Once again the people of New Orleans have gotten the mainstream shaft.
For every good bit of information in our traditional media, there are too many hit pieces.
For every good fight in our Congress, there are innumerable foes against real comprehensive legislation for the Gulf Coast.
And once again, ugh. New Orleans was up for being host to one of the Presidential Debates. And they were turned down. Ok, that's bad, ok. But to add insult to injury and what drove me to write to them was their utterly poisonous and condescending reason:
New Orleans will host the BCS Championship game in early January and the NBA All-Star Game in February, but it will not have the honor of hosting a Presidential Debate next fall.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has rejected the city's bid to host a national debate featuring either candidates for President or Vice President.
The leader of the effort to secure such an event for New Orleans, Anne Milling, founder of the organization Women of the Storm, was informed of the Commission's decision by phone on Monday.
Milling says she was told that the Commission decided the city was not sufficiently prepared to handle the event. She says "any idea that the city is not ready to host a presidential debate is simply not true."
The effort had the support of 4 local colleges and universities, business leaders, convention and tourism officials, and seven presidential candidates.
New Orleans was one of 16 finalists selected by the Commission.
You have to wonder why this would be. It makes no sense. Well, if you're a politician or a power broker or on the Board of Directors of the Commission, I guess you look at things differently.
The NOLA blogosphere is exploding about this. I'm going to give a few links as to some of the many reactions:
From the Ashley Morris Blog:
Oxford, Mississippi, population 19,000, evidently does have adequate facilities. They have the University of Mississippi there, home of the Rebels and Colonel Reb. A fine representation of racial equality, unlike, say, New Orleans. A backup site is Danville, Kentucky.
I was insanely mad yesterday about this. I was ready to put a bounty on fuckmook Paul Kirk's head. But over the past 18 or so hours, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter what we do.
Nobody gives a fuck about us but us.
Your Right Hand Thief:
New Orleans can host the Sugar Bowl, BCS championship game, NBA All Star game, Mardis Gras and Jazz Fest... but is apparently "not sufficiently prepared" to handle a televised forum with two Presidential candidates on stage simultaneously.
Douchemooks. [Ed., see also fuckmook]
Scout Prime at First Draft has a thing or two to say:
UPDATE: The seven candidates who had endorsed a NOLA debate included 5 Democrats and 2 Republicans. They were: Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Obama,Brownback, and McCain.
Mr. Clio at World Class New Orleans titled his post,
Read the link to listen to the passionless, ostrich-like, pitiful excuses.
New Orleans didn't deserve a debate because we suffered a tragedy. We don't want pity.
New Orleans was the best place for a debate (or even all four of them) because all of the major issues facing our country and world have been on display here for over two years: a national infrastructure at risk, homeland security (our port and levees), race, education, economic opportunity, global climate change, wetlands degradation, agriculture and aquaculture, crime, corruption, crony capitalism.
Check the link, and read Mr. Clio's letter to the Commission. It's worth the click.
And E at We Could be Famous gives some important information:
I will now reproduce the names and numbers of the members of the Commission on Presidential Debates, as seen in today's Times-Pic:
Co-Chair Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. (President, CEO of American Gaming Association) [Ha!] [Ed. Fahrenkopf was head of the RNC in the 80's]
Co-Chair Paul G. Kirk Jr. (Retired Partner of some law firm) [Ed. - Kirk was the head of the DNC in the 80's]
Howard G. Buffet (Howard G. Buffet Foundation)
Sen. John C. Danforth (Former Senator, that is)
Antonia Hernandez (California Community Foundation)
Caroline Kennedy (Famous Daughter)
Mike McCurry (Former Clinton guy)
Newton N. Minow (No idea)
Dorothy Ridlings (Huh?)
Sen. Alan K. Simpson (Former Senator, that is)
H. Patrick Swygert (President of Howard University) [Get our back, wouldya?]
Everyone that reads this blog can spend the five minutes or so that it takes to leave short messages for these people. Or if you're really mad, you can leave extra long messages.
If you noticed that none of these people have 504 area codes, its because they don't live here in New Orleans.
