Sunday, October 5, 2008

Christmas Balls in New Orleans

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Christmas Balls
Darning the Coal in Your Stockings

This year it’s my turn to give presents and, times being what they are, the coffers of poor boys everywhere are looking like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard; can I get a witness? My glass is nowhere near half anything, my money is funny and in the words of P. Floyd “they’re giving none away”.
So this year I’m going to give away what I have the most of, besides the love in my heart. I’m giving, for the holidays, my opinions. Unabashed, forthright, brazen and bold. I’m soul weary of biting my tongue about stuff that no one wants to talk about and so, as a gift, I want to give you something to talk about, think about and agree or not agree with. Here’s a start:
ONE. I am against white people moving into black neighborhoods and taking a slice from the home turf of African Americans and gentrifying it and objecting to traditions and rituals like second lines and meeting places that may cut into their peace and quiet. You know what, if you want peace and quiet….don’t buy a house across the street from a bar! In a Black neighborhood!
To that end, I want African Americans of means to move back into the hood, buy homes, contribute to community and vision and send white people back to their own neighborhoods, get grocery stores, markets, and services back into the neighbor’s hands. Revolt against the white slumlords that are keeping African American culture down and take back our legacy (yes, Black legacy belongs to all of us). What’s the matter of investing in rental properties where it will do the most good? Put your money where your mouth is. What’s more, I believe that the Claiborne overpass should be torn down, oak trees replanted and the division of the Treme obliterated like the crime that it is.
TWO. I believe that Catholics should maintain the right to have their churches stay where they have been, convenient, accessible and NOT be discontinued on the whim of some self appointed guardian of their groove. My solution would be for parishioners of threatened parishes to purchase their churches and hire their own priests. To hell with being pushed around! Have the archdiocese sell the buildings to the parishioners and maintain staff using an old concept called tithing. Do I hear an AMEN? You Catholics run your schools the same way, don’t you?
THREE. Let us dispense with the premise that all people are created equal, and no, I’m not about to question anybody’s inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit. I’m talking about the fact that there are smart people and there are some folks that are dumber than rocks. There are people that can read a book and have instant recall, and there’s me who can’t remember anything that I’ve read from one moment to the next. There’s the person that can’t exist without a book in their hands and then there is the person that hasn’t read anything but the funnies since they left school. There are good guys, there’s bad guys, there’s a guy that will give you the shirt off their back and the one who wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire. Some people are as solid as a rock and others cannot hold a job for love or money. Some people can drink alcohol and others are better off letting the hooch alone. Some women make wonderful mothers and others pass on traditions of abuse, neglect and ignorance. I think that we should give people all the respect that they deserve, stop making excuses for losers and concentrate on saving the children before they become the next generation of defects. Concentrate more on giving hands up and less on giving hand outs.
FOUR. How about this? Anyone who is crying about this economic crisis that we’re having and how it affects New Orleans citizens should try opening a community oriented business of their own. Be part of the stimulus and get some money moving around our town. We need more corner grocers, mechanics and notary publics; stationers, shop owners, seamstresses, haberdashers and repairmen. We live in a fragmented society because we have ceased to function in our immediate environment, we work for employers that care little if anything about our lives and the future of our families. We shop in box stores that buy stuff from China and diss our made in USA stuff. We act as a nation of sheep, of service to no-one and of good to no-thing. What happened to that person that we wanted to be when we grew up?
Are we in the holiday spirit yet? No? Well how about some bad news?
FIVE. As I see it, a lot of the messes that we’ve gotten into have at their root irrational and selfish expectations impaired by a deficiency of imagination and compounded by poor work ethics, inexperience and the unwillingness to learn from mistakes, ours and others. We let ourselves get into jams by being greedy and laboring under the misconception that luck and the kindness of strangers will pull us through, and then complain when that does not happen.
Witness if you will this month’s daily newspaper that has a toy drive for the needy with sob stories about unwed mothers with multiple offspring, ignored by the fathers, possibly having part time jobs or on the public dole, in section eight accommodations and without the means or wherewithal to be an asset to America? Am I wrong or if a parent cannot afford to have a child, is it not logical to practice some form of birth control? Or… doesn’t bringing a child into this world come with some form of parental responsibility?
Next to all those bastards that voted in 700 billion dollars in bailout and than added another one and a half billion of pork to it: You suck.
And yes, Virginia, race has everything to do with elections.


nicolew said...

Racist much?
Where is gentrification hurting black people?
Lower Garden District? That was once majority white.
Irish Channel? See above
Marigny? Bywater?

You are as pathetic as Nagin, seeking to drive wedges between those in this city. You want to get angry about something? Why don't you rant about the bloodbath of black men killing black men in this city.

Justice0713 said...

Often the idea of wanting peace and quiet when you live next to a bar isn't just about being free from sound nor is it about black and white. The larger issue is wanting to be safe from harm which both black and white residents seek. Common sense dictates that anyone, black or white, can love a neighborhood because of the culture, the people, and the history without turning a blind eye to senseless violence and criminal activity that occurs within and outside of a few bars.

As a black person who lives within a block of four bars, I expect these bars to care that they are within a community setting. Three bars actually do care and one does not. However, it is quite an assinine belief to infer that only those who love to stay up all night, listen to music blairing outside of a building, and listen to individuals screaming outside should live next to a bar. What type of community would this be if everyone who stayed next to an unthoughtful bar had the luxury of staying up all night to hear music blasting and people screaming because they did not have jobs to do the next morning? This would be quite a depressed area with no economic activity outside of the bar.

Unfortunately this is what some neighborhoods have become especially the neighborhoods next to the I-10 expressway. Treme' not Greater Treme' for instance has over 12 bars but zero grocery stores, two eat-in restaurants, no bakeries, hardware stores, or other service retail businesses. Treme' is plagued by drugs, poverty, murder, and other issues. Residents have to travel too far out of their community to obtain need services yet you have those who believe that the only people that should live in Treme' are those who tolerate irresponsible bars without a desire to have more for their community. How assinine!