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But The Rain Still Came

June 13, 2010
by

In the end, every one of us will be tested. And every one of us will be found wanting.

So, inevitably I guess, Creighton is dead. From what I understand, and as others have noted, the character was loosely based in part on real-life New Orleans filmmaker Stevenson Palfi, who took his own life in December of 2005 after suffering a bout of depression following the flooding of his house in Mid-City and the loss of his film archives. I suppose we can also now argue that he was inspired by Edna Pontellier, the heroine of Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel The Awakening, who ended her life by drowning herself in the Gulf of Mexico.

We’ve talked a lot about Creighton’s personal failings. He was rude. Boorish. Hypocritical. He sometimes treated his loved ones badly. Some would say he squandered his own abilities, did not face up to his own responsibilities, while demanding perfect behavior from others. And he took what a few people will likely call the coward’s way out. The selfish solution. He took his toys and went home and left his family to clean up the mess and live with the aftermath.

We expect a lot out of our fellow human beings, and even more out of the characters we read about in novels or watch in films or on TV. We love our righteous heroes: Spartacus, James Bond, Atticus Finch. Strong, capable, forthright people with right on their side. We’re even bigger fans of our anti-heroes: Yossarian, Jimmy McNulty, Omar, Tony Soprano. Flawed selfish protagonists, or even murderers who live by a code, however self-serving, are admirable and charismatic to us.

We like righteous victims and noble sufferers: Anne Frank, Precious, Bubbles. Characters beset by rough circumstances or the evils of others, or plagued with a mortal weakness, who manage to hold their heads up high all the way to the end, finding eventual redemption or at least a virtuous death.

We even love villains: Richard III, Randall Flagg, Marlo Stanfield. Characters who are the purest of evil but are righteously, perfectly, wonderfully evil. And strong. We love that. Evil and strong.

The only kind of character that makes us cringe, that makes us recoil, that we hold in contempt, is the one who has human imperfections, debilitating weakness, and who caves in to that weakness and crumples. We hate weakness. It’s ugly. It’s disturbing. We want to grab a weak character and shake them, slap them. “Get up! Pull yourself together!” Don’t be weak in front of us. It’s too hard to watch. If you’re going to be a victim, please at least have the decency to grow up to be strong and noble, to persevere, like Precious. If instead you grow up to be a mentally-disturbed foul-tempered drunk, well, all we’re going to see is a foul-tempered drunk. Victim or not, you chose to to live your life a certain way, and so if we’re going to dole out sympathy and compassion, we’re going to give it to that girl down the street who is righteous and strong.

Antoine lost his house in the flood and you didn’t see him falling apart like Creighton. LaDonna lost her brother to a Kafka-esque nightmare and you didn’t see her yelling at her family like Creighton. Albert lost friends and may lose his entire way of life and you didn’t see him bowing down like Creighton.

Hurricane Rita hit Lake Charles and you didn’t see them looting and running away like in New Orleans. Grand Forks flooded in 1997 and you didn’t seem them looting or putting their hand out for Federal aid like New Orleans. New York was attacked by terrorists and you didn’t see them descend into lawlessness and years of political infighting trying to rebuild, like New Orleans. If New Orleans had spent more money on education and levees and less on booze and plastic beads, maybe they wouldn’t be in this mess. If New Orleans wasn’t so much more corrupt than the rest of the world then maybe it wouldn’t be such a waste to send them more money for rebuilding. If New Orleans is so great, why is it dangerous just to walk down the street in broad daylight? If New Orleanians are too stupid to build their homes above sea level, why do we have to bail them out?

Why does a fucked-up place like New Orleans deserve our sympathy? Why can’t New Orleans stand up and be strong, and righteous, and not always react with anger and self-pity every time another disaster lands on their shores? “Get up! Pull yourself together!”

It’s easier, really, to ration our sympathy. To withhold our compassion, and offer it only to those who are truly worthy. And those who have moral failings, debilitating weakness, personal corruption, or unrepentant character defects? It’s easier to judge, dismiss, and turn our backs. Whether they are imperfect humans like Creighton, or imperfect cities like New Orleans, the simplest path is to simply walk away in disgust.

But we do so at our own peril. Because we are all imperfect. We are all, in one way or another, weak.

Thanks to Linda Takamine for her valuable insights on this topic. Y’all can consider this the Sunday night open thread for this week.

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119 Comments
  1. adrastosno permalink
    June 13, 2010 10:18 pm

    Damn, you one fast mothafucka.

  2. June 13, 2010 10:23 pm

    Well, shit.

  3. Delta permalink
    June 13, 2010 10:32 pm

    Damn. Did he really do that? I was holding out hope that Mr. Simon wouldn’t follow the predictable second-to-last episode death.

    So I’ll just console myself for a week with the thought that the music coming up over the apparently deserted car in the parking lot was actually Creighton cranking up the tunes. But those 2 guys on the ferry may make that hard to do.

  4. June 13, 2010 10:33 pm

    I’m wondering if this river scene was in reference to Barry Cowsill’s suicide after the storm:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20100610/us-music-susan-cowsill/

    Sorry I’ll miss your gathering at Mimi’s mf. Raise one for me.

    Similar to raynola’s ‘little sister” analogy I’ve had one in my head since the first time I came to the city in 1990. S.E. Hinton’s line from Rumble Fish; “California’s like a beautiful, wild girl on heroin… who’s high as a kite, thinkin’ she’s on top of the world, not knowing she’s dying even if you show her the marks.”

    New Orleans was the beautiful addict I fell in love with. Some days she can love you back and some days she can’t.

  5. June 13, 2010 10:40 pm

    We want to grab a weak character and shake them, slap them. “Get up! Pull yourself together!” Don’t be weak in front of us. It’s too hard to watch.

    I’m so angry at Creighton right now I can hardly put a sentence together. Mostly because of Sophie, who said goodbye not knowing it was goodbye. Mostly because having been there and having lived with people who were there, it’s a goddamn tossup whose road is less of a fucking Mardi Gras parade.

    I want to punch his stupid fucking face in, and I know how little bearing the imagined pain of the people who love you has on your decisions when it’s just you and the kitchen knife and the bottle of brandy in the hallway at 4 a.m., but still, I want to pound him in the head with a brick.

    And no small part of that is recognition that not everybody makes it out of the empty places where we all walk.

    A.

  6. June 13, 2010 10:40 pm

    Not going to Mimi’s. Not right now. Writing. Drinking but writing which is more than Creighton could manage.

    more to come

  7. June 13, 2010 10:40 pm

    Having rode that ferry many, many times, it’s a very meditative, sedative, six minutes.

