Fringe Fest is underway in New Orleans. Here’s some pics from night one.
Fringe. Here! Now.
"You are your own fortune cookie."
"What fresh hell is this?"
Severed mannequin heads on display on Royal Street.
Revolution. Dance now. Think later.
Life After Death. Not a great play, but a great atmosphere.
Also, my lady and I wrote some things about the first night.
It’s apparently free newspaper day in New Orleans. There was a lone Times-Picayune outside my apartment building…and four Advocates.
The Advocate don’t play.
Halloween edition of the little free library on Freret Street in New Orleans.
I took some pics. Here are my favorites. My building is now the “Fein Arts Center.”
Lost cat is able drive a car, apparently.
Piano lessons. Last bullet point: “Tuition paid in beer and cigarettes.”
You can haz kitteh who uses its power for good, not for evil.
And finally, the greatest graphic design in human history:
New Orleans blogger skooks wrote a post you should read.
It ended with:
Which is why Bloobergism may have run its course in New York City but, in New Orleans, it’s really still kicking into gear.
And because these are things I’ve been thinking about, I dropped into his comments a messy version of the general thesis of an essay I’ve been trying to work on.
Still very much evolving, it all goes like this:
I think the rules have been set far above the level of any city. I think any talk of moving away from what this post refers to as “Bloombergism” is about as meaningful as Obama’s tax increases on the rich—which, of course, rolled back, what, the fifth or sixth cut down the line on high income earners? We didn’t exactly go after the initial cuts in the 80s, did we? We stayed firmly in the neoliberal playing field.
Point is I think the globalist/neoliberal system is absolutely entrenched for the foreseeable future because global policymakers at levels incredibly far beyond the influence level of a mayor have adopted it as a consensus more stable and established than even the New Deal one after WW2.
2008 barely slowed ‘em down.
Today’s progressives are rare, and, even when they reach leadership spots, are too few and too marginalized to have any impact (Hillary is the Dems’ candidate, not Elizabeth Warren, you know?). And most importantly, today’s self-styled “liberals” are just social issue warriors who either don’t feel passionately about economic issues or are just actual, believing neoliberals like their GOP colleagues.
If anything, our so-called liberals are just conservatives in the sense that they’re just throwing out some rearguard resistance to the privatization of the entire everything, slowing the radical action of the more aggressive right rather than actually seeking further progressive reforms.
And so I think this is the system, and if that entire system melting down in 2008 couldn’t reset the rules, then I’m not sure what will.
A simultaneously comforting and depressing possibility is that things are set up this way because the advance of technologies (which are supposed to be democratizing even though they are many ways the opposite) and global inter-connectivity has necessitated it—that there’s really no choice.
I don’t think that’s right, but the machinery is so in place that it may as well be.
The most important political thing happening might be the building movement to increase the wages of service workers to an almost-living standard, because the old American bargain of hard work in exchange for entrance into the middle class is very very broken.
I spent some time yesterday reading New Orleans bloggers’ posts from 2005 and 2006. Things on the Internet from that far back—seven or eight years, centuries in Internet time—are cleansed of the muddy impermanence and in-the-instant reactionary tone that so much online writing takes, whether consciously or, by its very existence in an unphysical world surrounded by noise, contextually.
You reevaluate the Internet people of 2013 by seeing what they wrote in 2005 in much the same way you feel differently about like your great grandparent when you see a picture of them from when they were young and interested in things that are not very different from things you are interested in now.
Katrina feels so far away now, but there’s still powerful emotions that millions of people deal with every time August 29 suddenly appears. Everything is routine and then you feel kind of strange, melancholy and reflective, and look down at the date on your PC clock and see it’s August 29, and so you dive into Internet time-holes for a while, and think deep thoughts.
My birthday girl with her birthday mimosa.
A private security contractor type showed up to tell everyone to leave. Nobody was mean. He was offered a beer. A smoke. “After the fireworks,” somebody said. And so the private security guard, whose job it was to keep the people of New Orleans from accessing a river whose age is measured geologically, a powerful thing that doesn’t give a damn about the whims of whatever developer is doing things along its banks, waited and watched the fireworks too.
Afterwards, the climb down over the railing of the park was lit by sparklers.
Everything in this picture is a good idea after work.