Six years after the fact, you’d think that most of us in New Orleans would be tired of talking about Hurricane Katrina.
That’s not to say that everything’s as it was. That’s not to say that everyone has come home. And that’s certainly not to say that people, communities, and the city we call home haven’t been deeply, deeply scarred by a particularly forceful force of nature.
And yet, we don’t want to talk about it. I certainly don’t. None of my friends talk about it. My family doesn’t. In fact, the only time it comes up in conversation is when I’m out of town, and someone finds out that I’m from New Orleans — as happened while I was paying a visit to my birth mother, Callie, this past weekend.
Hurricane Irene: Be Prepared (And Please Don't Blame The Gays)
Since New Orleans isn’t directly in the path of Hurricane Irene, I haven’t heard as much discussion about the storm and all that she threatens to disrupt as I normally would. But of course, Irene is likely to cause a lot of damage, and at the very least, she’ll put a serious damper on people’s weekend plans along the East Coast.
One of the biggest disruptions is undoubtedly the official dedication of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 11am — almost exactly the time at which Irene will be giving D.C. her most powerful stink-eye. It looks as if the storm will be downgraded to a category 2 by then, but that’s more than enough to flood roadways, knock out power, and force cancellation of all outdoor events.
Which makes me wonder: are gays going to have the shoulder the blame for Irene alone? As you probably recall, asswipes like Reverend John Hagee blamed us for Katrina. Said Hagee to Terry Gross:
All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are — were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades.
Which is ridiculous for a couple of reasons — not least of which is that he makes the Southern Decadence parade sound super-secret, when in fact, it’s widely known as one of the biggest gay events in town, and possibly in the South. Ugh, that man is such a drama queen.
WTF, Spongebob? Jazzland/Six Flags Needs Another Buyer
Two years ago — nearly two years ago to the day — a certain cueball-headed mayor of New Orleans announced that Jazzland/Six Flags was coming back. The theme park where so many of my friends had worked before the storm, performing to crowds of dozens (on a good day), has done nothing but gather mold since Hurricane Katrina swamped it. Which wasn’t hard to do, since the whole thing was built on a swamp anyway.
My skill set may be limited, but I’m a monster when it comes to filing.
I’ve wasted hours — days, weeks, even — sifting through my collection of photos and music files, organizing them into directories, assigning tags. As a kid, I did the same with books, arranging my sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult novels alphabetically by title. My friends loved to annoy me by moving books around and watching me hunt, squint-eyed, for the ones that were out of place.
Facebook works the same. I’ve arranged my Facebook friends into lists — by city, by state, by school, by era (there’s a big group called “Lucky Cheng’s” for all the acquaintances I made during those boozy years).
I tell myself that I do this so I can track them down. Our theater company is doing a show, and we have some last-minute comp tickets to spread around? One quick message to my New Orleans list, and I’m done. Someone from my fraternity gets married or suddenly passes away? Boom, taken care of.
Every so often, I’ll meet someone who doesn’t use Facebook, and they’ll tell me, “I hated high school. Why would I want to remember all those people?” And I reply, “But that’s just it: you don’t. Facebook helps you forget them.”
Sex Crimes & Other Offenses That Become Louisiana Law Today
At the moment, Louisiana is run by Republicans: we have a Republican governor (a terrible one, IMHO) and the party holds a majority in both the House and the Senate. As elsewhere, many of these GOP legislators are first-timers, and they’re pissing off the elders with their arrogance, their Tea Party-naivete, and their frequent ineptitude.
And yet, there were some good things to come out of the 2011 legislative session that wrapped up in June. I’ll start with the bad, though:
As of today, there are more obstacles standing between women and safe, legal abortion: “Abortion clinics must give more information to women before they can terminate a pregnancy, including new signs telling pregnant women that they cannot be coerced into abortion, that fathers are liable for child support and that adoptive parents may pay for prenatal care and birth expenses.” [AP]
New Louisiana residents used to be required to wait six months before receiving a concealed handgun permit. Not anymore.