  8. brueso permalink
    June 13, 2010 10:41 pm

    Having had the black dog bark at my door many a time, I know that sometimes events can stack up on a person, and it’s not a surprise that sometimes some people decide that they’ve had enough. I can’t judge someone about that decision because I can’t actually fully stand in someone else’s shoes. The sad thing about Creighton is, to some extent his surrender seems to be about feeling his creative gifts have deserted him, but though he gets a lot of positive feedback about his YouTube rants, he doesn’t see them as worthy of praise.

    There’s no question though that his taking his life is especially tragic in a situation like his, when there’s a family left behind who will undoubtedly ask themselves a million times how they couldn’t have seen this coming, how they might’ve made things different.

    Thanks to the creative staff for having the courage to include this in the show and thereby acknowledging that suicides climbed after the storm. This is ‘just a story’- but I know we will all will grieve for his family.

  9. Pam Folse permalink
    June 13, 2010 10:52 pm

    Thank you Ray. You said it beautifully and succinctly. Some of us made it out of the swamp of depression. Some of us didn’t. I thought this storyline reflected that quite accurately and poignantly.I still love the peeps that didn’t. They are still my friends. Simon got it. It’s what it was.

  10. June 13, 2010 11:00 pm

    I’m wondering how many of us here can use this show as exposure therapy for our PTSD…
    I’ll be in town for Rising Tide holding down the bar at Fahy’s, first one is on me.

  11. Joe Longo permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:04 pm

    Stevenson Palfi, a really good guy, played assloads of poker at Harrah’s in the years before Katrina. It’s a bit unfair to equate his mental health with the Goodman character, since it’s never establshed what Bernette did with his time pre-K.

  12. June 13, 2010 11:18 pm

    It’s fiction, Joe. There is no “equating”.

  13. rickngentilly permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:24 pm

    ray , i love you.

    know that.

    as i went thru some tough shit you talked to me and made me rember what it felt like to be a human being in the wasteland.

    hugs my brother.

  14. June 13, 2010 11:26 pm

    D, I’ll be there. You can buy me an O’Doul’s or somethin’.

  15. June 13, 2010 11:27 pm

    Back at you, homey. I was just passing on something that had been given to me.

  16. June 13, 2010 11:41 pm

    but we do so at our own peril. Because we are all imperfect.

    and we live in a big imperfect, violent, and still very young country

  17. June 13, 2010 11:42 pm

    Watching again right now.

    “This town beat me. As much as I love it, I don’t want to fight it any more … So many moments, they’re not a life.”

    Toni and Sophie have been on my mind all day.

    Who the hell is g0ing to teach Sophie about dependent clauses, goddammit?

    Went over the edge. Literally.

    The ferry ride set his mind right and he is back in his car after a fun day on the Westbank, starting ‘er up to go home. Yeah right, and Antoine and LaDonna didn’t play hide the salami on Mardi Gras day.

  18. June 13, 2010 11:46 pm

    The minute class started I knew. Only two people in my house tonight have read the Awakening. My daughter, for some reason, only had to read “excerpts”. The idea that Edna made the only free choice, the only action of pure and free volition available to a woman of her time and place and station is surely not popular in contemporary academia.

    Unlike the novel’s character, Creighton had other choices. He was in a blind spot and could not see them, but they were there. And therein lies the greatest tragedy, that neither Toni nor Sophie saw this coming. Someone noted here that they seemed to have no close friends, or at least Creighton did not and Toni has hundreds of acquaintances and associates and clients but that’s not the same thing. There was no one there to take him and shake him and tell him to pull his head out of his ass and go see someone. And so he died.

    It will be easy to hate Creighton tonight, to have that moment on the steps with Sophie burning on the inside of our eyelids all night. I can’t imagine the place where one could do that, and I’ve been in some pretty fucking dark places over the last few years. I only have one explanation: Shit. Is. Fucked. Creighton’s suicide makes no sense except in the mind of Creighton and in the third person of a multi-character television series we are left to infer. And infer we will before this night is over or this thread is closed.

    I started a long comment today on Virgotex’s post but never finished it. In the draft on my computer it starts like this; “I was once asked by my boss, a Unitarian minister and yoga teacher, for a statement of personal affirmation at an impossible moment at work. She meant to buck us up, to help us find the bright side of a bad situation. I chose “today is a good day to die.”

    “This was not exactly what she was looking for but it seemed apt at the moment. We were doing our best in an incredibly fucked up situation and the outcome was beyond our control. What I meant was we had done our best, failed, and simply had to await inevitable punishment of the innocent and the promotion of the uninvolved.

    “To choose to live in New Orleans at that time required the strength (and not the fatalism) that statement attributed to the famous Lakota Crazy Horse implies. It is precisely the spirit that the strongest characters– Lambreaux and La Donna–exhibit and which Creighton lacks…”

    Ray is damn good but didn’t manage to write that post in a minute thirty. I think a number of us have been writing something about this knowing it was coming, even if we didn’t know it as we typed, thought we were writing a long comment on another subject. The gulf between Lambreaux in the Calliope, ready to take a night-stick to the head and Creighton’s simple surrender is immense but it would be ridiculous to try to bridge that gulf, to make sense of the senseless. Suicide rarely makes sense to the outsider.

    Is Creighton evil to do this to his lovely daughter? Or is there some larger Evil in the world (some would call it God, others the Devil) that sent him spinning off down that path? Or Is Shit simply Fucked? I tend to the latter view, believe that only story (and tricksters, the best storytellers) bring any order to a chaotic world of luck and death. We all wanted to love Creighton. We were suckered into it by the early episodes and by ourselves and as he gradually became something other than we expected he stepped nobly into a role that needed to be filled: the Katrina suicide.

    Perhaps Simon will take us down a path where Creighton is framed in the context of the rampant depression and suicide of that time, and the lack of any support systems to prevent it. Or maybe the underlying message (as someone suggested somewhere) of Simon’s work simply is: Shit. Is. Fucked. Have another fucking whiskey and get up tomorrow and deal, like the characters we are left with. Whether Creighton represents the senselessness of the world or is the springboard for an important story only a handful of people know and they’re not talking. It works either way, and the story goes on. And stories are all we have in the end that keep us all on the sane side of the railing.

  19. June 14, 2010 12:15 am

    “… stories are all we have in the end that keep us all on the sane side of the railing.”

    Sometimes, stories are what send us over the railing: stories of How It Was when it was Never That Way, stories of misremembered nostalgia, fairy tales constructed around a willful refusal to see how things are.

    Creighton died for a fantasy.

