Happy Mardi Gras!

R.I.P Fats Domino, 89, Musical Legend, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer and New Orleans Native


Mr. Domino performing in 2007 on NBC’s “Today” show. (Photo Credit: Richard Drew/AP)

Jon Pareles and William Grimes via nytimes.com

Fats Domino, the New Orleans rhythm-and-blues singer whose two-fisted boogie-woogie piano and nonchalant vocals, heard on dozens of hits, made him one of the biggest stars of the early rock ’n’ roll era, has died in Louisiana. He was 89.

His death was confirmed by his brother-in-law and former road manager Reggie Hall, who said he had no other details. Mr. Domino lived in Harvey, La., across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. Mr. Domino had more than three dozen Top 40 pop hits through the 1950s and early ’60s, among them “Blueberry Hill,”“Ain’t It a Shame” (also known as “Ain’t That a Shame,” which is the actual lyric), “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.”

Throughout he displayed both the buoyant spirit of New Orleans…

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Katrina’s Aftermath: 10 Years On

On 29 August, 2005, Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, flooding the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Katrina has been called the costliest hurricane in American history. From Al-Jazeera:

Katrina, which made landfall with 127 mph winds as a Category 3 hurricane Aug. 29, 2005, inundated residential neighborhoods above the height of basketball hoops in New Orleans while largely sparing the central business district and tourist areas.

With 1 million Gulf residents displaced during the storm, the city ultimately lost some 100,000 people, going from a prestorm population of 484,674 to a rebounded 384,320 by July of last year. Subsequent storms Rita, Ike, Gustav and Isaac, which also caused extensive water and wind damage, did not help.

According to the “New Orleans Index at 10,” published by southeastern Louisiana nonprofit the Data Center, over the last decade the city has experienced more investment, less crime and a crackdown on corruption since the storm. Many neighborhoods continue to bounce back from the disaster, but Katrina’s huge toll has had a lasting impact.

But officials and residents still grapple with the scale of what Marlon Defillo, the New Orleans Police Department’s assistant superintendent at that time, described as “mass chaos” and “total distress,” with water in some areas such as the Lower Ninth Ward rising “up to 14 feet in 20 minutes.”

How has the recovery gone there, over the past decade? I suppose it depends on who you ask.

Me, I’ll just let this article speak for itself. Don’t get me wrong; I am not a fan of Kanye West and his self-absorbed little family, but he was actually articulate and intelligent when he said those seven words: “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”

Good ole boy Dubya says that was the worst part of his presidency – not declaring war on Iraq; not 9/11, not his silly “Mission Accomplished” photo-op. No, his widdle fee-fees were hurt by big, bad, Kanye’s true words. I guess that’s why he felt the need to carefully orchestrate some feel-good moments when he visited NOLA earlier this week, making sure to surround himself with Black children and get some ‘selfies’ taken. That’s all it takes, ya know? Now everyone can hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” while unicorns prance about, pissing sunshine and farting rainbows.

Meanwhile, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has his panties in a twist over a speech that President Obama gave on Thursday. From Al-Jazeera:

President Barack Obama commemorated the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Thursday in New Orleans with a speech that made special mention of building resilience against climate change, despite earlier criticism by the state’s conservative governor for his planned remarks.

“We are going to see more extreme weather events as a result of climate change — deeper droughts, deadlier wildfires, stronger storms,” Obama said, adding that the government has been preparing for the change by investing in stronger levies, as well as restoring wetlands and other natural systems that are critical for storm protection.

Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, unleashed floods that killed nearly 2,000 people, left thousands of others homeless and caused an estimated $250 billion in damage. It was the costliest and most damaging storm in U.S. history.

Prior to Obama’s speech, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a long shot Republican presidential candidate who has expressed doubt about man-made climate change, told the president in a letter to reconsider his message.

The anniversary, Jindal wrote, is a time to mourn the dead, not bring up a topic that’s part of the “divisive political agenda of liberal environmental activism.”

“A lecture on climate change would do nothing to improve upon what we are already doing,” Jindal said in the letter.

As the Earth’s temperature rises, warmer weather adds energy to storms, increasing their severity. At the same time, rising sea levels make storm surges more destructive. This combination increases the likelihood of events like Hurricane Katrina for locations across the globe. In his speech on Thursday, Obama said U.S. cities ought to be prepared.

Yes – how horrible to make sense and speak facts…the nerve! The audacity! How dare he tell those of us who live in coastal communities what to do! Because, you know, hiding one’s head in the sand and living in blissful ignorance solves everything. Right? Of course it does.

Super Bowl XLVII: What A Game!!!!!

Hell YEAH!!! I’m ecstatic…the Baltimore Ravens did it! Joe Flacco was ecstatic, too – did anyone hear the F-bomb that he dropped? “Fuckin’ awesome!” is what I distinctly heard, and who can blame him? Power outage or no, that was one hell of a game, and some of the ads weren’t bad. I actually paid attention to a few, LOL – didn’t watch the opening act or the halftime show; diluted, slutty white girls aren’t my thing. Besides, I had a halftime intermission of my own planned with my fiancee…that was far more important!     😎

Here are some of the things that made Super Bowl XLVII awesome:

  • Jacoby Jones’s 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown right at the beginning of the 3rd quarter – he was gone, and nobody could touch him!
  • Joe Flacco’s three first-half touchdown passes – they were beautiful! Poetry in motion…Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta did a fantastic job, and Jacoby Jones with his catch of Flacco’s perfectly floated downfield pass – athletic agility is a joy to witness!
  • It’s nice to know that hosting the Super Bowl is helping the economy of New Orleans. That’s a city I would love to visit, but not during Mardi Gras – I’d rather go to Carnival in Rio!     😎

I saw some of the ads, as I mentioned above. My personal favorites were the Tide “Joe Montana” stain, the library that erupted in chaos but everybody whispered through it all, and the Calvin Klein ad (for obvious reasons, LMAO). The ones that sucked were the Skechers ad where the guy ties up the cheetah, the Bud Light ad where the two guys were rolling the 6-pack in a chair, and the Axe “Astronaut” – those were all a bit stupid, IMHO. The “Epic Fail” award goes to Volkwagen for their racist ad with the white guys speaking in a heavy Jamaican patois. I guess you can’t expect much from a company which manufactured ‘Nazi-mobiles’ for decades, though! Since Jimmy Cliff gave the nod to it, I guess that means it’s okay, right?     🙄

I have a couple of songs to post, but I have one final thought to note which is completely unrelated to the game. After reading this story about an incident at a Texas shooting range this weekend, my only thought is paraphrasing an old statement: “Those who live by the gun are doomed to die by the gun.” With that, it’s music time!

The Temptations: “Psychedelic Shack

Dire Straits: “Walk of Life

Chumbawumba: “Tubthumping” (ending cut off)

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