Category Archives: Da Bayou

David Vitter

Two Vitter Endorsements Don’t Make A Right

U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) promises not to suck as bad as Bobby Jindal once elected governor, and we wholeheartedly believe and support him in his quest to, uh, not suck.

There. I just gave you the Cliff’s Notes version of the Times-Picayune’s second endorsement of Vitter’s Louisiana gubernatorial bid – an editorial encore that calls into question whether this once vaunted New Orleans institution should be entrusted to pontificate about anything more substantive than the Saints’ desperate need to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. (He still has a job?!)

Continue reading

David Vitter

Really Times-Picayune? David Vitter for Governor?

These days, my hometown rag The Times-Picayune is skinnier than an Olsen twin, and about as knowledgeable on New Orleans as Mary-Kate and Ashley combined. The paper’s sagging finances and decreasing news hole – similar maladies afflict old media enterprises across the nation – is no excuse for its editorial board’s recent brain fart, uh decision, to back Sen. David Vitter for governor.

Continue reading

Bobby Jindal is Stannis Baratheon of GOP Field

Where is Melisandre when I need her? Wait, she rode off too?!

Where is Melisandre when I need her? Wait, she rode off too?!

NOTE: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead.

Surprising absolutely no one, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced today on social media his intent to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Did anyone actually think Jindal, after years furthering his own White House ambitions with hundreds of campaign trips designed to grow his national brand, refusing anything that resembled a tax even if it plunged his state into a billion-dollar deficit and making controversial speeches about gays and Muslims, would inform the media and the electorate he had decided NOT to run?

Bobby Jindal is Stannis Baratheon, or at least finds himself in a similar predicament as the would-be king found himself on Season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Jindal faces extremely long odds of achieving his White House goal but at this point is in too deep to retreat. He’s spent years telling anyone who would listen he possesses the gravitas to run the nation. He must ride forward even if it means his campaign will be routed and serve as a future cautionary tale. C’est la vie.

Continue reading

Dear South Carolina: Remove the Confederate Flag ASAP

Photo credit: Charleston Post and Courier.

Photo credit: Charleston Post and Courier.

As pieces of cloth go the Confederate flag is a reprehensible piece of seditious shit, a treasonous, blood-soaked embodiment of fear, ignorance and hate and an example of man’s most brutish tendencies winning over his shared humanity. Those who argue for the flag’s tradition, heritage and rebel spirit 150 years after the South lost the Civil War are, in essence, vouching for the enslavement, murder and torture that occurred in the flag’s name. This includes the cowards who call themselves leaders in the state of South Carolina.

Continue reading

Bobby Jindal, Still Not Presidential Material

I swear I will not embarrass the great state of Louisiana on a national stage.

I swear I will not embarrass the great state of Louisiana on a national stage.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ruffled feathers abroad and at home last month with his anti-Muslim rhetoric and proposed higher education cuts. Turns out all those ruffled feathers did little to nothing to rouse voters. It appears the 43-year-old Republican might be closing tent on his 2016 presidential aspirations before the big circus begins. Color me shocked.

Jindal is a man who, first and foremost, believes his own bullshit. On No-Go Zones, the need for more cuts and less taxes, you name it. Bobby Jindal believes Bobby Jindal is the man the Bible God has ordained to lead our troubled nation. The problem: his two “part-time” tours of gubernatorial duty have equated to one large dumpster fire.

Why should Jindal stay on the sidelines of the 2016 presidential race? Glad you asked. Here is my Storify document counting the ways.

Prompts: “Covering Gustav, The Storm Of The Century”

Me photographing a sheriff's deputy fixing a roof leak during the height of Hurricane Gustav.

Me photographing a sheriff’s deputy fixing a roof leak during the height of Hurricane Gustav.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays. This week’s topic: Describe a time you overcame fear.

We slithered south toward the Gulf of Mexico on a deserted two-lane highway – the sheriff’s spokesman, the Washington Post reporter, and I in the spokesman’s cruiser – dodging fallen tree branches crisscrossing the road. Power lines sagged into ditches. Water rested atop yards like sheets of paper. Darkness choked the land. Our headlights might as well have been the last lights in the world. In the backseat the reporter from our nation’s capital peppered the spokesman with questions about our area as he drove. I already knew most of the answers before the spokesman supplied responses, at turns playful and dismissive. We were deep in the heart of bayou country, among the first to lay eyes on the aftermath of the so-called “storm of the century.”