  20. June 14, 2010 12:29 am

    (belly up Ray, I’ll save you a spot too)

    A year before the storm I had a 6 month stint of doing IT support for City Hall which included all of NOPD. I knew the 2 cops who decided to take arms against their seas of troubles. No we didn’t hang out but I had repeatedly worked on their crappy work pc’s and they both remembered me enough to say “hey” when we crossed paths. They seemed decent, good cops, so it really struck me when I heard the news.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/magazine/25celestine.html

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/09/05/amid_horror_2_officers_commit_suicide/

    2 different scenarios but they both came to the same conclusion. This haunted me for years, one of them had lost pretty much everything and was on the edge, the other still had family, still had reasons to hold on, but they both slipped over.

    Years later I ran across this old quote I had read long ago and it’s my answer now for “why does someone choose to go out like that?”

    “The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” – Hunter S. Thompson

    For some the flooded streets after the storm snaked too close to that edge and the wind blew them over.

  21. June 14, 2010 12:53 am

    Perhaps. That gives a lot if weight to the scene with he and Toni talking about Carnival. We all believe in that magic Hubig’s pie but it doesn’t drive us over the edge. We stood and looked out over West End but didn’t jump into the river. Was it a fantasy that he was a writer with an agent and an advance on his next book, which simply would not come? He died for the simple human reason that no one noticed (most of all Toni, who isn’t blameless) just how far down he’d fallen. She was too busy trying to find Daymo and spent some of her husband’s last hours doing her Do Good Daddy routine on LaDonna. Whose hubris brought about his fall? His. Toni’s. Scott Cowen’s. The Corps of Fucking Engineers’. Creighton died for all their sins to remind us that LaDonna and Lambreaux and even our resident Fool Davis did not, will not, because the story is bigger than anyone one of them and without heroes and fools its hardly a story at all.

    And now I need to go to sleep. Play the fucking song, Hugh.

  22. Guy Sajer, Forgotten Soldier permalink
    June 14, 2010 6:40 am

    Of all the characters to commit suicide, C.B. seems unlikely.
    His unfinished book never bothered him for years, yet now he is unhappy he can’t finish it?
    He isn’t disturbed by the smaller version of Krewe du Vieux, but he can’t get over everyone left in the city celebrating MG because it isn’t as lavish as before?
    He lost little of his own in the storm (maybe a rotten refrigerator), yet he can’t get over a few West End eateries (one of which was long gone before Katrina anyway)?
    He still has his family, job, home, but he doesn’t mind leaving all of them behind because he has had enough?
    I don’t think we really saw C.B. descend far enough to justify a suicide. I knew the character would die this season, but I assumed it would be a heart attack/stress related. Hitting the bottom of the barrel for him was passing out on his porch?
    To me, this suicide, while a nod to the many who did die after the storm, was more of a slight than tribute. What exactly did this character have to complain about more than LaDonna? Albert? Jeannette? Antoine?
    I do not mind that he is a weak character who took the easy way out. I just don’t see the descent.

  23. June 14, 2010 7:03 am

    Subscribe to comments.

  24. The Central Scrutinizer permalink
    June 14, 2010 7:17 am

    “Creighton died for a fantasy.”

    Seems that way. As two of the “not originally from NOLA” contingent, he and Sonny have both held up shining, fantastical expectations of New Orleans.

    I’m curious as to whether Creigton left a farewell message of sorts. His “have something to do in the office” as the women were leaving left that impression.

    And Bouncer/Roofer’s line “..no disrepect, but y’all have a defective work ethic” dovetails nicely with Davis’ lament of choice between a strong economy vs. 4-hour lunch. Perhaps therein lies the answer as to Ray’s rhetorical question of why the city reacts differently.

  25. gina9978 permalink
    June 14, 2010 7:51 am

    While we’re all sitting around mourning and interpreting Creighton’s demise, what are the chances he’s sitting at the Old Point Bar having a Crown?

    As for questioning motives, I am, personally, having a really difficult time separating what may be a metaphorical story line (thanks Ray & Linda for that reminder/suggestion) from factual circumstances of post-K loss, grief, depression.

  26. June 14, 2010 7:59 am

    I wishfully thought that for a second in an earlier comment, too, Gina. Hey, it’s fiction, right? Let’s go back and fix the past!

    Creighton is gone. If he comes back next week, I’m shooting the tv.

  27. June 14, 2010 8:00 am

    Not to split hairs but Creighton’s suicide might not have happened if his wife were taking care of some emotional business at home. She is a workaholic who’s got her own problems. It’s important to remember that a real marriage involves sensing where the other person is at all the time, especially if you’ve been married awhile. To me, it didn’t seem right that she didn’t confront Creighton about his obvious depression.

    Other than than, another great post — thanks~

  28. dat529 permalink
    June 14, 2010 8:09 am

    Depression is not something that makes sense. It is this attitude that is still responsible for the thousands of people each year that commit suicide because they feel weak and useless. Depression makes your brain function differently, no matter the reality of the situation you are caught in a trap of gloomy perception that is not easy to pull out of. It is NOT a simple matter of cause and effect (ie you lose something which causes you to become depressed) it is a total warping of the human mind. It’s like being imprisoned in your head and though you can see the outside world, you cannot communicate with it

  29. June 14, 2010 8:15 am

    Sure, blame the victim.

  30. June 14, 2010 8:20 am

    And there were clear symptoms being shown such as, an inability to concentrate, not enjoying the things that used to make him happy, then adding alcohol which can further depress a person. It can also be a very manic condition with some deep valleys in between, good days and bad, bad days. Perhaps if the creators had explored more then there wouldn’t be the surprise with this character that so many of us experience when a friend or family member commits the act.

  31. June 14, 2010 8:27 am

    I don’t want to say anything stupid (hard for me) or picky, but I think people can also die from not being able to let fantasy-imagination enrich their life through their soul’s antenna.
    Stole/paraphrased from Marie-Louise Von Franz: sometimes you just have to make like a one-eyed pig through the ditch at night

  32. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 8:55 am

    What disturbs me about Creighton’s vanishing is the implication that academics and/or intellectuals are weak. Implication is that higher ed is a waste, or that it doesn’t make a difference in “real” life. That disturbs me a LOT.

    Other points:
    1. Maybe his Tulane undergrad students pushed him over the edge. Lots of time spent last night on inane, vacuous student remarks, contrasted with one engaged student’s remarks.

    2. Maybe he isn’t dead. Maybe he is having a beer over in Algiers. maybe he’ll be a ghost in the next season.

    3. Best lines of the episode: Davis & Jeanette about “moments” v. “a life.” Reminds me of Overmeyer’s remarks that New Orleans is a series of moments, or something like that.

  33. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 8:59 am

    Two more things:

    “weighed and found wanting” from Book of Daniel (Bible, not John Fowles novel), I think, and also from The Knight’s Tale. Oops, I hope I don’t appear to be a weak academic….

