Sunday, December 21, 2014

Please Note:

With the advent of digital technology, humans, globally, are slowly learning to replace simple words with concepts, often as visual images.
Oddly, this new beginning manifests itself first as pictures of food, cats, graphic sex and men chasing a ball.
Please be patient.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


There is an under current to everything I think, these days.
Everything I do, each step, each breath, each moment.
It comes mostly as a whispering little voice in the back of my head, that just won't stop.
I'm guessing it never will...
"We live in a nation where a man, selling loose cigarettes, can be murdered by the police, as he begs for his life, and they will walk away, unscathed."
There is a fear in that voice, but much louder is the shame.
The horrible shame.
We have let ourselves become the monster of our own nightmares.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bar Whining in New Orleans; or, Funny You Should Mention That.

All of this recent talk about banning smoking in all bars & public places in New Orleans has brought back a flood of memories from my days tending bar in the French Quarter. Memories, specifically, of all the people who didn't know how good they had it, and still cried about shit anyway.

I was behind the bar at Sin City that night, one of the tours had left, about 90 people tipping a total of 10 bucks for making each & every one of them a drink in about 15 minutes. Needless to say, I wasn't in the mood for any bullshit.

It was still pretty crowded, and I realized it was one of those nights when the surrounding city was going to send us some emissaries a bit different that our usual rock & roll, black leather crowd. At just that point, three twenty something young women careened in the door, threw themselves against the bar and demanded drinks, as they "were having a hard night". Forgoing the obvious pun, I got their IDs (after much eye rolling and heavy sighing), saw that they were all mid 20s, and began making their drinks.

The girl in the middle was very blonde, and a hair flipper. From her eyebrows, I'd have guessed she was really blonde. She was also strikingly pretty, and well built, more so that the two on either side of her, who were browner of hair, and obviously minions of this particular Cheer-ocracy. I called them her 'Support Ho's'.

They were practically fanning and fawning over the pretty girl in the middle, who was loudly whining that "so many people wanna buy me drinks! Can't they just stop?!"

The Support Ho's clucked and whimpered as though she'd lost a limb, egging her on to levels of whining I thought were reserved for Christians in Hell (it must be a big room). Finally, as I handed them their cups, I couldn't take anymore.

"Look lady," I said as I picked up their money to ring them up, "you should probably learn to enjoy the generosity & attention while you can. This shit won't last forever."

She looked directly at me, stunned.

"What... what do you mean?" she whimpered. Looking right back at her, totally dead pan, I said, "Well, I used to be a pretty young blonde girl, and look what happened to me."

As I turned to the register, she burst in to tears.
Some people are just waiting for an excuse to cry.
About anything.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

'A Day At The Store' or 'Take The Shuttle'

So I'm checking out at Mardi Gras Zone. The cashier is a young man with a large beard, wooly cap and big fur collar, sitting on a stool, talking on the phone.
"Take the shuttle. It's two dollars." he says, in to the phone.
I pile my items on the counter, and slowly, one by one, he bar-code reads them.
"No. Take the shuttle. It's two dollars." he says again, into the phone, making obvious progress, at least on that front.

Finally, I am rung up. $28.05.
I hand him a twenty and a ten.
"No. It's only two dollars. take the shuttle." he says in a convincing monotone.
Victory is no doubt within reach.
He closes the register.
I reach over the counter to get a bag, and begin bagging my groceries, as he watches each movement, sitting on his stool, with his phone to his ear.
"Take. The. Shuttle."

"My change" I say. "$1.95? My change?"
Never moving the phone, he nods, and takes a minute to figure out how to open the register. His nails are a bit long and seem polished.
Shiny, shiny nails.
He finally hands me my change, sort of dumping it into my hand. He offers a grimacey smile thing, and starts back at the phone.
"Oh, nothing. So, are you going to take the shuttle?"

As I step away, the next person in line (there are now several) is just standing there, staring at him as he talks on the phone. I leaned back towards the customer, and in a loud stage whisper, say, "Shhhh... He's on the phone!"

As I turn back to walk out, the cashier finally speaks directly to me.
In his own stage whisper, he says, "Thank you".

