Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld Lang Syne; New Years in New Orleans

The Rich Tapestry & Magnificent Pageant of Life is full on now, as the Last Minute Parking Wars end in a series of high speed reverses and driveway blocks.

The Metairietes are 'Woo-Hooing' their way into the Quarter, pushing strollers and pulling coolers;

The Just Arrived Gutter Punks have already evicted one of their own by locking him out of the van parked across the street, his lone ranting & shouting causing him to be driven off by the neighbor;

The Thin Wheeled Wrong Way Cyclists weave past, griping about 'the potholes' as if they had just now appeared as a personal inconvenience;

On the Levee, amateur pyrotechnicians pre-launch, while across St Claude they seem to be shooting at their own fire works, with hand guns and heavier artillery;

It's definitely New Years Eve in New Orleans.

Look here, for the sake of Auld Lang Syne.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Prayer For a New Dawn

Everybody is, somehow, broken inside.
We all carry the pain of disappointments, 

loneliness, isolation, insecurity...

It is easy to feel adrift in an ocean so vast, 
it seems pointless to swim anymore.
But like the water in that ocean, 

we are all connected as one.

Recalling that all the other droplets
are the same as you,
that we ebb & flow together,
in a force so powerful 

as to raise a tide across the world,
you will find peace,
floating in that sea of love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You Can't Get There From Here

It's late.
My mind wanders when it's late, and tonight, there is much ground to cover, a lot of it inspiring, some of it poison to the core. Where to begin...

My father was seventeen years old when he squinted to pass his eye exam, lied about his age, and went off to fight in the second world war, as did many young American men.
He joined the Navy, in hopes of regular showers, and was told he had an aptitude for Morse Code, and stuck at a radio on a communications ship in the Pacific. He was surprised that communications ships carried few arms, and worried about "getting his ass blown off." 

Still, he made it home in one piece, went to college on the GI Bill, married my mom (his college sweetheart, a poet) and went to work, forming a partnership with her that he would work & she would run the household. They raised four children and stayed faithful and married until they died, one right after the other, about three years ago.

They lived, for a time, the American Dream.

Before he retired, however, the corporation my dad worked for was sold to a larger one, who dismantled it, including the pension plan he, and others, had counted on.
My father, being the man he was, sued them, all the way to the higher courts of Washington DC, citing labor laws & precedents galore, and finally got back his pension.

This was not the America he fought for, he told me.
Not by a long shot, he pointed out.
He believed, not in fighting, or in war, but in Doing The Right Thing.
We argued a lot, my father & I, about what that was.
When I, too , became an adult, we still argued about it.
But we agreed wholeheartedly on what was not.

Stripping a man of his pension, just to make rich people richer, was among the Nots.

My father, regardless of his beliefs, was killed by a woman who drove through a red light at about sixty miles an hour, even though she should have seen him from a quarter mile away. She just wasn't looking, and killed my father on the spot. He died in the arms of my brother, Doug, who I don't believe has ever fully recovered, emotionally, from this experience.
I can't blame him.
Not one bit.
I can't imagine how anyone could.

When the woman driver came to court, her husband, a New York State Trooper, the state where this occurred, 'knew people'. He went to court with his wife, so the judge would see him there.
She was acquitted of any wrong doing.

This was also not what either of us believed in.

I can't imagine anyone who would, but there it is.
It happens.
A lot.

So tonight, as I think of him, of my mom, of the years they spent believing in the American Dream, my mind turns to the young men and women in uniform today.
Instead of fighting Nazis, who were committing genocide on a large scale, or the Japanese, who had just bombed Pearl Harbor, unprovoked, their experience is very different.

We had a half bright frat boy, a failed businessman, the bobble head puppet of an Oil Empire, as president, and his second in command, a mean spirited ex-jock and former CEO of Haliburton (an oil drilling conglomerate the size of God's ego), invade another sovereign nation, in an attack based on lies. We all know this now. That war spread to Afghanistan, and beyond. It battles on as I write this, over a decade later.
Troops are just beginning to come home.

But besides the realization that they fought, many to the death, in an illegal war for oil, they may well wonder what they are coming home to.

There are not enough jobs for them. 

The Veterans Administration is horribly inept, and these soldiers are barely able to make ends meet.
They suffer from mental, emotional and physical trauma the likes of which you & I can only fathom in our worst nightmares.
Still, there is little, or nothing for them here, nothing to accommodate those very people who risked their lives, put their lives and families on hold, and went off to the Big Lie, because they believed.

They believed in America.

But the America they believed in, the same one my father went off, as a mere boy, to protect, the same one that millions of citizens invested their lives, their families, their childrens' welfare in; it just isn't there any more.

While they were gone, while you & were watching TV, while Honey Boo Boo was wretching on the screen, and Lindsey Lohan was front page news on the check out line, and the Latest iPhone Lines went around the block, it vanished.

It went up in a cloud of lies and deliberate malfeasance.
It disappeared in groups of Senators and Congressman signing a pledge to some asshole who won a civics contest when he was 12, by writing up a pledge not to raise taxes, and has clung to it ever since, because without it, he is a worthless piglet of a man, and with it, he is the most powerful lobbyist in the country, even if it is by an act of treason.
And yes, make no mistake, demanding that Elected Officials who have sworn to uphold the constitution violate that trust by signing allegiance to him is an act of treason. More certainly than a soldier leaking film footage of other soldiers killing civilians is. Why is that man in prison and Grover Norquist on National Television?

Because it's not America any more.

It disappeared when corporations were given the same rights as you & I, regardless of whether they are even solely American Corporations. Regardless of whether the members of those corporations get to vote, again, as individuals.

It vanished when bankers were told they were 'too important' to be jailed, and celebrities were given hand slaps for the same crimes that cost the rest of us huge portions of our lives behind bars.

It dwindled when prison became a profit business, and a harmless herb remained vilified as a 'dangerous narcotic', a stigma once used by a powerful newspaper man to save his wood pulp industry from hemp, and is still so, if only to appease God Botherers and fill the bank accounts of Prison Owners.

It slipped away when hate became acceptable, and the name of God was used to persecute anyone too 'different', to subjugate women, minorities and the poor.

It is falling through our fingers now, as a small group of a few, highly paid officials place their own greed above the health of a dying nation.

The Koch Brother & Rupert Murdoch don't care if it dies.
They will simply buy up the remains, call up their own armies, and drive us into the ground.
That, in fact, is The Plan. 

We are being systematically controlled, diminished and our rights are being taken away at an alarming rate. Even as we cry foul in numbers as high as 75% of Americans, we are ignored.

