Don’t you touch my flag, yeah, steal my queen,
You have more trouble than you ever seen.
A whole week later, an episode in which they portray New Orleanians as all too human and not mystical Indian chiefs, brass band musicians, restaurateurs and DJs. (Well, except for that very first scene that has Coco Robicheaux fixing to decapitate a rooster all over the new WWOZ digs. Mmmmmm hmm.) Everybody happy now?
If Episode 1 embodied determination and community, this one was more about desperation and somewhat selfish cynicism. Towards the beginning of the episode, Albert Lambreaux and Creighton Bernette are all het up about (re)builders not doing things the right way and crucial Tulane University departments closing, respectively. Later, we see that Lambreaux has (almost?) killed a young punk for stealing his tools and copper out of homes, while Bernette lectures his daughter that Fortier High School closing to make way for the Tulane-sponsored Lusher charter is someone else’s problem. Life is a zero sum game, he tells Sophie, in order for someone to win, someone else has to lose. Activism is relative when it comes to your stuff and flesh and blood. Don’t get me wrong, if I caught someone stealing my shit after I put all that energy into freshly installing it (and dealing with returning, FEMA, insurance, shady contractors, Entergy and the S&WB to do so), it was my kid languishing in Baton Rouge boarding school or I went all the way to St. Gabriel only to be jacked with, I’d be beating on someone with a piece of plumbing, too.
Everyone’s crying, everyone’s broke, everyone’s desperate. And even musicians who play and shoot the shit with the likes of Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello end up getting busted by NOPD for a stupid roach.
Allow me to speak now as a representative of the city of Madison, Wisconsin, to where I really wish Simon & Co. had expanded their celebrated eye for detail. Yeah, the Sonny character was a poseur jerk himself, but ain’t no way those kids are from Madison because:
a) godless Madisonians don’t do good works for churches; they mostly come on behalf of teh bleeding-heart librul blogz, and
b) even if they are, they’re freshmen from Oshkosh or Wausau. No one actually from Madison talks like that, looks like that or is that clueless. For future reference, Madison is to Wisconsin as New Orleans is to the rest of Louisiana. Different.
‘Cuz, you know, flashing your boobs at passing military vehicles is “authentic” New Orleans behavior; we do it at Mardi Gras all the time. *eyeroll* I wonder if the show is going to introduce one new irritating character each week, just to make the previous one look good in comparison. Sonny is making me warm up to DJ Davis. After all the setup, if Season 2 doesn’t have him jump off the roof of the Omni, Treme will have some ‘splaining to do, artistic license or not.
To everyone who “came and still come to spend spring break or vacation time doing the worst of recovery jobs,” including my aghast young Mennonite co-worker (“we worked so hard, we didn’t run around getting drunk on and off Bourbon Street”): Thank you. Real, authentic New Orleans has impeccable manners.
We had a very New Orleans-focused weekend up here in the Northlands leading into the show: Our battle with the Louisiana Department of Revenue since being 2006 returnees finally ended; we owe them nothing. Last night, as Niki Fisk and I settled into the debut of Episode 2, Niki’s mother called to announce that their horse was about to drop and off we drove to watch a little silver bay come into the world. A silversmith & jewelry maker, Niki will be moving her store out of Uptown and onto Lower Magazine by Juan’s shortly.
Alright, give it up, what did you think of Episode Deux?