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Then we get the rabbit kidneys out of the freezer

May 9, 2010

First impressions? Best of times, worst of times? You tell me.

  1. rickngentilly permalink
    May 9, 2010 10:26 pm

    what happened yo?

    i dont get to see it foer a couple of days.

  2. adrastosno permalink
    May 9, 2010 10:37 pm

    Wait and see, bruh. Wait and see.

  3. virgotex permalink
    May 9, 2010 10:58 pm

    Tim Reid as the judge.
    Davis Rogan, not the best actor.

    “Not bad good, just bad.”

  4. May 9, 2010 11:09 pm

    This last one made my head spin, in a good way.

    Roy Blount Jr giving FYYFF a whirl, though? I was rolling. On. The. Floor.

  5. May 9, 2010 11:25 pm

    That wasn’t acting.

    Was fun seeing nola-blogger-spouse Beauregard Daggerbones in the KdV captain’s meeting. “And Mr. K Doe abstains.”

    As soon as I saw how many characters were showing up at this second line with big smiles on their faces, I knew it was going to be *that* second line. But why no footage of Chris Rose hunkered down behind a car calmly reloading his concealed-carry Glock to take down the knuckleheads? I could swear that’s what really happened.

  6. Kevin permalink
    May 9, 2010 11:28 pm

    Loved this episode (and not just for the scene where the fist collided so satisfyingly with the face of Himself). Lots happened; the writing was sharp but not on-the-nose; and I’m beginning to think Lucia Micarelli is the second most beautiful woman on TV, just behind Christina Hendricks.

    Khandi Alexander and Melissa Leo — damn. Two fine performances. And I liked the arrogant city councilman and his aide. Fun to see local actors Carl Walker and Becky Allen, too, though how do you explain to someone from out of town that Becky’s look was actually toned waaaaay down for that scene? By her standards, that’s appearing without any makeup at all.

    I’m not one to care about stray anachronisms, but did anyone else see the Troy Henry for Mayor sign during the second line under the overpass?

  7. May 9, 2010 11:31 pm

    I enjoyed seeing B.D. in there as well, Ray. There should have been a true VOTE K-DOE VOTE coming from the Emperor of the World, though, even if he is a mannequin. Quintron did hook him up to some phrases he coulda played back.

    But instead, K-Doe abstains.

  8. May 9, 2010 11:34 pm

    Kevin, I think THIS might be how one could show off the outrageousness of Becky Allen:

  9. Anita permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:48 am

    Loved it. Best scene: Antoine and the jazz fan from Japan. (That was Tatsuo Ichikawa who worked in Gigantic with John Goodman.) Antoine near tears and executing that sweet little bow as his benefactor left made me tear up.

    This screenplay really shows off the talent of Lolis Elie, I’m so proud of him. Oh, there’s so much more to say.

    It was really sweet to see Tim Reid as the judge and great to see Becky Allen. Seeing the Phister Sisters takes me way back to the summer I moved to New Orleans.

    This might be my favorite episode so far but don’t mind me. I think I say that every time.

  10. May 10, 2010 6:32 am

    The reunion scene at the second line was one of those occult moments that only Orleanians will get, but that was a major pluck at the heart strings. And an excellent counterpoint to the other, unfortunate return at the end of the second line. I think Lolis done us all good in the first local’s episode.

    And you could read the ambivalence in Annie’s eyes as Sonny showed Mr Houston the door. Not only can that girl wail on her fiddle, she can act.

  11. wigatrisk permalink
    May 10, 2010 7:11 am

    I was more or less ambivalent about Steve Zahn and just tried to enjoy the character despite him, but that window-speaker realization scene was amateur hour acting and frankly poor directing/editing too – one of those wistful looks would have sufficed, not 7-8 seconds of them. The previous bit with the neighbours seemed weak too: dressing gowns and some Pachelbel (I think) playing in the background was some dreadful characterization.

    Happy to see Ben Ellman though, and some powerful scenes with LaDonna. Was one of the two women reuniting at the second line one of the Barksdales? My screen is too small to catch some of the faces.

  12. May 10, 2010 7:45 am

    Agreed, my favorite scene of this episode is when Davina is reunited with her long-lost friend. So many hugged and kissed each other like that on returning and finding yet another friend alive and back home. The shooting could only be moments away.

    LaDonna’s opening nightmare and then her real-life nightmare in the courtroom – WOW.

    Honorary mentions: David Morse as the 8th district lieutenant; Joe Fontana from the Krewe of Comatose had a speaking part as did Senor Daggerbones; Derrick Freeman on drums for Davis’s song (Derrick and my D wore the exact same seersucker suit to the same wedding once).

  13. May 10, 2010 8:24 am

    Sounds fantastic! We won’t see it until later tonight.

    Love, C.

  14. May 10, 2010 10:05 am

    I loved Roy Blount’s lines, in response to Creighton’s FYYFF, “Fuck is a command. Fuck is an adjective. Fuck is a noun and object.” (Do I have that right?) Following it with, and herein lies the heart of the matter, “There are times when rage is the only rational response.” (I know I have that part right.)