So, in the name of my father, of your father, whether he was born here or not; in the name of your own mother, in the name your children and mine, I have a pledge of my own for you.

Get involved.
Get mad.
Get fucking ANGRY.

After you read this, share it with your friends.
Find out who your congress person is, your senators, your city council members, your mayor, your governor.
Put their numbers on your speed dial.
Save their email addresses to your desktop.
Do the research to find out which lobbyists they associate with, and what those people ask of them. I guarantee you, little of it will be in your best interest.

Tell them what you think.
Talk about this with your friends.
Make a collective effort.
Take your fucking country back.

Because if you don't...

The seas are rising.
Super storms are ripping our cities apart.
Yet Oil Lobbyists are fighting against solar development as they shit in our oceans. They tells us Global Warming will 'make it more comfortable'.
If it even exists.
They are collecting about eight billion dollars a YEAR of your tax money as corporate welfare. Isn't it enough that their owners live tax free, and immune from prosecution?

Churches are influencing law, based on their own belief system, trying to force those of other faiths to abide by their insane edict, yet operate tax free, under protection of law. Why is that? Why should a group of people you've never met decide how you should live, and what you can do with your body, based upon their belief of an invisible force, or being, so far as to have the laws of our country changed to accommodate them, yet are excluded from the same rigors we endure, while our voices go unheard?

Because America is slipping away.

I don't like that.
I don't want that.
And I don't believe it is The Right Thing To Do.

My dad used to tell me these things.
Sometimes, we would laugh in frustration, and I would tell him,
"You can't get there from here."

He would laugh out loud.
And when he was done, he would tell me,
"Yes you can, David. Just don't give up."

So that's what I'm asking you.
Don't give up.
And that means not giving in.

Stand up, make those calls, send those emails, talk about the hard shit, and work through it, in your head, in your conversations, in your life.

We have all been complacent long enough.
Now it's time to pay the piper or call another tune.

I'm not really feeling the current theme too much.
How about you?

It's time for a change.
Let's get there.
We can do it.
Even from here.

(thanks dad. i miss you)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Call

The New Moon is full on now, 
and bound for crescendo at the Solstice, 
before the end of the year's Full Moon.

It is a time for Dream & Conjure.

So light your candles, droogies, 
burn the incense, 
draw your circle and call the corners. 

It is time to dream us into a better world.

Aftermath Continued; Collective Thoughts

I live in New Orleans, a city rampant with violent home invasions. I've had friends shot to death in their own living rooms, and others held prisoner as their significant others were raped & tortured in front of them.

I hardly see any point in calling a police force that murdered innocent unarmed people with AK-47s, for simply trying to cross a bridge to safety,
and has been ruled, by the Department of Justice, as a failed system of armed thugs.

What would the gun ban lobby suggest I do when 3 or 4 killers kick in my door?

I am not a gun nut.
I do not carry a weapon outside of my home.
But I refuse to cower in a corner, knowing that someday, several armed murders may come calling, and the only protection is another group of convicted killers.

My shotgun lives over my bedroom door.
No one can get to it but me.
May it collect dust there, until the day I die, peacefully, in my sleep.

Please let me add that I am fully in favor of a complete ban on assault weapons, and lengthy, detailed background checks on any gun purchases, including extensive waiting periods.

But allowing a complete gun ban, by a government that allowed the shipping of automatic weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels, in the name of some ridiculous 'sting' operation, hardly seems like an improvement of anything except insanity.


As the ripples of the Sandy Hook Killings shake any sane person to their very foundation, and arguments on gun control & mental health issues abound, think about this:

A teacher, one of those professions stripped of income, healthcare and employment bargaining rights, stood in front of a mad man & died to protect children in her care, knowing this would probably be her fate, and doing it anyway.

Would your Banker or Congressman do that for your child?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Madness & Creativity

In art, as in magic, one must have a
clear head & a pure heart to see.
For anything else is but a reflection

of ourselves, and the graffiti of life.

Letting go completely, again & again,
casts the net far & wide,
beyond the shores of ourselves.

Outside the confinement of
'what we should know by now'
deeper waters ripple
and things swim unseen
just below the surface.

Dive in, then, and swim back

to your own beach head,
shaking these sacred droplets
into the chalice of your mind.

Take care with what you conjure there,
and treat it well, as you would yourself.
For it is not of you, but something
else entirely, strong with desire to live.

Each of these things knows you, too.
And whom ever grooms the other
to fulfillment & living breath
shall be the master of both worlds.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Closing Time at Jackson Square

Mitch Landrieu wants Jackson Square cleaned up.

Of homeless people, tarot readers, riff raff (like me) and anything generally considered 'sketchy' by Mayberry standards. Because the NFL is coming with fountains of money, a Better Class Of Tourist, who'd better not see any filthy local culture laying about, while they tea bag drunks, piss on our doorsteps, vomit everywhere, scream at our women to show me your tits! and sleep in their vans, down by the river.

The ones surrounded by fast food wrappers.
And Bud Lite cans. 

Its the Official Beer of the NFL, ya know.

Anyway, Kristin Palmer has been selected to make this work, somehow, because it's her district.
To her credit, she's morphed this into a 'we want to clean the place' issue, and called for community input on toning down the language.

So this is your big chance to do the right thing, instead of bitching about it until it happens, and then bitching that nobody did anything to stop it.

Before I offer my musings on this, however, please go here, and read the Nolafemmes piece.

Then go here, and see the actual highlighted document, with actual highlighted changes, highlighted for your reading ease. It's highlighted. The new part.

Then, go here to sign a petition to stop this, if you so desire.

Personally, I would directly email or call CM Palmer's office, through the contact provided.

Please, remember that she asked for your input, and these emails & calls are going through others, as well, so be fucking polite. The contact information is here:

Mary Cunningham, Director, Constituent Services


I understand the need to clean any public area, although I find 
it hard to believe that the streets surrounding the square must be
closed for four hours of cleaning, every night.
Certainly Bourbon Street is also cleaned without being closed
down to foot traffic, four hours a day... if at all. 
And I'm positive it gets much dirtier.
Even so, a pressure washing crew would charge at least $200 a
night to show up & work one guy with a truck for four hours. 
That's $73,000 annually. 
Sorry, but I'm skeptical.

This would also make it potentially illegal for street musicians,
as they don't have permits, and none are issued.
The Tarot readers would be doomed. 
There's very clear language about "setting up a table without a
class A or B permit" which I don't believe the Tarot readers have.

So much for our 'Cultural Ambassador'.
Perhaps 'White Bread & NFL Ambassador"....