The Best of Craigslist: "Looking for bros to head into the woods and bond by fire, experience life as men once lived it, JO circle, and fire/vision quests. THIS IS NOT A SEX THING"
Manhood Camping Firequest. Lookin’ for a 100% for real bros to share/experience manhood in all its glory. This is for real, I don’t want to waste my time or yours. 100% JO and manhood, no sugar added. I AM NOT GAY. Don’t even think this is a sex thing, it’s all about manhood.
Looking for bros to head into the woods and bond by fire, experience life as men once lived it, JO circle, and fire/vision quests.
THIS IS NOT A SEX THING.
Gonna need some basic things/skills, I don’t want to be slowed down by fools:
- must be in reasonable shape, if you get winded walking then stay home - Ed Hardy camping gear, it’s really good gear and it’s awesome - desire to be a man among men - not afraid to wield a blade - crystal, I’m not sharing mine - must be able to make a fire - gloves - a knowledge of native vegetation (knowledge of psychotropic fungus a plus) - knowledge of modern music - protective/splash resistant eye wear - 5 - 10 of those clip things that rock climbers use
We are gonna need a mobile music device, ipod or something. I’m bringing the music for the firequests and visionquests, Nickleback’s The Long Road. I only have it on CD, so I’ll have my discman as a last resort, an ipod would be nicer. Just sayin’.
Dont’ want to see”
- bad attitudes - gay/homoerotic behavior, this is a manhood thing. I AM NOT GAY. - cock rings, can’t keep it up w/o help, you aren’t gonna make it on this quest - firearms, there’s gonna be enough guns going off and spent shells to pick up - the nerds/dorks/lames/and anyone less than 100% into manhood.
If you are serious, then I promise you this will be the trip of your life. It will change the way you think. I’m serious, and I AM NOT GAY. To see a group of bros being men, a JO circle by a camp fire. The charge/energy in the air. Crystals get jacked, no lie. You will slip into a different frame of mind, you will feel electric.
Last outing, we had a group that was so charged we attracted bears. It was no deal, nature knew man was in the forest, the crystals gave us the confidence to own those bears. I saw it, I was there.
“Afterward, Obama and his advisers went into a second room, down the hall, where others involved in the raid—including logisticians, crew chiefs, and SEAL alternates—had assembled. Obama presented the team with a Presidential Unit Citation and said, “Our intelligence professionals did some amazing work. I had fifty-fifty confidence that bin Laden was there, but I had one-hundred-per-cent confidence in you guys. You are, literally, the finest small-fighting force that has ever existed in the world.” The raiding team then presented the President with an American flag that had been on board the rescue Chinook. Measuring three feet by five, the flag had been stretched, ironed, and framed. The SEALs and the pilots had signed it on the back; an inscription on the front read, “From the Joint Task Force Operation Neptune’s Spear, 01 May 2011: ‘For God and country. Geronimo.’ ” Obama promised to put the gift “somewhere private and meaningful to me.” Before the President returned to Washington, he posed for photographs with each team member and spoke with many of them, but he left one thing unsaid. He never asked who fired the kill shot, and the SEALs never volunteered to tell him.”—You need to read this if you haven’t already. (via cajunboy)
You’ve probably heard about Louis Marinelli. He was on the National Organization for Marriage’s marketing team until April of this year, when he experienced a sudden and complete transformation: he awoke one morning, kicked Maggie Gallagher and her hate-filled cohorts to the curb, and stomped off with NOM’s 290,000 Facebook fans in tow.
Which is great. I mean, I love transformation stories as much as the next guy. Hell, we all do — if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have theatre or film or novels or any of the stories we love and admire. In fact, I’d argue that the ability to change, to see the error of our ways (or tumble headlong into a life of crime) is what gets us out of bed in the morning.
So I understand the LGBT community’s desire to wrap Louis into the fold. We want to believe that bigoted, religious, conservative types are capable of walking away from hate. I know people who’ve done it, and it makes me very, very happy. However…