2018 Ep 1
This has been rattling around in drafts. I couldn’t get the ending right. It;s still not right, but it is taking up space in the drafts folder, Have to release it into the world.
Waking up this freezing morning, I stumbled to the sink for the ritual of toothbrushing and – WTF! What’s that?!? Did some kind of drain-dwelling jellyfish crawl up to escape the freeze, die, decompose and crystallize in the few hours that passed between New Year’s Eve and the opening hours of 2018?
Nothing so Stephen King. In these stick houses with external pipe runs never designed for this kind of cold, with an HVAC system overpowered by sub-freezing temperatures, we are told to leave the faucets trickle to avoid burst pipes. My bathroom trickle had frozen into tiny icicle threads from the faucet to the drain and around it, like translucent stalactites formed in a couple of icy hours, not the geological ages of a cavern.
Aesthetic compensation for inadequate insulation.
COMING SOON: Another episode in Conversations. Henry and Jonathan will dig into Morvern Callar. Interesting, unusual, penetrating, insightful . . . even fits in with the Me, Too wave. It’s on Amazon.If you can, try to have a watch of it before the podcast is published.
The most fun now would be to discuss the depths of financial and moral corruption that the White House, most of the federal government and the Congressional Republican Party are sinking to, or perhaps just exposing. It’s a klepto-party, right out in the open. Everyone is invited to watch or play, if you have the ante. They don’t even bother to conceal the pick-pocketing any more. “Leaders,” as some of the younger journalists call our duly elected Unindicted, have progressed from traditional embezzlement and covert bribery through common-or-garden theft to just plain looting. Every day’s headlines are like a TV crime series,
They will get away with it. Since 2008, financial and political crime is no longer prosecuted at the federal level. Eric Holder’s justice department protected our leading criminals as important battlefield generals in the protection of corporatism.
For decades, at least since 1980, a major part of the geopolitical Game of “Land of the Free” Thrones has been corporations and finance vying for power with the nation-state governments – and winning. The free market is about finding the right price. They found it. One could speculate and probably find confirming evidence that one of the uses of Trump is to be the insensate buffoon put in place to test the next step against the institutions and the people, like a rodeo clown checking out the bull. When the risks are clarified, the corporatists can install a real candidate, who will intensify their agenda exponentially from the 1.0 models of Clinton, Bush and Obama. What we will be able to see of government will be indistinguishable from entertainment, as foretold in Rollerball (the 1975 original, not the remake).
But that’s for next time. Let’s loop back down to town, the other world we live in.
Making the editorial rounds and some social sites: Derrick Shepherd, convicted of money laundering during a political career, was spotted at an event, thought to be in the entourage of Ms Mayor Elect LaToya Cantrell. Much high-minded tsk tsk.
A virtue signalling party quickly began ricocheting around the local editorial pages and websites. Let’s form a circle and tell each other how good we are.
The state of po’facedness should make us feel a little queasy.
Whadda ya say we try to drain some of the hypocrisy into what Cedric Grant’s administration left of our storm drains?
LaToya is “squandering her good will”, say the self-righteous, by being seen in public with Derrick Shepherd. It might be true. The public mind is a strange space. But it shouldn’t be.
- Shepherd was convicted for participation in a money laundering operation for $141,000.
- The Russian trail to the Trump crime family will show that the sad, mad thief we are supposed to call president has been involved in money laundering on a scale that Derrick Shepherd’s calculator doesn’t have enough zeroes for.
- Avuncular-looking Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary to billionaire-whisperer Trump, invested $400m and became deputy chairman of the bank of tiny Cyprus, whose business is shifting money around for the Russian oligarchic community.
- In the modern game of money-laundering, Derrick Shepherd doesn’t even get a seat on the bench of the farm team.
- How many Unindicted felons are strolling confidently around City Hall on any given busy day? How many of the Unindicted are lunching comfortably in the dining rooms of our financial institutions?
- How many “felons” from the wrong side of the social tracks set up by our Respectable Citizens and the police/justice system have been convicted felons for “possession” of a “substance” which starting January 1 in California is as criminal as a cold PBR? Who is the greater criminal, the guy with a few joints or a vape device, the dealer on the corner, or the self-righteous idiots who made and enforced the largely racist War on Drugs that filled the prisons and deepened a social rift that contributes to urban violence? If the estimable Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Attorney General and hobbit, gets away with re-including marijuana in the astoundingly stupid WoD, he will be responsible for hundreds or thousands of deaths and incarcerations. But Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is an honorable man.
- DA Cannizzaro terrorized families on the wrong side of the social tracks with fake subpoenas. Is that a crime? Subpoenas have to be signed by the right authority, normally a judge. They weren’t, but Cannizzaro’s enforcers pretended they were. How is that different from forgery? Our courts are unlikely to decide, since the DA’s office is somehow reluctant to prosecute itself. And Cannizzaro is an honorable man. The twitterati would not question your fitness for office for being seen in public with Mr Cannizzaro.
I quite like LaToya. I think she might bring a dollop of “street” to relieve the dynastic grip on office that we would have if a Landrieu had handed over to a Charbonnet. That could sound queasily similar to the motivation of some Trump voters: push a bull into the china shop, see what happens. But LaToya is not an invader. She has been in Council for yonks. She is not stupid, sickeningly vulgar or psychopathic like 45. She’ll be okay. (Although she has not replied to a recent request for comment, so I may have to go off her. Come on, LaToya – answer questions.)
We’ll see. Office can be overwhelming (see Ray Nagin for details).
The NOLAscape take: all this warm, steaming propriety and respectability wafting around the streets of Bywater, Marigny and the FQ reeks of bogus.
If you declare people caught and convicted in a net which may even have been cast by political opponents and enemies so tainted that they are even contagious, while letting sleazy kleptocrats and klepto-hangers on off your little moral hook, you are really saying that the crime is getting caught. Shame replaces guilt.
The shame is not on LaToya, if indeed Shepherd was in her entourage. It is on us, for our Silly-Putty morality, sinking slowly into the shape of whatever container is a la mode.
Be nicer to convicted felons. Be more skeptical of our criminal “justice” system, and how people end up in or avoid its clutches. Hatpins at the ready for hypocrisy.
There are many people, good and bad, on both sides of the bars.
© NOLAscape 2018