I find something rather beautifully romantic in having a reading
done or a fortune told, by the moonlight, in Jackson Square.
But no, no, no, please just keep it moving back to Bourbon Street,
where the sticky noisy shit pile vacuums all the money out of your
pockets... because that's where the Local Culture is. 
The Mayberry Sex Crimes Unit and Public Beating Spectacle.

Then there is the issue of leaving the decision of 'what IS loitering'
up to the NOPD, cited by the D.O.J. as one of the biggest abusers
of selective enforcement & civil rights violations of any police
force in the country. 
This is backed up by a penalty of up to a $500 fine and/or 6
months in the OPP death house?
That's brutal. 
It just is. 
Some angry cop who doesn't like the look of so & so,
or they aren't moving quite fast enough, and BAM! 
They disappear into Orleans Parish Prison,
where people are denied medication,
contact with the outside world,
and the inmates have the greatest
instance of inmate rape in America.
For loitering. 
Try selling that to tourists. 
Not that you would, but well,
that's what they'd be looking at, right?  
Not an attractive aspect for that Super Bowl Vacation. 
But what about teabagging drunks on Bourbon street? 
That seems to be unregulated, so.... 
So, you see my point, I hope. 
It's really kind of overkill and makes everybody look bad,
while proving only that we can't control our own streets,
and spend way too much money cleaning them. 
Then's there's the long, protracted civil rights issues,
in which this law will eventually be overturned,
making us look even more like the Scopes Trial Rejects 
than Bobby Jindal's Christian School Voucher program,
also crumbling with illegality. 
Anyway, these are just my perspectives. 
You asked for input so... that'll teach ya. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Binary Instincts

I like The Blues.
Blues and Rock & Roll.
I write a lot of songs based on two chords.
I like that, too.
It's simple & pure.
Sometimes, you only need two chords.

There are only two types of humans, too.
The Male & Female versions.

And they been rubbin' up against each other in all kinds of combinations since forever,  and there's more to come. And that's how it's done. 

Even if there's only two chords, there can be magic.
Sometimes, you can't help it.
It just happens.

Sometimes, though, somebody has to come along and start measuring shit and taking notes and writing crap down in little books, and then, before you know it, you got all kinds of people talking all kinds of shit about things they ain't never done, like they really know something.

Don't worry.
It's a binary world.

Some people get it.
Some people talk a lot of shit.
Use your instinct.
And don't worry if you rub somebody the wrong way.
It'll give them something to talk about.

Lingo Rhythm

I was writing about words a while ago
(i know, how stupid),
and I came to the conclusion that street slang,
lingo from wherever,
conveys so much more than words,
which diminish every thought to a conveyance;
where as lingo carries with it the culture from which it came,
a derivative soul,
a jangle of it's own that can awaken the heart.

Speak only in rhythms, then, and dance the truth of your life.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Over the course of my life
Emissaries of many tribes
Have passed through my parlor
And each would differently define
Diplomacy, humility, courage and grace

Yet each of them, in their own way
Was the embodiment of these virtues
That is to say, that none were alike
 But at their core, very much the same

Above all things that I have learned
From this nefarious and beautiful parade
Is that the first thing one must find is
A pair of eyes that can see past the differences

And looking through that heavy veil
One comes face to face with the truth
That in each of us beats a heart
Waiting to accept and offer love
And that united as one
We could change everything.

LD - 10/13/12

Friday, October 5, 2012


Every living thing deserves the right to live & love in peace, however it chooses to do so.

Everyone is deserving of love if only they can learn to give it.

There is no jealous god condemning those who are different than you; this only your own fear, preventing the divine in you from awakening.

There is no lie that can stand the scrutiny of collective awareness; deep inside we all know The Truth.

War can end right now, if we would all refuse to fight one another.
You are beautiful, whether you realize it or not, just the way you are.
I love you all, no matter how much you piss me off.
Try harder, and I will, too.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Culture Wars; a Chronicle of the Battles Between City Hall & The Cultures That Make New Orleans

So much has already been said on this subject, it's difficult to keep up. There are many points of view here, and many interests, pushing their own agendas.

 My intent is to look into the various aspects of this, one by one, avoiding the inevitable cross talk that clouds issues, already complex by their very nature.

 With that in mind, I'll be posting a series of these blogs, in an attempt to filter through the information, the cultural impact, the intentions involved, and the true nature of a society based on cultural & run by text book ordinance.

 During this series, let it always be with an eye to fairness, accurate representation of the actual population, and a profound respect for the history & the culture, themselves, which far out date our 'modern government', and are, in fact, the very life blood & back bone that the City of New Orleans depends upon to exist as anything other than another airport surrounded by malls, hotels & gift shops.

 At this time, let me begin by bringing us to the current events of the day;


There has been a resurgence, by many, myself included, of those questioning City Council Member Kristin Palmer, regarding Rich Webster's story (9/8/2011), posted in City Business. Rich Webster wrote that Palmer was pushing a draft of a sound ordinance that would limit sound levels in the French Quarter to 70 Decibels, a ridiculously low level. The original story is here.
 Nicole Webre, legal council from CM Palmer's office, writes me that the individuals quoted in this article were incorrect, but Rich Webster tell me that there was such a draft, and it was abandoned, due to public outrage.

 Ms. Webre tells me that the draft in question is no longer available for viewing, but is supplying me with the current ordinances, unchanged, I am told, for years.
 In the first of these blogs, I will be posting those ordinances, attempting to define them clearly, explore legitimate enforcement tactics, and look at zoning maps that allow changes in these laws.


Last Wednesday (9/26/12), Kermit Ruffins held the first of what promises to be weekly meetings, as the Music Community "pushes back" against City Hall. Read the story here.
 The net result of these meetings, at this writing, is a short term solution, as Siberia & Mimi's in the Marigny, have been allowed to feature live music on a 'temporary basis', as New Rules of compliance are worked out. These new rules, according to Scott Hutcheson, Mayor Landrieu's Cultural Ambassador, include a 60 day grace period for unlicensed venues to get themselves straitened out. At this time, this is only a suggestion, and a temporary suspension. No legislation or actual promise from the City currently exists.

For the record, I spoke to Scott Hutcheson about 18 months ago, attempting get a permit to work as an artist, by commission. I was offered a vendors permit for $50, even though they are free to those, like myself, living in a 'Cultural Zone'. 
I declined, and asked for a permit to write & create as a freelance artist. I was told I would need a Home Office Permit, a Zoning Hearing ($400), and would not be able to store any artwork or "other materials" in my home. I would only be able to work in a specific 15% area of my house, and I could never, ever display any of my work when other people were there.
I contacted Scott again, demanding to know what 15% part of his house he ran to when HE had an idea or began to doodle. He assured me, as he assures us all now, that this was "being handled" and he would straighten it out, as he is "Straightening Out" the venue permit problem.

