Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
To whom it may concern; I'm writing because I have seen no trace of these crimes reported in the news. There are articles about street repaving & the Saints, of course. Even a blurb with Superintendent Serpas telling us the best thing to do is get out on our porches. Considering this rash of brutal home invasions and violence, maybe it's not a great idea. I have also searched for news of these events on every New Orleans Crime Map I could find. There has been nothing listed on any of these, to date: http://spotcrime.com/la/new+orleans http://groups.google.com/group/NOPD5-EmailBlast http://www.nola.com/crime/orleans/ My concern is that others living in these communities will not have any warning whatsoever that this is going on. My calls to the 5th District were futile at best, as every question was answered with a question, as though I were trapped in an Abbott & Costello routine. Never did the answering officer tell me they couldn't comment on an ongoing investigation or make any professional comment, but asked me repeatedly, "Well, do you THINK its safe?" and things of that nature. I find this sort of one-up-manship and rudeness useless, juvenile & not at all the professional attitude required to police our city streets. The idea that NOPD officers would engage in such tactics when citizens within their district are being robbed, raped, kidnapped & tortured is beyond criminal. It's an offense to civilized humanity and largely unforgivable. If measures are not to be taken to 'protect & serve', then we are merely being occupied by an armed force whose mission is other than our protection. Why is it that as Mayor Landrieu & Superintendent Serpas push for a more transparent NOPD, this behavior & direct obstruction of that pact with the citizenry of New Orleans is so obviously in violation? Have we not the right to know that these threats are at our doorsteps? Is there an investigation even under way, or has it been withheld from the general information pool of the New Orleans Police Department altogether? Those of us who live in the Marigny/Bywater area attract thousands of visitors a year, with the Times-picayune calling it New Orleans New Bohemia. Prospect 1.5 brings dozens & dozens of out of state visitors daily. Are they to be subjected to this danger, only to return home with tales of rape & torture? Are they to become victims themselves, along with our locals? Is that really how our city should be depicted, and, in fact, is that how we are to live? I've included a partial list of these events below. Please check for yourself, as to whether these crimes have ever been investigated, and what their current status is. As for myself & my neighbors, we are becoming used to the failure of our local police force, and the future of our neighborhood in the City of New Orleans. That commentary alone, is saddening beyond measure. Sincerely; Lord David Writer & Artist Marigny, New Orleans All of the incidents listed below are believed to have been reported to the NOPD 5th District. Last week (Wed. the 8th?), St. Anthony & Villere Streets; a woman was kidnapped, blindfolded & driven around the city, told she would be killed. She was taken to several ATMs & made to withdraw money. She was eventually dumped, alive, from the car. Monday, 12/13; St Ferdinand & Villere Streets; A couple, new to town, leaving to go out to dinner. The man starts to return for some reason. Couple is kidnapped & taken prisoner in their own home. Woman is repeatedly raped & tortured while man made to watch. Couple forced to use credit cards, call friends to procure money. Cell phones were stolen & continued being used. Cell phones also contained active GPS devices. Neither phone numbers nor GPS were used by 5th District according to those close to victims. They are leaving town immediately. I have been assured this was reported to NOPD 5th District the night it occurred. Saturday, 12/18; St. Claude & Press St.; 16 year old girl abducted, kidnapped & raped. Later released. I have been assured this was reported to NOPD 5th District. Saturday, 12/18; Marigny & Villere Streets; 5 people at local residence, single robber enters through back unlocked door. Robs everyone in the house @ gun point. Leaves with money & cell phones, etc. I have been assured this was reported to NOPD 5th District the night it occurred. *PLEASE NOTE* It has also been brought to my attention that while the NOPD had stepped up patrols in the St. Roch area, directly adjacent to these crimes, a new local 'Citizens Group' crafted a small petition claiming the police were bothering them by patrolling. Some have refused to sign it, as it contained the signatures of many who are known as thugs &/or criminals in the neighborhood involved. This petition was offered up @ a citizens meeting with the 5th District, & much to the disappointment of the regular citizenry, the patrols were canceled immediately. Those opposing the petition were not allowed to see it by Commander Kelly, reports say.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Love, a blinding light, aimed in my direction for no reason I can fathom, shines through me now and all of my faults, my doubts & insecurities float to the surface like brackish debris only to be burned away by the searing light of its presence. Having felt your light turned my way, and having been offered up as though I deserve this stellar pass, come now to me, and lay your ethereal head upon my shoulder. Hold it there and dream, a dream of summer days and nights of passion, of giving with no end and acceptance without limit. Sing a song to me now of praise and laughter, whose rhyme and meter match my heart as I could never have known without your grace. Soon you will dance far and away from me, just out of sight never out of mind, and I will always see your figure dancing madly on the distant hilltops, culling hearts and dreams from any who can see. Though friendship is the best that one can hope, still you linger at my side like it is never time to go. And when you leave, to that distant horizon the door will be ajar, I will be here waiting most each and every day for that knock and call to come bringing back the white heat, like a blast furnace, that surrounds me, and leaves my imperfections, my foolish pride and long intemperance, to be healed for a time in that most blinding embrace.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Please, check out Meschiya Lake, Margie Perez, Lord David, Sista Otis & Ratty Scurvics, live at the Skull Club, at the Benefit for NOOMOON's Dan & Bacon, on Saturday, October 23rd. Several performing artists donated their time to this cause. For that, and these marvelous performances, we are very grateful. Thanks, XOXO LD
Monday, October 18, 2010
Imagine that you come upon a child, lost and wandering, obviously tired and shivering with cold, crying and afraid. Would you stop to help? Or would you first look to see the color of their skin, what language they speak, or ask the name of their people's god, or whether they had two parents and what sex they were? If you answered yes to any of the last group of questions then you are that child and that is not the way home.