    Totally missed Beauregard Daggerbones. This 10:00 stuff is past my bedtime. Will watch again as soon as I get home.

  15. May 10, 2010 10:22 am

    The reunion scene at the second line was one of those occult moments that only Orleanians will get

    gotta challenge you on this one, Mark. I am pretty damn sure I “got” that scene.

    Reminder: even if yours are not our exact experiences, many of us living outside of New Orleans do possess the baseline humanity to comprehend these things, not to mention our own experiences to draw on.

    If I’m misunderstanding you, please explain.

  16. May 10, 2010 11:20 am

    Damn, lady, I keep forgetting you’re on Eastern time.

    Roy Blount making the Upperline rock over FYYFF was THE best.

  17. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:52 am

    Did Blount say “rage”? i thought he said “praise” as an explanation for why he’d been praising Creighton’s rant… that seemed to work with Creighton telling wife that he thought Blount was screwing with his head. Hmmm, not sure.

  18. May 10, 2010 11:55 am

    “Rage is the only rational response” is a common saying. It’s definitely what he said and definitely relevant to Creighton’s YouTube rants and to the mood of the time.

  19. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:58 am

    Super script, Lolis!
    This gets better and better, but I hate that it’s only one hour!

    Fav scenes: Opening dream scene with LaDonna. Krewe du Vieus meeting. Davis moving his speakers out of the window, reflectively pondering his neighbors’ garden below. Tim Reid looking at LaDonna at the end of the judge scene–what’s he gonna decide??!!!??? Chef and Jacques in the kitchen planning how to wow the Big Chefs Besh sent over (“nah, we’re gonna low-ball em…”). People talking in front of City Hall (balck and white both having problems). Albert maybe realizing that he shouldn’t have shoved that politician. Bouncer from Texas telling Sonny that he’d made all that $ by doing maual labor in one day with 3 work crews.

    Sonny is getting scarier by the minute.

  20. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:02 pm

    So it looks like maybe one of the big themes of the show is coming into full articulation: “How can we all live together in an urban environment?” Brought out especially by the Davis post-beat down scene on gay neighbors’ couch. Brought out by the Japanese guy (You mean Japan Japan?”) coming to Antoine’s aid. By Davis getting beat up–though was that one of his neighborhood bar’s regulars who beat him up?

    Love the upside down shot of gay neighbor’s faces–recalled, for me, the old Chaucer line about everything is turned upside down.

  21. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:05 pm

    Good, thanks, I like that (“rage”) better. I’ve heard it around and on bumpers stickers. I wasn’t here at that time, but was online almost constantly. I moved back in spring 08, after I got a job here, after being gone for 20 years.

  22. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:06 pm

    I thought it was/is also a verb.

  23. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:10 pm

    Not all New Orleanians, even, will get the full occultness of it. It’s not so much that only New Orleanians will “get it”, but that for many of us, we likely got more out of it than some people, either here or elsewhere.

    Note Sonny’s adulation, to Bouncer Guy, of all the second-line music. Didn’t that come shortly before the shooting?

  24. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:13 pm

    I respectfully disagree, perhaps bec to me it had hints for a second or two of possibly being a dream sequence, stressing that the gay neighbors’ world was, in fact, completely and totally different in many ways from Davis’ world. Turned his prejudices upside down, perhaps.

  25. May 10, 2010 12:58 pm

    But please, with respect to that particular scene, explain to us how it’s “occult” – and why you got more out of it than someone else.

    I’m arguing for two reasons:

    1) I don’t agree

    2) this right here, this “in vs out”, “us vs them,” is so much a part of this story. It’s a major theme. We’re going to come up against it again and again. I agree it’s completely legitimate to say outsiders don’t get specific cultural references, we don’t know what club, what bar, what street, which musician, what tradition, etc Absolutely, we are outsiders to that.

    But to claim that because someone who doesn’t live in New Orleans doesn’t have the same kind or same level of humanity, that because we aren’t from there, we cannot empathize, be moved by, relate to – a scene like that one- to the same extent that New Orleanians do? That’s a pretty outrageous claim.

    There are things that connect New Orleanians only and there are other things that connect all humans. And I think that’s a big part of the (2) reason above, as well. Davis’ neighbors take him in and care for him, not because they’re New Orleanians, or because they’re hip to Treme history, but because they’re human beings and that’s what neighbors are supposed to do. This is obviously news to him, they’re “real” to him now, and it in turn humanizes him a little more.

    Someone in another thread said the Japanese philanthropist was to be pitied because even though he was trying to be a part of New Orleans, he never will be. I disagree- he wasn’t trying to buy his way into the secret club. He was simply giving back because he’d gotten so much out of the music and it had changed his life. It was a gesture of humanity, not an attempt to attach himself to the disaster. (or at least that’s how I read it)

    Conversely, we are also shown the results of people, insiders even, behaving inhumanely, or at least shamefully. The people that shot up the second line, the cops that pawned the trombone (I still think it was Sonny), Sonny being Sonny, the scamming roofer, the politicians that aren’t pursuing constructive solutions to help their constituents. That’s the Shame, Shame, Shame part. Those things are shameful by any human standard, not just because they were perpetrated by New Orleanians on other New Orleanians.