I have never heard from him since.


Recent news has surfaced as the City Council has begun to require permits of Second Line vendors, mysteriously listed at $50, but "lowered by request" to $25. The story is here. Having spent several weeks in the Permit Section of City Hall one afternoon, and having been lost in the labyrinth of fiefdoms that demand notarized payment & absolute loyalty, I have my doubts about any requests for lowered rates. We'll see.
More importantly, these new Second Line Vendor Permits specifically prohibit the sales of any alcohol, criminalizing the tradition of filling a cooler up with beer & selling them off to your friends & neighbors, like people have done here for generations.


 There residential groups, well monied, who are dead set on making the French Quarter a quiet residential neighborhood, just like the one they left to move to the exciting & culturally rich French Quarter.
There are street musicians who risk their lives by living where they do, and choosing a trumpet or trombone over a 9mm and a bag of rock. Yet the City of New Orleans has chosen to criminalize them for doing so.

 This is but the tip on an iceberg, years in the making, as Post K New Orleans becomes, once again, a Mecca for Free Spirited People & an Investment Paradise, all at once.

The HBO Series, 'Treme', is a national favorite, and has captured the attention of visitors & locals alike, by telling a story many thought would never be told, and, at the same time, exploiting the misery & death of tens of thousands of people, neighbors & friends alike, who lost their homes, treasures, livelihoods and some, their very lives, all in the name, it seems, of glorifying The New Tax Base.

Mayor Landrieu calls himself our 'Cultural Ambassador' while standing toe to toe with our defacto Musical Ambassador, Kermit Ruffins.

 The Mayor would "rebuild our infrastructure" by creating 'Hospitality Zones' that  would single out those areas made interesting by the artists & musicians who live there, and add additional taxes to the food & drink & lodging there. While this sounds like charging us for working to make our neighborhoods a more viable art community, it's actually much worse, in that these taxes would be paid to an ungoverned board of 'Hospitality Experts', mostly private hotel & business owners, who could then spend up to 85% of that tax revenue on advertising their own businesses, rather than the infrastructure of the neighborhoods bearing this load.

Even more frighteningly, they would gain the power of Eminent Domain, and have the ability to take your home or property at "fair market value", whatever that means, should they deem that necessary.
This legislation, while tabled for now, will be back, I assure you.
It's Free Money from the group least likely to be able to fight it;
The Musicans & Artists of New Orleans.

 Stepping back a bit, to view this on a longer time line (why is it so hard to get people to remember how they got screwed just 18 months ago?) we see the Eris Parade debacle, in which a dozen or so young people were viciously beaten, tasered and maced by a brute squad from the 5th District, much of it captured on video.
 In these cases, as they came to trial, all video was denied by judges, all reports from the 5thDistrict, including hospital reports from cops who claimed to be injured in "assaults" by puny unarmed musicians, were "lost". 

 The investigation went as far as to say that the officers were acting on the orders of their captain, Bernadine Kelly, and since she wasn't there, nothing bad could have happened. Captain Kelly was immediately moved laterally into a records department, never to be seen again.

A costume show, unmolested during almost two decades, was raided by the Department of Revenue, and told to move inside. Only minutes later, the NOPD arrived to shut down the whole shebang. Both the Club Owner & Event Organizers were summoned to court. I believe the Bartender was ticketed as well, just for being there.

The list goes on & on, recounting stories of unbridled law enforcement, under the leadership of Chief Ronal Serpas. The St Claude Art District was allowed to continue to operate, but many, myself included, received letters insisting we have wheelchair access (I'm on the second floor in a 150 year old building), ADA signage, men's & women's bathrooms, etc. It was made clear that ANY SERVING OF ALCOHOL AT ALL, even giving away tiny cups of wine, would require a Special Event Permit, starting at about $1000 in fees.

During all of this micromanagement of the arts, the MURDER RATE has continued to rise. The 5% reduction Serpas promised in the first year is a distant fantasy. If he could keep the increase down to 5% annually, it would be a notable achievement, considering his career here to date.

If we went through 2012 without the murder of a civilian by NOPD members, it would be a banner year. Unfortunately, that was made impossible, when, earlier this year, Wendall Allen was gunned down, unarmed & in his pajamas, because his brothers had purchased a frat boy amount of weed, and the dealer who sold it to them duped the NOPD into believing the pound he had on him had been purchased there.
Without questioning the dealer for more than an hour they went in, and Wendall Allen was killed for waking up from his nap at the wrong time.

In short, I intend to look into each of these areas, and ask why on earth such detailed persecution is being directed at the very culture that makes New Orleans New Orleans, as we are subjected to an abject failure of Law Enforcement to abate the machine gun battles in Mid-City, the shooting of children at playgrounds & parties, the crack dealers & crooked cops, all while handing out tickets to bicyclists for the licenses they don't have, even though the city neither issues or tracks them any more, and why young men who choose music over drugs & violence are being driven off the streets that made Louis Armstrong The Father of Our City.

Please share this with your friends & neighbors, and feel free to comment.
Conversation breeds communication.

Please note; these comments are moderated, and all vitriol, hate, name calling & other useless garbage will be summarily filtered out.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Truth For the Politically Impaired

If you vote for Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan, you're a fucking idiot and a disgrace to humanity. You should be broken like an animal and driven from the land in shame. 
You won't, of course.
Unless they win.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

In From the Wilderness

There will come a time when
it will be said
that I was uncivilized and feral
even at my best

Not fit for the company
of  Society and The Duties of
The Endless Circles
it always entails

That I lived and loved
like an animal, subsisting far too well
on scraps and secrets
hidden or lost or tossed aside

And it is true that
while fierce in life, unafraid
and alone, one is also
wild and free

So speak well of me
or not at all, but keep this always,
like a whisper, remembered in
your secret heart;

I only came in from the wilderness for you.

LD - 9/12

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Coin of the Realm

While we may live in a country obsessed by celebrity & possessions, during an election based on the distribution of money, I put to you that there is only one wealth worth admiration; that is the wealth of compassion & understanding. 

These then, are signs of a life well lived, while money & power are but the bait of a greedy existence, unfulfilling & measured almost entirely by the power over the lives of others. 