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Secret of My Success

"I survive largely on narrow escapes from my own recklessness."
 - LD

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Common Denominator

Today, like many days, stories of the beauty of life play out against stories of abject sorrow.
But who sees these?
It is the consciousness that looks out through all of our eyes, divided only by the ego, the disc operating system for the human incarnations we inhabit. Be that consciousness, and hold fast to it, lest the illusions of separation crush you with despair.
Treat every life you touch as you would your own.
Love is the common denominator, here on battlefield Earth.

May it spread like the air, into all of us.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Orleans People Project

DAY 412 | LORD DAVID | Shadowy Cult Figure

"I'm an artist; of words, images, music, life. I make my living by creating, restoring or salvaging beauty, depending on the beholder's eye. I believe we are all connected, and that life is precious, strange & full of wonder. I believe there is magic everywhere, if only we would take the time to coax it out."

History: Lord David was born feet first with teeth, stolen by Gypsies & raised by Pirates. After being captured by The Evil One during the War with the Giant Rats, Lord David escaped by drawing a window seat third class bus ticket on a cereal box top, and jumped ship in New Orleans.
Artist, writer, bartender, hot shot guitar player, ex-punk & rock singer, late night pub philosopher, general layabout & vagabond, he can be found doing whatever pays or entertains.
He is also the founder & host of the Skull Club.

About My Name; I once spent some time in the company of one of two Succubi, who allowed me to accompany her to ungodly places, as long as I plied her with nights of wild dancing and plenty of beer & chocolate, and allowed her to bite me until I was often covered in bruises in all manner of places.
Finally, they cast me, like a dried husk, on to the road side, and noted my ability to handle their debauched company by giving me the title, Lord David the Dissolute; meaning one who has mastered the art of living without moral restraint.

While this is not necessarily something to be proud of, it is etched forever in to my soul, and my burden to carry through life.

My Job Description:
"Almost all non-literate mythology has a trickster-hero of some kind. . . . And there’s a very special property in the trickster: he always breaks in, just as the unconscious does, to trip up the rational situation. He’s both a fool and someone who’s beyond the system. And the trickster represents all those possibilities of life that your mind hasn’t decided it wants to deal with. The mind structures a lifestyle, and the fool or trickster represents another whole range of possibilities. He doesn’t respect the values that you’ve set up for yourself, and smashes them. . . . The fool is the breakthrough of the absolute into the field of controlled social orders."
   - Joseph Campbell (interviewed by Michael Toms), An Open Life, p.39


This official 2014 NEW ORLEANS PEOPLE PROJECT photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement by the 2013 NEW ORLEANS PEOPLE PROJECT or Photographer Gus Bennett, Jr.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Road Map

My life has rarely been easy, but then, I've often chosen difficult terrain.
Clearly, the paths less traveled are more likely to be fraught with peril.
The view along the way, however, can be simply fucking amazing.
And I can see my house from here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Book of Lies; Part 1.

"There is magic outside of what we know.
If only one is brave enough to let go of everything."

 - Lord David

The Book of Lies; part 1407.

"When we categorize people by their appearance, or by titles, such as 'homeless', 'outsider', 'poor', instead of seeing them as an individual person, it is our own humanity that is diminished, not theirs."

 - Lord David

The Book of Lies, part 187.

"Releasing the grip on reality, as it has been taught to us, does not, in fact, cause one to fall.
It enables them to fly."

 - Lord David

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Excerpt from a Letter to a Friend

I will stay in the Skull Club until I cannot.

It's a huge loft, and I've spent thousands of dollars and hours creating the Perfect Creative Environment. I simply refuse to leave and hand all of that over to a bunch of simpering weasels.
I won't.

Honestly, I love it there, but it's a little like being The Man In The Tower Room.
In fact, that's exactly who I have become;

The Hermit of Spain Street.

Once I step outside that front door, and begin to wade through through the trash of American Spirit cigarette butts, Modela Negro beer bottles, dog shit and general litter, I quickly become overcome with the despair of anyone who sees something they love be violated by ignorant trash.

On the other hand, and this is most important, it is incumbent on me to maintain The Last Liberty Outpost. I sometimes put on my top hat & velvet pants and ride my bicycle past them all, making the point of who & what this place was, and can be.

Until creativity, itself, falls victim to these empty heads and vapid hearts, it is the duty of Those Who Came Before to stand hard & fast against the rising tide of idiots.