    Not just trying to be a douche about this, really. Like I said, I think this divide, the parts where it’s real and the parts where it’s illusionary, are part of what we’re watching here.

  26. May 10, 2010 1:26 pm

    I just think many viewers not intimently familiar with the entire period might have missed the significance of it. It’s not an in-versus-out thing. Watching Pacific before with my son I might not have immediately caught the difference between Okinawa and the previous islands if a character hadn’t called it out explicitly: they’re fighting for their homeland. I might have finally puzzled out the sudden appearnce of a large civilian population and their entanglement wiht the Japanese military, but it wouldn’t pop right out at someone who’s not steeped in the period.

  27. Fleur De Lis Gal permalink
    May 10, 2010 1:29 pm

    Virgotex, I ‘got’ it, too…kind of a human variant of when I finally got to get back to NOLA for that first Mardi Gras. I didn’t know but a scant handful of folks at the time (my BnB hosts and a couple of shopkeepers), so I didn’t have people to hug so much as the city itself.

    I’m quite happy to say my network of New Orleanians is exponentially increased since then and my life is all the richer for knowing so many great people!

    I finally got to watch the “at the foot of canal” episode last night, and knowing from posts that just said “FYYFF” last Monday – I knew what was coming so I wore my FYYFF shirt to my friend’s house to watch last night.

  28. virgotex permalink*
    May 10, 2010 2:03 pm

    The intensity of the reunion scene speaks for itself. It’s there so that people will get it. As are the multiple references in every single episode we’ve seen about the fact that people are spread out all over the country and missing and thousands have not been heard from and families have been split apart.

    If you’d said that no one from outside New Orleans will get the significance of the dummy in the KdV scene, I wouldn’t have made a peep. Because I don’t get it, nor do I really care about it.

    But to say that people (at least those who are watching the show) don’t get the reunion scene implies either the show isn’t working or that you know for a fact that the audience is either not paying attention or doesn’t care for some reason. And I disagree on both counts. Strongly.

  29. May 10, 2010 2:07 pm

    I’m pretty sure it was rage. It was the only thing I tweeted, because I didn’t quite catch the end of the first part, which I retweeted when I saw someone else tweeted it, trusting that they had it right (without knowing why). Tweeting Treme, so to speak.

  30. May 10, 2010 2:08 pm

    Oops. Sorry. Just now scrolled down to see Ray’s answer, and fuck is most certainly a verb.

  31. brueso permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:16 pm

    I got it, too (it caused me to tear up immediately), and I think the actresses used conveyed it beautifully.

  32. brueso permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:25 pm

    I second what you’re saying, Virgo- and also want to side comment: I think David Morse finally showed up as one of the ‘good cops’ that the story has needed. He was apologizing for some of his men (and arguably, by throwing down some cash from his own pocket, possibly sweeping some of their transgressions under the rug), but he also testified about what alot of them were dealing with and humanized them a little more.

  33. brueso permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:38 pm

    I know that some were glad to finally see Davis get clocked in the mouth and would probably like to see that every episode, like Kenny getting killed everytime in South Park, but I think that that punch addressed something not often addressed in film/ TV(offhand, only Larry David comes to mind, when he would respond to the African American rapper Crazy Eyes Killer asking him “Are you my nigger?” with “Are you my caucasian man?”)- the ramifications of the word ‘nigger’, especially when used by white people. Davis essentially tried to say to the guy that clocked him “Hey- it’s OK when I say ‘nigger’ cause I mean it ‘the right way’- I mean, check it- I live in Treme, obviously I don’t have a problem with black people!”) And he got schooled.

  34. Anita permalink
    May 10, 2010 3:03 pm

    Neither do I think the window-speaker business was overdone. This entire sequence from the upside down neighbors (and I know people here who absolutely have Pachelbel with their orange juice and wear dressing gowns in the morning as well as smoking jackets in the evening, thank you very much) was just exactly as much as was needed to get the message across. DJ Davis looked appropriately schooled and maybe he just grew up a little. This is the first time I’ve actually been impressed with Zahn.

    I’m not part of the KdV scene but, as Carl Walker’s character said earlier, “We’re just as much New Orleans as you are.” That us v. them vibe can be picked up anywhere, anytime. Usually people are just celebrating their own circle so the only thing to do is celebrate yours right alongside them. I think that’s what we do here all the time. You’re New Orleans if you love New Orleans. If you ‘get it” you belong. Don’t worry about what they are doing on the next corner and the next. There are circles here within circles so infinitely deep that daylight has never penetrated. You don’t have to go everywhere. Go where the sun shines on you and you can also find a little shade and where you hear the music. That’s where you belong.

  35. Where's Wallace? permalink
    May 10, 2010 3:52 pm

    “I’m beginning to think Lucia Micarelli is the second most beautiful woman on TV, just behind Christina Hendricks.”

