Wednesday, March 22, 2006


On yesterday I wrote a blog concerning my disgust with the process of the upcoming mayoral election in New Orleans. My aggravation is with the fact that many displaced people are not getting the opportunity to vote if they choose to. Some people read what I said and mistakenly thought I was endorsing black people to go to the polls and vote to keep a African American in the mayors office. This was not my intention. At the risk of sounding contradictory, no one has to vote for Nagin or any other black candidate if they don't want to. I wasn't going to vote for anyone. I just wanted the opportunity to vote if I chose to. Black politicians do nothing for me. All my life we have had black people running the city I live in and things have gotten progressively worse. You can be scared of Peggy Wilson or whoever else is running in the election that may appear to be the enemy. The fact of the matter is that she or anyone else can't do a worse job than the rest of them. The last time I checked, it was a black man that just told me to rebuild at my own risk. Black people have been looking at political victories as a symbol of progress but in reality the only people in this world that benefits from politics is the politicians. The same families that were in the ghetto during the civil rights movement are still there now. With the exception of a few success stories and the one or two in each family that makes it, there has not been a reversal of wealth distribution in America. Imagine what kind of statement it would make if 75% of black voters in this country voted for a white, republican candidate who was moderate enough to listen and try to work towards helping us solve some of our issues. Do you know what that would do to voice of people? You wouldn't be taken for granted anymore. It's just a damn shame that when the going gets tough, most Republicans and Democrats all revert back to the same old bullshit rhetoric to get elected. If we had more of an effect by voting maybe I wouldn't feel like a second class citizen by knowing that someone in Fallujah is getting more government assistance than I am.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

One New Orleanian, One Vote

I have voted in every election since I first registered at 18 years old. Me, my parents and siblings would all go together at one time and get our vote on. One of the coolest things ever was talking with everybody in the house about who they were going to vote for and discussing it. Now, sometimes there wasn't a candidate that I liked so I just signed the register and walked in and out of the booth. As a black man from the South, I take voting seriously. This may sound like a tired cliche but people really did die for us to have that right. So whether you care about politics, or even like one of the candidates, you should at least show up and sign the register as voter.
With that being said, I am not sure if I can vote in the upcoming mayor's race or not. My voting district was destroyed. I don't live in the same place I did before Katrina. So where am I supposed to vote? What about the people who didn't vote before? What about the people way up in Utah and places like that who probably didn't know the deadline for filing absentee? I am not a fortune teller but I can predict the future of this election next month. This New Orleans election is going to make what happened in Florida look like child's play. No one is going to know the rules and people are going to be turned away. No matter who wins, someone is going to contest the results. There was a simple and fair way to handle this.....Every registered voter that lived in the city before the storm should have the opportunity to vote no matter where they are. Remote stations should have been sent to any place with more than 1000 evacuees. Parts of Texas, Jackson Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia should have all had remote polling places. The evacuees in those cities should have been shown their ID and made to sign the register just like they do in New Orleans when voting. People in other places should be given 60 days to cast an absentee ballot or go to city and vote. I haven't thought too many issues or decisions were racist since the storm but this one smells like it.
Black voters in this country are always being disenfranchised by some technicality. We can look at Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 as examples. I am sure there are hundreds more on a smaller scale that we never hear about nationally. Plus, we all know a man that has paid his debt to society should not be punished for the rest of his life by not being allowed to participate in the voting process. Now, nature is going to cause thousands of people who would have had a say in the future in their city to sit back and not have a voice. It's a damn shame that I will be penalized for the direction of a hurricane and faulty federal levees. If anyone from New Orleans is not allowed to vote for any reason other than not being registered in the first place, the entire election should be challenged legally and taking all the way to the Supreme Court if possible.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Verbal Gumbo 5

I have been getting emails and messages asking me why I haven't been posting blogs the way I used to. The reason is simple. In order for me to sit here and write a nice long focused piece, I need two things. I need comfort and clear thought. Right now I don't have either so all I have to give is this quick, scattered thoughts that just pop into my head. I never wanted my blog to be a journal about my everyday life. That's not interesting and my life is pretty boring nowadays anyway. That's why I don't post something everyday. Now, let's try to come up with something.

If you are living in the city of New Orleans at the moment and you don't have a job, you are either disabled or lazy and shiftless. There is no reason for all these brothers walking around all day doing nothing.

How many races before Bill Lester (the brother racing Nascar) gets ran into a wall by one of the good old boys?

I wanted to watch it before I said something about it. Black and White is a really pointless show. A white man born into the majority in the country could spend an entire year in makeup as a black man and never fully understand. What the show doesn't explain from what I can see is that the attitude most black people have about race starts in Kindergarten and systematically gets worse as we get older. Thats why the time we are 30 we are paranoid about everything. It's the reason we are much more consumed by race than any other nationality.