- Lord David, the Hermit of Spain Street

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saving the World Through Racism; China-fication

(Please Note: as of 12/1/14 the racist page in question has been taken down, as far as I can tell, and I am told that 'Ms Brees' has issued some sort of minor apology on her Facebook page. I haven't bothered to check, but I'm gonna hope for the best. - L.D.)

I came across this just the other day. It's a public page on a Facebook Site, described as:
"China-fication of New Orleans Culture and Traditions'.
The page alleges to deal with the horror of Chinese imports used to 'celebrate' New Orleans culture.

 We'll get to all of that, but first, let me address the obvious racism of the term 'China-fication'; The author of the page in question told me via message (before deleting me for disagreeing with her) that it's okay to describe America's fascination with cheap junk this way because "It is a word being used in the news and academia across America."

 Do you suppose that if "
the news and academia across America" started calling DYI repair by black people "African Engineering", or negotiations by Jewish people as "Jewing you down" it would be acceptable?
Perhaps calling Latinos who work in the Mexican food industry "Taco Benders" would meet a higher standard? 

And the Italian in me isn't wild about 'Wop Salad' either, but whatcha gonna do, right? (fogetaboutit)

So I'm just gonna go off the top of my head here, and spit out a few thoughts.

There are about a billion people in China. It's a huge fucking country with many provinces, dialects, cultures & styles. Few of these, I would say, deal on a day to day basis with America's fascination with cheap crap. More likely, they are struggling to find better jobs in their late-to-game upsurging economy, trying to raise families under a rather oppressive regime we can't even imagine, and making it through life one day at a time, just like you & I. Some are just struggling to breathe the air in Beijing, or petitioning the government to have more than one legal child.

To saddle them with the responsibility for our own choices is both sad and typical;
Clinging to a childlike view of the world, it's easy to go blithely along, buying crap, and pointing fingers. Let's look at where those fingers are pointed, and should be pointed, shall we?

The author of this Facebook page calls herself Katrina Brees. It's not her real name of course, nor is she from New Orleans. She did, however, decide to make use of the name of the storm, Katrina, that took over 1300 lives here. Then a slightly clever, albeit sophomoric, addition of  Saint's quarterback Drew Brees last name gave her a full on commercialized 'N'awlins' name, one that doubles as the name of the wind that helped destroy a city and kill well over a thousand.

  In the messages before she deleted me for telling her some of these things (she wrote and asked me why I was "so hateful" when I pointed out the racism aspect), she told me she had lived all over the world, in many countries, most recently China, but others have identified her as Karina Nathan of Boston, Massachusetts.

Imagine my surprise when I read her page, announcing:

 "The truth is that New Orleans culture is now imported from China. Whether it is the $100s of millions in ostrich feathers, plastic seed beads, Mardi Gras throws, St Patty's decorations, a Saints jersey or even a king cake baby."

 The local news has carried stories about the toxicity of cheap Chinese beads, and some of these other things, but then, it's fun to jump on a band wagon and call yourself an authority, isn't it? Still, I would hardly call that stuff 'New Orleans Culture", anymore than I would the scene of Bourbon Street. 

Haydels Bakery, for example, makes it's own King Cake babies, modeled to match the floats of various Parade Krewes. Many of the New Orleans Parade Krewes are making efforts to switch entirely to throws made, not just in the USA, but in New Orleans. There is a change already happening, but time & economy play a big role in it.

Established businesses and long lived Carnival Krewes may have the deep pockets to do this in a relatively short period of time. But who does
Karina Nathan of Boston, Massachusetts decide to point the finger at? The Mardi Gras Indians, that's who.

Now, I'm no expert, but I know a few of these people, and have spent a little 'white boy' time with them when they let me hang around. These are not Bourbon Street club owners, buying the cheapest shit they can get away with. These are not people selling polyester jester hats, pimp outfits, Bud Lite coolies or 'Show Your Tits' t-shirts.
 That shit is, indeed, probably made somewhere in Asia, and should be avoided for it's garish tastelessness as well as any residual patriotic pride.

But the MG Indians?

I have heard it said:  "We have done so much with so little, for so long, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."