Continue reading

Prompts: Searching For New York City’s Best Pizza Slice

Koronet, one of the biggest, if not best, slices in NYC.

Koronet, one of the biggest, if not best, slices in NYC.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays (whoops, today is not Friday). Today I am writing about a project I will embark on for the next three months.

A few weeks ago I re-watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II for the first time in at least 15 years. Doing so reminded me how fortunate I am that the rats congregating in my building’s garbage cans cannot talk or perform karate moves, reintroduced me to Vanilla Ice’s high water mark, and made me ask the question, Why no Rocksteady and Bebop. The movie also proved an outstanding vehicle for the wonders of New York City pizza, as consistently excellent and cost-effective a food item as one could hope to find in this overpriced metropolis.

Continue reading

TMZ Pronounces “Cajun Justice” Dead

Disgraced King Vernon Bourgeois

TMZ is the Grim Reaper of gossip sites, having broken news of the deaths of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Heath Ledger. On Monday, the site reported the (timely) demise of the A&E reality show “Cajun Justice.” When TMZ reports you’re dead, you’re dead. However, that last death announcement should come with an asterisk. Media reports out of south Louisiana have said for months that Terrebonne Parish’s new sheriff, Jerry Larpenter, would not let his deputies participate in the show, once he took office. Thus, TMZ’s report comes as no surprise.

Former Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois’ lasting legacy will be inspiring TMZ to take a crap on the bloated carcass of his agency’s “reality” show. That and mismanaging the department’s money to the point Larpenter had to lay off deputies to make up for Bourgeois’ fiscally irresponsible behavior. Vernon Bourgeois, take a bow. You’re king no more. Love live the greedy, starry-eyed, simple-minded Cajun sheriff king!

I wrote about my misgivings with “Cajun Justice” months ago. Nothing’s changed. I only saw bits and pieces of episodes, but what I observed made me hang my head in shame. Bourgeois should have resigned for reasons explained here but I am relieved knowing he can no longer embarrass his agency, his culture, or himself with a second season of this garbage.

New Higher Ed Cuts Prove Gov. Bobby Jindal Failed Louisiana’s Young Adults

Jindal pretends to care

Bobby Jindal, Veep candidate.

Four of the grossest words in the English language.

I remember when Jindal ran for governor of Louisiana he pledged to give the state’s young adults a reason to stay. It sounded too good to be true then, like electioneering pipe dreams. Now, it strikes me as a joke where the punchline is the listener getting punched in the gut. (NOTE: I posted Jindal’s campaign video below.)

Today I read a report that the state had slashed $66 million from its university system. Among the universities forced to absorb millions in cuts was my alma mater, Nicholls State University. This, sadly, is nothing new during Jindal’s reign. Louisiana has cut its university system five times since 2008, slashing $420 million from higher education.

I repeat: $420 million from higher education!!!

Continue reading

Returning To The Bathtub: How My Opinion On Beasts Of The Southern Wild Changed

Beasts now showing at Cinema 21 in Portland

WARNING: Spoilers below. You should see the movie before reading unless, that is, you love my writing so much you can’t help yourself. If that’s the case then feel free to spoil your dinner. ;)

Let me just get this out of the way: I still don’t follow the auruchs, the icebergs collapsing, or any of the fantasia elements that happen in Beasts of the Southern Wild. I know they offer a parallel to what’s happening in the Bathtub and in the life of young Hushpuppy. My friend Rob did a great job explaining these parallels in the comments section after my first post about the movie, and I encourage you to read his thoughts.

On my second viewing of Beasts of the Southern Wild, much like my first, I found myself largely uninterested in the deeper meanings of the mythical elements at play. This time though they didn’t dampen my affection for the film. I focused exclusively on what I adored about the film – Hushpuppy’s complex relationship with her father, the lush south Louisiana landscape, the joy the characters project, etc. – and put aside my previous concerns. Also important: The sky-high expectations I had the first time I saw the film were more realistic this time around.

It hit me while watching Beasts of the Southern Wild for the second time in five days that I will need to see it a third time, and possibly even a fourth or fifth time, while it’s in the theaters. It is my culture, my people, my bayous depicted on that screen. Thus, I am deeply moved and filled with a sense of pride that is hard to explain to people not born in the Bathtub. So revelatory was my second viewing of Beasts of the Southern Wild that I considered seeing it a second time Friday night, but abandoned the idea because the day’s first viewing overwhelmed me.

Continue reading