  34. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:11 am

    And… we see what we see of the characters, but we obviously don’t see their whole lives, nor do we see their lives before the time of the show, so your statement that it never bothered Creighton before that he hadn’t finished his book is of course a guess (as is mine that it probably bothered him for quite a while).

    The man was an artist. And more than one artist has checked out when they felt they couldn’t do their art anymore.

  35. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:13 am

    It’s a two-way street. he hasn’t showed much interest in her life, either. Then again, they’ve been married for a while, and maybe this is how they do it. It’s always easy for someone outside the system to render judgements on the system.

    Note how thrilled she seemed that morning when he said something nice to her as she was getting in the car?

  36. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:14 am

    She was doing the best she knew how, like most people.

  37. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:17 am

    These characters aren’t symbols, so I disagree that Creighton was supposed to represent academia or that his death was a statement of academics. But as I said elsewhere, more than one artist who felt they lost their gift has chosen to check out.

  38. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:20 am

    I agree with dat529, brueso, and varg. And I was tracking C’s symptoms; plot-wise, they were there, escalating. There’s no cookie-cutter depression, though. And the living can only guess about someone else’s suicide. There’s no cookie-cutter suicide, either. Artists, brick layers, academics, bartenders–anyone is a candidate. Robert Penn Warren, for one. Those of us who struggle with major depressive disorder know the truth of it.

    Like, uh, what happened to the model of Sonny’s character?

  39. June 14, 2010 9:30 am

    Yeah, because you can always help somebody if they don’t want help and don’t ask for it. That always works out GREAT.

    You know who’s to blame for Creighton’s suicide? Creighton. Everybody could have done every fucking thing but in the end? He stepped over the rail. He went under. Toni didn’t push him. She’s not some shrew that harassed him into killing himself. A thousand things she did or didn’t do might have contributed, but they contributed to HIS illness. Pushing this off on her (or, for that matter, on the city, on the hurricane, on anything but him having an untreated sickness) is some bullshit.

    And by the by, “taking care of some emotional business at home …” would you say the same thing if it was Toni disappeared from the ferry? That maybe Creighton shouldn’t have been out working at his job trying to deal with things the only way HE knew how, but should have been nurturing his family like a good little helpmeet?

    The problem with depression, for the person living with the person living with it, is that it largely manifests itself as sitting on the couch eating Lucky Charms or something. It’s not like you sprout a second head or start bleeding from every orifice. She might not have known the signs. I do, so I spent the whole episode saying “No, no, no, do NOT leave him alone, do NOT leave the house, stick by him like glue, call the cops, have him committed …” but I missed the signs the first time, too.

    Luckily, the beautiful boy who called me out of the blue to say goodbye without saying goodbye didn’t make up a good enough plan, or I’d be sitting here probably with people telling me I should have done more to stop him.

    A.

  40. virgotex permalink*
    June 14, 2010 9:41 am

    THIS:
    Depression is not something that makes sense. It is this attitude that is still responsible for the thousands of people each year that commit suicide because they feel weak and useless. Depression makes your brain function differently, no matter the reality of the situation you are caught in a trap of gloomy perception that is not easy to pull out of. It is NOT a simple matter of cause and effect (ie you lose something which causes you to become depressed) it is a total warping of the human mind. It’s like being imprisoned in your head and though you can see the outside world, you cannot communicate with it

    I lived nearly 15 years with someone with profound clinical depression. No matter how close you are to them, no matter how able they are to explain what they see/think/perceive, no matter, no matter, no matter, etc. It’s not something you can make logical sense of, predict, etc. Even if you are around that person 24/7, you don’t have a copy of the script they’re reading.

  41. samjasper permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:46 am

    Well lots and lots here. I knew we’d lose Creighton. As others noted when he started in with Kate Chopin I knew it would be soon.

    I think I may have a little different view from some of the other commenters here. My dad made the “Creighton Choice” when I was 12, leaving my mom with three little girls, the other two younger than myself. It was a very snowy day in Chicago in 1966. We all went to school, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My mom wasn’t alarmed in any way that I could tell in my 12 year old head. “Your dad will pick you up after school.” Except he didn’t. I walked my sisters home through the cold, them whining all the way about numb fingertips, got them inside and called my mom at work. When I told her Daddy hadn’t picked us up, she still didn’t seem alarmed. It wasn’t until a couple hours went by after her repeatedly calling to see if he was home yet that I heard concern in her voice.

    Then she walked into the house, pale. She told me there’d been an accident and I should take my sisters upstairs. The next few hours and days are a blur of policemen and priests, relatives and flurried activity, and a glimpse out the upstairs window of a gurney being wheeled out of the garage.

    I worry for Toni. I worry for Sophie. The commenters who said Toni shared some blame are, in my opinion, wrong. It’s one thing to know someone’s having difficulty, it’s another to go from that to “he’s going to jump off the Ferry.” This was not a man who’d made repeated attempts. When he seemed cheerful in the morning, Toni gets in the car smiling, probably believing that maybe he’d turned a corner. It certainly didn’t occur to her that a lot of folks who’ve contemplated that final act are very calm and indeed, cheerful, once the decision has been made. It’s very common.

    While I disagree that Toni is in any way responsible, I do know that she’ll blame herself in a scorching way that will leave a scar on her soul. Even Sophie will blame herself. I did for 30 years. I somehow convinced myself that if I’d done this or that differently, or maybe if I’d been a better little kid, I could have changed the outcome. That’s bullshit. And anyone who says Creighton took the coward’s way out is going to get an argument from me too.

    Unless you’ve been that far down, so far into the well that you can’t see the light at the top, you can’t possibly understand how he could think his action was reasonable. Not to us, not to Toni, not to Sophie, but to him it seemed reasonable. To some it seems selfish. I see his action as a response to the irrational darkness that has overtaken him and he literally can’t see any way around it.

    For the record, the note left at my house said, “I love you and the children more than life.” Cryptic in a way, no actual reason given, a little senseless. No doubt someone will say if he loved his family more than life how could he do that?

    Simple. He saw no other way. There are no signposts, maps or streetlights in that dark place. He was lost psychologically and now, permanently.

  42. June 14, 2010 9:49 am

    I didn’t pick up on any such allegation re academia, academics, intellectuals re weakness. I think there was an emphasis that what Creighton did for a living had to do with living in his mind to begin with. He wasn’t a roofer or a musician or an attorney. But I don’t think there was an implication of causality.

  43. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:51 am

    Bingo!