This describes what I have seen from any of these tribes I have encountered. They are mostly doing amazing work with what they can afford, which is often foreign made beads, sequins & feathers. When presented with cost effective local alternatives, many have made the change.

Rather than go further into that, I will wonder out loud, why single out the bottom of the economic pyramid (sorry guys), compared to the wealthy, Uptown carnival Krewes, Bourbon Street Clubs, beer representatives, party stores & t-shirt shops?
Because it gets a 'cooler' headline and is a whole fuck of a lot less work? Perhaps.

In short,
Karina Nathan of Boston, Massachusetts, could move to New Orleans, change her name to Katrina Brees, claim to have lived in China, slam an entire country and a billion people by blaming them for American acceptance of throw away shit, mostly bought by corporate shills, and get her picture taken 'saving' the Mardi Gras Indians.

I call foul.
This is why.

I'm guessing Ms Brees has an iPhone and/or iPod laying around somewhere. I wonder if she knows that those are also made in oppressive Chinese factories?
Lets' look at where they're made, shall we? 

"Apple iPods, iPhones, and other products are manufactured for Apple by Foxconn, a Taiwan-based company (technically, Foxconn is the company’s trade name; the firm’s official name is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd).
The iPod and iPhone are manufactured in Shenzen, China, though Foxconn maintains factories in countries across the world, including Thailand, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines."

While I'm sure Karina Nathan of Boston, Massachusetts has no problem with those Chinese imports, (Oh NO! I forgot my PHONE!), perhaps she should look at how the Chinese who make them feel about this 'China-fication'. At least one of those factories (Foxxconn) has "suicide nets" around it so the workers, who are not allowed to leave, can't jump to their deaths.

17 Foxconn workers have killed themselves in the past half decade. What had seemed to be a series of isolated incidents was becoming an appalling trend. When one jumper left a note explaining that he committed suicide to provide for his family, the program of remuneration for the families of jumpers was canceled."

Somehow, the beads just don't seem so Dr. Evil anymore. Nor do the Mardi Gras Indians, many of whom recycle their beads, year after year, and already spend an inordinate amount of their income upholding their traditions. It might surprise Ms Brees to know that these traditions, started by the poor, black communities of New Orleans, pre-date plastic AND Chinese imports, even though she claims that:

"The truth is that New Orleans culture is now imported from China.

Karina Nathan of Boston, Massachusetts interested in really spreading the news about our trade problems with China, an obvious place to start might be the XL Pipeline, a nightmare of an Eco-Apocalypse supported almost entirely by it's Chinese customers and a small section of right wing investor monkeys, who have no qualms blowing up the world or drowning it in epic oil spills, as long as few drunken Canadian politicians (and some really stupid greedy American ones) can make money pumping it across the USA to boats destined for China.

Or she could join the campaign against Walmart, who's owners have become billionaires by selling cheap Chinese imports, via part time employees unable to get healthcare or live without food stamps.

Then there's the Monsanto driven FDA, okaying Chinese crawfish, which destroy the local fishing economy, or the import of Chinese chicken meat, none of which meets the already dismal inspection standards the FDA sets out. They don't even require it be labeled in many circumstances.

But no, let's get out our iPhones and join a woman named after exploitation & death, as she points her finger at the Madri Gras Indians, who's culture now comes from China. 

Because it's easy.
Calling other people names and pointing fingers is alwasy easier than actually dealing with problems. But dressing up in fairy
wings and getting your picture taken with some MG Indians won't solve much.

I do think it would be nice if she stopped talking about 'Our culture' and what "we" are doing about it. I know some tribe people that have been masking & looking for local alternatives since before
Karina Nathan of Boston, Massachusetts was born.
Certainly before she came here to point fingers and 'save us'.

In closing, and I say this from the bottom of my heart,
I don't care how the fuck y'all did it up north, honey.
You here, now.
Stop pointing fingers.
As the late, great Elvis Presley once sang, "Clean up your own back yard."

PS: Anyone interested in recycling Carnival beads, please contact Margie Perez at Arc Beadcycle. They do good. Fo real.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sign Posts

Each of us holds a secret in our heart.
To look hard enough to see;
To know and respect and honor and cherish;
That is the way to love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Walk By The River; Lord of the Flies & the Slave Children of Mordor

Today begins the Sacred Music Festival at the New Orleans Healing Center, in which billionaire Pres Kabacoff sponsors his crazy wife's party, which they convince the local hippies to work as 'volunteers', because god knows Pres & Sallie are short of cash.

