Friday, February 27, 2009

Post Mardi Gras Roundup

Well, the Mardi Gras week has ended and the hectic pace of partying followed by reintegration into the more mundane realities of work and life has slowed. A few thoughts and comments:

(1) I witnessed on Mardi Gras day a bunch of young punks jump up and grab some throws off of a Truck Float following the Rex Parade. I, probably foolishly, ran up to these kids as soon as I saw what they did and grabbed what they had stolen from their hands and gave it back to the Truck float riders. It ticked me off for a variety of reasons. First, the parade had come to a complete stop and had been stationary for a while, so it only made sense that the Truck float riders would refrain from throwing stuff (this was the complaint of the punks when I confronted them -- that the float riders weren't throwing anything, as if that gave them the right to "take" something from the riders.) Second, we were at the very beginning of the route on Napoleon and Danneel, and so the truck riders were facing a long, long ride and probably needed to husband their limited store of throws. All these things I can relate to as someone who himself rides on a float in a parade. Third, it's just bad Mardi Gras form to behave that way and ruins the spirit of the whole Mardi Gras parade experience. Fourth, and this is the most troublesome aspect of it to me, was that the young punks were white kids and the float riders were black, and the punks clearly seemed to be rationalizing their gross behavior as a reaction to their perception that they were being ignored by the float riders because of their race. It was an ugly moment. But the punks didn't threaten me because I got the feeling that they knew they were being cads. Furthermore, I probably startled them because I was wearing my Thoth headgear and mask when I first confronted them after their despicable act. I just hope that my little intervention made some impact for the good and in defense of the Mardi Gras spirit. Anyway ...

(2) Barack Obama's address to the joint session of Congress was simply superb. And Jindal's response was painfully and embarrassingly bad. I actually felt really bad and sorry for Jindal. And, frankly, if I'm honest, I actually wanted Jindal to do well. After all, he does represent Louisiana and it was a chance for Louisiana to make a positive impression. But Jindal blew it. I know he can perform much better, and perhaps the moment was simply too much for him at this time, but his horrible performance reaffirmed some of the worst stereotypes of bumbling and inept Louisiana politicians. Too bad. But, dang, that Barack Obama is smooth, smart, and charming. It's so refreshing to see that in our President after 8 years of less-than-bright, if somewhat folksy, George W. Bush-cum-Alfred E. Neuman speeches.

(3) I was somewhat astonished at the brazenness and ambitiousness of Obama's budget plan. I have to say that I give the man kudos for boldness, and I can even support what this means for the truly massive, profound, and long-term liberal shift in public policy that his plan represents. But my enthusiasm for this transformative liberal agenda is somewhat tempered by the price tag. I would like to see much, much more by way of fiscal discipline and an approach to balanced budget making and a reduction of federal deficits. But I still have confidence that Obama knows he's got to take this on if he wants to be retain his hold over the imaginations of the American public. We can't keep borrowing against our children's futures. So, we'll see.

Those are just some off-the-cuff thoughts for the moment. I'll have more to say later on, I'm sure. But let me end with this:

My B-2/3 is once again showing and selling her exquisite hand-made functional pottery tomorrow at the Arts Market of New Orleans in Palmer Park. The hours have been pushed back because of weather concerns to 12pm-6pm. But we'll be there. Please brave the weather and do stop by to say hello and watch my B-2/3 throw at the wheel.

1 comment:

Eric said...

"We can't keep borrowing against our children's futures. So, we'll see."

You know, one thing that occurs to me is the numbers we are borrowing have gotten so rediculously big, our kids may not have to pay for it after all. The individuals and countries who are loaning us money at this point are as blind and stupid as the banks who were making $950,000 home loans to couples with a combined income of $60,000, and they are likely to meet w/ the same fate (except there won't be a higher power left to bail them out). That money probably isn't going to get paid back. Ever. Think about it.

So basically we are stealing.
Change you can believe in, baby.