The top five black shows on TV:
Grey's Anatomy (Did you know a sister created and produces this show?)
The Boondocks
Sharp Talk with Al Sharpton
Turn Up The Heat With G Garvin
Any Sanford and Son rerun.

Will Downing put on one hell of a show Saturday night.

My Final Four was Pittsburgh, Texas, UConn, and Boston College. I know Pittsburgh lost yesterday but I am a man of honor so I won't change my picks. I still have three out of four teams on my bracket so the money is still possible.

Did Dallas just sign T.O? Didn't he stand in the middle of the star and disrespect that team? Sports is all about business.

What the hell is going on with The Sopranos (if you haven't seen it, stop readin now). I became obsessed with this show for the sole reason that Tony Soprano was the coolest character on TV ever. Now, they have him in this coma with blood poisoning. I have a feeling he is not coming out of this anytime soon which means the other characters are going to carry the show. This is a big mistake just like killing Ralphie was. I don't want to see Tony sitting in the bed dreaming of being a regular dude. I want him riding around kicking ass, hustling and messing with women. This season is going to suck. If he dies I might stop watching.

New Booty by Bubba Sparks, Wait by the Ying Yang Twins, and Play by David Banner are basically the same song except the New Booty song is about 40% more horrible than the other two. How can they play this song on the radio? Shouldn't a song have to sound good to get radio play?

The decision on the New Orleans elections gets it's own blog.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Strip Clubs Are Not What They Used To Be

Ever since I was 19 years old, I have been what you might call an exotic dancer enthusiast. I have never shared the reasons why. In spite of my Lower Ninth Ward credentials, I am pretty much a nerd. I have always been on the outside looking in when it comes to most ghetto affairs. I was hanging out around the block but I never sold drugs. I have never owned a gun. I have never been arrested. I have never wanted to do any of those things either. I lived that existence through the life of my friends. The only thing about that world I was always envious of was their women. You know the ones. The ones that only talked with the Honor Society brothers when they needed a report done in school to graduate. Those kind. The kind that used to wear clothes that were two sizes small and showed all of their "assets". The kind with a tattoo covering her three stab wounds and a bullet hole in her leg. The kind that used to win the P-Popping contest at Club Rumors. Even though I secretly had a crush on this type of girl, I never had the hood status to really keep one.........That's where the strip clubs come in.
Nintey percent of the guys at a strip club are working guys that would probably never talked to one of the dancers on the street. They bridge the gap for most of us who always wanted to experience kicking with a girl like that but never had the heart. These venues always made me comfortable. The smoke, the smell of sweat and body lotion, the fact that I just spent 40 dollars on drinks, tips and a table dance on a woman that never looked in my face one time. It was beautiful. Now it's not the same. I dont know if it's guilt because I have a girlfriend or its the fact that I am now a daddy. When you have a daughter, you see things a whole lot differently. When I was 21 and went to the club, the only thing on my mind was "I wonder if she does private shows" or " I hope she just got here and isn't too sweaty". Now as a 31 year old father, I look up there and think "Does her dad know she is doing this?" or "I wonder what happened to her to make her want to dance in front of all this strange people". It has really destroyed the whole effect and I think that's great. It's great because I am a strong believer in mental progress as a man. What would that say about me if I got the exact same thrill from watching those young girls subject themselves? I hope no one reads this and thinks that I am putting down the dancers or people that go. I am not going to sit here and say I am not going again. I am just writing this because I tried to go to one the other night and it didn't do anything for me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Big Man Discrimination

I went to the mall yesterday with my homeboy Ced to see if they had a sale or something going on for some shirts and slacks. We are moving to the corporate building soon and I need some better outfits to walk around the big wigs. We go into Dillards department store and split up. I head to the big and tall section and he goes to the regular dude section. Here is where my issue starts. The shirts in the big and tall section are clearly not as fashionable as the little guys clothes. I kept looking across the aisle and seeing things I wanted to wear in a medium only to be disappointed by the fact it was nowhere to be found in a 3X. What's up with that? How come the same Polo shirt cost twenty dollars more for me? Its not that much more fabric. I am tired of Grown Man Body Discrimination. We get to the clearance rack and all the shirts were 75% off. Most of the shirts on my rack looked like something out of a John Wayne western movie. You know those shirts you buy for your Kris Kringle gift at work. I look over at his selection and it's full of Sean John, Nautica, and Ralph Lauren. Do you know a large size Sean John shirt is almost one hundred bucks! I thought Biggie and Diddy were friends. How are you going to charge that much for a shirt in Biggie's size? I see why all the full figured sisters always stressing about their clothes. At least they have Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart to go to from relief. Meanwhile I have to go to all this little bootleg stores full of large size outfits that you only get one wear out of because they shrink up so bad. It's like going from having on a long shirt to a halter top after one wash. Maybe I just need to get my lazy ass up and work out enough to get to the regular dude section of the store.

