Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tooth and Nail


The following is the author's response in Flagpole to my review, "A School Not Submerged." It is absolutely fair and reasoned, and I respect Tisserand immensely. I took a bite out of his book for being good, heartwarming, but inessential. It's a closed chapter in an ongoing, and perhaps ultimately tragic, story. New Orleans is still in the throes, and not in Dick Cheney's temporizing sense. Once all the camera crews leave after the second anniversary of Katrina has been eclipsed and the matter is no longer topical, New Orleans will still be there, dying.

New Orleans

originally published August 29, 2007

Thank you to Donn Cooper and Flagpole for such a thoughtful review of Sugarcane Academy (and to Cooper for, in other pages, properly praising the New Orleans sno-ball) [Aug. 15]. I do want to add a bit more to the story: our decision to move was a difficult and complicated one that involved my wife’s loss of a job, as well as issues not related to Katrina, such as ailing parents in the Midwest. (I didn’t go into this part very deeply in the book, maybe I should have - it was pretty raw at the time.) Most importantly, I want to stress that the decision was not made in order to protect my kids from the struggles and even traumas of New Orleans; in fact, we spent a month back home this summer and return frequently, because I believe this magical city has more to teach my kids - and me - than ever before. Despite my current exile in colder climes, I continue to write about and report on life in the city, and I encourage Flagpole readers to visit New Orleans and see it all for yourself. The bars on Magazine Street are always a good place to begin.

Michael Tisserand
If you want to understand the distinctness and necessity of southern Louisiana, read Tisserand's The Kingdom of Zydeco.

In the Name of All Things High-Brow

Norman Mailer and Rip Torn trying to kill each other. Yes, that's Rip Torn hitting him in the head with a hammer and calling him "Daddy."

And, yes, its captions are in French. Although the crying children sound as though they're being piped in, The Absurd can't be scripted this well.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Coffee

I'm working on a story about the fairness of Fair Trade coffee for Flagpole. It's been a lot of fun so far. For one, I got to hang out in the Jittery Joe's roasting warehouse. There no air-conditioning and no food, the latter to keep the vermin out. But I love the big coffee bags. My grandparents used to make clothes out of flour sacks, and I imagine there's a fine colorful, albeit abrasive, pair of pants just waiting at Jittery Joe's for the right talents.

When I was trying to take pictures of the new pallet of Fair Trade beans from Colombia, I knocked off the top bag accidentally. I may have ruptured myself trying to get it back on top when no one was looking. I wasn't very familiar with the metric system, but I can now say with absolute intestinal certainty that 70kg equals 154lbs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pictures

I'm playing around a little with the look. Pictures from my recent trip to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will be on the left sidebar.

Below is a selection from Imprinting the South: Works on Paper from the Collection of Lynn Barstis Williams and Stephen J. Goldfarb on exhibit now at the Georgia Museum of Art. Clarence Millet's Claiborne Court:




And Dr. John from Gris-Gris:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jones and Tito Equals Twice the Bandito!

Forgive the crude attempt at Don King-esque prosody. Today the nonpareil perp-promoter deserves fight fans' gratitude. He has pulled Felix “Tito” Trinidad out of retirement to fight Roy Jones, Jr. It'll be a bout of two ferocious, fantastic phoenixes. My early money's on Trinidad because he's younger, shifting only a few pounds to meet weight, and much more talented than Jones's recent ticket of “up-and-coming” opponents. Plus, I saw Jones fight in Biloxi. His strategy seems to be to back up to ropes, let his opponent pound on him interminably, then look desperately through his gloves for the knockout. To his credit, Jones swung a couple classic haymakers and each missed only by inches, but—like horse shoes and hand grenades—inches is a lot in boxing.

Per Roy Jones, Jr. from ESPN.COM:

"Tito is a great champion. He's built a great legacy and if someone like that challenges you, how can you turn that down," Jones said. "You make a big fight and give the fans something to watch.

"It ain't gonna be like [Floyd] Mayweather-[Oscar] De La Hoya. They gave the fans a dance. We'll give them a fight. We are both powerful punchers. It's a matter of who gets there first. And it won't be like Bernard Hopkins-Winky Wright, two guys with no bombs in their tank. We got bombs in our tanks. You got two beautiful punchers, two beautiful boxers. It will be a great fight."

No television yet.

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