    Seconded. But only if you replace Christina Hendricks with January Jones

  36. brueso permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:06 pm

    I’m not sure what was going on with Sonny/bouncer guy/Annie. Was bouncer guy showing wanted (or un-wanted?) attention to Annie? Sonny seems to be becoming more and more in a drug haze, so I expect he wouldn’t have noticed. Why the (sad?) look on Annie’s face when Bouncer Guy got bounced from their flat? On one hand, she seemed to partly blame him for Sonny getting mixed up with drugs again, but I still don’t know what to make of it.


  37. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:11 pm

    virgotex, I agree with you about the Japanese guy; at no point did I pity him or feel as if he was yearning for something else. He asked Antoine to play a little, and, that done, seemed fine about leaving. I kinda thought it would have been interesting for Antoine to bring him to Vaughan’s, but the guy was there to do what he did, and he did it and he left. And I’d call him a jazz fan, rather than a philanthropist.

    I didn’t say that only New Orleanians can get it. But some people surely “get” more out of some things than other people do, period. And some New Orleanians–and some Tibetans–wouldn’t get much out of any parade, much less that one.

    By “got more out of it” I meant, and should have said, something like this: When I go to a pow-wow, I ‘get more out of it’ than tourists who have never been to a powwow. I know the symbolosm of the shapes, colors, steps, and so on. That’s not to say that people who are not regular participants or regular observors of any cultural event or any activity get *nothing.*

    Most people, I believe, would “get” what that parade was all about. But for people who were actually there, well, I really do believe that they got more–they relived the smells, feels, the memories they had of that day.

    “More” in terms of quantity, cher, not quality. And I’m not arguing anything.

    I did think, too, that Sonny had taken and then sold Antoine’s bone. Sonny makes my skin crawl most of the time.

  38. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:12 pm

    yeah, I loved Carl Walker’s verbal slap-down of Davis in a previous episode. 🙂

  39. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:14 pm

    You’re quite right, Anita. I know New Orleanians who have no interest in Mardi Gras, jazz, second lines, and who have no interest in watching “Treme.” I even know some who are allergic to shellfish–I can’t imagine that! It takes all of us to be all of us.

  40. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:21 pm

    I’ve been thinking about that, too. Seemed to me she was annoyed that Sonny had brought someone home and not told her in advance. But Bouncer Guy went right out and started working; he shined like a beacon when he began the walk-off at the job site (in response to LaDonna’s warning). Then he paid Sonny for room/board, plus some so he could score. He left after the shootings, it seemed to me, because the whole scene was a bad one from his perspective: Sonny’s using again, Annie’s asking if Sonny’s using, shooting during a great parade, contractors ripping off laboreres (many non-English speaking laborers).

    I figured Bouncer left on his own after the shooting, and cast a look at Annie so that we would see her left there with kooky Sonny, and would see Annie looking sad maybe because one of the good guys had just left. She’s had some evidence recently tht she can get along withut Sonny; this may have sparked that.

    Anyway, that’s what I thought about it all.

  41. ferngrrl permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:24 pm

    Yeah, i agree. and it’s all about respect, and neighbors, IMO. What are those things, and where are the boundaries. Davis was way wrong a few episodes back for ranting at gay neighbors. he sounded like just another rich white kid who has adopted another culture in place of his own (until he needs favors from daddy). Now he got his head whacked back into place.

  42. May 10, 2010 4:24 pm

    Bouncer Guy is creepy but is also stronger than Sonny, makes his own money and doesn’t take shit. Perhaps Sonny’s drugs induced a paranoia that a more stable Bouncer Guy may take away his gal. And then what/whom will we have control over?

    With respect to Annie, there are many talented women who stay in abusive/controlling relationships in the name of independence from everything else including parents, past lives, etc. While I can’t stand Sonny and want Annie to dump his sad ass, I have quit speculating on where that story line is headed.

  43. May 10, 2010 4:29 pm

    ferngrrl- I was not referring to the parade.

    I was responding to mf’s original statement which was just about the reunion scene – between Davina and a friend.

    (and I believe I’ve beaten that dead horse to a pulp.)

    As to the parade, I would never claim to “get” that in the same as a NOLA resident would.

  44. May 10, 2010 4:37 pm

    I don’t really understand the importance of Bouncer Guy being there. Thus far it seemed sort of random, unless it was to demonstrate Sonny’s increasing paranoia. I just assumed his being there would be connected to something that happened later.

    I always think “Sorry” when I read “Sonny” – prolly cause he is.

  45. Kevin permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:48 pm

    I agree with Anita and ferngrrl. One of the basic misunderstandings committed by would-be urban planners and star-chitects after the storm was that the FQ, Treme, the L9W, the Garden District, were “authentic” in a way that Lakeview, Tulane Ave., etc. were not. It’s all New Orleans.

    And I am one of those people allergic to shellfish (though it’s usually my little secret/cross to bear).

  46. May 10, 2010 4:57 pm

    I was really confused by that storyline last night. However, I see it as more than just a way to escalate Sonny’s paranoia. What it’s saying to me is that Annie has choices (and based on the XY commenters, any choice she wants) but she is choosing to stick with Sonny, in a very unhealthy way. New Orleans was Sonny’s dream, yet there she is. When she has a moment to play on her own, what does she play? Her classical music. She’s not even working on learning to swing, she’s not that into it. She knows he’s copping, but whose shirt does she cry into? Sonny’s, even though Arnie, the Best Little Bouncer in Texas, just saved her comely butt. I’m leaning toward the opinion that this is much more about her and her dependence than it is about Sonny and his.