Monday, October 11, 2010
They sat on the living room floor and opened up wide their toy box heads. Sharing secrets and puzzles and games, and toys of endless charm and wonder, whispering and shouting, talking and laughing, until their cheeks were wet with tears, faces aching from smiles. They danced and sang until, as children often do, they wandered off in search of more adventure. After a while, they came to a place where most everything was Real Business and Taken Very Seriously. Realizing they did not know the way back, they clung together for a time. After a while in this place, they learned it’s ways, as children often do. Being embarrassed by the way they had acted in the before time, they could not look each other in the eye ever again. - Lord David "Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them." — Dr. Seuss
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Today, I drove down past the lower ninth ward with my friend, Willow. We were on a mission to get supplies for the renovations at Skull Club, and the Lowes & Home Despot in Chalmette have it all, being recently built & stocked. The people working there are also nicer than in urban New Orleans, and there's little traffic hold up. In fact, in many places along the way, there's very little at all. Rebuilding St Bernard Parish is an ongoing task that would make Hercules sweat bullets... But I digress... One of the things that seems to happen when one is totally absorbed in a project, is the forgetting of the day to day things of life that keep us going strong, like making (shopping for) groceries. I hadn't done it in days, and the slowly blackening pair of limes were obviously tired of standing guard over the empty mayonnaise jar that shared my refrigerator with them. Still, I soldiered on. As we headed for The Parish, I became aware that last night's tortilla and side salad were not going to hold out for long. And this was certainly not the time to divert to make a grocery run. Hunger began to gnaw mercilessly, and we weren't even to the store yet. I'm not a fan of fast food, largely because it's not really food, but an experiment in how bad something can be for you, taste barely edible and still make you want it. In the past, having managed to put myself in this same predicament, I'd stopped at the Brothers Gas Station on Elysian Fields & Claiborne (for gas, mind you) and found an absolutely delicious empanada stuffed with chorizo & scrambled eggs, nearly as tasty as real street food found in the Caribbean and Northern Mexico. Another friend, Dan the Man (of NOOMOON fame) swears that the Brothers Station at Elysian Fields & the 610 has the best fried chicken in town. So. As we pass through Arabi, headed down St Claude Highway, I see a Brothers Gas Station and scoot right in. The smell of hot peanut oil awaits. I went inside, hoping that my lovely empanadas were in there, too. And they were. But these were the deformed and angry cousins of my delicious treats, sagging with yellowed oil and smelling greasy from out here, on the other side of the glass. No fucking way. Then, on the menu behind the 'sneeze guard' glass, I see: "Kabobs - $1.99". Now, having spent a reasonable amount of time in the Third World, I'm a big fan of indigenous meat on a stick. You can also see them cook your food at street carts, where as in any restaurant, you're clueless 'til it's in you. And I've done way too much restaurant work to trust such flimsy truths. The Kabob it is then. It gets boxed and bagged and handed over to me, exactly as I hand over the 2 bucks & change. For some reason, certain cultures insist on touching the money before they release the food, like I'm going to jump in my super villain helicopter and escape James Bond by flying it under water all in the name of stealing a fucking kabob. I guess I could have, but the under water chopper is still in the shop until they figure out the warranty on the photon torpedo launcher. Okay. Fine. Outside, I get in the truck and my stomach growls. Like a hooker who can smell money, it wants what it wants and it wants it NOW. So I open the box and there it is. A roll of fried dough that would gag Elvis, looking like a cross between a baby's arm and a corn dog from hell. To my limited knowledge, a Kabob is meat and maybe some veggies on a stick. This huge coating of breaded godlessness was a surprise to me. And that's the most positive description I can offer. Great. Whatever the fuck it was, it was also now mine. Money had been touched and boxes handed off. Sometimes, there's just no going back. "Fuck it" says Mister Stomach. Paul Neuman's character in 'Hud' was made fun of by the white folks because he said he ate dog. Until they were starving and begged him for some... So I closed my eyes and figured, "How bad can it be, they're still open." You have no idea. Until now.... The first thing I noticed was a sharp pain in the back of the roof of my mouth, and something hard clacking between my teeth. Pulling 'the thing' out of my mouth, it's innards were revealed. It was, indeed a kabob. Of sorts. It certainly was meat on a stick. Two sticks, in fact. They were shoved through the meat side by side, so that a sharp point poked out either end, as though a thorough trapper wanted to make sure his kill would not easily escape. One of these had scraped against the back of my mouth as I gingerly took a bite of this strange and deadly object. They had both been there, through the middle of this beast, when I bit down, making my teeth jar against the wooden sticks. I wondered if some demented cook had laughed aloud during the impaling. As I looked into the maw of this strange device, I saw layers of filling on the sticks. Chunks of cheap smoked sausage alternated with little rolled up pieces of some sort of fabricated lunch meat, creating a textural & taste cornucopia of disgust. It began to seep. I like to think of myself as a guy who's been around a bit, not squeamish or faint hearted, able to do what it takes to get through whatever must be got through. What Carlos Castaneda would call a 'Warrior'. Still, this seeping roll of thick, fried dough, complete with Pun-gee Sticks of Death called for more than rising to an occasion. It called out a challenge like a duel, a fight to the death, a final curtain for somebody. And it wasn't going to be me. Rolling my eyes up into my head, I drew upon every mind and body control teaching I had ever learned. It also kept me from looking at the damned thing. I yanked out it's sticks like I was ripping bones from a mortal enemy, and stuffed one end of the seeping log of doom in to my mouth, biting down quickly, as if my reflexes expected it to try to squirm away. As I chewed and snorted my way towards the other end, I noticed that Willow had turned away, looking out the window, like he was dreaming of escape by jumping from the car as I rolled along, hideous demon in my mouth, strange orange fluid on my chin and the wheel held by my trembling knees. Somehow, I got it down. I may have blacked out. Willow isn't talking and I can't remember. I know we'll never speak of it again. Ever. I know, I know, I should have gone back, complained, whatever. But what good would it do, except to perhaps teach me where, exactly THEY GET THAT MEAT. And I have no interest in winding up in some miniature Vlad Kabob Experiment, out there in the Parish. Out there where no one can hear you scream. All they hear is the growl of your stomach, and they plaster on a nearly human smile, easy to mistake for the pleasure of service and sharing of interesting cuisine. Don't be fooled, my friends. Even the Jackal seems to smile as it eats it's still living prey. And somewhere, deep in the Ninth, strange creatures scream into the night, not as they are being impaled for these hideous creations. Oh, no. They scream as they find out they must eat one. So you've been warned. And I won't warn you again. Because even as I write this, I can feel it's twisting, turning, nauseating presence as it grows inside me. Perhaps it is, right this very minute, hatching it's young.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Although I have recently found myself to be the object of a hateful and relentless tirade from someone I have never met or dealt with, I find the human capacity for compassion and love to be inspirational, and, in fact vastly out weighing these paltry horrors. It is often in the worst of times that the best in all of us rises to the occasion. Love is always somewhere in our hearts.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Agreement (noun) - An arrangement as to a course of action. Imagine with me for a moment. Pretend that all of the world were involved. And that we, all of us humans, had reached an agreement. An agreement that for one day, a single consecutive period of 24 hours, starting simultaneously, all over the planet, nobody killed anybody. For one day on earth, there would be no murder, no war, no bombings, no executions. 24 hours in which to lay down our guns, abate our bombings, stop killing each other in the streets over imaginary territory, material objects, currency or the imagined verbal slight. All over the entire world, each & every person. Now imagine that 24 hour period coming to an end. Imagine looking in the mirror and saying to yourself, "Okay. Now it's time to go on killing people." Really? Is that who you would chose to be? Or will you make The Agreement last? We can begin today....