  44. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:56 am

    At least one suicide was mentioned in the show before last night, lest we forget. The cop who fled to Texas, the one Toni got some info from–his friend/partner ate his gun?

  45. June 14, 2010 9:57 am

    I think a lot of the challenge here for some viewers is that suicide was presented in a way we don’t usually see it on television or in movies, and for the most part we see it from outside Creighton’s direct point of view.

  46. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:00 am

    athaenae25: You are 100% right. I was shouting advice at her, too.

  47. BrenyB permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:00 am

    I woke up this morning still sad about Creighton’s suicide. The sadness is partially for the loss of the character, but more for all those people that couldn’t see another way out of the pain after Katrina – Dr. Kent (mentioned above), Barry Cowsill, Stevenson Palfi, and many others.

    I’ve been in the dark, black hole more than once, but I never considered suicide. However, if someone had told me I had to feel that way the rest of my life, I would have called it quits.

    I’m angry with Creighton because of what he did to Toni & Sophia. But I know I’m supposed to feel that way. I hope this episode will enlighten those that aren’t familiar with the reality of post-K New Orleans and perhaps move them to do some research, learn the facts, and have some empathy for those who survived and those who didn’t.

  48. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:01 am

    Right you are, virgotex.

  49. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:05 am

    Of course, the character who is identified 9especially in the HBO blurbs & summaries) as a Tulane/university English professor is the only one who [probably] commits suicide, and that has no intended meaning? Huh? Characters are not symbols? Huh? Wow, that’s crazy talk! Chief walking out of the dark, in his glistening suit, in that early episode…and Chief is not a symbol of anything? Aw, c’mon. Also, Creighton is not the only artist in the show, unless you want to argue that musicians are not artists/creative/etc., and that Indians sewing their designs into suits aren’t artists, either.

  50. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:11 am

    samjasper: I agree. My comments about Toni and Creighton both being responsible applied to their marriage, though, not to his choice of suicide.

    The misery and torture on Creighton’s face while he was trying to write (The rain kept coming, or something like that) was the hardest thing to watch in the whole season, for me, anyway. The lightness that he had with him the next morning was scary, and got scarier, and, for some of us, I know, we knew what it probably meant.

    Creighton had decided, and that decision lightened his load tremendously, made him happy, or so it seemed.

  51. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:17 am

    Maybe he’ll show up in the next season. Previews of next episode look like they show cops at Toni’s door, but they could be telling her he’s missing, responding to her request for help finding him (and they find his SUV), etc.

    T-P reported that Goodman has been working out with Mackie and has lost some weight, so maybe a new Creighton will appear.

    I’m not really buying that. I’m just sayin’… I’m not buying anything until I see it for sure.

  52. June 14, 2010 10:28 am

    Did anyone else notice that, despite the downbeat ending, this was the funniest episode yet? “Fucking is fucking, but music is music.” “That was a Mardi Gras fuck. These legs are staying closed.” “Freshman Lit. My life.” The gay neighbor’s surprise and mild disgust that his partner *was* the one who called the police. “Over loud music? In the Treme?” The three strippers coming out onto their balcony to tease Davis. “This is called work. You’ll be doing it for the next forty or fifty years.”

    And the thing is, the joking amidst the angst and tragedy worked: It both heightened and leavened the death theme that haunted the episode, whether it was the death of a person or a career or a relationship.

  53. dat529 permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:51 am

    Can we please dispel the ridiculous notion that suicide=weakness. Any human being is capable of suicide and we would do well to remember that

  54. June 14, 2010 10:54 am

    we at least figured out what the Texas bouncer’s role is in this story. A sounding board of out-of-state perspective. Love his “dysfunctional work ethic” comment (and how it complimented Janette’s struggles)

  55. dat529 permalink
    June 14, 2010 11:12 am

    I think this subtly demonstrated that even if you have a solid work ethic in New Orleans, like Toni or Janette, you eventually get screwed so you might as well not bother. It’s an interesting point to explore because a lot of what makes the New Orleans culture comes from placing value on things that are not necessarily seen as “work” by the rest of the country but at the same time this causes numerous problems stemming from systemic laziness. We should remember that the bouncer left Texas to begin with because he was dissatisfied with it and on a search for more culture. If the lack of work ethic had really bothered him, he would have left somewhere between episodes 4 and 9. It is also, fundamentally, the difference between the European Catholic cultures and the Protestant American one. We see it still today when Europeans accuse Americans of being uncultured and Americans accuse Europeans of being lazy

  56. June 14, 2010 12:01 pm

    At Davis’ party, a blonde woman sang an Irma Thomas song. The Treme web site doesn’t include this number in its soundtrack listing. Does anyone know the name of the song and who sang it?

  57. June 14, 2010 12:04 pm

    I’m mostly angry with Creighton. Everyone close must blame themselves after a suicide. It’s how it works, and Creighton was smart enough to know that. If you don’t search for what you could have done differently, how you might have prevented it, I can’t see how you could possibly ever make sense of it. I’ve done it twice (very close friends of my sons). I feel some responsibility for both of them (one more than the other, who was also an employee of ours) and always will. I’m afraid that’s just how it is. Creighton was a parent who chose to think of himself first at the expense of his child, which is inexcusable (grandiose, narcissistic, self-obsessed) to me. I’m sorry.

    As for whether or not one can love one’s family and still make this choice, I suppose it depends on how one defines love. If loving another is about a feeling one has inside themselves, then I suppose he did, but I’m inclined to think that loving another is about practicing a pattern of loving interaction and that, by definition, making this choice means he didn’t really love Toni or Sophie. *ducks*

    I also thought the biggest hint this might have been coming was in his inappropriate demeanor. In the previous episode, I couldn’t help but notice how often his tone didn’t match his words. When Sophie sarcastically “thanks” him for ruining her dreams of Endymion, his “You’re welcome,” was too chipper. There were other examples.

    I’m sorry also for the possibility of misunderstanding this allows. I already get more blog hits than I’d like from folks searching “Ashley Morris suicide”. I suppose it’s because I’ve written on both subjects, although never simultaneously. I hope that folks in the world understand that this is not how Ashley died.

    Finally, my son, Michael, sent me the link to the AV Club discussion of the episode. It’s worth a read.

    Beautiful post, Ray, and the comments are moving and thought-provoking as well (off the top of my head Athenae, MF, Virgotex & Sam J come to mind, but also many more). Did any among us have the inside line that this was coming?

  58. virgotex permalink*
    June 14, 2010 12:17 pm

    I wondered who she was too

  59. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 12:18 pm

    go to the nola.com page and they’ve got info on her (sorry- too busy to fetch a link)

  60. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 12:32 pm

    The work ethic of New Orleanians is something Janette also remarked on also in the previous episode when she said to Davis “That’s the problem with New Orleans- there are too many people here like you’ (re his comment after a lazy day together that that was his ‘typical day’).