Wish Freedom & Happiness for others, and you shall be rich in both, beyond your dreams.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sean Cummings & The Elysio Lofts

For anyone not up to date, Sean Cummings is the developer pushing to build a 74 foot tall condominium building at 501 Elysian Fields Avenue, in the Faubourg Marigny, which has a 50 foot height limit in it's zoning law.
There are other issues involved, like the sheer ugliness of it, but it may just be me that thinks a flat series of boxes with a patchwork like this is ugly; "Something approaching the feel of siding. This is overlaid with smooth metal panels that, together with the windows and balconies, form an asymmetrical, Tetris-like pattern." - Cummings own description.

To my eye, it looks more like something a Japanese game console would come in. And of course, there's the parking issue; 75 spaces for 74 apartments, including many that are 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms, and a downstairs "Pedestrian Retail Interface" ( read; Strip Mall), as Cummings called it at the FMIA meeting, which has no designated parking at all. Mr. Cummings was quite reassuring that the multi-level parking garages across the street at Decatur & Elysian Fields would pick up that slack, as well as off set the height violation.
Except they haven't been built yet. Nor is there any real plan in effect, and if there were, they wouldn't pop up over night. It would take several years of having no parking at all. But what does that matter to a forward thinking guy like Cummings?

 In fact, Sean thought very far ahead on this project. While CEO of the New Orleans Building Corporation, he spearheaded the design of the River Front 2005 plan, which is part of the New Orleans Master Plan, at least in theory.
As Chris Maldonado reports in the Best Of New Orleans blog: "His name, as well as that of his father, John Cummings, appear in acknowledgements appended to the report."

When going before the City Planning Commission, Cummings submitted his own quotes from this plan, and the CPC accepted it as gospel. "The proposed development is located within a node at the intersection of a major access corridor, Elysian Fields Avenue, and the riverfront," they wrote. "The adopted Riverfront Vision 2005 Plan sets forth certain design criteria for development sites within such nodes that may justify additional height."

Besides writing future proposed development law (it has NOT yet been passed) that would allow him special treatment under the 'New Law', Cummings made a practice of buying up properties, or having his father buy them, while still CEO of the NOBC.

 He was called up more than once by the State of Louisiana Ethics Board for doing so. While Cummings will claim loudly, and to anyone that will listen, that he was 'cleared of all that', it is hardly the truth. A portion of the report from that meeting is here:

The last paragraph is telling;
 "The board instructed the Staff to tell Cummings and his father that if they own any property that will be SUBJECT TO REZONING, or any other action as a result of River Vision 2005, or Reinventing the Crescent, or any other plan developed in whole or in part by the NOBC, or any other committee on which he or the NOBC is a member, his service as the Director of the NOBC may be prohibited. If such a matter does arise in the future, Mr Cummings should request an advisory opinion prior to taking such action or submitting such an application."

As to being 'cleared of all that", as Cummings has repeatedly said, the same report offers this:

 To my knowledge, no approval from the Louisiana State Board of Ethics was ever requested by Cummings, his father, or anyone else. It seems that by leaving his position as CEO of the New Orleans Building Corporation, Sean thinks his greed can now go on unabated.
But let's look at what he DID plan out, shall we?

This is a map of the River Front Development, and the properties placed are from a map provided by Cummings, himself. The Red Squares are properties owned by Cummings and/or his father. Please note that the Main Entrance, where the planned 1500 seat amphitheater is scheduled to be, is only 2 blocks from 501 Elysian Fields.
The second entrance (moving down river) is at the Rice Mill Lofts and the adjacent parking lot, owned by Cummings, and certainly ripe for further condo development, especially if the height limitation is removed.
The third entrance is the Piety Street Wharf, a given in the plan before Cummings came on board, and the only one that must be reached by a huge walkover bridge.
The fourth, and final entrance, pours out directly to Mazant & Bartholomew, where Cummings father owns not one or two, but four separate residential properties, all of which are multi-unit.

So, it seems rather obvious that Sean Cummings was forward thinking enough to hold on to his wits while he & C. Ray. Nagin, the only other guy watching the purse strings, spent about $20 million designing a recreation area that would funnel money to the properties he & his Dad were accumulating, all the while claiming they would see "no substantial economic interest" from doing so.
It should also be pointed out that Cummings insisted that he & his father would see no more "substantial economic interest" than anyone else in that area.
Of course, this is before those homes have a 75 foot wall of condos between them & the River.

But that's just the graft, criminal misuse of public office and whatever other nastiness Sean & C.Ray were up to with the missing $20 million (has anyone seen any receipts?) The real fun begins with Cummings Double Speak and Rich Boy Arrogance.

Cummings claims he has "supporters" in this plan, but a quick glance shows us why.
The owner of Standard Coffee supports it. He owns two consecutive blocks directly between 501 & NOCCA, on Decatur Street (look at the map) and is positively drooling for this 'variation' to set precedent so he can build 75 foot condo towers, too.

The Cake Bakery guy, at Chartres & Spain is certainly on board, as his cafe, although often too busy to serve the customers it now has, stands to gain huge profit, and perhaps expansion, by the building of this thing.

Sean has also spoken repeatedly about the various heights of the 'stages' of his project, claiming that they "average out to 48 feet".

While I find this to be the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard, apparently, some people buying it, so for them, here's a little exercise:

Get yourself pulled over for doing 100 mph on the freeway. Explain to the cop that, although your were doing 100 mph for the last two miles, you were only doing 50 mph for the four miles before that. Adding 50 + 50 + 100, and getting 200, then dividing that by three sections of 2 miles each, you get 66.6 mph.
How could one get a ticket when the speed limit is 70 mph, and your 'average speed' is only 66.6?

If this works for you, please come over and walk across this swimming pool.

The LAW (that's what zoning law is, kids) states a clear limit of 50 feet.
Cummings has been told by the State Ethics Board that asking for zoning changes shows a clear violation of his trust as a public employee.
The fact that he developed the park as a money funnel to properties owned by him and his father is probably criminal.
It's not like he, or his partner in this, C.Ray. Nagin, have great record so far, either.

But finally, we get to the soul of the project, itself.
Cummings has repeatedly called upon his New Yorker friends to come down and "reinvent" New Orleans, asking them to "Bring some real artists" to our hopeless little Faubourg. One of them, a divorcee from NYC, was quoted in the New York Times as saying she dreamed about the Rice Mills building, where she and the other tenants drank wine on the roof and psychoanalyzed each other.
She went on to say she dreamnt of "looking down on the homeless, below, building their little camps."

This must fit in tremendously with the 'Vision of Bernard Marigny" that Cummings claimed to be fulfilling  when I listened to him spilling tripe at the FMIA meeting. Hilariously, the last descendant of the Marigny family, who still lives there, watched in horror, and then laughter, as I asked Cummings, over & over again, about his "channeling Bernard Marigny." Sean, of course, was completely unaware that this man even existed, as he claimed his heritage out from under him, before his very eyes.
Finally leaving in a hissy fit, Poor Sean slammed down his pointer and stormed out, leaving his personal assistant to scramble for the projectors, et all.
A Man for The People, Sean Cummings.