How long Before the Government Breaks Bread?

Corps' tests predicted levee failure 21 years ago

06:43 AM CST on Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Janet McConnaughey / Associated Press

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did a full-scale test 20 years ago on a floodwall like one that collapsed here during Hurricane Katrina, with results that predicted its failure, scientists working on an independent study of the failure said Monday.

On Friday, the Corps task force set up to investigate the failures reported that the breach at the 17th Street Canal was the result of water working its way in between the floodwall and the earthen levee into which it was set, and of soft subsurface clay. Once the levee split, the force of the high water pushed the floodwall, and the half of the levee behind it, backward on the clay, the corps task force said.

The corps called it an unforeseen combination of events that split the earthen levee and toppled the floodwall.

But Raymond B. Seed and Robert G. Bea, in charge of the National Science Foundation's Independent Levee Investigation Team, said Monday that the results should have been foreseen, given theresults of a 1985 test done near Morgan City in south-central Louisiana. The test was done at an Atchafalaya Basin levee and floodwall system built to test whether a design similar to that of the 17th Street Canal levee and floodwall would work.

The test ended when -- with water nearly 8 feet high along the test floodwall -- sheet piles supporting it inside the levee began tilting backward, "indicating that failure was imminent," the statement said.

"Not only did they have that in their repertoire of information, they failed to use it, as best we can tell," Seed said in a telephone interview from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Corps' Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, which issued its report Friday, did know about that test, Corps spokesman Wayne Stroupe said. He said he would forward Seed's and Bea's statement to a Corps scientist for a response.

Seed and Bea said the soft clay behind the levee should have been known to the corps.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had a masterful knowledge and understanding of the complex and challenging geology of this region in the 1950s," and a 1958 report by two of its scientists "is a landmark exposition of these challenging foundation conditions," Seed and Bea wrote.

"The Corps should not claim that the weak foundation soil strata at the 17th Street canal breach site were unexpected, and that no prior publications would have disclosed this possibility," their statement said.

The lack of action after the 1985 test apparently "comes down to an internal schism within the Corps," Seed said. "The researchers doing the work were from the Waterways Experiment Station -- a think tank within the Corps where experimental research was done.

"Sometimes there's separation between the engineers in the research center and the working Joes in some of the districts. It wasn't all that surprising. It was just disappointing," he said.

Seed also said Monday that two other problems that could have caused the floodwall failure are still being studied by the NSF team, which won't describe those problems until their next report comes out in early May.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I have never given a show it's own post on my blog before but there comes a time when a moment on television has the effect on black people like Flava of Love. I started off really hating this show because of the way I felt it objected women and portrayed them as creatures that would do anything for cash and notoriety. How else could you explain those pretty young girls throwing themselves at a 46 year old hype man from Public Enemy? However, after a few weeks the contest became so fascinating that I couldn't turn away. Last night was the grand finale and he picked Hoops over New York. For years black men have been looking for solid evidence to back up any assertion that women could possibly be all about money and status. I am sure there were some unknown things here and there but never anything universal. Now, thanks to Flavor Flav and the 20 contestants on his show, whenever a man gets into a debate with a woman about certain issues, we can always throw Flava of Love out there and end the whole debate in victory. Not even the proudest, most liberated sister can defend this show. Someone might have tried to have an intelligent outlook on why this show took place but that all went out of the window when Hoops slipped on that gold grill, smiled and kissed Flav. I am now going find the nearest plantation and get my spot closest to the front of the field since this show knocked us all the way back to the Emancipation Proclamation. How all those activists could be protesting the Boondocks and let this show go on the whole season without boycotting VH1 is beyond me.
I haven't been blogging as much as I would like. The reason is that in order for me to sit down and write something that makes any kind of sense I need to be comfortable. My job has turned into a real busy place temporarily so there isn't allot of time to do it here. It is way to hot to type anything longer than an email in the office room at the house I am staying in. I have written allot about how hard it is to be down here in New Orleans by myself. However, it has provided one good thing and that is the ability to get my thoughts and emotions together without allot of interruption. I have discovered that people don't call me when I am here to talk about things that I don't want to always listen to. In a strange way, I am basically free to think and reflect on my own while I am here. I think that's what I need. I am not at the point where everything is in the past but the post Katrina stress is not so heavy. There are actually some days I go through without thinking about it too much. If it wasn't for my grandma, and my dog I probably wouldn't even cry anymore. Although I feel better, I am not on a mission to feel normal as quickly as possible. It's hard enough for most people to get over one thing in their life changing. Try getting used to everything being different in some way and keeping your sanity. Through it l I have managed to keep my sense of humor and charm intact. Those are the tools I will use to seek out my new sense of normalcy.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

What Happened in the Past.......Stays in the Past.