  61. Iko permalink
    June 14, 2010 12:46 pm

    Here’s an ill-formed idea for all of you. After watching last night’s episode and reading all the fine comments above (as well as Ray’s excellent post), I started thinking about the parallels between Creighton and Jeanette and of a possible tragic plot twist. First – all signs point to the fact that Creighton likely commited suicide. But that is not confirmed, even though it seems fairly obvious. There is some chance that he is, in fact, OK, but that chance seems like a slim one.
    What if Jeanette was the one who commited suicide? Comparing and contrasting Jeanette and Creighton is interesting. She is the one who has lost more. Her restaurant, now her house, her gig ruined by the rain storm, her comment that the city had beaten her, the fact that Davis failed to invite her to his party. In short, her struggles are much more significant than Crieghton’s, who still has his house, job and family intact.

    I doubt that this possible plot twist is true, but it is interesting to think about. Even if it turns out that Creighton did take his own life, the contrast between him and Jeanette is evocative (in my mind, at least).

  62. doctorj2u permalink
    June 14, 2010 12:48 pm

    I read that article. She teaches at NOCCA and her name is Tara B—–. (Brewer?).

  63. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 12:54 pm

    Again, comparing who ‘lost more’ isn’t really relevant when it comes to suicide for the person involved. An outsider may say ‘you have all this good stuff, you have so much to live for, ‘, etc., etc., but a suicidal is only listening to that voice in them that tells that that there’s nothing much worth sticking around for.

    But I will say that one difference between Jeanette and Creighton is she has concluded (at least for now, she may change her mind) that N.O. doesn’t work for her anymore, that it’s ‘beaten her’. But one big difference between them is she has NYC to think of- possibly an exciting new beginning where she can see how she fares against NY’s finest. Creighton on the other hand probably regarded himself as someone who – even if he ditched New Orleans- was still going to be a failed writer who couldn’t do his art anymore. Add another 20 years between them and you also have Creighton as someone who probably felt he would be missing less if he checked out (yes- tragic, when you consider that he was going to be missing out on the rest of his family’s life, but again, when that ‘it’s all hopeless’ filter settles in on you, you’re not thinking that way).

  64. Curt permalink
    June 14, 2010 1:15 pm

    Killing Jeanette lacks reality. Trying to rationalize suicide is near impossible. Creighton needed to die to relate to how seemingly pointless some of the deaths were post storm. Antoine’s teachers death a few episodes back related to all of the deaths we know were precipitated by the storms and the stress of a post-K existence but we can’t add them to the 1860+ people who officially died in Katrina.

    My friend Pam Dashielle passed away in December. She was found on a Monday sitting at her computer at home. Officially she died of ‘natural causes’. To anyone who has lived through the last 5 years, you know her life was ended prematurely. Cigarettes, lack of sleep and worrying if you’re neighborhood (the Lower Ninth) will meet its end at the tip of a bulldozer can kill too.

    It’s hard for most people to really understand the enormity of Katrina. It killed a hell of a lot more people than will ever be known and in some cases it’s taken years to do it. I’ve worked in a lot of disaster scenes and rebuilding after one in most places is painful but a lot more doable. When a tornado wipes out a suburb people can rebuild or move on because in modern America your roots don’t always coincide with where you lay your head. When you lose one layer of security and comfort you have somewhere else to go. In contrast most of the people of New Orleans and southern Louisiana were completely invested here and here everything was either destroyed or threatened to end.

    Nashville will never understand, Floridians don’t get it and for those of us from the rest of America we just can’t be bothered to look anymore.

  65. liprap permalink
    June 14, 2010 1:45 pm

    The song is “Wish Someone Would Care”, damn good Irma Thomas stuff…

    Time…time waits for no one
    And I wish (*backup singers* how I wish…how I wish)
    I wish
    I wish someone would care…

  66. blue permalink
    June 14, 2010 1:46 pm

    @D – “exposure therapy” is right. I know it is “just a tv show” but words cannot describe my never-ending love for that city and the decent into hell that began for me there.
    I see a lot of myself in many of these characters: Annie and her relationship that is eating away at her talent but feelings of guilt/insecurity that keep her there; Creighton and his utter misery and despair; Toni trying to overwork herself so she doesn’t have to stop and realize what is actually going on around her; poor Sophie who feels like everything is collapsing around her and there is no way to make it better; and Jeanette… oh, Jeanette trying so hard to stay in the city she loves and live out her dream (just like I did) only to have everything keep knocking her back down – one thing after another until she is forced to leave (just like I had to) – that look in their eyes… I know those looks… I’ve had those looks. Every week that brings a new episode brings a new self-realization that I struggle through. Sad to see that next week is the last episode of the season.

  67. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 1:48 pm

    I only just now remember that suicide was something that was also a part of “Homicide: Life on the Streets”- the first series David Simon was involved with. I can’t remember whether the suicide of the character Detective Crosetti was also included in Simon’s book- it may not have been. There were rumors at the time that the suicide was a plot device that came about because NBC decided that some of the actors like Jon Polito weren’t hunky enough to make the show a hit and so they fired him. But whatever the source was, the show handled that plot thread with great care and compassion.

    Stepping aside from the emotional aspect of this decision, I wonder whether this was always planned as Creighton’s end. While the arcs are generally decided early on, I think I read somewhere that sometimes they change their mind as they go along depending on how a character is working out (for example, I think Omar and possibly even Stringer Bell were not supposed to last beyond the first season of The Wire).

    And it’s not surprising that most actors try to fight when they find out their characters are being killed off. I wonder what John Goodman’s feeling about it was. He may never have intended to make a long commitment, but maybe working on the series grew on him. On the other hand, as many of us have talked about, there’s no getting around that Creighton’s suicide would be an acknowledgment of the higher suicide rate after the storm.

    I think that Creighton is probably gone. But if he’s not, that provides some pretty rich material for the actors and writers (as for that matter does his death).

  68. liprap permalink
    June 14, 2010 1:48 pm

    Li’l Bouncer is my hee-ro. This was indeed one funny episode, as Citizan K remarked, which heightens the sadness and anger we feel as Creighton goes over the edge and his wife is at home, blaming her inability to reach him on his inability to remember to recharge his batteries. Darkly, sickly humorous in the very end, too. God damn it.

    I’m just glad this blog is here right now. Really.

  69. June 14, 2010 1:54 pm

    Yeah. You right.