As in other meetings with the FMIA, the height & parking, both in violation of local zoning law, were the hot button issues.

Cummings, however, keeps telling the press otherwise:

""The neighborhood association has exhibited a level of hostility towards us from the very beginning that is very difficult for me to pinpoint," Cummings says. "Exactly where it emanates from, I don't know. I'm not going to guess. I've asked, but they haven't been forthcoming. So I don't know.""

I suppose this is Rich Boy gaming, in that, when someone tells you the rules apply to you, too, you respond by saying "My teacher hates me & I don't know why."

Finally, there's Sean the Sensitive Artist.
 "Simply stated, Elisio Lofts is a lyrical tribute to the human tapestry, rich texture, of the-bell-curve patterns and highly eccentric character of Marigny."

If your flowers aren't doing well, shovel some of that on them. The "rich texture' and "bell curve patterns" I see are an extra floor of condos, some as small as 450 square feet (22x20) and renting for $1,000 a month. At only five per floor, that's an extra $60 grand a year.
Bell Curve my Aunt Mable's ass.

And then, finally, there's this, Sean's 'feelings' about it;
"We kind of feel that we're artists with buildings."

I'm an artist by trade, and it's how I make my living, if you can call it that.
I understand that every artist must struggle to find their vision & voice, and struggle harder to be heard.
But I don't know any, except vandals, who do it all over other peoples neighborhoods, in violation of their laws and ordinances, set up 40 years ago, by agreement and decree. 
I don't know any who scheme behind the scenes, stacking the deck against the populous, using millions of dollars of tax payer money to create a Funnel Of Greed, to build a Wall of Sycophants along the River, and sell out the rest of their city, because the only way they can get respect is to buy it.

And then, only when they cheat at the game, as well.

501 ELYSIAN FIELDS; Update from FMIA:
The City Council meeting on August 23 concerning 501 Elysian Fields was cancelled and rescheduled for September 6, 2012 in City Council Chambers.

According to an involved resident of the Marigny, a ral
ly scheduled for August 22 has been rescheduled for September 4. at 6:30 at Decatur and Elysian Fields on the neutral ground, rain or shine, wear your Size Matters Shirt, bring signs, make signs, bring your neighbors, friends and children.
It is important to show to City Council Members why their decision is important.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monster in the House

Sometimes I think that there's a Monster living in my house. It comes out, late at night, careening around in a most horrifying manner, garrumphing out the windows at passers by, and moaning in horror, as it is so often misunderstood & alone, yet too horrible to be seen by mortals. Then I realize it's just me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Freedom Like Water

Marigny Improvement through Gentrification; Better Every Day

I remember, not that long ago, that people in the neighborhood picked up (bagging?) after their Dog Walk. They dropped the tied bag in the nearest trash can.
I'm sure it made for some 'surprise openings', but it worked out in the long run.

Lately, it's a Crap Fest. 
A Fecal Playground.

 There's a fresh steaming heap around any corner, on any day, dark or light, rain or shine. I doubt that so many have thrown up their hands and suddenly decided not to bag the poop any more, that it's Shit Henge on my door step two or three times a week.
So it must be the New People, here as part of the Mayor's 'New' New Orleans, making it better for everyone by making it more like everywhere else.

 I even noticed an out of state Prius parked at the Mardi Gras Zone. I couldn't help it really, as the driver had backed up until his back bumper was literally touching the front bumper of my truck.
 So, as I inched forward and backward, trying to struggle free with less than a couple of feet of space to wiggle in, I thought about how much this little Prius must be helping us all out, all over the world, right this very minute.
 This thought was, I admit, triggered by the "Raise Your Awareness" bumper sticker, commanding me to recognize the great message that this vehicle carried.

"Another Improvement!" I thought.
But only for an instant.
I noticed that the Prius had no handicap tag, yet was parked in the only marked Handicapped Parking space on the entire block.

I found myself so inspired by all of this, that I'm organizing a little get-together. I'm going to fill my truck with any handicapped people who'd like to come along, and we're going to go shit all over that Prius.

Somebody will pick it up for us.
I'm just sure of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

SIZE MATTERS; Stop The Madness

Dear Friends;

I'm writing this to ask you to join me in opposing the huge condominium development proposed for 501 Elysian Fields Avenue, in the Faubourg Marigny section of New Orleans, just outside the French Quarter.

For those of you not entirely sure where this is located, it is right about where Elysian Fields & Frenchman Street meet, just two blocks before the River.

For a cultural reference, this is where the Street Car named Desire ran past the Kowalski's apartment, as Stanley called out "STELLA" into the night. It is where Ignatius J. Reilly crossed from the French Quarter, on his way to 'set free the Moors' at his Bywater job. It is a local and historic neighborhood, filled with Shotgun Houses & Creole Cottages, not many of them taller than 20 to 25 feet at the peak of their roof.

Since 1972, the Marigny has held fast to a height limit of 50 feet, refusing to allow high rises, in office buildings, condominiums or apartments to be constructed here.

Now, Sean Cummings, millionaire son of another millionaire developer, demands that this zoning law be ignored on his behalf, so that he can build a 75 foot Condo Tower at 501 Elysian Fields. This s the same Sean Cummings, who, when working for the City, under Ray Nagin, I might add, wanted to tear down the troubled World Trade Center, without any funding in place to rebuild it or even haul away the debris "as a monument to the time I've spent here" he said.

Cummings has friends who own property further down the River (Standard Coffee, taking up 3 city blocks) who are waiting for the precedent this will set, so that they, too can begin building Condo Towers, eventually connecting to Cummings other holdings, even further down, completing a Wall of Condos along the River Front. Imagine living in your own home for 20 years, and then one day, having a wall across the street that literally blocks the Sun.

Please, go to the link and sign the petition to stop this madness.
It doesn't matter if you live here or not.
Like the French Quarter, across the street,
the Marigny is a historic and international destination.

thanks and very best regards;

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Growing Cultures; Natural Magic at Work

I worry about New Orleans.

I see out of state BMWs going the wrong way down my street, radio blaring, cell phone to ear, oblivious. I encounter bicyclists, going the wrong way, also, down the middle of the street, who shout at me that I am 'not down', for refusing to get out of the way of their skinny jean commercial asses.