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I recently abated my use of the internet, even going so far as to put a notice on Facebook, expressing my disappointment in Cox's 'service', as their service wouldn't let me on line for more than about 8 seconds at a time, if that. I called repeatedly and was walked through instructions as to how I could dismantle my modem, router, computer & TV configuration, in order to "trouble shoot" the problem. I did this once, and only once, back in January when the connection started to weaken. Eventually, it just disappeared altogether, yet the 'phone service' people kept insisting all I had to do was take everything apart and put it back together, and everything would be just fine. Lies. All lies. I finally broke down and bought a new modem, on the off chance it would help. Nothing. Today, I got a call from their "Customer Service Department'. I had no idea there was such a thing, as I'd asked a dozen or so of the 'phone service' people if there was such a place and they assured me they were it. Chilling, I know. Anyway, one of the conversations I had with the 'service people', during which I ranted loudly about paying for goddam service for six months or more while some idiot told me again & again to dismantle the universe and rebuild it out of Popsicle sticks, was 'recorded for customer satisfaction'. Something I am completely unfamiliar with. Trust me. So they finally sent a guy. He drove by the building and parked, as I watched out the window, ready to point out the pole and hardware on the building, so he would know where to look. After the last few months, I expected little or nothing from anyone at Cox Cable. Before he got to the sidewalk, he called me on the landline. Oh, great, I thought. He'll want to come in and take the walls down. But no..... "When was the last time someone was here?" he asked. "Back in January, when my neighbor got cable internet, I guess", I replied. "Is that about when your problem started?" he asked... "Yeah, as a matter of fact, that's when it started to weaken" I said. "I called, but they assured me those things were unrelated." He pointed to a series of spider web wiring, hooked into several splitters, stuck haphazardly on the wall. "I gotta see who's paying for cable here, or if it's being stolen", he said. Then he made the call. After several bouts of "I see" and raised eyebrows, he hung up. "I'm sorry man, but these are all wrong. They're draining the signal and that's why you can't get on. It gets worse as these splitters degrade." Then the kicker: "These were all installed by the last Cox guy, but that's not how they're supposed to do it. It takes a dedicated line from the pole. I guess he didn't want to hang one." Fifteen minutes later, the line had been hung and everybody reconnected. At first, I was furious that some moron had cheated at his job, taken a short cut, and screwed up my service. But then, he was hired, trained and sent out as a representative of Cox, so there's some responsibility there. However, in the six months since then, as many as seventeen employees of Cox Cable New Orleans have had the opportunity to remedy this problem, by simply putting in a check order for this address. Not one of them did so, until today, and only then because I cussed out a supervisor and ended my rant with a polite request for Earthlink's phone number, and it happened to be randomly recorded. So there we have it. The squeeky wheel getting the grease. Again. Is this the sort of society we're becoming? Where service is a promise made only by nameless phone operators who never put in the work order? When we have 'available tech solutions' that include only a mumbling voice telling us how to do the work we've paid them for? Thank god for the working stiff on the ground, eventually dispatched by another employee fearing for his job, due to a computer's random recording of an irate customer, threatening to take their money elsewhere. I'd like to buy Tommy the Technician several ice cold beers. He showed up, found the problem, fixed it, and went about his day, just like millions of us do every week, waiting for that cruel joke of paycheck, and swallowing the bullshit that comes along with it. I'd like to have the 'service people', who sit on the phone, playing God and reading from a sheet of instructions that don't apply, giving me attitude because 'it's my turn to talk now, sir', lined up where I can see their faces. Their lying, lazy faces. Fuck all of you worthless bastards. Knock it off and quit complaining. I'll give you a turn to talk when you actually DO something other than read a script and take my money for not doing a goddam thing. And if that happens to include almost 100% of the politicians who are sitting pretty with a six figure income (plus), an equal retirement plan and free health care for life, well, I guess you know what I think of your 'service', too. A hard rain is gonna fall one day, maybe sooner than we think, and those bureaucrats who do nothing but get in the way of the rest of us, struggling to make a life and unafraid to work for it, are going to find little sympathy from me. Anyway, I'm back online & preaching revolution, starting from within. In the meantime, I've been watching Fight Club over again. If the system continues to fail us, perhaps it's time to take it down. Not just in our own minds, but in the ethics we hold dear as a Nation. You may now return to your usual activities.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
At least today didn't start out with waking up from a 3 day binge to get rammed in the back of a car with a dogs ass in my face for a 20+ hour drive to god-knows-where, all with one shoe, no money & a fractured hip, not knowing if I'd ever be back. So there's that.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Ego is the device with which we manage the interface between conscious awareness and the reality we experience, much like a disk operating system manages the interface between the CPU and the programs it operates in. We are all aspects of the same unified consciousness, peering out through the bodily perceptions we have incarnated in to. We chose to be here, to be who we are, to awaken to what we will become... The Ego is a character of our own creation, living in a series of stories that we recall as memories, although they are only made from our perspective; or operating on a belief system that it has chosen to accept. We are not our Egos. They do not run or control us. We are free to live without fear. We are free to love openly. All motivations share one of two common denominators; Love & Fear. Which will you accept? All things come down to two choices; Resist or Allow. Can you trust the Universe? Will you allow it to remind you of who you are? Look deep inside, quiet the inner dialog of your ego, and see for yourself... Resist or allow? Allow peace for everyone. xoxoxo
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
At the center of all things is The Om, the music of the spheres, the sound of the Universe, creating itself, every moment, like a heart beat, welcoming all.... Listen to that song, and know that you are loved, for you are a part of this wonder, now & forever.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