  70. June 14, 2010 2:05 pm

    I hated the whole thing. Last week I worried that Creigh was falling too far into a funk. This week there was so obviously something wrong with his sudden cheerfulness. And then as Folse said above, as soon as we saw him lecturing on The Awakening, I knew his fate was sealed. At least he didn’t attempt suicide by cop. And they better not have a funeral scene at St. Louis No. 3 next week–that might be more than I care to watch.

    Anyways, I know I just need to keep telling myself: it’s just a TV show. Kudos to John Goodman, who played the part perfectly. It takes a good actor to perform the part of a bad actor, if you know what I mean.

    Peace,

    Tim

  71. Delta permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:09 pm

    I got the feeling that she was blaming the dead batteries for Sophie’s sake. To me, there was a strong undercurrent of worry when she was trying to reach him. almost verging on panic. Maybe more foreshadowing? Or maybe the fact that Melissa Leo is just a damn good actress.

  72. The Central Scrutinizer permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:12 pm

    “We should remember that the bouncer left Texas to begin with because he was dissatisfied with it and on a search for more culture.”

    What gave you the impression he was dissatisfied or wanted new cultural experiences?

  73. Melanie permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:19 pm

    Paul Accardo was one of my husband’s high school friends. When we heard the news (we live in SF now), we were shocked and my thoughts were “the horror he must have been through to do something like that.” RIP.

  74. gina9978 permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:29 pm

    Melanie ~ The grapevine, in a city lacking basic communication, was rampant with allegations of casualties. Included were stories of spouses and children of first responders, who maybe didn’t head the evac after all. I had no direct communication with mine for a good while and he had no idea where we’d ended up either. So when he heard that we’d drowned, wow, you can imagine what that might do to a person. I can’t immediately recall which officer, it was said on the ground, heard a similar rumor.

  75. June 14, 2010 2:31 pm

    To clarify my is it love or not positions, I don’t mean to imply that just because someone can’t practice loving interaction doesn’t mean they don’t think they love, just that doing the best they can falls short. I have no doubt that our Creighton believed he loved his family. Mental illness is messy.

  76. June 14, 2010 2:34 pm

    I think she’s seemed that way every time she’s gone looking for him, whether coming into the unexpectedly dark house after a long day at work or searching for him after noticing his morning absence. She knew he was in trouble, but didn’t have a clue what to do, how to handle it, this something that she couldn’t fix. And she’s a damn good actress.

  77. June 14, 2010 3:07 pm

    Great entry.

    Which means I agree with you. Not that that matters either.

  78. June 14, 2010 3:11 pm

    we remember Dr. Kent.

  79. mistlethrush1 permalink
    June 14, 2010 3:30 pm

    I know that comparing the losses the characters on the show have experienced has little to do with why Creighton comitted suicide, why Albert continues to fight for the things he holds dear or indeed, why any of the other characters deal with the situations they are in in their various ways. As others have mentioned the Bernettes came through th storm with their home, family and possessions intact as while other characters have lost damn near everything including family members.

    Crieghton’s losses are less tangible yet they were as real to him as any other loss; certainly being unable to write/create is a massive loss as any artist would tell you and even the loss of what some have named Bernette’s fantastical version of the New Orleans That Was was a loss for him.

    I wonder, too, though it was never specifically addressed, if Creighton may have also had some sort of survivor’s guilt woven into the bleak tapestry of his depression, something which could easily have been reinforced by Toni’s obsessive and diligent search for Daymo.

    Excellent post, Ray. The insights and depth to be found here on Back of Town continue to amaze.

  80. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 3:44 pm

    Yes!! “Homicide” handled Crosetti’s suicide with a frankness that was pretty rare (back in those days). If Creighton is gone, the aftermath of that will give clear voice to the depression and suicides that Katrina engendered, and that still continue.

  81. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 3:51 pm

    “All done up like a pork chop.” Cracked me up. Humor was superfine, and dark. “Fucking is fucking but playing music is personal”–nice one.

    I think, too, that Toni didn’t believe herself fully about the dead cell phone battery. Given what she deals with in her work, she’s not naive, but probably resisting that thought “something bad has happened” at least for a while. Melissa Leo has been a dynamite actress since “Homicide”–glad she’s in this role. Loved the rage on her face last episode when she told Creighton (drunk on porch) not to let Sophie see him like that.

    I love the way Bouncer said he’s from “the state of Texas”–not just “Texas.” Super script.

  82. babalooo! permalink
    June 14, 2010 4:00 pm

    It would be in my estimation a brilliant plot twist to have CB somehow survive. I think the possibility has to be put on the table.

    A bit manipulative, but it is only TV after all.

  83. June 14, 2010 4:05 pm

    I just finished Simon’s Homicide book. Crosetti was allegedly based on Terry McLarney, though I have a hard time finding any similarities between the two. In any case, McLarney was still around to write something for the 2006 edition of the book. There was one suicidal detective briefly mentioned, but I think Crosetti’s departure is unrelated to the book, like most of season 3 onward.

  84. dat529 permalink
    June 14, 2010 4:27 pm

    Because it’s a pretty big move to just go some place totally new and he was drawn in by Sonny’s promise of a thriving musical scene in New Orleans. He was at the second line that got shot up and he still stayed, he had to be committed to something to not just pack up and get the first Greyhound back to Texas

  85. ferngrrl permalink
    June 14, 2010 4:32 pm

    Yep. A rebirth, baptized by the Mighty Muddy. And, since Goodman’s lost about 100 pounds, that can be explained by a hospitalization period, perhaps. Hmmm.

  86. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 4:44 pm

    Wouldn’t surprise me re. ‘survivor’s guilt’. You think of his comment to Sofia that life is a zero sum game- so “My family and I made it thru relatively unscathed and I should be so happy- and I’m miserable. On top of being a used, dried up talent, on top of it, it turns out I’m also an ingrate.” Fits with his Mardi Gras experience “It’s Mardi Gras- i should be so happy- I should be partying my ass off like I told Sofia we would and I’m miserable.”

  87. June 14, 2010 4:48 pm

    Also was so sorry to see the loss of Goodman’s character, a real favorite and voicing the frustrations of all.

    But, in one of the greatest AA “hitting bottom” stories ever told and retold, my dear, chosen-family sister actually jumped into the river to drown (though not off the ferry.) I heard the story first as she told me while soaking wet in my kitchen, to which she had walked many blocks after crawling out of the river. It was something like this:

    “I thought the current would take me like everyone says, but it didn’t. then I tried to stay in the middle to get hit by a barge or something, but it never happened. Then I tried to duck under and inhale, but your body won’t let you do that.”

    I asked her how long she was in the river.

    “I swam and treaded water there at least an hour and a half. You would be amazed at the amount of adrenaline you have when you have decided to kill yourself in the river!”