  47. May 10, 2010 4:59 pm

    I don’t watch enough TV perhaps, but Lucia is No. 1 for me.

  48. May 10, 2010 5:02 pm

    Sorry, and I forgot to say that Annie’s nod at Arnie added to my confusementalism, because I have no idea how that fits into my theory above, unless it’s an “Uh-huh, this is my man right here, not you.”

  49. Niels permalink
    May 10, 2010 5:16 pm

    I have to say I love watching this show. Even though I probably miss most references about “the real” New Orleans, I do like the script, the acting, the whole thing. I initially started watching because I basically watch everything that HBO airs, they make great television.
    I knew about Katrina of course but I didn’t really follow the news closely.
    Looking at the show must be a whole different experience for anyone who has been personally involved. It is probably quite a sensitive matter. Though from a neutral perspective I must say Simon has really managed to captivate me again.

    I’m from The Netherlands myself and I loved seeing Goodman talk about my little country (I’m actually from the half that is above sea level ;)). I was kinda proud to hear about Dutch actor Huisman featuring as Sonny as well but unfortunately he is playing an ass.

    Anyway I found out about this site after watching last week’s episode and I just wanted to say hello and join in. I enjoy reading all the back ground information. Keep up the good work.

  50. brueso permalink
    May 10, 2010 5:19 pm

    The way he was added to the show definitely smelled like Innocuous Character That Later Is Going To Have A Lot of Importance.

  51. wigatrisk permalink
    May 10, 2010 6:00 pm

    Oh, yeah of course, I didn’t mean that the neighbours ought to have been more “like” the main characters in taste and style – that point had already been made a few weeks back with Walker’s line. I just meant as a minor passing comment that the scene played rather too “TV gay” for my taste. There’s no reason they couldn’t be like that, it just seemed oddly stiff in appearance (and I mean appearance only, not in the intent of the interaction) when they had played the neighbours a bit differently in the first and second weeks. But seeing it as a dreamlike sequence is interesting and puts a different spin on it.

    I just watched the window speaker bit again, and still think it was overplayed and drawn out – the basic point was made in the neighbours’ house and didn’t need dragged out with wistful – madeforTVmovie stares into the middle distance. I think it stood out for me in particular because it contrasted so much with the briskly efficient shorthand with which the Sonny/Annie/bouncer scenes were sketched out. *Shrug* small point anyway in an overall great episode

    Best scene for me was the resolution of Antoine and his patron’s awkward parting after falling into debate over geneaologies of songs/bands. Brought together again by sheer joy and transformation by the music itself when Antoine played in the courtyard. That was beautifully shot and written, and really pointed to the heart of the series.

  52. Anita permalink
    May 10, 2010 7:14 pm

    I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the little bouncer. That was a Significant Glance.

    Now, I must ask what I keep forgetting to ask. What is the name of the delightful actor who plays Jacques at the restaurant? He just keeps on being wonderful and adorable. I can’t pick his name out of the list at the end to try and track down his credits.

    This is the first time both neighbors have had speaking parts. I know that Carl Walker is one of them; does anyone know who the other is?

    Tiny little connections that pleases: The horn lost by Antoine’s teacher was once owned by Kid Ory and now Antoine plays a Kid Ory solo on a horn purchased for him by a fan from Japan; then also has money to buy his mentor a horn, even if it’s not the lost Kid Ory horn. Neat little circle there until, CLICK, the pawned horn last seen being kicked aside by the cops is hanging on the wall! Toni gets on it and a new story line advances.

  53. May 10, 2010 7:34 pm

    I just watched again and am also confused about the Sonny/Bouncer/Annie dynamic. When Annie wakes up and sees Bouncer staring at her, she immediately drew her covers close, showing that she felt, maybe violated, even if only a little. Then Bouncer spirits her to safety after the shooting. I felt like he was asked to leave, but I don’t think we have enough information to know whether it was by Sonny out of jealousy or Annie out of fear.

    I think my favorite moment came when Antoine & Japanese Guy were walking down the street and Japanese Guy says (something along the lines of) “I came to New Orleans in 1984. It changed my life,” mostly because I know exactly what he means.

    Finally, I think the episode did a great job of describing the sense of re-population that went on in January of ’06. I remember begging Michael not to go back, to wait until September and spend one more semester at GA State U. He was adamant and determined, as were most of his friends (all but one freshman who stayed at UGA). I was afraid, afraid of no real services, no working 911, 200 hospital beds (not sure if that’s right but it’s what I thought), spotty fire & police, no streetcar, which was how he was supposed to get back and forth to school. Then I remember how proud I was, not so much of him, but of everyone who just came back. I wrote this post (so cute, clearly I didn’t understand links yet), saying:

    ” There are children and young people going to school there, who have moved home with their parents going back to work or gone themselves back to college, determined people and communities who deserve reasonable safety, people and businesses who had to go ahead and get on with the work of living and couldn’t wait for the divided leaders and their various groups to complete the competition of complicated strategies. They went home or back to school, and, putting one foot in front of the other, doing one little seemingly insignificant thing at a time, they started working, and they deserve the rest of the country’s attention. They deserve a moderately safe environment. All the commissions are talking about what to do next. The good citizens of New Orleans just did it.”