On the way to work this morning I was listening to the Home Team Morning Show on 102.9. They were discussing Kelder Summer's decision to share her diaries and pictures with her new husband. All the men on the show were trying to tell her this was not a good idea. Since I haven't been called yet for my radio hosting spot, I only have this blog to issue my opinion.

I personally think that the worse kind of relationships are ones were the two people are friends first. Let me explain why. When a man and woman are friends, they start talking about their past allot. The closer that they get the more they share. Somewhere along the way things change and they start liking one another differently. Now, if a relationship starts from this friendship, don't think for one minute that you won't remember everything they have told you about the past. If you start dating a woman and she has already told you how she used to cook for her ex and serve him breakfast in bed, how are you going to feel when you can't even get her to pour the milk over your cereal? Ladies, if a man shows you pictures of he and his ex on vacation and doing all these fun things, you are going to be really pissed when after a few months the only place you have been is to the movies and the only trip you have taken is to the shelter when the hurricane was coming. It's human nature to compare yourself to the last cat.

That's why it's much better to meet someone that you like and start the game off from the beginning. Let everything remain a mystery. Don't give the person you want to be with a measuring stick or a symbol of insecurity from the beginning. What if your new woman doesn't think she is as "gifted" as the old one? What if your new boyfriend isn't as "blessed" as the old one? There is no need giving them the anmunition to feel this way. You are just asking for trouble.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Kirby Puckett

When I was a kid growing up and playing sports it was hard to find heroes that looked like I did. Being short and stocky, the only dude that fit the bill for me was Kirby Puckett. He's the reason I was a Minnesota Twins fan. He was the reason I watched and played baseball. Kirby died today of a stroke at the age of 45. I have never seen another athelete Kirby's side representing and might not see another. Rest in Peace Kirby.

Verbal Gumbo 4

Thoughts while making the 3 hour drive to work.....

I was watching Good Times this weekend and I now have at least one clear cut goal in life. My goal is ten years from now I want my children to watch that show and not be able to relate to any of those episodes like I can.

I owe Michael Brown an apology. For the last six months he was the image of all the people suffering after the flood and I wanted to whip his ass. It turns out that he told the president all along that he needed more resources but George was just too confident or inept to do anything about it. Sorry Mike.

After watching the video footage of George Bush before the storm and Kathleen Blanco during the storm, I feel like it would be perfectly fine for me to do like Martin Luther King on the Boondocks and go to Canada.

It's amazing how things piss you off when you get a little older. Ever noticed how some of your friends never go to work but keep buying new shit and you have been working two jobs since the age of 16 and still struggling? Is this hate? Do I have a right to be confused? The least they could do is share their secrets.

I have a confession.......I can't stop watching Flava of Love. The show is addictive even though its pushing black women back to the days before Harriet Tubman help give our people their free. Public Enemy is going to have to burn down a KKK rally or something to get the credibility back that Flav is washing away. We have got to keep this show going with new people. We just have to find someone as crazy and as washed up as Flav. I'm voting for Bushwick Bill from the Geto boys. There are two questions that have to be asked. The first one is why doesn't Al Sharpton protest this stuff instead of the Boondocks? The second question is what does Chuck D , Griff and Terminator X do when the show is on? How is this affecting them personally? Do they all get together in a dark room like the Drop Squad and make plans to kidnap Flav and lock him up until he is better? Some magazine needs to do a special issue on this.

Did the Pimp song really win an Oscar?
Was that really the Three-Six Mafia on stage accepting it?
Isn't the fact that a song about pimping won the Academy Award just like something out of Hollywood Shuffle?
Am I wrong for not being that proud of this achievement?

I am all for refinement and the mainstream look in a woman. However, the hood part of me still thinks there is something extra sexy about a pretty sister with one or two solid gold teeth in her mouth. She gets extra points if her name is Jackie or Antoinette. Doesn't everybody have a aunt named Jackie, Antoinette or Pat? Why did black people stop using these names?

We all have someone from our past that we miss. They are thought about everyday and we wish they were still in our lives in some way.......................
Why is it that we never run into these people by accident? It's always the scibs, skanks, scrubs and scalywags that always seem to find us no matter how hard we try to get away. I'm talking about that brother who you run into after moving to the suburbs that just happens to get a job working on your neighbor's house. Were they put here for the sole reason of giving you incentive to keep moving? I mean, the entire ghetto was evacuated and they just happen to be passing in front of your job as you are walking out six months later. That's got to be destiny.