I hear more and more about 'programs' for poor kids. School vouchers, guaranteed to teach your kid that Jesus helped put dinosaurs on the Ark, that trickle down is The Only Way, and to look good in a uniform, in case they wind up in the infantry or prison.
And have I mentioned the Wall of Riverfront Condos?
Of course I have.

I had a little chat with Buddha, today, about all of this. 
THE Buddha. 
That's right, we hang.
He loves everybody.
Just like that other cool guy.

So, anyway....

He said: "New Orleans is Elvis. No matter how they try, it will not become Fabian."
 Now of course, like any great parable, this will immediately be dissected into fragmented images that reflect the Self of the one doing it, eventually getting around to skin color and how many whats are where and what they have and don't and why is that anyway. Or something. It always does.

But it's a parable (
like that whole other famous book that only morons & lunatics would take at face value), so we have to see it as a ratio comparison on every quantum level. Perhaps, another longer parable. That's like revealing truth without having to say or commit to anything. 
*Note to self: I should run for fucking president.*

 Anyway, here it is;
Culture, real culture, comes from the poor, the salt of the earth, the day to day people who live and die and make more of themselves and try to find happiness where there isn't much, unless you dig, way down inside and fight it back up, and most importantly, share it.
Give it away.
Create a tribe of like minded and similar souls, struggling to get by, generation after generation, carrying their traditions closer than money, because they really matter.

That's how cultures have been formed since the beginning of civilization.

Cultures are not formed by privileged sons of Rich Developers who buy up all the shit their government cronies are going to make valuable, and then stand around on, in smoking jackets, with their imported friends, talking about how everyone else is 'simply over'.

Those people STEAL culture.
And they sell it.

They come to your village and flatter and barter for your wares until they have enough to imitate you, and then they take it. 

And they make yours illegal.

They arrest you for freely demonstrating that culture as they sell it on TV, in the shops you wouldn't be caught dead in, and during any sporting event there is ever gonna be. They form committees to give awards to themselves for the Best Imitators Of Real Culture Anywhere.
But don't worry.
You won't see too much of that.
You're not invited because, seriously, you couldn't afford it, darlin.

I fear for New Orleans.
But the Buddha says that fear is just an emotion that has no bearing on the Truth.

And the Truth is that you are ALL New Orleans, my friends.
You and your whacky cultures.
All of you.
There IS no corporate blood in the veins of this town.
It is a Pirate City, an Outlaw City, a Trick of the River, an Accidental City, a magical land of disrepair and angels with broken wings. The streets are paved with the blood of the unwanted who built a kingdom in hell, and loved madly, drunkenly, along the way, celebrating with food & drink & music & art & sex & death.

I understand now.
In some strange and twisted way, maybe New Orleans IS Elvis.
And by taking part in this insanity, so are you.
Don't stop.
Don't let them put you in those awful, awful movies.
Twist your hips, swivel your pelvis, howl at the sky.
Get drunk and sing;
"Say it loud, I'm back & I'm plowed."
Because You Are New Orleans.
And nobody can take that away from you, ever.
Unless you let them.


When The Music Stops; City Hall vs the Cricle Bar

The Circle Bar has cancelled live music for now, as the City of New Orleans has refused it an entertainment license.
Read Alex Woodward's BlogofNewOrleans story about it here

As this article clearly states, they did NOT have a permit for this, as mentioned in the article linked above. But in 1999, when they began doing this, this system of permits wasn't in place. The permitting of artist's in the square, tarot readers, restaurants, cab drivers, has all changed and been changing, especially under Mitch Landreiu, Cultural Ambassador. Hospitality overlays, leveeing new taxes and gaining controlling interests is his favorite. Serpas enjoys these crack downs. Its Boss Hogg & Sheriff Smithers (he daddy usta been the Drivah) wielding Hillbilly Justice, 21st century style.

NEWS FLASH; City Hall approved their liquor & bar permits every year until this one, with international advertising, nightly ads on WWOZ and live fucking broadcasts. So they couldn't give them 30 days to comply? Blighted houses that potentially fall & kill people have a 90 day limit for repair, once purchased, and STAND FOR YEARS.

So, we have music cubs getting boot locked without a days notice, because... they've been operating successfully, employing dozens of industry workers & musicians for, I dunno, 13 fucking years? At what risk? The Circle Bar is world famous and hosts amazing talent. It doesn't bother the neighborhood, that I know of, and creates a cultural spectacle
found only in New Orleans.

It's also an easy hide to hang on Serpas' Barn Door, when the DOJ is finally getting in, PANO is calling him useless and the murder rate is getting higher & higher every year, while he sticks his nose in a monitor screen or rides through Fat Tuesday on his Big White Horse.

This is political, plain & simple, and the War On Art, under the flag of the Cultural Ambassador, means if they can't make it corporate, fit into a time slot and market the hell out out of it at hotels and gift shops, it aint gonna fly in New Or Lee Anns.

We have a marketing director for mayor and a half bright data entry clerk with a Wyatt Earp complex for Police Chief. That's the problem.

Monday, July 30, 2012

REQUIEM; a lost verse

I came across this single typed sheet of paper today. It is a poem, or verse, my mother wrote in college, winning first place in something or other related to 'English'.

It reminded me of her, and I thought how much she would protest me reading it aloud. She often thought of art as a subtle and private experience. I assume she would have taught me this, eventually, had she been able to get me to stop singing and get down off the roof.

This is for you, Mom.
I think it's darkly beautiful.

A poem, written by my Mom, in her college days:


The streets are still...
Women of Corinth have threaded their way,
Through tumult, homeward
To dream troubled dreams.

The palace is silent...
Little wisps of smoke
Still curl
Into the courtyard
Over trampled bodies and into the night,
Trailing, perhaps,
In her flight to Athens.

Even the sky is quiet...
Clouds that darkened day
Have fled,
Perhaps to Athens,
Leaving the moon to gild
And to gleam upon the solitary
Who, alone, holds vigil
For the dead.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Can See My House From Here.

Today's view;

Each act is connected, through our perception of the timeline,
to an infinitely complex series of other acts that conspired to
bring it about. 
Each drop of rain has traveled billions of miles, from the sea
to the sky and back again, over and over, for millennium after
millennium, never repeating it's journey in quite the same way.

 Once one turns their gaze outward from the center of awareness,
each and every direction constitutes an infinite number of details
in an infinite number of actions and experiences, stemming from
the beginning of time and casting shadows of possibilities in to the
future, some of them to be steered by those aware and awake
enough to see their subtle paths.

Love Rules All Things.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Wendell Pierce, Kabuki Hats; Stone Cold Pimping or Sharing The Love?