About a week ago (June 17th) I wrote to Kristin Palmer regarding the sudden enforcement of the curfew on street music. Her public statement at that time was a verbal shrug. "The ordinance is as it stands." That letter is available, here. What follows is her response to me, and my answer. I post these only to keep interested parties informed, offer complete transparency regarding my actions, words and bad manners, and allow others to accurately monitor the same from her. Except the bad manners. It's easier being nice when you don't really commit to anything. And I don't have to worry about running for office. I'm usually in mine, hiding under the desk, anyway. Anyway, here goes: Cm Kristin Gisleson Palmer June 20 at 5:33pm Hi David, to follow is the statement that I am sharing with all of those concerned with the noise ordinance, Please be patient, we are working as hard as we can to find a solution to all those impacted. New Orleans is the Cultural Capital of the World, and we have an obligation to protect and support the very things that make our culture so authentic. It is possible for musicians, residents and businesses to co-exist in the French Quarter and across our city. It requires having ordinances that make sense, that are clearly communicated to the public and that are properly enforced. I will work with the Landrieu administration, my fellow City Councilmembers and the New Orleans Police Department to review the quality of life ordinances to ensure that they best serve the needs of our community. I will continue to fight for the sustainability of the French Quarter, one of the main economic drivers of the city. In order to sustain a rich culture in an extremely fragile area, there must be smart regulation that is fairly enforced. My response to Ms Palmer, of about an hour ago, June 21st, 2010: Dear Ms Palmer; That's a great form letter, filled with wonderful superlatives and a resounding & emphatic "hooray' for the French Quarter. It's also very late in the game, and mostly repeating what many letters have been telling you all week. I know you're new at this, however. It takes time to get the momentum of the street in to one's life. There are many constituents in your district that are not property owners, members of neighborhood associations, or affiliated with some collective group, be it non-profit or clergy oriented. They are actually the majority of your voters & supporters. Many of these people work in the service industry, or in support of it, and a great deal of them are musicians, artists & writers who maintain their day to day lives through these jobs. They, like much of the City of New Orleans, rely on tourism and "the sustainability of the French Quarter, one of the main economic drivers of the city." The efforts of some, like the French Quarter Citizens Association, to shut down street art & music, not only ignores the equal & valued opinions of this majority, but seeks to remove the source of much of their income, as well as a truly rare & beautiful aspect of life here, found nowhere else in the country. Where then, would we find our bartenders, cooks, bus boys & bar backs, bicycle delivery people, grocery workers,retail shop attendants, etc? Literally hundreds of these people live & work in the specific neighborhoods of District C BECAUSE they can support themselves with these jobs and pursue their true calling in the same neighborhoods. Besides losing tourist trade over these issues, one must realize that many returned New Orleanians might move to Atlanta or Austin should they find their options closing here. It certainly happens now, and more than I'd like to admit. The French Quarter Citizens Association has this as it's Mission Statement: "To preserve the quality of life in the Vieux Carré neighborhood, to preserve its historical character and architecture, and to work with other organizations to focus attention on the problems confronting our neighborhood." When their president appeared on TV, saying that 'street musicians' were a deterrent to "those who live here or want to live here" I believe that mission statement was violated. There have been street musicians and street artists in New Orleans for over a hundred years. The idea that they should be done away with for "those who live here or want to live here" is ridiculous. If someone wants to live here, the concept of changing the very nature of our lives to accommodate them puts us all into the service industry, as their Disney Characters, happily waving as they change our neighborhoods in to the image they had back home in Nebraska. It means we are to be bought & sold. I know their money speaks loudly. Please be aware that the same people who marched on City Hall, 5,000 strong, speak loudly, too. In all fairness, it would seem a simple task to plot out specific areas for street music, just as Jackson Square has done for artists, myself included, at one time. Royal Street, from The Square to Canal street, is prime location for street music, without bothering any street level homes. The same is true of Bourbon, from Conti to Canal, Decatur from Margueritaville to Esplanade, and Frenchman, from Decatur to Royal Street. Please take this idea, or one like it, into consideration, as you meet with Mayor Landrieu for these discussions. Obviously we face greater emergencies right now, but with the loss of seafood and oil industry work, tourism is about all we have left. To eliminate such tourist friendly activities would seem like shooting ones self in the foot. In closing, please be aware that we're counting on you. Some proactive contact, like seeing what it is your Constituency values, might lend itself to that, rather than responding to smaller organized groups who control money & property. I'm guessing few of them tend bar, wash dishes or cook a mean blackened red fish for a living. And those things matter a great deal, here. A very great deal, indeed. Lord David Marigny New Orleans cc: everybody
