Nathan’s back! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
A sound ordinance op-ed in the Advocate. What’s going on? Has VCPORA sent Brylski out schmoozing the poor Advocate? Or has Chapman’s agency been placing ads in it, so they owe him one? Or is something happening in sound management politics and we haven’t got a sneak copy of the memo yet?
If you haven’t seen it, consider a quick read of it now, then pop back.
I’m worried. Nathan played personal respect on us, like a big trump card. So is NOLAscape on the wrong side of the proper etiquette rules? Are the new rules going to be, we can fiddle facts and meaning, if we do it with respect? We can let truth slide, but we have to watch our Ps and Qs.
New Orleans has high humidity and flood insurance, therefore we must show public respect to everyone, no matter what bent levers of influence they try to use, or what bunk they pass as facts? Misinformation, misleading – now they are all worthy of personal respect.
Guess we have to downgrade Aristophanes, Voltaire, Swift, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Spitting Image, Lewis Black, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Hicks, Bill Maher, Sacha Baron-Cohen – you know, the people that help us keep our mental canoe afloat through the gales of pompous dementia from power junkies and the human brain’s capacity to lose itself down a canyon of BS.
No, no, no. Or should I say, No, no, no, Sir. Stuff your charades of gentility. The tradition of no respect is sacred. It saves us. And sometimes it saves us from Nathan. For instance, when he seems to be giving himself some credit for the dBC component of the Woolworth-based ordinance, a big input from Dave, which our Nathan – with respect, of course, and in the best possible taste and with personal respect – fought and denounced at every turn. Nathan – sorry; Mr Chapman – in addition to afflicting us with the awful “7 Essentials,” spoke against the original Woolworth report, boycotted the FQMD process, campaigned against the amendment he boasts about to the Key West guy as if it were his own, and contributed to its eventual scuppering by agreeing with Clarkson’s and his VCPORAn colleagues’ lunatic concatenation of “unconstitutional” and “citywide,” which they hooked up with some deliberate lies to try to torpedo the amendment in a cynical, intentionally misleading campaign e-blasted out after Sharonda Williams had explained to them and their legal prey-bird Justin Winch, that their alarm-mongering claims were wrong.
Fast-forward to what we hear happening now: Bourbon Street operators had been ready to try the Woolworth plan. Dial this down a little, pull that back, see what happens. But when Nathan and his friends mangled the process with a BS storm, possibly confusing old Jackie even more in the process, they thought: Fuck it. Trying to work with these fools is a waste of time. Let it float free again, and call the lawyer. I wonder if earnest folk like Nathan played right into plans and expectations of Stuart H. and Meg: carry on with crap regulation and bad law. Then we can keep on suing everybody, running our own game. See who runs out of money first.
Is personal respect really the way to defend ourselves against this kind of corkscrew Newthink? Or would Nathan’s politeness really be deference to intentional mischief?
The 7 Essentials – with all due respect, gimme a break. The 20 “neighborhoods” – help. Clubs that name themselves after the neighborhood they live in, where five people show up and vote for something they don’t understand – that ain’t no neighborhood. That’s just five old nerds grumbling. Warehouse District was a star coalition name: one guy, all alone, without telling anyone at all even in his unincorporated neighborhood outfit, voted the whole neighborhood onto Nathan’s list. And Na . . . – sorry, Mr Chapman – didn’t want to take it off even when the truth went public.
To merit respect, shouldn’t one have to swear off this stuff? Maybe Old Square frauds are so used to it, they may not even notice themselves doing it, but still: what comes first, truth and honor, or being nice? Guess the Hoodie tendency is sticking with the superficial.
“Divisively in the media.” Show me. Every journalist with any sense in New Orleans wanted to see the good amendment, which Chapman and his groupies opposed, passed, done, dusted and change the subject. Technically, you can say “divisive” any time about American media, where the ridiculous media journalism of “balance” gives a couple of talking heads equal time on whether the earth is flat. No, everybody with enough IQ points to find Bourbon Street on a sunny day knew that the Woolworth amendment was a good starting baseline. Divisive were the usual cranks, crackpots and cokeheads who try to keep New Orleans under a gloomy grey cloud instead of out where life happens.
