October 14, 2007

Tubas and some thoughts from the Sunday Times-Pic

Fourteen tubas grunt together under the Saturday morning sun, surrounded by a crowd and a cannon, bouncing the light off one bell to the next.

This was a tribute to Tuba Fats and a call to keep the thump-thump, the wave of brass elephant heads, the center of the beat, the street's pulse.

Big up to Kirk Joseph for putting it together, and to all those tuba players for showing up and carrying their horns up the ramp and back down and through the French Market. It was simple and airy, and much easier than the norm-of-late, a small sign that summer is finally done with us.


Early the following morning, an NOPD officer was shot in his New Orleans East home. At 3am, two men confronted him in his driveway, then forced him back inside his home, where they demanded money. The cop pulled a gun, shots were fired, and he and his wife were both hit. Their assailants escaped.

New Orleans East is living the nightmare right now, with 12 people killed since the beginning of August. Thought it is the largest patrol area, the 7th district has the 2nd lowest staff level.

Which is tragic.

What's odd: that two men would attack a cop at 3am. After all, if you have a cop in the neighborhood, you usually know.

So perhaps these guys weren't from that neighborhood.

Which is weird since, though they escaped and are currently on the run, their names were known almost immediately, released by the NOPD as "persons of interest." How did the cops know the names of these apparently random invaders?

Sorta makes you wonder about the police officer. Guess we'll stay tuned.

Memories of Sheriff Harry Lee


One new feature for trials expected to involve classified evidence is a Plexiglas window separating the small news media and spectator gallery from the floor of the courtroom. At the touch of a button, the military judge will be able to cut off the sound in the spectator section.
-NYT, 10/14/07

This cost $12 million dollars. Apparently, the government can set up it's fantasy justice camp (complete with horny bull logo) any ol' place it will, and jurisdiction will emanate from the peaks of its tents. Apparently the repeated legal blows to the Guantanamo gulag will not stop this instant system.

"With the legal landscape clear at the moment for the prosections to begin,
the military officials said the new courthouse would ease a potential logjam
of trials. Now, there is only one cramped courtroom, in an old airport building
at the top of the sloping hillside that overlooks the new tent city."

Couldn't we get one of these? I mean, doesn't this sound a lot better than the conditions in the Hat's office since the storm? $12 million dollars, that's like an hour in Iraq-occupation time. Give us one of these "M*A*S*H-like set for the age of terror." Won't ya hep me?


Some friends of ours are leaving town. It's hard watching them go, though certainly they need to do it. They put their time in. I keep thinking lately of those original estimates of the 10 years of recovery, or 20, or whatever an expert may have puffed on cable, and how we're 2 years in. Hard does not begin to describe the time these people have lived through, with what to show for it? Now we're left to work through the next 2 years, and the 2 years after that, running on the faith that we can run that far.

I felt good in the Quarter after that tuba concert. I felt the lines of the rooftops were more vivid and the sidewalk calmer, and that it was a familiar feeling, and that the indescribable sensation was nearly enough to keep me going. I know that borders on naive, and builds nothing material. But the feeling was there, will come again, and I will be here for it.

That's about all I know. That, and that ol' Harry Lee is dead and gone.