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It is a scene imagined in minds across the Globe; an evening stroll, deciding to taste the foods indigenous to the city, distracted by the beauty of the ancient architecture, and listening to the sounds of jazz, played on the very street corners... until now. Mayor Mitch Landrieu ran for office on a platform of, among other things, "preserving our local culture". Many an eyebrow was raised when he chose Ronal Sherpas as our new Police Superintendent, after a 'nation wide search' that promised to chose from 85 of the country's "best & brightest", as Serpas is not only former NOPD, but third generation NOPD and his father was apparently Mayor Moon Landrieu's driver for a time. As New Orleans struggles through a new wave of horrible press (thanks, BP), the HBO program, 'Treme' keeps us barely seen positively in the Eyes of America. For the most part, anyway. People see themselves as imagined in the first paragraph, walking through a renewed French Quarter, surrounded by food, drink & music. Now Mayor "Preserve our Local Culture" Landrieu & Chief "Law & Order" Serpas have taken on the Real Enemy; Street Musicians. Local ordinances, rarely used, have allowed the NOPD to shut down street musicians performing on Bourbon Street, from Canal to St Ann, at 8pm. There is another, equally ridiculous ordinance, allowing them to do the same to the brass & acoustic Jazz Bands that play at the corner of Frenchman Street & Chartres, a spot long known for it's free music. It's over at 8pm, well before the parade of tourists and local listeners hit Frenchman for their nightly stroll. Under these current conditions, Louis Armstrong's career might never have been launched. I try to imagine a city, it's culture based on silence after 8pm, side walks clear of both musicians and those who would make a living from the crowds they draw; bartenders, cooks, busboys, waiters, and the myriad delivery people who help to service the dwindling tourist trade. Just who would be left to stroll there? Tourists who have dreamed all their lives of Quiet Time in the Big Silence? Imagine with me, as you fly in to Curfew International Airport, and quietly take a cab to Keep It Down Park, famous for the noisy Congo rhythms, no longer allowed past 8pm... Sorry. This antiseptic version of the Stepford Quarter is too horrible for my mind's eye to behold. There is a flicker of further madness in all of this. There are city ordinances provided to allow the constant use of power tools, compressors, leaf blowers, jack hammers and agricultural equipment from 7 in the morning until ten at night, starting a full two hours before music can begin, and running a full two hours later. In what insane nightmare standard does this become allowed to stand? Is crime in the 8th district so fully under control that NOPD cruisers have nothing better to do? As warned, Serpas' penchant for focusing on minor crimes to raise his stats is well under way. Perhaps burying his head in the COMSTAT room, he cannot hear the oppressive silence forced upon our streets by such persnickety police work. God help those carrying a trombone and forgetting to put on their seat belt. The Tower of Punishment surely waits. At a time when the State of Louisiana is wrestling with White House over it's oil platform closures, saying that without fishing, there is only that & tourism to support so many, why is the Mayor of New Orleans shutting down jazz on the street, possibly THE oldest tradition we cherish & hold dear? While the NOPD undergoes Federal Investigation on never-before-seen levels, why is the new Chief of Police using vital officer time & energy to shut down brass bands and acoustic street musicians? Banning street amplifiers after 8pm I could understand, but banjo's & trumpets? This is seriously ludicrous, if there is such a thing. I have been sent sections of blogs, with commenters there, claiming to be NOPD or Ex-NOPD, voicing their "strong disapproval" of the way they are portrayed on HBO's 'Treme'. Some have called for all off duty NOPD security to stage a walk-off, others for the officers on duty to "forget" to respond to this particular entity. I have even read some that call for the removal of all street musicians who "got what they deserved" on the HBO program. I cannot say if these commenters are actually NOPD or not. I can say that I know where the Buck Stops. And now, so will you. Please, let those who "govern" at City Hall know what you think. It is, after all, our city, and it is they, not us, who serve at our discretion. Mayor's Office Phone: 504-658-4900 Police Chief Serpas NOPDChief@cityofno.com Quality of Life Officer for 8th District Ofc. Roger Jones, 8th Dist PD firstname.lastname@example.org 504-301-7667 Arnie Fielkow/City Council Counselor at Large email@example.com 504-658-1060 Jackie Clarkson/City Council Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org 504-658-1070 Kristin Palmer/District C Council Member email@example.com (District 8 is her district) The silence you hear is the End of an Era: Music on the Streets of New Orleans.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Today, a Skylark flew into the Skull Club & couldn't find it's way out, no matter how many windows I opened. After a few hours, other Skylarks came singing at the window, and took him home. No one got paid, elected, rewarded or portrayed in a Movie of the Week. Word up, Humans. This is how it really works.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Last night I dreamed a little dream I let it float down stream to make room for some more. Sometimes I simply drift away go swimming out in space 'til a knock comes on the door. It's just a game to answer to a name a place to lay the blame to run it all ashore. Up here when I'm alone with you it somehow all comes true I don't need one anymore. Still I see you there wondering just what my name should be... Baby, it's just me. I know I sometimes scream and shout I just got to let it out before I lose my mind. Other times I gotta make drinks for a friend well, it might be eight or ten... just let everybody in. I go out and completely act the fool I'm really not that cool it's just the business that I'm in. Up here deeper passions rise away from all those eyes we can step out of that skin. Still, I see you there wondering just who I'm trying to be... Baby, it's just me. The Sky comes caressing Earth sand is kissing surf it doesn't have to be arranged. Like the Wind whispers clouds to move they have nothing to prove no need to be ashamed. You and I or is it 'us' or 'we' or a flower and a seed a part of Nature's game. Slip away and play another hand we'll be Selene and Pan or any other name... Still I see you there, wondering just who it is you see... Baby, it's just me. Still, I see you there, wondering just who you want to be.... Baby, set it free. Baby, set it free. copyright 2010 - Lord David Music
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Loki; Founder, Editor & The Big Giant Head behind the Humid City blog, is currently in Exile. Self-imposed of course, but all the same, he ain't round here these days. Even in his absence, orchestrated to allow his beautiful wife to complete her higher education, he remains with us in spirit, partly wearing his Motivational Speaker hat. If one can really call that a hat. Anyway. We feel you out there brother. And you're in our hearts as well as on our dart boards. Especially since you no longer live in that van, down by the river. All Hail LOKI; Exiled Prince of Fools, King of Chatterboxes, renowned Techno Geek & The Guy You Want On Your Side When It All Goes Down. Miss ya, motherfucker. XOXO LD
