Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sitting On My Porch Part Fifty Two

I want to start off this post by giving a shout out to my baby brother. Yesterday he had an accident and wrecked the family vehicle. He’s okay but it could have been really bad. Since I am the big brother and knew he needed some perspective I called and told him the story of my very first car. I bought my first car for six hundred dollars from a guy didn’t want me to test drive it. The first night it broke down twice. The second night it broke down three times. On the third night I took all my friends cruising through New Orleans and it stopped running four times. When it was about to stop for the fifth time I panicked and ran a stop light. I hit this guy’s car and he was nice enough not to call the police. It cost me nine hundred to get his car fixed. My car never ran again. I spent fifteen hundred dollars to drive for three days and had to catch the bus forever before I saved enough to buy another car. The moral of the story is sometimes you do things as a young man you can learn from. The other moral is never purchase a car from a guy without any teeth in his mouth and if you do take your dad and not Big G because it will cost you.

I’m inside under the air conditioning vent and a ceiling fan because it is 95 degrees at night time. I went to work today and the heat was brutal. Right now I am sipping on a Red Stripe and trying to watch a Canadian football game. Watching Canadian football in place of American football is like getting a lap dance through a bulletproof glass. It looks like the real thing but doesn’t feel the same. We can’t talk about real football until the great Rickey Jackson enters the Hall of Fame. That’s going to put me in the right frame of mind to defend the title.

I bet you the people in Alaska are really pissed off right now. The Exxon Valdez spill happened in 1989 and they are still cleaning up 21 years later. The Deepwater Horizon spill leaked for months and was supposed to be even bigger than the Exxon Valdez and yet magically the oil on the Gulf Coast appears to be disappearing in record time.

Despite our modest non profit budget, our computer network is set up where no one can install anything or view certain files without the technology director’s password. How was someone able to download and expose Afghan war secrets?

The fact that people are discussing tearing down the Claiborne I-10 overpass shows what gentrification and changing demographics can do for parts of the city. I don’t know what it means to live in New Orleans without the interstate running through the city. I walked under that overpass almost everyday in high school. If you talk to any older people that grew up before the interstate was built you know how much they loved Claiborne St. It just so happens that those neighborhoods were the historically black ones and that’s why no one gave a damn when they made the decision to run it right through the heart of that area. Ten years ago if someone would have went to a City Council meeting and brought this up they would have cut the microphone off and called security. Now in 2010, you get some new residents and a television show named after a historic neighborhood and tearing down the overpass is a serious discussion. I find this fascinating and eye opening.

I wouldn’t be against that kind of project if we had extra money left over after building hospitals and new school buildings. Give me about ten new complete school buildings and two hospitals and I might be on board.

Things going on in the news and around the city lately have been just as aggravating as always but personally I have been in a very good mood. I don’t know why but I am. I hope I didn’t just jinx it.


DebC said...

What a great, and real, post Cliff! It's all that, and then some Brotha.

Thanks for - "passing down" - your 1st car experience (IMHO, a lot of us should do more of that "passing-down-through-oral-tradition" that has made us great kind of thing!).

I was eating my birthday dinner in this brewery/restaurant today, and actually saw (off and on), some of that CFL game! The youngest looked up and said, "Dad, who IS that playing??"

I'm not even touchin' your, absolutely CLEAR observations on the oil spill, NOR gentrification! Except to say - I co-sign it all! But as to the WikiLeaks guy, I can tell you that once he got that TSSCI clearance, it was probably real easy to do - no password would've been needed.

(Oh yeah - I wouldn't worry about the "jinx" thing - think about what you've ALREADY been through!

bayoucreole said...

I can't even bring the subject up about the Claiborne bridge to my really gets him tee'd off. He's 80 years old, so, it's a sore subject for him when he thinks of all the black businesses that closed because of that bridge.

Anonymous said...

My white relatives who lived in Treme' (can't seem to scrape up ONE DROP yet) missed Claiborne Ave. and the rest after the overpass was built, too. and thanks for being the one to say the word--GENTRIFICATION. I'm thinkin' there must be many more professional jobs before there will be much more gentrification.

I won't even post what I did to my first car. Hope bebe brother is OK.

Keep on typin'....

Varg said...

"The Deepwater Horizon spill leaked for months and was supposed to be even bigger than the Exxon Valdez and yet magically the oil on the Gulf Coast appears to be disappearing in record time."

Nice :)

rcs said...

The Deepwater Horizon spill leaked for months and was supposed to be even bigger than the Exxon Valdez and yet magically the oil on the Gulf Coast appears to be disappearing in record time.

Well, apples and oranges. The Exxon Valdez ran aground in a remote location (hard to stage cleanup efforts) and much of the released oil went directly into the estuary, where it'll probably be for quite some time. Deepwater Horizon is pretty far out so much of the oil never made it inland, and there was plenty of space to marshall the resources needed to plug the well. Plus, the much warmer waters of the Gulf and the use of dispersant makes for a higher rate of microbiological activity (i.e. bacteria metabolizing the oil.)