 In keeping with this occasion, I came across a picture of their fake Voodoo ceremony, which I have diligently posted to Facebook.
All the same, here it is again, with the same caption.

"Privileged White People, bastardizing Haitian culture, performing a 'ceremony' at the Hippy Shopping Mall Healing Center. The best part of this picture is Pres Kabacoff, in his ridiculous pink suit, staring at that woman's ass, while his crazy wife pretends to do a Voodoo ceremony.

 I admit, this put a wrinkle in my day, much like coming across any other pile of stank droppings, so I thought I'd take a walk at the new Crescent Park, down by the river.
It's a blustery day, so as expected, I had it much to myself.

 I had read warnings from other pundits, suggesting that the park would soon be over run with 'thugs' and today, I saw them, myself, en masse, for the first time.

I'm guessing they're the Cottage Cheese Ass Gang, Lord of the Flies chapter. They were all skinny, bearded white boys, carrying those large tree limbs, and, as I arrived, beating loudly on all of the iron panels around the Piety Street deck, like some loud & insane Drum Circle From Hell.
 I watched for a while, wondering if they knew there were cameras in there, watching them, too. Then they noticed the cameras, ("Hey look! Dude! Cameras!") and in a moment of bravery, hoofed it back across the Bridge of Rust, complete with their Gandalf Staff Wear, to march off in the general direction of Mordor, or as it's called locally, the New Orleans Healing Center and Co-op.

 I walked on down to the end of the path, to where it ends in a lovely chain link security fence. There was a cargo vessel making a U-turn, and the music came floating across the river as it gracefully spun about. It was Scott Joplin's 'The Entertainer' played on the Caliope.
 Suddenly, I heard a foot step behind me, and spun around. There stood an obvious jogger, totally fit, wearing the sort of stretchy jogging clothes only totally fit people can wear. He was smiling ear to ear.

"Impressive, isn't it?" he said, nodding at the ship.
"The music makes it completely surreal", I replied.
"I know," he said, "It's perfect." He went on his way & I on mine, but I was reassured by this exchange. The simple acceptance of surreal imagery & the child like wonder of watching one of the Big Ships, so easily shared by complete strangers, passing on the river bank, is probably as old as the city itself. The name of the ship certainly fell in to line with this imagery. The MSC Stella.

Needless to say, I felt better about things.

Once back on the home turf of the Skull Club, I decided that I would pop next door to the Mordor Co-op Voodoo Shopping Mall, and see if they ever restocked the one, single item I ever went there for, anymore, and then, only under the most dire of circumstances (which often occur at 4:20); The Pursuit of Good Chocolate.

 They used to carry 3.5 ounce bars of delicious Giordella baking chocolate (70% Cacao) for about $3.29. Now they direct me to the fancy schmancy ones, made with real Rain Forest Fairies & The Angst Ridden Tears of Guilt, but they're all much more expensive, and loaded with additives. As I pointed out to the intrepid clerk hawking this crap, the mere addition of the word 'Artisanal' adds at least a dollar to the price.

  Anyway, he finally told me, in a secretive whisper (like these other people ever listen to anybody) that they had discontinued it because they thought Giordella might not be following 'Fair Trade' guidelines. I asked what this meant, suggesting that they'd always treated me fairly, and at a good price, mind you.

"It means that they aren't being fair to the farmers" he told me. I have serious doubts about that, believing that the Co-op only stocks things with stupid, expensive names on it, so they can charge stupid expensive prices for it. It happens, ya know.

 So I took a pass, and left without my fair trade chocolate, with bits of real rain forest artisanal fairies in it. On the way out, I saw the New Orleans Co-Op Signature Water Bottles, carried by simply everyone who is anyone and cares deeply about farmers & workers rights.

Of course, I happened to turn it over, and take a look at the bottom. Imagine my surprise.

 My surprise was that it wasn't actually filled with the tears of child slaves, imprisoned in the factories of China, but then, those tears might be considered 'Artisanal' in some countries, too precious to be tossed away.

Especially here in Mordor.