Saturday, September 03, 2005

What page was that on?

On NBC's hurricane relief broadcast, Kanye West goes off-script to lambaste George Bush.

I wondered what New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd would say about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now she has spoken, in a column called "United States of Shame." Her wrath is unstinting.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blame who? Oh yes, the victims

This is not helping perceptions either: according to CNN, Federal Emergency Management Agency head Michael Brown says refugees trapped in New Orleans are responsible for their plight.

Valid or not -- and by now it seems almost gratuitous to point out that not everyone in New Orleans had the means to evacuate with relative ease -- the observation is stunningly unhelpful.
Think real fast

President Bush is catching hell from some quarters for not responding quickly enough to the Gulf Coast catastrophe. Whether or not the criticism is fair, a chief executive as seasoned as Bush ought to know that in times like these, perception is everything. In 1979, Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic -- Mayor Richard J. Daley's hand-picked successor -- apparently got voted out because of the perception that he did not respond quickly enough to paralyzing January snowstorms.

And that was just some fucking snowstorms.

Note to Karl Rove: House Speaker Dennis Hastert's let's-bulldoze-New Orleans rhetoric is not helping perceptions.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


On Isthmus newspaper's web site, I have written more expansively about the blogger. Check it out here.

According to the blogger, utter chaos reigns supreme in New Orleans: the police themselves may be joining in the looting. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Private to looters

Looting in front of television cameras: unwise. If we learned nothing else from the L.A. riots, we learned that.

My e-mail provider,, is based in New Orleans. Mail has been down for the last hour or so, and when I logged in to directnic's site to log the problem, I learned that the servers have apparently been running on diesel generators. So if you can't get through to me at my personal address, that may be why.

Directnic has a blog about their woes. Check it out. Some sort of ex-military survivalist seems to be in charge at my ISP. What with the water and the looters, they could use one.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Musical youth

As Charles has noted, my show Friday night with Sleepy LaBeef got rained out. Memorial Union Terrace is one of the few venues in town that can move a show indoors when it rains, but that didn't happen due to circumstances too dull to describe. Dejected fans came and went, but most dejected of all was Sleepy LaBeef: the 70-year-old musical nonpareil seemed to sum up decades of playing live music when he gazed out at the drizzle and said to me, philosophically, "Sometimes it gets rained out."

Saturday's show at the Tyranena Brewing Company in Lake Mills was altogether more successful. The World's Greatest Lovers played an acoustic set on a lovely patio bedecked with flowers and ivy, and the small-town crowd was appreciative, if restrained. When we began playing it was broad daylight and families had spread blankets, so I was once again unnerved at the prospect of entertaining children with classic honkytonk songs about sex, drugs and the kicking of hippies' asses. But no one seemed to mind, least of all the young'uns.