 10:23 AM

November 8, 2005

New Orleans Update!

You may get the sense of deja vu from this update.. because it will sound similar to the update I may have posted a few weeks ago. That's because governments and such are dragging ass in this recovery effort. St. Bernard Parish in particular have national guardsmen putting a porch and swing on Junior Rodriguez, the Parish President's double-wide trailer (sitting behind the parish government complex). Now, I'm pretty sure that he needs a porch to block out the sun from his splotchy skin whilst he swings back and forth gazing in awe of his empire of Chalmette. Yes, here's a man with REAL vision, folks. I hear they've even gotten electricity to two of the many street lights.. and if you break out your calculator kids, that's 1 street light per 30 days since the storm. Way to go! How about some REAL recovery. I can't rebuild my house in any kind of timely manner with hand tools. If we were an Amish community, we'd have all been home and functional by now. All I do know is that I'll be dealing with my mortgage company again in January, and I'm not in the mood to start paying the remaining 120K+ on a house in which I can't live in. So, if you insist on handling this catastrophe at a turtle pace, allow me to walk away and start anew elsewhere, because I could give a flying fuck about anything but my investment. If I do wind up being the only resident left, so be it... that'll be an easier drive into work each morning. So.. pretty please, the least you can do for leaving us all so vulnerable over the past 40 years, stop building porches and swings and start doing something more useful for the citizens who are giving up in droves on ever returning.

The sight of this duo hardly brings comfort nor competence.

Posted by Reese at 4:09 PM