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I’m Still Just Cleaning Up The Mess

October 15, 2012

Is 2007 all over, which includes not getting the Open Thread up for this episode last night. Blame Permanent Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the Saints bye-week leaving us all confusalated.

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18 Comments
  1. samjasper permalink
    October 15, 2012 9:15 am

    Great episode and still digesting it, but thoroughly enjoyed seeing Anthony Anderson portraying Wendell Pierce in the Godot scene. For those of you who might not know, Anthony Anderson is a really good actor. He was also back in the day, cast in the terrible post-Katrina show K-ville. He tried hard but couldn’t overcome the abysmal scripts. If memory serves it was his character who uttered the unfortunate and widely ridiculed line about New Orleanians having Gumbo Parties. It’s a classic line now, here in these parts.

    Meanwhile:

    There really were street performances of Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.” I think it was Ray Shea who was lucky enough to have seen the one in the Lower 9th Ward. Who was in it? Wendell Pierce.

    So the casting of Anthony Anderson AS Wendell Pierce was inspired and a total “in” joke for those of us here. I can only imagine how many times that poor man was razzed about Gumbo Parties.

  2. Ralph permalink
    October 15, 2012 9:20 am

    Delmond is an insufferable douchebag. Even worse than his dad. I hope that rampaging cop kills him or at least works him over.

  3. October 15, 2012 12:27 pm

    To the moon, Ralphie, to the moon.

    Actually the story thread I’m most engrossed in at this point is Albert’s and how he handles his diagnosis, what it means for himself, the Guardians, for Delmond. There is such a contrast in this show between the underlying PSTD everyone in the city was living through in 2007 and the look on Albert’s face at Indian practice, that rare smile from LaDonna. Two of the pieces I wrote on Wet Bank Guide in 2007 were titled (from memory) “A Funny Kind of Hope” and “How Long, Lord?”. and that’s where we find everyone who is operating outside of the crime story. Everyone is being tested this season and the only shaky looking ones are Annie and Davis in the laundromat, coming up on their first real conflict with her career moving up and Davis still pedaling up and down Decatur and St. Claude as he has for years. Poor Davis ringing Annie’s room and all I can think of is the scene that never made it in, Antoine and Desiree discussing his own road trip call. Did Desiree him some slack or is there some awesome Phyllis Montana LeBlanc throw down footage we’ll have to wait for the DVD Special Features to see?

  4. October 16, 2012 10:41 am

    There is a scene in the movie, “Driving Miss Daisy”, in which Hoke (Morgan Freeman) is pulled over by some police officers in Alabama. I found it to be one of the most suspenseful (and as unlikely as it may sound, terrifying) scenes I have ever seen in any movie. Much of this episode made me feel the same way – tense and very afraid. I think that Toni is untouchable, but her reporter friend or even her daughter, I don’t know.

    Even with all that has happened in Seasons 1 and 2, I feel like this is the darkest season of Treme yet, and I think it is because it is the first season where we are dealing with suffering that is no longer from without.

    In Season 1, we saw the destroyed homes, the lives that had been taken and the bodies that were being discovered and uncovered, and the lack of help, support, or even acknowledgement by the federal government. Rage against the storm or the government. Creighton took his own life.

    In Season 2, we witnessed the crime “come back”. It could be blamed without malice on the fact that the police force was just holding on after the flood – what did Terry say, “the wheels are about to come off the cart”? With that one scene between Toni and Terry, grace and understanding were granted to the police department. The under-staffing and low morale was directly a result of the decimation by Katrina, and police can suffer from (and have a right to) PTSD just as much as any civilian. LaDonna is raped and Harley is murdered – it is indirectly because of, but clearly traceable back to, Katrina.

    In Season 3, the pain is coming from within including, and most symbolically, Albert’s lymphoma. The government and the police force are rotten on the inside. And“Sugar Boy” Crawford’s insistence on Gospel music reminds us that this shit was going on long before the levees broke. Misguided ambitions and inner demons are going to threaten several characters’ relationships, livelihoods, and perhaps even lives. This may be where we take the turn from a revenge flick (Seasons 1 and 2), into the realm of tragedy, soul searching, Claudius-killed-my-father-but-look-how-I-messed-things-up-after tragedy.

  5. samjasper permalink
    October 16, 2012 11:10 am

    3Suns, you nailed it. I am working on a post about Sugar Boy as we speak, and you are so right about the darkness.

  6. October 16, 2012 12:23 pm

    A couple years after my recommendation (see http://b.rox.com/2010/04/17/obligatory-treme-post/ if you’re curious) I am filled with malevolent glee that we finally got mention of Eyehategod and other bands in the sludgecore scene.

  7. samjasper permalink
    October 16, 2012 1:30 pm

    Editor B, I was eating dinner one night last week and came across a couple minutes of a piece that featured AC Thompson along with Simon/Overmyer. In it Simon asked Thompson about their decision to make him a metal head. I have searched for days to find the entire thing, and voila! Finally. Here it is: http://www.propublica.org/podcast/item/david-simon-a.c.-thompson-talk-about-fictionalizing-a-real-life-investigati/

  8. October 16, 2012 2:16 pm

    Wow. That is hilarious. Thanks Sam.

  9. October 16, 2012 2:17 pm

    Sludgecore? Fascinated. Sounds like way more fun than BIOS 1053 or waiting for the boss to call me in a minute for the last hour. And Eyehategod. What’s not to like about a name like that?