    I am still proud of those universities for what they did in January of ’08. Loyola (where my son was a student, for those who don’t know) had it easy. Tulane had a huge endowment on which to draw. What Xavier, Dillard & UNO did was heroic. JMHO.

    I loved this episode because it so completely recalled for me the powerful emotions of that time.

  54. May 10, 2010 7:36 pm

    January of ’06. Duh.

  55. May 10, 2010 7:48 pm

    Just in case anyone doesn’t know, Dillard reconvened in the Hilton.

  56. BrenyB permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:01 pm

    The actor that plays Jacques is Ntare Mwine. He is delicious, isn’t he?

  57. The Central Scrutinizer permalink
    May 10, 2010 9:32 pm

    “… Go where the sun shines on you and you can also find a little shade and where you hear the music. That’s where you belong. ~ Anita”

    That’s downright poetic. I’m lovin’ it.

    And virgotex makes a good point that when even I – a heartless Fucking Fuck bastard – immediately picked up on the import of the women in the reunion scene. Who, aside from Dick Cheney, wouldn’t be moved by that?

  58. May 10, 2010 9:37 pm

    We just watched episode 5.

    It seemed to capture the flow and rhythm of New Orleans life best so far.

    It was terrific to see Janette catch some breaks and props finally. Hope it keeps on going for her.

    O that second line. Particularly the dancing above the line, on the roofs, the cars, however high the dancers can get. Antoine and Desiree together, LaDonna and Roger together, Toni running up to Creighton at the M-I-L (and Ernie’s abstention vote), Davina there — and meeting her friend as mentioned — all of these were heart-moving.

    Sonny is looking to be a bad ‘un for sure.

    LaDonna’s nightmare about her brother. The cops even pawned Antoine’s instrument — how much lower than that can you go? That’s not a cry for help, that’s just despicable.

    Love, C.

  59. May 10, 2010 9:39 pm

    That thing though about Tulane — they did cut the English dept. to shreds, dropped the graduate program, let go faculty, and the remaining faculty then became admin’s bitches, doing all that work that the usual administrative staff — now let go — did. Because too many of the other departments — which were the tech and science depts. — were staffed by faculty for whom English is a second language and they didn’t have the writing and reading skills in English necessary.

    Love, c.

  60. May 10, 2010 10:36 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your comments just as much as watching (and re-watching) last night’s episode.

    As someone whose vehicle is named “Nola”, who decided against Tulane (as a cautionary tale to furthering my education *grin*), who helped rebuild after Katrina (even though I live in Washington, DC), and whose love of New Orleans runs deep (on so many levels), I will look forward to further episodes (and your future dialogue).

    A bientot!

  61. May 10, 2010 11:29 pm

    Anita, it’s Ntare Mwine:

    I loved that scene between him and Janette: “You are my chef forever!” I just wanted to hug them both.


  62. Anita permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:42 pm

    I read your post and it touched me. I worked there then and you would be pleased to know how much we all cared for and worried about the students. Some of the kids who came back had a really difficult time. One student commuted from Baton Rouge and was also taking care of her mother who was sick. She was a senior determined to finish but I thought all the students were brave to return, especially the freshmen, and their parents were brave for supporting their decision. We saw new enrollees who came because they wanted to help. That impressed me very much.

  63. Anita permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:45 pm

    Yes! Thank you. “You devious, devious woman,” he said. I loved it.

  64. greg p permalink
    May 11, 2010 1:02 am

    I have to watch it again, but I agree that the whole Sonny subplot is confusing & could use just a little more exposition. While I kind of appreciate a quieter plotline that proceeds through actions and looks — Sonny & Annie is almost all visual storytelling, really — I’m really having trouble figuring out the “whys” here.

    I can’t remember if I predicted it here or at another board, but I always thought Davis’s big problem was that he didn’t really Get It, and would have a face a rude racial awakening at some point. Bingo.

    I’m thinking the “authenticity” thing we’ve all been batting back and forth might more accurately if mystically be described as “Getting It” — some people Get It, even though they’re from Japan, and some people don’t even though they may have been born and raised here, or even have a father who’s a Chief. Some Get It without trying — Bouncer guy, maybe — and some will never Get It, no matter how desperately they want it — like Sonny. I want to watch this episode again, like I said, because there’s a lot going on under the surface, but I’m starting to think that “authenticity” is a bugbear of our own making, a strawman to mask some more basic human connections, like the ones Davis, in true Sperg Lord fashion, hasn’t been able to acknowledge. Yet.

    In this week’s Unpopular Sentiment, I would like to officially add Khandi Alexander to my list of Treme actors who need to Fucking Dial it Down a Little.

  65. May 11, 2010 8:18 am

    Maitri, can we try one level of mested of comments, because it’s still giving me a headache trying to follow conversations that jump up and down the page?

