Friday, November 24, 2006

"It’s hard as hell to fight it, don’t buy it!"

On the way home from Thanksgiving dinner at my folk's we went by the CompUSA to see if we could pick up a Playstation 2 cheap. The store was open from 9 to midnight for early Christmas sales.

Well, when we got there the parking lot was full, giant SUVs parked on the curbs, and the line to get in ran down the building and aroud the corner. They were letting peoplein ten at a time or something.

No Playstation for us. Fine. No problem. But getting back on the expressway, we saw that the parking lot at Best Buy was also jammed full, even thought he store was closed. And then we saw them, the people, crouched under blankets, huddlingin line -- waiting at ten oclock at night for the store to open at 6 AM.

Now look, people, this is going too far! Eight hours in the dark and cold to buy some cheap swag? This is not right! It is sick, sick, sick! NO video game or HD TV or Bluetooth-enabled cellphone/MP3 player is worth this level of obsession. You're not doing this because you love your family and want to give them the best -- you're doing it becuase you want to pull one over on other people and buy cheap swag! It's FUCKED UP, people! Enough already!

Buy Nothing Day. Check it out!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

OK, so who is this asshole Alan Richman who peforms a virtual second Katrina on the restauarants of New Orleans in the current GQ? It's Online here:


He mercilessly disses everyone from Galatoire's to Jaque-Imo's, and casts doubt on the whole idea of rebuilding the city at all, even while surveying the devastation of Gentilly as he eats a po-boy from Zimmer's Seafood. Unbelievable! He also characterizes pre-Katrina New Orleans as a joyless theme park, while making the usual inaccurate outsider's errors, such as assuming the people stumbling still-drunk and blinking from the Bourbon Street bars in the morning are locals, not touristas (or contractors as the case may be now.)

It is just a horrible, horrible culinary poison-pen hatchet job. A sample:

I think people either take to the city or they do not. They buy into the romance, or they abhor the decadence. I know where I stand.
New Orleans was always a three-day stubble of a city, and now, courtesy of Katrina, it’s more like five. The situation is worse, of course, in the devastated areas, where the floodwaters and the winds did their work. I know we are supposed to salvage what’s left of the city, but what exactly is it that we’re trying to cherish and preserve? I hope it’s not the French Quarter, which has evolved into a illogical mix of characterless housing, elegant antiques stores, and scuzzy bars, a destination for tourists seeking the worst possible experience. The entertainment values are only marginally superior to those of Tijuana, Mexico.

What's so infuriating about it is that this Richman is obviously the kind of smug East Coast hipster who ought to get New Orleans, but he doesn't. Doesn't have a freakin' clue. Thinks he does, but man, does he not.

New Orleans, unique among Soujthern cities, was never much for mealy-mouthed nicey-niceness, but for once I have to follow the moonlight-and-magnolias line: If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all.

Thanks to the AV Club's Hater for the heads-up.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sucks to Be You , Rummy

I can't say I care for Donald Rumsfeld's intimation during his farewell press conference that the American public is too dumb to understand what's going on in Iraq:

The great respect that I have for your leadership, Mr. President, in this little understood, unfamiliar war, the first war of the 21st century -- it is not well-known, it was not well-understood, it is complex for people to comprehend. And I know, with certainty, that over time the contributions you've made will be recorded by history.

WhatEVER. You're still history, buddy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to Hell Again, Sort Of

I suppose I would be remiss if I did not follow the rest of the Nolabloggers and comment on Chris Rose's recent column, To Hell and Back. It is about his depression in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Some people have been sympathetic, others, not so much.

My take? I appreciate Oyster's comment that the column neglects the ontological aspects of depression. (Depressed? After Hurricane Katrina? You have to take a pill for that?)

But given that, I have to say, give the guy a break! He ate, slept and breathed Hurricane Katrina for more than a year. That would make anyone clinically depressed!

Indeed, I know people, plenty of people, people who emerged basically unscathed, who are still just crushed by sadness, by all the tragedy. By the loss of the city. The survival of your own house fades into insignificance next to the loss of 1000,000 houses, and the families they represent.

I wonder whether Rose's depression could not have been treated as well by a long sabbatical in the country, by getting away from New Orleans and forgetting for a while, by good food and enough sleep.

But in the end, I just can't say. It's not my business. It's not my disease, not my treatment. It's just none of my business.

I saw Rose at the Louisiana Book Festival, and he was animated and happy to be there. So his treatment is working. That is a good thing. It would just be spiteful to hate on a guy for not being depressed anymore.

As to his alleged douchebaggery, meh, I don't really have an opinion. He is what he is. He does what he does. He seems to be reaching people beyond south Louisiiana, so that is good. Keep the recovery in the public eye, because we are not OK.

I can't fault anyone for breaking down from the strain of POKSS, or for seeking help. We all need help. I wish him well.