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I’m still waiting to see who Mayor Mitch chooses as his Police Superintendent. And I’m still skeptical of ANY ex-NOPD member taking that job. I have also been seriously schooled on the inner workings of Ronal Serpas’ previous tenure at the NOPD, and the amount of good that was done at the time he served as second in command under then Superintendent Pennington. Still, my lurking fears remain. Now there’s this: Mitch Calls in the Feds Thanks, Mitch. Seriously, I mean it. That takes some serious huevos to do, whoever you are. As I’m sure it’s been pointed out, it’s probably easier being the New Mayor, so any defeat or blame gets laid elsewhere. Still, it’s a very difficult thing, as a New Orleanian, as a New Mayor, as a politico from a political family, especially THAT political family, to walk in and throw up your hands and admit that this is beyond your ability to repair, and do it front of the whole goddam world. So thanks, Mitch. Excuse me… Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Thanks. I’m still wary. Let’s say I think we’re still on very thin ice with the trust thing. But now I’ve got something else; Faith. So I’m cool with it, for now, and I’m listening & watching carefully. I’ve got Faith on Thin Ice, Mayor Mitch Landrieu. And that’s better than it’s been in a long, long time. Don’t let us down, though, okay? Just don’t.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I remember a time when people, everywhere, were outraged. They couldn’t believe their government was involved in questionable political activity, extended wars in distant lands and the rape of the Earth. A conservatism swept the land, and everyday normal Americans were persecuted for their beliefs in non-religious spiritualism, non-traditional relationships, pacifism. Students rose up to peacefully protest these oppressions and restrictions of their Freedom. It was 40 years ago today, that President Nixon had sent the National Guard to Kent State University, to put a stop to ‘instigation’ against the War in Vietnam, particularly, the protest against the illegal invasion of Cambodia, and four unarmed students lost their lives to the gunfire of those Guardsmen. Please, take a moment to remember them. Remember what they stood for; Peaceful Demonstration and the Right to Assembly, people of the Greatest Nation on Earth coming together to keep it that way, unarmed civilians, standing together against a Tyrant who would steer our country to a dark and horrible place. Those same forces are at work around us now. Those that would pillage the very planet we live on, pervert the process of the Free Press, obtain control through armed oppression, discriminate against those who look, think or speak differently than they do. Please, take a minute of your busy day to Remember the Ohio Four. They paid the ultimate price for their belief in a peaceful solution, and end to War, a healthy relationship with the Earth, a country able to grow and embrace New Freedoms. It falls to us now. All of us. Not a new beginning, but a continuation of those efforts. Because those same forces are at work around us now. Louder than ever. Speak out, let it be known that oppression of the weak, discrimination against the different, plunder of the planet and the breakdown of justice & constitutional law are not to be tolerated. Please. Remember…
Monday, May 3, 2010
God called. I told him you were busy, but he said he just wanted to check some things out. He wondered if were true that one of us could go out Saturday night, like to Walmart & stuff, and buy a shotgun & a half gallon of vodka, but even a seed of the herb he created for us could land you in jail for a year. Then he asked me if we'd all gone blind. He figured that with all the messing around, stinking up the place by burning & refining oil, not to mention those big ass oil slicks, that we'd forgotten about the Sun, that big bright ball that provides all the energy the planet has ever needed. Anyway, he sounded pissed. Something about, 'you fucked it up, you'd better un-fuck it. Or else'. I dunno, dude. He sounded pretty serious to me. What the hell have you been DOING, man?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"All his patients want a second dose of the drug." No shit. This lady even started wearing Keith Richards' eye liner. I believe that the Psychedelic Experience is the perfect thing for terminal patients. I'm also a big fan of the LSD Hangover Cure, but only a couple of times a week. Please watch this:
Monday, April 26, 2010
I voted for Mitch Landrieu. My belief was that he would be a fairly straight shooter, perhaps a little clerkish, but a guy we could trust. His record of bringing entertainment dollars and tourism to Louisiana spoke to the artist & musician in me, I admit. I had high hopes, Mitch. High hopes, indeed. Above all, I really wanted to believe that he would take serious steps towards cleaning up our mired NOPD. The T-P reports today that Ronal Serpas is one of the finalists for Police Superintendent of the City of New Orleans. Please, somebody, pinch me and wake me up, before I start screaming uncontrollably. Not only does Serpas’ family have alleged ties to the Landrieus (both families are New Orleanian for generations, so it stands to reason), but Ronal Serpas is Ex-NOPD. He also has been seriously accused of maintaining the ‘blue line’ in his tenure as Chief of Police in Nashville, going so far as claims that he hid or altered evidence and coached officers to perjure themselves, in a case where white officers are accused of mistreating minority children at a 2007 Fraternal Order of Police Youth Camp for Less Fortunate Children. Maybe the Landrieu & Serpas families only met at a Bar-B-Q once or twice. Maybe Mitch isn’t just reaching out to the Good Ole Boy Network of People He Knows Will Do As They’re Told. Maybe the accusations are entirely false and an entire family spent everything they had on nonsense, just to make Ronal Serpas look bad. As the First Big Thing that Mitch does, and possibly The Most Important Thing that happens as he takes office, the mere cloud of such obvious impropriety is enough to make me gag. Even Ray Nagin didn’t make such obvious gaffs in public trust for the first few months. So I haven’t woken up yet. And I feel a scream coming on. And even if this guy isn’t our next police chief, I’m done. I voted for you once, Mitch. You won’t get another chance from me. You’ve already lost my confidence, and it’s too dear to trust to this kind of bullshit anymore. The ride is broken, and no matter how far your hands are inside the roller coaster car, it’s going the wrong way already. I want my money back. And the Federal Government taking over our crooked fucking NOPD.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Due to the success of last night’s premiere of ‘Treme‘ on HBO, Tour buses have been scheduled for regular routing. The first one to arrive in the Marigny, however, was stopped in the first block by a rapidly forming brass, drum & fiddle corps, breaking into song as the Tour Bus ground to a halt. A pair of two story bicyclists then snatched the driver out of the bus and dragged the driver into a nearby bar. He was last seen naked, asleep on the pool table. The passengers all left by United Cab, (only five passengers per cab, please) paying the full airport fare in cash up front. The Tour Bus remains, and may now be home to as many as three families, but it’s impossible to tell. The entire bus is covered in glitter and feather boas. More on this as the story breaks….
