Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sitting On My Porch Part 91

April was a very busy month so I’m glad we are experiencing some good weather to get outside. I timed my activities of the weekend to watch basketball this evening. Earlier today was another successful Lemonade Day. People seem to be so happy about seeing the little kids selling drinks. I wonder how much I could make next weekend doing the same thing with Crown Royal. I’m pretty sure the city would have some kind of issue with that. Tomorrow I will be heading to the Jazzfest. I don’t know whose performing. I’m going tomorrow because I have a free ticket and that’s the only way I will ever go to the Jazzfest again with those prices. I’m still on a traditional New Orleans salary and I can’t afford too many high price events.

There was an article recently that said New Orleans had the second highest income gap in the nation after Atlanta. The city has been obsessed with being like Houston or Atlanta for as long as I can remember and we are almost there. If the income scale is 1 to 10 with 1 being the super poor and 10 being the super-rich, I would place myself around a 4.5. When are in the 4-6 range you have to be selective about the activities you spend extra on.  It’s a give and take situation. For instance, I want to get out of town for a real vacation this summer. In order to pay for it I have to stop eating out and treating myself to steaks. This plan will work out fine as long as my car doesn’t break down.  Spending money on that would ruin everything.

There’s been a lot of talk about gentrification and the city changing. I think your view on this depends on who you are and where you spend most of your time in the city. There are some people who are obsessed with it. There are others who hardly realize it’s happening. Those people tend to be the ones in the most likely to be shipped to the suburbs when their neighborhood becomes desirable. No one is moving in to my neighborhood and with the way things have been going I think it means no one will be investing much around here. Maybe we need some crossover residents to get more than a Wal Mart.

You can’t label everyone the same way.  Stereotypes of any form are bad. I went to a meeting yesterday and met a guy who has a writing and arts program for kids in the city that was so cool I wished I was a kid just so I could participate. You don’t want to make those people feel uncomfortable about living here.  There’s probably a bunch of people whose intent it is to turn New Orleans into their personal cash cow and one big tourist play land where Mardi Gras Indian parades pass every 15 minutes up Frenchmen Street.  Since I can’t tell one from the other just by looking at them I choose to judge everyone individually. I guess new residents are like the NOPD. You don’t know their intentions until you meet them personally. 

I’m watching Game 7 of the Memphis and Oklahoma City game right now. I’m happy the Donald Sterling situation is not getting in the way of enjoying this. What a strange situation. Strange is the only word to use for an 80 year old white man losing his basketball team full of black men for arguing with his half Mexican and black girlfriend about taking pictures with Magic Johnson.  There’s been so much said about this story over the past week. I only have two things to take away from the situation.

The first thing is that the consequences of your actions have a lot to do with the environment you are in. Clive Bundy made his comments about black people possibly being better off picking cotton and that was horrible. He’s a rancher in Nevada. Regardless of how you feel about what he said he’s pretty insulated from what the kind of thing that happened to Sterling. He was the owner of a team in a league that is 75% black.  NBA players are heroes in the black community. I believe they were all personally offended but even if they weren’t they would have had to take some kind of action or have to deal with the fallout from the people.

The second thing is that we are approaching the time where technology is going to expose more and more all the things that humans have been into and aroused by and it’s going to stop the progress of social networking and the sharing of everything you do. Humans are not going to stop having the same lust and desires. They are just going to find different ways to get it without it coming back to ruin them. Before we had so much access to one another the person who gave those tapes to TMZ would have had to work really hard to get that story out there.  In 2014 the story broke last Saturday and Donald Sterling was suspended on Tuesday. That’s remarkable.   I’m glad there were no camera phones in the 90’s when I and my friends were out enjoying life.  I liked a page on Facebook once and within ten minutes people were sending me messages about it. My point is I stopped liking the page but I look at it when I have a few minutes to spare. Google and Facebook aren’t going to make me stop being me so if push comes to shove I’ll just use my phone only for talking like I used to. I hope nobody tapes me.