  66. May 11, 2010 8:38 am

    Only one level of nested comments (like this) or one more level? One more level of nesting (below Virgo’s comment below, for example) and it’s awful on the eyes. Also, I don’t think some commenters care about nesting their replies.

    The alternative: No nesting at all.

  67. May 11, 2010 8:43 am

    “too many of the other departments — which were the tech and science depts. — were staffed by faculty for whom English is a second language and they didn’t have the writing and reading skills in English necessary”

    Can you name some of these Tulane tech and science faculty members for whom English is a second language and didn’t have the necessary English writing and reading skills?

  68. May 11, 2010 8:44 am

    I vote nested

  69. May 11, 2010 9:09 am

    Thanks, Anita. I couldn’t stop thinking about those poor freshmen. It’s so hard to send your children off to college under perfect circumstances, hard on the parents and hard on the students. Fall of ’05 was Michael’s sophomore year (his older brother went off in ’01, which had its own set of challenges), so we were lucky. I can’t imagine having that happen during freshman move-in weekend, which it was for many of the Us. We were also extremely lucky in that his apartment didn’t flood and that he found a wonderful job in the spring of ’06 at Pascal’s Manale, as a direct result of the flood. *sorry if this is OT* *adhd* *y’all knew that*

  70. May 11, 2010 9:13 am

    I love nested. It’s one of the best things about this site. 🙂

  71. May 11, 2010 9:17 am

    But you didn’t use the nesting capability just now ( 😀 ) to reply to Mark’s nested comments thread, which is why I wonder if it’s useful at all.

  72. wigatrisk permalink
    May 11, 2010 9:21 am

    Yes, the whole restaurant portion(!) was very well written, shot and acted and deserved the extended screen time. Jacques has a wonderful voice and a charming grin; I’d like him to read me to sleep. The interaction between the two is terrific. There’s something captivating and akin to music in watching a highly specialized craft being performed well, quite convincingly done here.

    I liked the exposition of the Webster’s reference as it was traced from Toni’s daughter’s cryptography, to Toni’s conversation with Janette and Jacques, then revealed in the brief long shot of Janette’s restaurant which showed the Webster street sign in front of her place. It wasn’t a critical piece, but deft. (if the location of her restaurant was made clear in an earlier episode and I just forgot, then uhm, never mind)

  73. May 11, 2010 9:56 am

    And even it that were true (which I doubt and the poster provided no evidence), it’s not like a university English department teaches the English language to faculty and grad from other departments.

    What an odd comment.

  74. May 11, 2010 9:59 am

    I find nesting comments annoying. When I check back on a thread that shows new comments, I have to scroll through lots of replies searching around for what’s new. Without nesting, you can just scroll to the bottom.

    Then again, the discussions here are pretty wide ranging. Without nesting, it would be difficult to understand who is replying to what.

    Ugh, looks like there is no perfect solution. I hate it when that happens.

  75. May 11, 2010 10:03 am

    I thought I clicked on reply to you, Maitri, and would have shown just below Virgotex. I’m in class and multi-tasking. Which reply did I hit to end up where I did?

  76. May 11, 2010 12:02 pm

    I could, but I’m not going to, for obvious reasons.

    This is info from the sources, and they might get in trouble.

    The English dept. faculty had to pick up double shift teaching load and do enormous amounts of paper work for admin as well — non-compensated. While trying to find places to live, if flooded out, which some of them were, fixing their houses and facing all the same problems that everyone else faced-faces. With children.

    The reward came down the road three years later — paid sabbaticals.

    The school is considering re-instating the graduate program now, but no decisions have yet been made.

  77. May 11, 2010 12:05 pm

    Whether or not you believe me or not is immaterial. I was told and I witnessed. But as said above, I’m not saying who.

  78. May 11, 2010 12:24 pm

    For that’s matter this information is on a tape in the archives, but we didn’t include that material, for all the same reasons.

    Also, yes, there are members in the Spanish and Portuguese dept. that could have done this (though not all of them) — but it was the English dept. that got picked, because, as Creighton says, “We’re useless.” Or at least so perceived by the powers that run universities, because it doesn’t bring in federal research money, among other things.

  79. May 11, 2010 12:44 pm

    That any university, much less Tulane, hires science and tech faculty members who cannot communicate well in English, is implausible to me. Grad students I can understand and will agree with to a certain extent, but to make it as a STEM (science, tech, eng, math) professor in this country, you have to be widely published in the English language. Something doesn’t add up.

    If you tell me tech and science faculty in general can’t do admin work or tie their own shoelaces to save their lives, that I get.

  80. May 11, 2010 12:48 pm

    Think you replied in the standard big box at the end instead of clicking the reply button at the bottom-right of the comment itself. Sure, I’ll cut out the third level of nesting – what the hell – and when the screaming and kicking of keyboards begins, I will switch it back.

  81. May 11, 2010 1:49 pm

    Nested, please. With as many different conversations that are going on here, there really isn’t a good alternative. Scrolling for new stuff might be a pain, but one that pales in comparison to scrolling through 80 new scattershot comments.

