Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

May 3, 2008

The Second Time on the “Second Lines”…

Last Saturday, a major dissing of our Cultures and Traditions here in New Orleans went down: Da’ NOPD broke up a Second Line, a Jazz Funeral, in the Treme last Saturday. (Of course the local paper didn’t report on the event until the wee hours of the morning today.) This was as the mourners had finished and were walking to a place to share the Repast at a Community Center.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of this kind of funerary rite, here’s what it entails:`a procession heads toward the ceremonial place of passing (could be a business, a fishing hole, a certain park or the cemetery.) A brass band leads the folks playing dirges. When the selected place is reached, the words are said and the departed is ready to move on. Then the band strikes up a different beat and the mourners start to dance in order to help their friend move on to the other World. “Dancing them Home” is also a way to stop the tears and just remember our friend as we continue through day-to-day life. We are a Family. We take care of our own.
Once the Second Line is done, the folks gather in places and share food, drink and stories about the departed. Some members of the “Family” might be at one place, others at others. But this is usually how it goes down.
This is a Sacred ritual. It is rooted in Culture and Tradition, Respect and Humanity. This act is seen as essential by many of us as part of our Heritage and our City. Events such as this define us as a people and a Culture, the continuation of what has been for many, many years. As a Native I will say now: “This is part of our Birthright, our being a part of the Life that moves through the heavy damp air as it sways the Spanish Moss on the oak trees. Here is where we came from and in the fullness of time where we shall return. The muddy waters of Old Man River, the clays in the swamps… the scent of cypress trees… all of these things are also part of us. We dance the Dance of Life, knowing full well the fragility of the living, and we will not give our ancestral ways up. This is our home and these are our Traditions. This is OUR Dance.”.

This is why what happened last Saturday is an attack and an affront to the Culture of New Orleans. It is orchestrated by those of money and power. Our city is badly damaged by the Federal Flood, and they want the land for speculation, for those who would buy a condo near the French Quarter in order to “celebrate” three days once every year at Mardi Gras. To break the back of the old Cultures in order to be able to schedule and charge for every little thing we locals do as a matter of course. To make their way our way. These are the desires of malignantly evil creatures.

These are the carpetbaggers, those who swoop down when the we are hurting and gnaw on our bones even as we die. They only see New Orleans as a cash register, not the living entity that it truly is. Our Life, our city’s Life, is something they can never know. The Spirit of Place can never enter them because they cannot “feel”.

New Orleans belongs to Her people and they to Her. Native or adopted, it doesn’t really matter: we are all infected with Her elixier… the “Water of Life”. Our strange little anachronistic bastion of the Old World infused with the desire to just be ourselves in the midst of American Culture gone crazy. The reminder of what could be, if only one accepts it.

One paragraph of the above article caught my eye:

“Snuffing Saturday’s parade was an “attack on the culture,” the same culture that gave birth to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, said Wilson’s longtime friend, Jerome Smith. He found the timing ironic: At about the same time that police had scattered an authentic funeral march, near Esplanade and Claiborne avenues, Jazz and Heritage Festival-goers were lined up behind a band at the Fair Grounds, ready to follow a second-line recreated for tourists.”

Need I say more?

Senn Fein


Perfesser Ashley Morris, a determined lover and defender of New Orleans and Her Culture passed one month ago yesterday. I can almost hear him ranting about this. He did have his Second Line, and he’d be pissed that someone else couldn’t have their’s.
We have established a fund to help his family through this rough period in time. Please donate.

April 3, 2008

Part of New Orleans is Missing

Filed under: Ashley Morris,Blog,New Orleans,Update — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:32 am

Tonight we came home and found out that one of the bright lights of New Orleans is gone. Doctor Ashley Morris died yesterday in Florida.

His wit, thought, sarcasm and the ability to do strange, but appropriate, things with expletives boggles the mind. Often I would wake, power up the monitor and bust out laughing over his latest piece. One never knew what was going to appear on those pages.

In person Ashley was a person that could make you feel good about yourself even when you couldn’t see it. He was energy, good pure “juice”. He loved New Orleans and his family. He also had many good friends. The NOLA Blogosphere is somewhat reeling right now: our drummer is gone.

Of all the things I remember about Ashley (not counting the cigars) was the time I referred to the streetcars running here again as “trolleys”. Ashley lost no time in informing me that I had spent too many years living in San Francisco, and that in New Orleans they were “streetcars”. I still giggle when I think of that comment.

Ashley, Great Mime? Rock the Summer Country Darlin’!


Update- Adrastos has a few great pics up of the “Perfesser”.

October 23, 2007

Is My Newly Re-elected State Senator… A Criminal?

From the T-P comes an article concerning money laundering in which Derrick Shepherd with aiding a convicted felon by writing the checks out as if it was for work he performed for the defendant.

“Special Agent Peter Smith testified that Shepherd, a lawyer who often handles personal-injury cases, attempted to make his dealings with bond broker Gwendolyn Joseph Moyo appear legitimate by writing the words “settlement proceeds” on the memo lines of the checks.

However, investigators have found no evidence that Shepherd did any legal work for Moyo, Smith said, although he said that Shepherd had delivered a “vague invoice” to a federal grand jury to explain the payments. The document was basically illegible, Smith said.

“To me, it looks like he was trying to disguise it, to make it look like this was for a personal-injury case,” Smith said of the notations in the checks’ memo lines.

“I suppose the government takes the position that it’s money laundering?” Moyo’s attorney, Pat Fanning, asked Smith.

“Yes,” Smith testified.”

“It was that order that led Moyo to Shepherd, according to Smith. The agent testified that Moyo spoke with a number of lawyers about her problem, which had left her unable to cash checks made out to her firm.

Smith said that Moyo told investigators that it was Shepherd who, a month after the crackdown, hit on the solution: Moyo would sign over her uncashed checks and he would deposit them in an account he controlled.

According to Smith, Moyo signed over five checks totaling $140,686 to Shepherd’s account. Two of the checks indicated they were for bond fees.

During the same week, Shepherd moved $55,000 from one of his accounts to another, and then wrote three checks to Moyo, also totaling $55,000, from the second account. Those were the checks labeled “settlement proceeds.”

I’m glad I voted for Shawn Barney. Shepherd is a fuckmook.

Big Update- The Mighty Bivalve Oyster over at YRHT has a lot more info in this criminally-minded, favorite son of Jeff Parish douchebag. I guess Shepherd is truly the Pariah of the Parish today.

July 21, 2007

This Time the Idiot Comes From Nebraska…

Well, two weeks of not having to hammer the Moronic Inferno of “don’t spend MY tax money on New Orleans” has helped since Betts and I have been way too busy getting the final details on getting the house and cottages running. I would like to state that my mind, my four-letter vocabulary and my soul has NOT rested during this period however.

From the bustling hot-spot of mental giants (?) called Fremont, NE comes this little gem from the Sports Section of the Fremont Tribune. (No, one can’t leave comments there, but go figure… how many up that way could make an intelligent response (or want to) for this kind of tripe?

As it is past 5 AM and as the witchy Night Owl my existence has bequeathed , I must repair to my bed in order to escape the deadly rays of the Sun. I’ll “get on my diatribe” later in the day.

Check out this view of the area, and though they may be 1,023 feet above sea-level, the dump is still on the flood-plain, and therefore the river is right at their feet. Flat-landers = “Flat-liners”.) You know I’m going to whack them very hard… the Corps and the Bureau of Reclamation had much to do with river control up that way so it may be informative for the folks of the Mid-Lands to have an understanding about what they may have to face in time.

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