I was floored by Loki’s last post. Like being lacquered to to a dark, dank floor, from which nothing good will ever come. It felt like the bottom. Of everything. But sometimes the view from there gives us perspective. The only way to look is up. The only way to go is out, into another direction, in search of something true and real, something that one can clasp ones hands around and feel strength, a solid ground upon which to step from the rolling sea of bad news that has plagued New Orleans in recent times, more than ever. It’s a Beautiful Sunday Afternoon today. Following directly on the heels of A Beautiful Saturday & Friday Afternoon. It’s French Quarter Festival in full swing. I’ve just come from Cap’n Sal’s on St Claude with too many pounds of crawfish, not too small to eat or too hard to peel, perfect in every way. John Boutte is singing live on the radio. The windows are open and voices murmur from the street, thick with excitement on their way to the Music On The Levee, or languid with fulfillment on their way back. My brushes and tools seem to float around in my hands like some Disney Cartoon, magically knowing my secret desires and bringing them to life out of the flotsam of street scores. My heart, however blind to the horrors that jump from news papers and computer screens, is full of life today. Forgive me that, if you can. Just this once. I am acutely aware, in this very moment, that I live in The Best Place In The World. Because rabid conversation will soon turn to the vast nuances of What’s To Eat Next. Because the Music On The Levee today will continuously waft through from The Local Radio Station. Because art will be made from nothing. And because tonight, a National Premier on HBO will attempt to show the world our perspective on Life. Of course, no matter how close they get, nothing compares to living here. Nothing. Josh Cohen, of Morning 40 Federation, once announced with great pride that he’d fallen madly in love with a drunken old whore, the City of New Orleans. Whatever you call her or think of her, she’s seen better days, and worse. Beaten, robbed, exploited, held at ransom and very nearly drowned, she’s been through quite a bit these last three hundred or so years. But here she stays. And so do we. And behind the wounds and scars, under the tawdry costumes and torn bits of last nights finery, she has often made that walk of shame, heading home in the broad day light, no excuse for living too large, too fast, too hungry. Nor should their be one. There is Glory here. There is the Moment. There is the music coming from the river, the smell of something wonderful cooking, the cloying air and the soft sound of paint spreading from brush to surface. There are people talking, laughing and walking hand in hand, or riding ancient bicycles, to and from The Festival. It’s a beautiful Sunday Afternoon in that City by the River, another one in a line of them going back almost three centuries. Things are changing here. I hope for the better. They’ve can’t be much worse. They always change, however, as much as they always stay the same. We dance and sing, we raise glasses to the fallen and the lost, we share our tastes in art, music, & food. We live. And we go on. We are, all of us here, part of her now. Not forever, as she is, but only for a short time. Our lives are like The Moment to her. And in the Moment, we find ourselves. Individual, strong, resourceful and sometimes quite mad. But we know the Truth she knows. This will pass, like the water of the Mississippi does our city, everyday. What comes next is up to us. Whatever it is, it’s gonna be better. And we’ll go on. Like the endless story of the City of New Orleans, the Best Place in the World. Love you, girl. Yes I do. Lord David Skull Club New Orleans
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
If you walk with me We might not end up our separate ways. If you talk with me We might speak & not have to look away. If you lay with me I think that I could make you smile. If you stay with me I think that I would love you in a while. If I show to you All the things that make me what I am. Would you run away? Or change me or just leave me as I am? If you knew me well Would you think that I had let you down? If I fell for you Do you think you’d still want me around? When we take a look inside Something there is not quite right All the things we try to hide Get dragged out in to the light… Now that we have gone As deep in this as we could ever go Did I do you wrong Or is there more to me than you can know? If we drift apart Does it mean that everything will end? When we started out I just wanted you to be my friend. When we take a look inside Something there is not quite right All the things we try to hide Get dragged out in to the light…
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
If one of your friends says something you disagree with, you could take the time to listen and think about it. One of you might learn something. If you don't want to hear anything that doesn't fit your little world, you were never their friend in the first place.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
I've seen the people crying seen them lined up in the road standing backed against the wall nowhere left to go I see the sun keep coming up the morning sky turn blue I make myself remember that we're only passing through Still, someday a time will come you better know it will he who was first will now be last and gonna have to pay that bill
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
These ancient narrow streets, once dark with mad legend, now crawling alive below twisted, cursive wrought iron. Looking down into chaos and falling through the long hall back to memory of her, sitting late at the bar, saying, how could I miss it, the smorgasbord of pleasure. I spoke words of leaving to her smile and her eyes told me that my words were lies. Below my feet are spirits of many worlds and faces, dragged up each time to meet in this weird pageant like the drunken contents of lost sepulchers spilled together onto littered streets. The howling of tears and song, of laughter and of minds lost, of lovers found, to be forgotten. Wine and spirits pour like blood at some fantastic mass communion, the wafer of our very flesh consumed on altars of desire. All ghosts are holy here and vestments, glorious and vain, tatter in the pulling hands of the blessed and the damned, falling together into bliss or to burn in eternal flame. The call rises to fever pitch and turning back, I step inside to find my feet upon the stairs. Treading down deep into dark, I see a light that lies ahead. Following my walking feet, the iron gate is all that holds the street back from this inner sanctum of sanity and calm repose. Swinging open the bars and stepping out into the crowd, immediately I am lost and swept away by relentless current, feet no longer touching ground, laughter ripped from out my mouth so loudly, yet I cannot hear it nor can I recall my name or where I was before this time of twitching orgiastic dance or why those balconies look safely down with distant faces like I once knew, when just below them hunger reigns and I have fed myself, at last, into the mouth of the beast.