 It has come to my attention, again from NOLAfemmes, as well as Tracy Thomson, herself, that Wendell Pierce, "Actor, Producer, Business & Community Development, Entrepeneur, Star of HBO's THE WIRE & TREME!" as he calls himself, has 'tweeted' some rather horrible things about New Orleans artist, Tracy Thomson and her business, Kabuki Hats.

 To see what the trouble is all about, go to the Kabuki site, and click on the link that says; "Click here for your Uncle Lionel Memorial Watch".

The Story

 Tracy was friends with 'Uncle' Lionel Batiste. But then again, like the late Coco Robicheaux, Uncle Lionel was friends with just about everybody he met.
Especially the Ladies.
He was just that way with people, and everybody loved him for it.
Again, especially the Ladies.

When Lionel Baptiste died, there was an outpouring of love.
NO, make that LOVE.
It was overwhelming. It poured from everyone, everywhere, and pictures were posted all over the internet, faster than one could download them. Everybody who was anybody had their picture taken with Uncle Lionel. I saw him dancing in Sweden, holding court in Denmark, heading up a second line in Paris. It was as if the world had come together in certain circles, literally reaching out across oceans & continents, with the Love this man inspired.

 There was similar outpouring after last Thanksgiving, in response to the death of another local legend, Coco Robicheaux. At that time, there were also pictures displayed at his second line, converted to clothing, given away at altars, and downloaded from various fans & loved ones, distraught & reaching out, struggling with their loss, both collective & very, very personal. For both these men were friends to many, many people in their community.

Some pictures of the Coco Robicheaux Second Line Posters & Picture Art are here:

 So, back to our story... Tracy Thomson is a self employed, independent artist, living & working in New Orleans for decades. Her business, Kabuki Hats, is her job, her passion and her income. While she has worked relentlessly towards liberating & celebrating independent artists, like herself, she has shown little interest in capitalizing on these things, instead, working on her own, or with partners, to get them started, and then letting them go on with a life of their own.
To her credit are such things as Dirty Linen Night, and the Annual Costume Sale on Frenchman Street, where she & Cree McCree were famously raided under Serpas' War on the Arts.

In short, she is a foot soldier for Free Expression, when called or inspired, yet inevitably finds her way back to the work she loves, the various studio spaces she has called home, and the hats & cats that turn up as if by magic.

 During this outpouring over the death of Uncle Lionel Batiste, she created a silly cardboard watch, a copy of the one that Lionel wore so religiously, and adorned the face with is image, as a tribute one might carry at the second line, much as pictures of Coco had been freely handed out at his own memorials. This practice happens across the world, by the way, as mourners carry pictures of passing loved ones along their funeral routes. I have personally seen this in New York's China Town.

 Tracy went so far as to get permission from the photographer to use this picture without compensation. This is typical of her, to get others to offer freely of themselves, just as she does, and then put in the work to bring it together, on her own, afterwards. She posted this image online (see the link at the beginning), so anyone & everyone who wanted to express that love, would have a way to do it. She offered these to the Batiste family, and they accepted, and has since been asked by Lionel's Nephew, Markieth, to make more for the pallbearers at Lionel's funeral, as she stated on the NOLAfemme blog, in her typically polite response to Pierce's ugly attacks;

"I have been asked by Markieth, Lionel’s nephew, to make memorial watches for the pallbearers at Lionel’s funeral. I have made beautiful tributes at many New Orleans funerals, from banners to flags to fans, and have never asked to be compensated. As you might notice, I do not even have my website printed on the watch. People wore them in the second line, proudly, on their left hand, as Lionel did. I hope your followers DO click on the link that you posted above, there is a full explanation of my intentions, and they can print one out for themselves, as a tribute, not a trinket."

 "A Trinket", you ask? Why call it "a trinket"? Because, as Wendell Pierce, "Actor, Producer, Business & Community Development, Entrepeneur, Star of HBO's THE WIRE & TREME!" sees it;
Tracy Thomson is "Pimping Out" Uncle Lionel by doing this.

 You can scroll through and see his various tweets about this, here.

His first tweet, however, sets the tone for the rest:

"Is Uncle Lionel's image being used to profiteer without compensation to his estate or family? "

A few hours later, without ever having contacted Tracy, although her information is clearly on her site, Mr. Pierce exclaims:

"A special place in Hell for the people"pimping"UncleLionel's image at the time of his death.Advise the family to trademark his image."

About five minutes later, perhaps further misunderstanding the situation, he posts:

"Just because you own the photo of UncleLionel in a public place during a second line doesn't give your the moral right to cash in."

And finally:

"You want to pay tribute buy his records. Treme Brass Band, don't give away his image as a trinket. "

 Anyway, you get the gist of it. And what stands out to me in this thread of tweets since the first one of the 14th is this; most of his other tweets are about business ventures he has seen throughout his travels, and how to clone them in New Orleans.

Perhaps it is Mr Wendell Pierce who has 'appropriation of ideas' on his mind, coupled with a healthy dose of 'cashing in'. It isn't hard to imagine one's own mindset coloring what they perceive in others. In fact, that's about the most profound thing we humans have come to understand and deal with. Except of course, Mister Wendell Pierce, "Actor, Producer, Business & Community Development, Entrepeneur, Star of HBO's THE WIRE & TREME!"

 Mister Pierce makes his money as an actor on a program that exploits the deaths and struggles of an entire city, pretending to be a horn player, until such time as he can fly around Europe, looking for cool business Ideas to bring back to the Idea Village, where he is now on the Board of Directors.

I would think that a man so in touch with the cutting edge, so powerful, with so many goddam titles after his name that I filled up my clipboard twice trying to copy and paste them, a man with 32 THOUSAND FUCKING READERS at his finger tips, would know what he was talking about before trying to crush a small independent business in the very town where he claims he wants to help develop small independent businesses.

 Or maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe he isn't drunk with the power he associates with his own image, careening around the world, ripping off somebody else's clever plan, to bring it to the 'Idea Village', and tweeting whatever stupid fucking rumor he thinks he knows something about to THIRTY TWO THOUSAND FUCKING PEOPLE.

I don't think he's that kind of a guy, do you?

So, why don't you ask him?

 Ask him why he jumped in between two friends, saying goodbye as one passed from this world, an artist and the family of the departed, sharing images & memories that may comfort them all, and most importantly, why he is so fucking critical of those who were here, dancing in the rain, celebrating the life of an inspiration that likes of which we may not see again, instead of in Paris, studying how to make money by renting bicycles to tourists.

Because that sounds a hell of lot more like pimping than loving your friends enough to work for free.

His Facebook page is here.