Monday, September 05, 2005

Sometimes I Feel Like A Blue Dog...

Folks -

Back to the topic in days to come, but I'm sure you'll agree, it's hard to think of anything these days except the tragic situation in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast. Work has been a treadmill of news about the state of oil and gas fields, refineries and pipelines and the growing, colossal human toll continuese to shock and disappoint. It surely could have and would have been different with proper planning and appropriate resources and responses. Don't get me started. Suffice to say that as disappointing as it is that we can't throw all the bums out immediately. We'll get them, sooner or later. Unfortunately, it's far too late for perhaps 10,000 people.
It's impossible to imagine what people are going through.

Everyone must help.
Anyone who can spell MISSISSIPPI or anyone who can't...anyone who has ever heard of Mississippi. Anyone who's ever been to New Orleans or knows someone who has been to New Orleans or who dreamed of going to New Orleans. Anyone who knows the taste of a beignet with Cafe du Monde's chickory coffee or anyone who has no idea what that is...anyone who's tried - and failed miserably - to duplicate them at home...Anyone who knows that real New Orleans isn't about Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens or anyone who hasn't learned that...Anyone who's learned not to dismiss the voodoo shops as tourist traps...anyone who's ever danced at Tippatina's or who just remembers it from movies...anyone who's ever smiled at the pride that New Orleans taxi drivers take in their cabs by writing their names above the driver's door (Where are you Lloyd G. Lane?)...anyone who's ever tried grits - whether you liked them or not...anyone who's never collected a single Mardi Gras bead or anyone who has bagged them by the hundreds (don't ask, don't tell)...anyone who's ever been arrested for climbing a light pole at Madri Gras by a cop named Brett Maverick...anyone who's ever teared up to Louis Armstrong singing ''Do you know what it's like to miss New Orleans? even before Katrina...anyone who's playing it now...anyone who's been to Algiers...anyone who's been through the poor sections of town and made a difference in somebody's life...or anyone who hasn't yet...anyone who's black...or white...or other...

In short, everyone has to help. Give what you can to hurricane relief efforts.
Our brothers and sisters need it.

Nancy and I have seen New Orleans from all sides. We stayed a friend's apartment off the French Quarter in our early days together and made our first joint purchase there. A $250 lithograph by the artist Rodrigue, who paints his dog, Tiffany, in many different settings. Ours has Tiffany - a royal blue terrier with yellow eyes saying ''Sometimes I Feel Like A Blue Dog...'' with the words surrounded by TV static. Tiffany, who has passed on, haunts the artist's dreams as a ghost (in blue) and appears in multiple settings - Mardi Gras masks, misty bayous and images that summon up the Cajun folk tale of the Loup Garou, or werewolf.

We swore off blue drinks after a night in the city's tremendous jazz and blues clubs, we sweated through a plantation wedding, complete with horsedrawn carriage and fireworks...

I had the ignominious honor of attending an Americas energy conference - in suit and tie - in the summertime several years back. Temperatures were near 100 degrees and 100% humidity at 6 AM - power cuts plagued the region - unfortunate punctuation to the theme of the conference.

I had the dubious honor of sitting next to the one and only Ken Lay - then the chairman of high-flying Enron, before it became a four-letter word. Kenny-Boy and I shared a seat on a deluxe air-conditioned coach taking us across town to a massive mansion where the evening's festivities were held. We chit-chatted...I said I heard his name was in the hopper as the next energy secretary if Bush was elected president - he demurred and came across as a soft-spoken, humble, clueless, country preacher. Can I size them up or what? We passed through a poor part of town and an incredibly large and ornate cemetery on the way to the mansion and we both paused at the powerful image. Crypts are commonly used - by those who can afford them - since the high water table can make deep digging for burials problematic. I didn't realize it then - but as clear as it is now - it was true then ... even in death - the divide between rich and poor is perhaps more striking than in any other U.S. city. And what a seat to see that from - in the company of the man who will go down as a dictionary definition of one of the biggest skunks ever in American business...

Kenny-Boy and I parted company at the mansion...Ex-Senator Bennett Johnson announced the guest of honor - Energy Secretary Bill Richardson descended the grand staircase like the belle of the ball as Johnson introduced ''the man who could be the next vice-president of the United States.'' We all know how that played out...

Later in that trip, our stories filed, my colleagues and I found a civilized place to have a drink and relax, chatting with some Venezuelan friends. We spotted the U.S. Energy Secretary in a crowd of revelers smoking what appeared to be a Cuban cigar (a habit I noted first hand from our many days together at the U.N.)

The mood was broken when kleig lights pierced the night. No one could be bothered to get up, but heads turned briefly. While the town sweltered at midnight, El Presidente Carlos Menem - impeccably coiffed and tailored in a dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie - an army of similarly uniformed clones in tow - strode pridefully down Bourbon Street as Argentine TV cameras jostled for the most flattering angles...
'Our top story tonight, the Menem visits Bourbon Street...' unlike my previous encounter with him - at the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva - there wasn't a background soundtrack of ''Don't Cry For Me Argentina...''

The trick to New Orleans is looking beyond the rats to see the many good people...
God bless them.

1 Comments:

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

Do you guys watch movies in theater or on internet? I use to rent DVD movies from [b]Blockbuster.com[/b]. Recently I discovered that we can watch all new movies on internet on day, they are released. So why should I spend money on renting movies??? So, can you guys please tell me where I can [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]watch latest movie The Losers 2010[/url] for free?? I have searched [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Youtube.com[/url], [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Dailymotion.com[/url], [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Megavideo.com[/url] but, Could not find a good working link. If you know any working link please share it with me.


Thanks

 

Post a Comment

<< Home