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March 15, 2010

It’s that time of year.  The crazy Lenten, influenza-ridden, on-and-off-the-wagon days right after Mardi Gras and the crazy on top of St. Pat’s weekend.  As if you don’t want to take a valium and go back to bed already, some asshole amended the Uniform Time Act in 2007 and now your body clock is out of whack a whole two weeks ahead of usual.  For what?  Then, you really look at the calendar and realize that it’s going to be two years since we buried Ashley.  You wake up.

While conducting the annual re-up (heh) of, I marveled at how many memorial sites fade or even disappear suddenly, but this one will burn bright for a long, long time.  Still listed proudly on the blogs and email signature blocks of many New Orleanians, it shows how much a city can love a son who loved his city.  Lucky is he who finds spiritual home and is fully able to live there, grow as a person there, make babies there, have his body lovingly planted in ground there and live on in the memories of its citizens.  Ashley went long before he should have, but he did it only like he could: in fine New Orleans style.

I mentioned this to a few friends and Mr. Folse responded that the RAM website will probably see a traffic spike with the launch of Treme.  Of course.  Treme.  It is almost April of 2010 after all.  From Toulouse Street:

[David] Simon told a small group of bloggers privately last year that his team was writing a character into the show based, at least in part, on Ashley Morris … I am very anxious to see Ashley’s Goodman’s character. Having a commenter outside of the main story line may seem a bit weird to someone who reviews cable television on the Internet for a site hosted by AOL, but it seemed to work for writers back in the day.

The combination of Simon as creator, Lolis Elie as writer, Ashley Morris as muse and New Orleans as central character is reason enough to watch Treme.  Yet, there’s more: A few subkrewes of the inimitable Krewe du Vieux, only my third love after husband and geology, recently re-enacted the 2006 parade for the show, which features a stand-in for The Mime and half a dozen friends.  (New Orleans is nothing if not a small-ass town.)

Following which, I recall a certain favored chef known as Anthony Bourdain saying to me late last year, “I will crawl naked over broken glass to have anything to do with Treme.”  Athenae and I are on standby should Bourdain need any medical attention.

All of this is to say that the Fates have decided I cannot let this show pass us by without its own blog.  When good television, often the only modern link to other human intelligence, gives us the opportunity to think, discuss, debate and cry, it’s foolish not to take it, especially when this technology equally as fast as, if not faster than, television exists. (And, New Orleanians are nothing if not opinionated, especially if you’re making a teevee show about their town.)

I look forward to reading Treme posts at your blogs, but if you feel the need to hold forth in a separate space, don’t hesitate to post here.  Just let me know and you will have the requisite permissions (after I run a quick check of your credit and prison record).  I really want this to be more than another Maitri/New Orleans blog.

Now, where’s that fucking valium?

  1. UptownLibrarian permalink
    March 16, 2010 3:49 pm

    Looking forward to it.

  2. March 17, 2010 9:03 am

    I’m all about this.


  3. March 17, 2010 10:22 am

    Count me in, M.

  4. March 17, 2010 11:50 am

    Amen. Selah. Must go make a deal to get episodes recorded for me, or I must take over the teevee of a dear, dear friend with cable or satellite for a night each week. Both will require massive bribes, I’m sure.

  5. March 17, 2010 3:21 pm

    who is in charge of distributing dvds or tapes to those without hbo? can’t we get this sh_t online or something? i’ll pay, i swear… just not for hbo.

  6. March 17, 2010 3:28 pm

    Eli, I am going to mention in one of my forthcoming posts that a show partly about being able to make it, to survive in New Orleans is aired on a channel many cannot afford. The whole reason I wasn’t on The Wire bandwagon was HBO. The way our cable was setup in NOLA, it would have cost us an arm and a leg.

    Now that I have HBO, I sure as hell am not paying for a DVR. Anyone willing to record the shows and mail DVDs to Eli, who seems to be willing to pay for it? Also, I am sure many in the city who do have HBO will organize viewing parties. Hit up Adrastos or the Oyster.

  7. March 17, 2010 4:02 pm

    Yay another blog to bookmark.

  8. doctorj2u permalink
    March 17, 2010 7:08 pm

    Thanks for the blog! I am so pleased Ashley is being remembered in such a way. He needs to be honored for what he did.

    Maitri, I have a DVR and HBO but have never had any luck with burning DVDs. I would be glad to try though if someone had the know how on how to do it.

  9. March 22, 2010 12:53 pm

    Can’t wait.

  10. April 13, 2010 1:05 pm

    On topic of GOODMAN’s character and his diatribe in his first scene – why isn’t the world , especially you here, up in arms over how conveniently the ORLEANS LEVEE BOARD and GOV BLANCO were left out of the WHO NEEDS TO BE HELD ACOUNTABLE list he espouses. WTF??!! I seem to be the only person, save Josh Jackson of WBGO/NPR, who is wiling to go to the source and demand more depth on this one specific topic.

    When do you call the show out for this huge factual WHIFF as it purports not to bastardize the city’s history/heritage with so many true New Orleaneans writing/working for it? This needs to be a topic thread, if not it’s own site… watching a show is fun, but whitewashing history is nothing to be ignored, ESPECIALLY if you claim to be about HELPING THE CITY… holding those two entities to the grindstone would help, if not truly enlighten many to what have become buried truths.

  11. April 13, 2010 2:50 pm


    Three points I want to make:

    1. The Orleans Levee Board and its patronage system was dissolved in 2006 and replaced with the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority, which is required to have a majority of its board members be Professional Engineers. And Kathleen Blanco left office after only one term. So I don’t see where you get the idea that anything has been whitewashed.

