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“I know but I don’t know, y’know what I’m saying?”

November 5, 2012
by

I wasn’t up for it.

I’ve neglected keeping up with Treme, and seeing pictures of overturned trees, flooded neighborhoods and subway stations and death counts post-Sandy, I remember. 2005 was the shock. 2007 was the slow drag forward into what you had no idea.

Disaster, natural or human-made, is hard. Clean-up is hard. The wait for ice, food, rescue, return, also hard. But what I most wish my East Coast fellow citizens didn’t have to live through is the long-term recovery and aftermath that keeps echoing and lingering and comes back quickly with a single picture or remembering, as I did with my mother yesterday, that if she hadn’t been in Charity, she would’ve been among the dead, her house submerged, her a body to be found and counted on a tag spray-painted on the front of the ruined house.

To all that and more, add the insult of being told, after scraping and fighting and crying so hard to keep it, that our “culture” was too loud and how dare we walk in our own streets and honor our dead and fight off despair and be what drew the complainers to the neighborhood/city in the first damn place. Like Antoine said at the beginning of Ep.1, “Bullshit.”

Every lingering shot this season, I hold my breath waiting for the shoe to drop or wall to fall and they don’t. It felt like that then, too, like around every corner was a roadblock of debris, paperwork, lines and lies, Shaw, FEMA, Road Home. I lived through those years but can’t remember much about it except that feeling in my chest and after a couple episodes of Treme, I realize why—denial, turning away as a survival tactic and one that shouldn’t be dismissed because it got some folks through here and will on the East Coast.

Actually, it was denial + tequila.

What I learned from Isaac is you cannot stock too much alcohol pre-distaster/storm.

9 Comments
  1. doctorj2u permalink
    November 5, 2012 8:56 pm

    G Bitch,
    I am all about defiance to this day. That is the lesson of Katrina. I just posted on my Saints board, to a person from New Jersey obviously upset about our responses of abandonment:

    Voodoo Blues, Don’t take it to heart because it is not aimed at your home at all. AT ALL. It is voicing the pain we felt living through devastation AND having to fight politically for our very right to exist. No American should ever have to go through that again. NOW back to getting the NE up and running and whole again. That is what is important now!
    NOLA to New York

  2. doctorj2u permalink
    November 5, 2012 8:58 pm

    Link did not post.

    http://sandykatrina.tumblr.com/

  3. Mary Christine permalink
    November 8, 2012 5:30 pm

    Why, why, why so much Annie. She is sooo boring. There are so many real women on this show and yet we are supposed to be titillated by her antics. Enough please. More Desiree, Sophia, Tony, and Jeanette please.

  4. Mary Christine permalink
    November 8, 2012 5:31 pm

    Sorry, I forgot the luminous Kandi Alexander. There is never enough of her character.

  5. November 9, 2012 12:57 pm

    Mary Christine, interesting that you’d say that. I’ve been noodling around on a piece about the women of Treme for next week. I think you tipped me over into the “I’ll do that” column.

    Meanwhile, GBitch, I love this piece. I was looking through my old notebooks for something the other night and came across a little note from that time about how many students were here and how many schools were open. The note was from late 2006/early 2007. I’ll dig it out for you if you want, but I’d love to see a piece by you on the state of our schools during the time period of the show. You were watching it closely and you can better state the problems that Antoine is encountering as he tries to mentor his student than anyone else. Viewers from outside NOLA might not understand how utterly dire the situation was and how some of the problems persist, but mostly they won’t understand the problem from that time.

    Just nudging ya a little cuz you’re the one who knows better than the rest of us.

  6. November 9, 2012 2:20 pm

    Actually, Sam, what hit me hardest was Antoine’s experiences in the school and how I felt at the time I saw it, and still, that the subtleties and little bits present in that storyline and few scenes would be missed or forgotten the minute Annie started doing her swishel-vishel-dishel [I'm with you Mary Christine--I am so bored with Annie, her relationship with Davis, her fiddle and her faddle]. I had a hard enough time getting just this bit of post out. It’s a constant struggle still. Then the struggle was to survive and live and absorb just enough to not be delusional but not so much you could really feel the gnats and smell the ungutted house down the street. What I remember is packed away and while on some days it comes shooting out at the least bit of provocation, when I sit or stop to intentionally look inward, I find mostly fear, anxiety, and a desire to run and hide under [or in] a tequila bottle.

    Like you won’t send me the note……

  7. November 11, 2012 1:24 pm

    We pretty much feel the same way about Annie — at least through the first four eps we’ve been able to catch up with so far. In a program in which music is at least one of the plots, her music is the most boring of the musics. And, um, when and how did she turn into a R&B belter? She wasn’t even a vocalist before. Her character’s becoming implausible. When ‘contract’ was spoken my first thought was, “OK, Davis hasn’t been that successful with his own music, but what you had to have taken in while living with him is how often and easy it is screw musicians with paper. At least ask Aunt Mimi look at that contract before you sign anything!”

    But there is so much we are loving in this season too, including the other music threads. BTW didn’t Mark Bingham look just right and natural in those Piety Street scenes? He delivered his lines very nicely. :)

    And I’m terrified already for Sophia and Tony.

    There is so much I could write about these four opening eps right this minute, but you all shall be spared.

    Love, C.

  8. November 11, 2012 6:09 pm

    There is something else that I’ve noticed in these first episodes; the nudity of the women, particularly the characters of Janette. It feels all wrong, because that’s not how this has rolled all along. One can let perhaps the naked bimbo in heels, with baskeballs instead of breast, with Nelson pass, because Nelson’s a sleazeball and this kind of thing points up his sleazeballicity. Still … it’s like we’re going for the StarZ Spartacus out and out porn and the HBO Game of Thrones out and out porn, and — just no. One also feels that the crew isn’t into it either. It doesn’t work.

    Also, those 6 inch stiletto heels and platform soles? Is my memory faulty here, but isn’t this time period just a leetle early for that particular footgear. I seem to recall it was about the fall of 2009 at the earliest, 2010 that this orthopedic boot in your future kind of footgear for women came in. Though the ridiculous stiletto height was already in, but not quite that high yet.

    Love, C.

  9. November 12, 2012 1:02 pm

    You’re right—the super-stacked heels are more recent. It bothers me, too, when I see women as characters become stripper-ized, like a 20-year-old heterosexual male adolescent fantasy of what strippers and “hos” “look” like. It feels forced to me, too, and an unfortunate trend in too many series.

    I’m far, far behind. And not so compelled to catch up before the holidays.

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