There IS a debate in some town called Oxford, Mississippi on September 26, 2008.
How far away is that?
Oh, only about five and a half hours...
And if you want a rant, here's Gentilly Girl's righteous take on this news.
But I'm not going to quote this post of Gentilly Girl's here. Instead I'm going to post a rant she wrote a while back, a while back called Why Must We Fight This Nightmare Every Day?. It was written in May of 2007. I hope she doesn't get mad at me for posting the whole thing, but I think it's one of the best rants I ever beheld ... ok, I fear her wrath so I'll only post a part. But please go and read the whole thing:
New Orleans and SE Louisiana were shattered by the hands of man and the needs of a Nation. That’s what happened on 8/29. (the shorthand is for those who can only remember tiny bits of data)
Once again, I’m going to give you my standard truth speech about the situation down here in the wetlands. I’m tired of doing this, but until we have our reparations and can rebuild, I guess this little Trans witch will keep doing her song and dance running.
First off, we, and our lands were sold and bought by powers, and we didn’t get a say in that. (Sorta like when the slave ship came to harbor and the folks were sold off to the highest bidder.) We had our own place back then... we were our own. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much say in the matter as the buyer and seller had tons of money and guns and we had fishing nets.
We just continued to live our lives and be ourselves. This is our world... screw anything else, this is where we lived, worked and died. (my ancestors are buried here, as will I when the time comes)
In the early 20th Century gas and oil was discovered in our part of the world, and the rapists came into the picture. Our wetlands, our protection and the source of much of the food for this country was carved up by 20,000 miles of canals so that the companies (read- shareholders) could cheap out their operations. The Nation grew upon those actions and profited greatly.
What did my people get from this? A few jobs and destruction of OUR lands.
The river was leveed in order to provide the country with the goods it needed in order to grow and thrive, and all we got for all that effort was a few extra jobs and no consideration for the Sword of Damocles that was hanging over our heads. (Oh yes... putting the Mississippi into levees stopped the natural process of land-building that the river had been performing for millions of years, all the way from Cairo, IL to our current delta.) Now our wetlands are dying because the river cannot replenish them.
In all of the 200+ years you in the U.S. have "owned" us, we have never begged. We took care of things and kept going. We provided what was needed. (Many of my ancestors lie on the bottom of the oceans because they answered America’s call.)
We here in SE Louisiana have more than given our pound of flesh for this Nation, and it’s time to get a little bit of it back in order to rebuild our homeland. We have more than earned it. Otherwise... you have no idea of the Hell you will have to live in if we are gone from the scene or if we decide to leave your little confederation of states.
Think about it.
I’m Morwen Madrigal, and I must live to be 80 in order to pay the debt of repairing my home that was damaged for the Nation. I gave almost 10 years to this country in service, and am again saddled for another 30 years.
What have you given to America?
Well to hell with the Commission on Presidential Debates (after you have contacted as many of them as you can, of course!).
Slim Harpo. Yep, Slim Harpo, born January 11, 1924 in Lobdell, Louisiana, died January 31, 1970 in Baton Rouge. 'Course New Orleans don't have a lot to offer, we all know that or there'd be much more attention paid to it, dontcha think?
I dunno. Used to be folks realized there was a whole lot to want to treasure about New Orleans.
Here's a video of Slim singing "Scratch My Back." Now you can listen to this YouTube, but for an exponential leap in sound quality and hearing what it sounded like on analogue LP, I highly recommend instead clicking on this link to notbad86, a version not reproducible but worth taking the extra moment.
But here's the video itself showing cool pics of Slim (please listen to the other link, tho, this sound doesn't do him justice!):
Slim influenced a lot of folks, from the Doors to the Rolling Stones. Here's an unusual clip, a cover of Slim's "King Bee" done by Pink Floyd in their very early days:
And here's a strange but good video version of "King Bee" by Michel Z:
Nothing to see here, folks! New Orleans is just like any place else, nothing to see here. That Commission, oh those fuckmooks.
Here's to you, New Orleans.