  10. October 16, 2012 2:58 pm

    Mark, this one’s for you, a live version of “New Orleans Is the New Vietnam” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k0Bk2UgQOA

  11. October 16, 2012 3:04 pm

    Much in the same vein: I don’t think they got namechecked but I have to post this link because I know a guy in Hawg Jaw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zx-EUey2ZI Another good example of the local sound and just awesome in its own right.

  12. samjasper permalink
    October 16, 2012 4:31 pm

    Bart, this caused a fascinating exchange here at the house. A little background: in 10th grade a friend of mine had emptied his room (much to his New Jersey Italian mother’s chagrin) of everything but a turntable, various equalizers, two Kustom bass amps to which he had connected the turntable (not sure they make them anymore but they looked like giant upholstered couches 4 feet tall), and a bong. We would cut school, take the latest Led Zeppelin album over there, make use of the bong, attach headphones so we had double volume essentially (also giant and padded and my hearing is just fine thank you) to our heads and lie on the wood floor with everything vibrating at top volume until Little Italian Mom would sigh and bring us portions of her homemade manicotti. Not bad work if you can get it.

    Fast forward. Thrasher music of all kinds seemed natural to me and as my daughter grew up I took her and all of her friends to the local death metal concerts and the nephew to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden because none of the other parents would do it. I didn’t much like Cannibal Corpse as I recall.

    I hit the link for Eyehategod and in comes the other occupant of the house saying what the HELL is that as I sat here with a big dumb grin on my face. I said, “Honey, it’s some really, really good new fangled thrasher music that’s local and renamed sludgecore. Great isn’t it?” I’m still grinning and the song is still playing. “That guy doesn’t actually call himself a singer does he?” I’m still grinning. The conversation continues. “Problem with you is you never had a genre that grabbed you by the balls when you were 14!” “You’re right. I was in the school band.” “Well then you don’t understand that this kind of music is a drug in its own right. You go listen to some of this and all the cobwebs are slammed out of you, and it had the added attraction of parental disapproval with shouts of TURN THAT SHIT DOWN!” “Well in this case the parents were right!” “What? They all had those giant 60’s hi-fi’s MADE for loud music and they played Percy freakin’ Faith, 101 Strings and Mantovani on the lowest setting! Not even Basie or Ellington! The most objectionable, unfortunate, offensive–yes, OFFENSIVE–whitebread dreck ‘mood music’ that is the sound of the interior of the insane asylum.” “No, that shit you were just listening to is the sound of the insane asylum. That’s what they used against Noriega to drive him nuts.” “Well then clearly Noriega was too old or he woulda been in there hollering for more Slayer!” “Honey, hate to break it to you but YOU’RE too old for this stuff.” Hard, cold glare slams across the room. “Fine. After I buy it, if it comes on when the iPod is on shuffle and you’re here I’ll skip it like I do Alice in Chains cuz you hate them.and I’m gonna see when they’re playing because I’d like to see if the audience is the cobweb clearing kind that we were, er, I was.” “Well you’ll have to go by yourself and hope they don’t try to dust the cobwebs off you!”

    Bastard. Thanks, Editor B. That was a blast. Well and truly.

  13. October 16, 2012 5:10 pm

    Thanks, Bart, but I still Have No Clue what he’s screaming. I wonder if he’s taken lessons from the opera teacher I heard on NPR once who specialized in this sort of “singing”, teaching the kids how to do this for extended periods without tearing their vocal cords apart. I guess I’ll just have to wait for a chance to see them in person. My taste ran to the more melodic “hard rock” that branched off one way as metal went the other in the late/1960s/early 1970s when metal guys still wore paisley. Y’all might not even consider Captain Beyond’s eponymous debut album inside this discussion. Think Texas’s Bloodrock (people of a certain age will remember their hit “D.O.A.” And of course Deep Purple. I guess I just never fell off the cliff into true metal-dom, and the below is probably an entirely Frippant veering off topic, but it sounds awesome turned up to 11.

  14. Treme watcher permalink
    October 16, 2012 7:52 pm

    Anthony Anderson wasn’t playing Wendell Pierce. He was playing the same character he did he season 1; a local actor/waiter who used to work for Jeanette.

  15. October 17, 2012 10:51 am

    Wonderful comment, 3Suns. But, this statement, “LaDonna is raped and Harley is murdered – it is indirectly because of, but clearly traceable back to, Katrina.” Funny that you say that because early-mid 2007 in New Orleans was when I realized that we were reverting to Same As It Ever Was (Before Katrina), But Now With PTSD.

    Treme watcher: It would have cracked me up if they had Antoine Batiste play Wendell Pierce playing Wendell Pierce. Inception For Godot.

  16. October 21, 2012 10:41 pm

    My Godot post from 2007 (my daughter and I saw the Lower Ninth Ward performance):

    http://www.moronosphere.com/rayinneworleans/2007/11/a-country-road-a-tree-evening/

  17. October 21, 2012 10:44 pm

    And here’s a shitty picture (I was trying to get both the Tree and Robert Green’s trailer in the same shot but pictures don’t convey how eerie it was):

    Evening

  18. samjasper permalink
    October 22, 2012 4:19 pm

    Wow. What fun these comments are. I never read them til I’ve written whatever I’m posting. Ray, can’t WAIT to read that post from Godot. Maitri, you nailed it, “Now with PTSD!” New and improved! Looks like I have a lot of comments to read now. I’m looking forward to it!

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