Friday, January 22, 2010
It has come to my attention that Troy Henry, not satisfied with plastering Dutch Morial’s picture all over his website (Mrs. Morial made him take it down), trying to align himself with the first Black Mayor of New Orleans, has now posted pictures of Dr. Martin Luther King, pleading with us to watch his video, Troy Henry Tribute to Martin Luther King. Since Mister Henry announced that he wished race were not an issue in this election, I find it nauseating beyond all measure that he would pander to feelings of racism, trying to get himself elected solely on skin color. His credentials, like being president of a water company that has several ‘presidents’, or bragging about his ‘consulting firm’, a partner of which is now suing him for using company funds to support his campaign, certainly speak for themselves. To my ears, they speak Naginomics, a shallow attempt to pander to the worst fears of his own people, in order to gain complete power over them, giving him the best vantage point to lie & steal, just as he is now doing to his partners & anyone buying his Mayoral Race shenanigans. MLK would probably have him escorted from the building. Then of course, is Election Time Lunatic, John George. As an official Dangerous Person of the Internet, I wonder why full page glossy pamphlets picturing Mister Georges shining face are crammed into my mail box, taking up space usually reserved for Netflix, pornography ads, and ladies underwear, usually left around 3am (just ring the bell next time, darlin. I’m up…). I guess he thinks that because I live in ‘The ‘Hood”, I must be black, and about to squander my vote on the likes of Troy Henry. Not a chance, Georgie. By the way, the Marigny, while not anything like your rich ass gated community or the private school where you send your kids, all in the name of keeping it real with New Orleans, is rated in the top ten up & coming neighborhoods, nationally. Of course, if my lunatic father were a poker machine magnate, and had named me ‘Nike Georges’, I’d want to go to private school, too. Those playground beatings can get ugly. Anyway… John Georges didn’t stop there. Oh, no siree bob. At evening rush hour, he has four teenage African American girls, standing on the four corners of Elysian Fields & Caliborne Avenue, looking every bit of their 12 to 16 years, and waving his ‘Vote for John Georges’ signs around, to the horn beeping and cat calling of any passerby who finds this exciting during a two light wait at rush hour. Hard Pimping and pandering to the best & brightest, yo. I hope those gals are well paid. I’m sure they don’t understand the ramifications of selling out their own folks while using their bodies as bait. John Georges, certainly does, however. I wonder why Nike, Lisa & Zana aren’t out there? I thought Mister Georges was all about ‘the Family Business’ as this full color propaganda says. I guess HIS kids are only allowed to get pimped out in gated communities. “Most important to me is my family & church” the flyer declares. What’s important to you, John ‘Douche bag’ Georges, is winning at any cost, pandering to race, spewing hate towards bloggers who seek the truth and pushing your fucking poker machines down the throats of any & all of the poorest, seeking hope while you drain them of their very last drop. You, John Georges & Troy Henry, are what’s wrong with New Orleans, a pariah to us all, and will be forgotten too soon to have your actions pinned on you properly, guaranteeing you that special place in hell, all the same, for rich & powerful assholes hungry for more power for the sake of power, and willing to step on anyone or anything to get it. Thanks for the new dart board, by the way, Johnny old chum. Too bad it isn’t voodoo doll I’m punching holes in. Lord David Skull Club New Orleans
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The concept that we are the only intelligent living things in all of this vast expanse is ludicrous, at best. The idea that there is The One God here who punishes our personal minor infractions and encourages us to make war upon each other in His Name would be entirely laughable, were it not for the millions who have died at the hands of 'believers'. While our paltry lives are not even a blink in it's existence, we are, all the same, part of this magnificent experience, and therefore equally capable of beauty. Behold, the True Nature of 'Heaven', so exquisite, it brings a tear to the understanding eye. We are not alone, but part of a cosmic dance of all eternity.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Yeah, those are lyrics from The Who’s anthem, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again‘. You might have heard it on one of those CSI shows where all the Sci-Tech gals are playmates and the mailman drives a Ferrari. While TV & Rock and Roll are Classic American Distractions, that particular song holds special meaning for New Orleanians as the Mayoral Race closes to the final sprinting distance. We were certainly ‘fooled again’ when Mitch Landrieu was outvoted four years ago by a grinning jackal we know as C. Ray Nagin. Of concern to me in this race, among other things, is do we really want another cocky business man at the helm, telling himself he can do no wrong behind his Isolation of Power Door, or can we deal with the slippery slope of half truth and convenient beliefs. Of special interest in current events is the ongoing playing of the race card by Nagin and most recently (and pathetically) by Warren Riley. Even Troy Henry has “lambasted recent news reports suggesting “a likelihood that the next mayor of New Orleans would be white.” He went on to say, “”All we’re asking for is fairness and equal consideration, period.” These are, of course, admirable qualities to strive for. I’m also told that Troy Henry & Stacy Head are ‘friends’ which I’m guessing is some sort of euphemism for political associates. I doubt they have Sunday Tea together, but hey, I could be wrong. Neither of them has ever invited me. Go figure. So, anyway, I’m wondering where all of this ‘can’t we all just get along racially’ song and dance was when Veronica White et al were breaking laws all over the place, focusing only on white council members and using her race to cover up her inept failure at, well, covering up her inept failure. You gotta give Veronica points for consistency, something she must have learned during her political science days. At Beauty School. Where was Troy’s righteous indignation at race baiting in City Hall then? In fact, where is it NOW, when his buddy, Ms Head, is taking dirty shots from a known liar (check his crime stats) in uniform, also busting out the unethical chops by accusing her of open racism in an email he cannot produce or even prove exists? Nowhere, that’s where. Nada, zip, squat. He’s not gonna do shit to stand up for his ‘friend’, for what’s right, for what WAS right as long as he can spend his time using this Race Baiting issue to get himself closer to being in office. Once there, I’m guessing that we can expect the same race card shenanigans, ignoring alliances with those fighting the good fight, and general shuck & jive bullshit that we’ve been drowning in for the past eight years. It’s not okay to DO IT to Troy Henry, but if it’s not a stain on his tie, it doesn’t exist. This lack of concern for a real issue that has has cost the City Of New Orleans years of recovery, suddenly turning around when it may effect his bid for Mayor, just stinks to high heaven of personal agenda and the Delusional Egomaniac show that were about to celebrate the end of. Or are we? “I pick up my guitar & play. Just like yesterday. Then I get on my knees and pray…. We don’t get fooled again.” - Peter Townsend Lord David Skull Club New Orleans