    Then we both laughed and I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital. She said yes and I drove her there still wet from the river. So not everyone who jumps in actually drowns. And you know John would have floated well!

  88. brueso permalink
    June 14, 2010 4:48 pm

    He lost 100 pounds? From the photos on HuffPost, I’d say maybe 30. He did definitely look better.

    I don’t know whether Creigh surviving would be cheesy TV or brilliant TV (I lean more towards thinking it would be on the cheese side). But like I said, we’re all going to get alot of rich material whether he has passed or survived, given these actors and writers.

  89. June 14, 2010 4:58 pm

    Jeanette lost her things; Creighton lost his soul.

  90. Erik permalink
    June 14, 2010 5:08 pm

    Ok folks, spoiler warning!



    … just checked out Goodman’s credits for Treme on http://www.imdb.com and the site says he’s in all 20 episodes as Creighton. So unless they’re doing flashbacks of him the rest of the series, my guess is he survived.
    Time will tell even though he waits for no one.

  91. doctorj2u permalink
    June 14, 2010 5:15 pm

    The currents and eddys are so powerful in the river at that point, Iseriously doubt anyone could survive. I think if he survived the ferry trip, it was because he went inside after he dumped the cigarette. But realistically, I pretty sure he jumped. He was too pleased with himself to go back to the pain he was in befoer he made the decision to end it once and for all. I don’t judge Creighton. I learned a long time ago that suicide is the act of a sick mind. No sane person could leave the wreckage to a family that results from a suicide if they were in their right mind.

  92. June 14, 2010 5:16 pm

    I heard that Stevenson’s suicide came on the day the FEMA trailer folks brought and then took back the trailer he had ordered as it didn’t fit onto his space without hanging over the neighboring lot. Even his pleading and promises that the neighbor’s didn’t mind the slight overhang couldn’t change their minds.

    It was his very last straw. We all had flirtations with that last straw and the attitudes it brought, but mostly, it was the other person who lifted you out of it. Kent Treadway was the most upbeat, good humored person you could ever meet, but one day, even he had that bad day when no one was there to pull him back into the fray. The trick was not everyone could be all the way down at the same time.

    First, all the elder parents and grandparents died of the struggle. Then, the little bartender, Addie, at the Spotted Cat was murdered by her mentally ill, just-met-post-K boyfriend, when she realized how troubled he was and asked him to move out. The next month, Bucky, another Spotted Cat bartender, hung himself, then Stevenson and Kent Treadway chose to leave the planet. ALL of them folks that you would never think capable of it!

    VERY hard times! No POST traumatic, just CONTINUOUS trauma, all day every day 24/7, Groundhog’s Day on steroids plus! Those of us still standing are lucky to be here! “Treme’ can’t show how dark and tough those times really were or nobody would watch it. If it were true to real life, all those intact houses would have way more than 1 family living in them! Remember, if your house survived, homeless relatives and friends and their pets would soon be joining you!

  93. doctorj2u permalink
    June 14, 2010 5:36 pm

    I guess you can survive then! What a story! I guess we never get the news of the survivors.

  94. June 14, 2010 5:38 pm

    Been over that. IMDB is notoriously unreliable.

  95. June 14, 2010 5:54 pm

    Let me know how this works for you. I haven’t not been able to make it work, was thinking it was just me.

  96. June 14, 2010 5:55 pm

    Have not. Doh.

  97. June 14, 2010 6:00 pm

    Amazing story.

  98. The Central Scrutinizer permalink
    June 14, 2010 6:23 pm

    Was it for the music scene? I remember Sonny bagging on him for not having deigned to visit New Orleans but that’s about it. My guess is that he saw opportunity to use skills other than bouncing. He’s been on roofing crews since he got there, even loaning Sonny some of his earnings before he was tossed out.

  99. June 14, 2010 6:24 pm

    Greg called them, “fairy tales constructed around a willful refusal to see how things are.” I think we all have some of this, even us outsiders do battle with each our own ghosts to which everything is unfairly compared. Perfectly put.

  100. June 14, 2010 6:36 pm

    Watching again. How did Annie find a new “front man” who couldn’t sing as well as Sonny? That bar was low and just got lower. What if it’s the new guy who’s batshit crazy? Seems I remember he seemed to be coming on in the end.

    I’m so happy to see Tiny Bouncer & that he has actual lines.
    Finally, what struck me most watching Creighton pretending to be writing for Sophie’s sake is how much of a shame-based behavior that is, like an alcoholic pretending that’s water in the bottle when it’s really cheap vodka. It takes a huge amount of energy to maintain all those lies, to keep oneself hidden from those who are closest, and it’ll eat you up from the inside. I think Simon et al have done a great job showing what that sort of painful inner turmoil really looks like.

    Finally, I would love to think Creighton didn’t go over the edge. I sure didn’t hear a splash and he looked to me like he walked away from the rail after flicking the cig into the river, but I very seriously doubt that.

    Did Janette have to eat the cost of the band?

  101. Peris permalink
    June 14, 2010 6:53 pm

    But there is a chance–intended, I think–of a vicious irony here. That his last Marlboro Red gave him an MI that put him in the real river while he was crossing a metaphorical one. Another doubt, but one that an autopsy would dispel if he is found. You can be sure that his wife would want an autopsy.

  102. June 14, 2010 7:04 pm

    “Buyin’ time they say is a dangerous thing
    You never know exactly what time will bring
    Just move along not too fast
    Lord try to make the good times last
    I’ve got all the time in the world…”

  103. June 14, 2010 7:05 pm

    Absolutely. As commented on another thread, it feels that Toni’s been piled on unfairly often during this season. But not all viewers see her that way.

    Also not all readers agree that Edna re The Awakening had no choices either. Her life was actually good, could have been good, after she left her family. She wasn’t even particularly maternal, as the author makes us understand. She had the means to make a decent living between her painting (not not great art, but they sold), and her skill for betting on the horses. She had a good house. But she rejected every possibility that appeared. Why? We ultimately cannot know.

  104. doctorj2u permalink
    June 14, 2010 7:08 pm

    Had not thought of that possibility, Peris!

  105. Delta permalink
    June 14, 2010 7:30 pm

    In my little Creighton-filled unicorn world, he was happy and chipper because he broke through the writer’s block and had that Marlboro red and po-boy to celebrate!

    That’s my story dammit. At least for a week.

  106. Delta permalink
    June 14, 2010 7:32 pm

    Hmmmmm…..that sort of sounds like LaDonna not telling her mama about Daymo until after Carnival, but as we all know, it doesn’t go away if you ignore it.

  107. June 14, 2010 7:35 pm

    That’s okay, