Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Gumbo

It's still fucking festival season. The humidity has finally landed. The brass bands and electric guitars are still being played on street corners and front porches. The beer is getting colder. The bayou has turned green with algae from the gradual and then sudden onslaught of fresh Mississippi River. And Cajun country is under 15 feet of water.

AlJazeera, one of the only media sources that has appropriately covered the BP oil disaster as it relates to people and consequences, has once again proved that our nation's media is simply passed out cold. Bryan is the President of the LA Oyster Association. His son in-law was recently hired to be Oxfam's Gulf Coast Campaigner. Both are Oystermen who have lost everything in the past six years. 2010 was the year that the oyster beds were coming back. Then the Mississippi River diversions were opened to prevent BP oil from entering the River, killing large portions of Gulf Coast oyster beds. A little over a year later, the mighty overflowing Mississippi killed 100% of Louisiana oyster beds. Bryan traveled to London in early April to attend the BP shareholder meeting. Noone from Louisiana was allowed inside the meeting.

Rosanne Barr is as badass and crazy as ever. "I walked into this woman’s office, held the scissors up to show her I meant business, and said, “Bitch, do you want me to cut you?” We stood there for a second or two, just so I could make sure she was receptive to my POV. I asked why she had told the wardrobe master to not listen to me, and she said, “Because we do not like the way you choose to portray this character.” I said, “This is no fucking character! This is my show, and I created it—not Matt, and not Carsey-Werner, and not ABC. You watch me. I will win this battle if I have to kill every last white bitch in high heels around here.” Mental illness can be pretty terrifying and you have to appreciate someone that can speak about their own in a funny, sad, and compassionate way. The article goes mostly into what fighting to be heard and recognized as a woman in a trade that hates women looks like.

There is no such thing as Katrina Fatigue. My cousin and I went to see 23 Feet in 12 Minutes last night. It's a one woman play about 8 characters who survived Hurricane Katrina. I cried the entire hour. She turned into the characters as they told their stories of trying to escape their drowning and forgotten town.

During the talk back after the short play ended, the moderator asked if the panelists experienced Katrina Fatigue. Both panelists were transplants to New Orleans and said no way, though they noticed when they returned to their hometown of NYC, they were surprised that people thought the city had fully recovered and that no more help was needed. I've had the same conversation with people. I look around my own block and see abandoned houses, Coast Guard spray paint markings, and front porch chats about before the storm everyday. Katrina's spirit continues to restlessly roam.

Even the Pentagon is preparing for an increase in climate change impacts. Time to vote the politicians that allow big oil into bed every night out.

The offbroadway cast of Cry Baby just walked into the cafe where I'm trying to finish a report for Monday. I have yet to determine which gutter punk practices his Iggy Pop character on the neutral ground of Elysian Fields.

Not attending Bayou Boogaloo.
Renee Claire

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