    (Is there a way you can label “new” comments? I’ve seen it done on other WordPress sites)

  82. May 11, 2010 1:52 pm

    And to carry on the double-nest-thread theme, I’d support two levels of nesting. EG: Comment / replies to comment / replies to replies.

    But that’s just me. Again, I’m used to this format.

  83. May 11, 2010 2:08 pm

    One level as in your and virgotex’s comments. Otherwise, you end up with replies scattered all over the place. Am I the only one who comes back to a thread and gets lots in rabbit warren?

    To GregP Above on 5/11 re: Authenticity v. Getting It: Word.

  84. zukeeper permalink
    May 11, 2010 2:39 pm

    I vote nested too. Cousin Pat: if you want to see just new stuff, you can subscribe to the rss feed – either the general Back of Town feed, or the comments feed. Or both. Maybe that will help?

    The problem I think is just the interface for the nesting in this particular WordPress theme – it works, it’s just not that elegant. There are nested/threaded comment plugins available which enhance WP’s existing commenting feature, you should be able to use one without it messing with your theme. Maitri – you likely already know this, but you can check the Dashboard settings – you might be able to fiddle with it there. Hit me back if you like.

  85. May 11, 2010 4:22 pm

    Aight, command decision (so we can stop talking about nested comments for da fuck’s sake):

    Nesting will stop at one level after original comment, i.e. comment followed by replies to that comment. Any more and it makes the comments section an unreadable mess.

    This does not guarantee that people will reply to comments in a nested fashion, but does reduce the hardship you may face in finding new comments.

    Cousin Pat and zukeeper, this is a free You’re A Mere Peasant WordPress blog, so fancy-schmancy plugins and labels are unfortunately not available to me at this time. I’d host the blog separately and add all kinds of useful contraptions, but that would mean a change of domain name, moving the blog, losing stats and that’s, you guessed it, work.

  86. doctorj2u permalink
    May 11, 2010 5:04 pm

    Welcome to the board, Niels. I agree with Creighton about the Dutch and their water control projects. You may want to check out They have several videos (at least they use to) about the Netherlands and its massive efforts to protect its citizens. We are green with envy. Anyway, stick around!

  87. May 11, 2010 5:20 pm

    Anita, I’m re-reading this now (without doing anything else). If by “there” you mean Loyola, I’d specifically like to thank you. The University did a great job with very difficult circumstances. Also, I didn’t mean to imply that any institution in New Orleans was “lucky” in the wake of the flood, but that Loyola was comparatively so. I am certain that the sudden closing of that many universities for a semester is a historically unique event.

    Finally, since y’all’re talking about it, my dear Michael is also allergic to shellfish, which was a challenge during his years at Manale’s. He learned to love oysters, though, and they don’t seem to be a problem.

  88. BrenyB permalink
    May 11, 2010 7:58 pm

    I prefer 3-level nesting, but I can deal either way.

    Maitri, is there a way to add a time (in addition to the date) on a post so we can tell when something was posted? I think that may help with finding new comments & following conversations.

  89. May 11, 2010 8:06 pm

    Nesting is a real problem here.

    It is not whether the science and tech faculties could or would — it was what the English dept. was ordered and told by admin.

    And then did., as told because there was no choice.

    While carrying double and triple load teaching, while trying to work with fema and insurance and all the rest of the bs, while trying to find a place to live (recollect how hard it was to find a place to live in NO post the the levee failuire catastrophe when you wanted to move back and your own place was a wreck or disappeared entirely) , while trying to do the work, mostly by their own hands, to restore their own homes, if they were lucky enough to still have homes to restore. Landlords were and still are pulling the biggest rents you can imagine, and throwing you out for whatever but really because there was a bigger rent to get.

  90. May 11, 2010 8:08 pm

    “That any university, much less Tulane, hires science and tech faculty members who cannot communicate well in English, is implausible to me.”

    Been in college or university lately?

  91. The Central Scrutinizer permalink
    May 11, 2010 9:02 pm

    Testing the nesting. Because all the cool kids are doing it.

    No doubt nesting will make an appearance in an absinthe-laden Patricia Clarkson blog post referencing Anne Rice in an upcoming ep of Treme. While enjoying a muffaleta at Mothers. Bead exchanges will be involved.

  92. May 11, 2010 9:37 pm

    Yeah, you could say that.

    Like I said, if Tulane used ESL grad students to teach these sci-tech courses after Katrina and since, I understand. Perhaps they used some second stringers after the storm and replaced them with returnees or new profs because if you look at the sci-tech faculty roster now, it looks like established folks with a decent publishing history in English, i.e. command of English.

    But, what do I know? My name is Maitri Venkat-Ramani Erwin, I’m a scientist/technologist and I wasn’t born in America. 🙂

  93. doctorj2u permalink
    May 12, 2010 7:31 am

    Welcome to the board and thank you for your help to the city.

  94. May 12, 2010 11:01 am

    If you tell me tech and science faculty in general can’t do admin work or tie their own shoelaces to save their lives, that I get.

    heh heh, welcome to my world. Especially the latter.


    Professional bureaucratic cat herder.

  95. May 12, 2010 12:40 pm

    Roger that. Do whatcha wanna. 🙂

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