    2. This blog is intended for discussions of Treme, not politics. Politics will enter into it sometimes, sure, but it’s not our intention to tolerate excessively meta discussions of Katrina or New Orleans politics that don’t relate directly to the TV show.

    3. The About section of the blog clearly states:

    – Please keep it civil and do not feed the trolls. BOT reserves the right to ban commenters for trolling, spamming, author abuse and generally acting the fuckmook.

    This includes excessive rudeness, excessive off-topic conversations, and EXCESSIVE SHOUTING. The blog owner (Maitri) and her hired muscle (me, Folse, and if somebody is really bad, Peters) reserve the right to shut down any commenter at any time.

    Thanks for reading, and if the rules do not sit well with you, then you might want to take up the challenge you yourself suggested:

    This needs to be a topic thread, if not it’s own site…

    Have fun.

  12. adrastosno permalink
    April 13, 2010 2:54 pm

    Folse is muscle? Oy, we’re in trouble…

  13. April 13, 2010 2:59 pm

    We have muscle? Cool.

  14. April 13, 2010 4:13 pm

    OK, on point…”Whatever your background, please feel free to talk openly about Treme here. You know it’s not just about the show, but everything. Every last damned thing of the past five years and everything to come. Once again, it’s time for America, for all of us “to turn and face that bitch and look her squarely in the eye,” as Ray once said in reference to The Wire. And that bitch is a lot more than what continues to happen in New Orleans.”

    My ideas and claims are not out of the bounds you define above… they are about the facts and subsequent politics of those facts of what is topically introduced/found in TREME. Not sure how I am seen as stepping outside of the above-listed rules…??? I speak of the WHITEWASH over the past five years of how certain uber-pertinent FACTS have been conveniently buried by SIMON, ELIE, PIAZZA and whoever else writes for the show. Not sure why or how this was allowed, so i inquire and comment.

    Ray, I think you are making a rather strange claim if you think the history of somethings (LEVEE BOARD and BLANCO) and their follow-up/residual impact(s) are to be written off as topics since they are simply not around. Really… then why study or make retrospective (20/20) claims about anything? Historians and archivists interpret and re-present what can often not be garnered at the time of the event/occurrence. The people working on TREME – of which I know many personally, (yes, i’ll present them this same line of questions) – understand the depth/importance of these claims, so for them to WHIFF at these as topics needing approaching, well, it’s confusing to me… why does TREME miss such basic facts, facts that don’t change due to the dissolving/departure of both/either the NOLB or BLANCO, and are DIRECTLY pertinent to the show and it’s production values? It would be like doing a show about GWB, yet not having any reference to WMDs or the wars we are in… he’s out of office, so why do that? Regardless, with all due respect, I make this claim – that changing/eliminating “controversial” items in the name of creative fiction is one of the classic ways WHITEWASHING OCCURS, and TREME has done this.

    I did enjoy the show, and think that it does hit many other topics so RIGHT ON, it’s scary… from the pace of life, to the people and real events that are related through the well-developed characters to the musical attitudes of patrons and listeners, as well as musicians… it’s a home run those ways. But i just cannot sit idly by as what I see occurs, so I comment in a place that says it is about EVERY LAST DAMN THING and I assume can handle this TREME-based thought about our city’s historical profile.

  15. April 13, 2010 4:16 pm

    just 1 thing less caps lock plz have headache thx

  16. April 13, 2010 4:36 pm

    Dave: You are free to talk about every last damned thing of the past five years, including animosity towards those responsible for the city’s flooding and festering, but please:

    a) don’t do it in a tone that accuses this blog of negligence,
    b) feel free to start your own site on this topic and link to it. One of my pet peeves is people telling me to do something they won’t do themselves,
    c) understand that neither do I control what David Simon writes for his show nor am I going to stand and deliver how much he should cram into 60-80 minutes of screen time, and
    d) come to terms with the fact that everyone, in some way, is to blame for the levee failure. Should I call you out for not screaming about this from the rooftops before 8/29/2005?

    You need a Magic Hubig’s pie. And a hug.

  17. liprap permalink
    April 13, 2010 4:45 pm

    Dave, we’ve dealt with all of this already on our own blogs. Click on the links of any and all of “The Krewe” and you’ll find all of your points made at one time or another in our blogs’ archives.

    Also, this is only the pilot episode. Give this time to develop some. According to Campbell Robertson’s review in the NYT of how Treme was received at the Charbonnet Funeral Home, people have already identified greatly with Creighton Bernette’s anger and are drawn in by that. Simon may well show where Bernette’s anger takes him.

    If your shouting in all caps is meant to be more indicative of italics, we get it. Please calm down a little.

  18. April 13, 2010 10:59 pm

    Ya’ll are sweet, and I will follow those links, thanks, really. Caps are for proper items usually, now and again for emphasis. Sorry if it hurt anyone’s brain to read CAPS in the middle of a sentence.

    I admittedly have a bit of animosity in that direction… but it is not out of sorts to find an inclusive site (like this) that uses the metaphorical nature of a show to speak about the reality of our town’s history and comment accordingly. That’s what I feel this is, though, it is also more directly about the show itself… a great site I hope is open enough to see how it all ties in, starting with the show itself.

    A more intelligent approach is appreciated and founded… thanks for raising the bar.

  19. April 19, 2010 10:57 am

    OK, spoke to TOM PIAZZA about this topic, and he was essentially in step with everyone else about how “they can’t include everything” and how the upcoming episodes are still being filmed, so there is plenty of time to be inclusive as to more details on the real-time haps during HK. Try your best, but what can one really do except ask and be told an answer that hopefully fulfills what is needed…I digress.

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