Listen, Neighborhoodies: you want respect? The city of New Orleans and the normal sane people of the world want honesty and an end, and I mean END, to the boring arrogance, pomposity, expectation of privilege and frivolous lawsuits wafting out of the Vieux bloody Carré. Stop all that now. Throw all the diseased beliefs and the people that drive them overboard. Recant, and atone publicly. “We do renounce him, and all his works.” You know the routine. It’s from The Godfather. And then maybe we can revisit the respect issue.
I have a friend that reminds me a bit of Nathan. Soapy Sam, we call him. He belongs to a politically dorky “Neighborhood” association as well. Well, he knew a guy who knew a guy who was a reporter in Glasgow, who wanted to call Soapy for an interview, because they were having a lot of trouble with noise in Glasgow. They have trouble with everything in Glasgow. Well, they have been spared the second amendment and the NRA, so the weekend death toll is lower, but Saturday nights are pretty rough.
Some bartenders from Bourbon Street had moved to Glasgow and started music bars on one street. They turned up the amps to try to be heard over the general commotion.
Most of the interview was language difficulties. A bit like us at City Hall. Fergus’s Glaswegian and Soapy’s Louisiana trying to interpenetrate in search of meaning. The interview took about three hours, but we’ll edit down to essentials.
“Hey, Bourbon’s supposed to be really great, righ’? I wanna get down there.”
“Oh, no it’s much too loud. It’s horrible. Respectable women and Tim Laughlin can hardly walk down it any more.”
“Tha’s nae wha’ I hear. Anyway, what’s all this about “personal respect”? What are you asking for, puffballs? What happens if you get on Jeremy Paxman? He’ll have your eyes out of your head. Or Ali Gee gets on your case? You’re lucky George Carlin is dead. Are you guys just soft or what?”
“No, but you know, it’s not a big city, and, well, there are just not than many of us. You know . . . US. (Soapy winked, but you can’t see that over the phone.) And if you run into Mrs. Landry at Wholefoods, well, it could be very embarrassing.”
“Okay, well look. My mate said you made up a lot of bullshit to try to beat their amendment in the Council. Is that okay in New Orleans, or maybe kinda shitty? Don’t you expect to catch a lot of grief for crap like tha’?”
“Well, I think we just have to be nice.”
“Listen, Soap – is it okay if I call you Soap? – how do you work the council members?”
“Well, you know, we call it political benefit. But that can be a lot of things. Some of them, we just spin a story. Others, they need a deal.”
“Do you ever just give them some money?”
“Oh, no! That would be wrong. There are campaign contributions, of course. But sometimes we already gave them, so you have to call in the chit. Mostly we let the lawyer do that. It’s his money, anyway.”
“Do ye ever get caught?”
“Well, I think it’s all legal here now. We’ve had some court cases . . . ”
“Listen, Soap, I’ll call you back. I want to talk to my editor, see how this Personal Respect idea goes over. I’ll call you back if I don’t get fired.”
But enough low mockery! Let’s have some respect! Because the lightly hidden main thing of this latest Chapman manifesto is that he says: everybody got crazy. Now that is a big, big breakthrough for an initiated, anointed, inducted, Kool-Aid addicted Hoodie. This is like deprogramming a Scientologist. What if Nathan Chapman, ex-pres and stalwart, gets turned out of Rampart Street for an honesty leak? We need to take the lonely exile to our bosom. Can we get charitable status for an Adopt-a-Hoodie program? We should have an 800 number for bewildered exiles to call.
He would have to pipe down about those health issues they pulled up for their campaign, though. They are forgetting they pulled that stuff out as weapon against good law, not a reason for it. Bars are not hosing 90+ dB sound into neighbors’ homes, and people walking Bourbon Street don’t stay in one place for eight hours five days a week, so OSHA is not an issue in this law. If you want to address that issue, you need to load up a new crusade. And you are unlikely to get any sympathy on Bourbon Street.
Maybe we can even call time out in the caucus race, pass the damn’ ordinance, which is probably tired of us by now, and find something of importance to fight about. All the issues more important than how a bar plays or what kind of shirts a shop sells. Which is to say: all issues.
Me, I’m sticking with Spitting Image, no respect and George Carlin. Watch this instead of listening to Nathan. Or me.
Or have another spin of Lou Ludwig’s Let’s all hate on the hipsters.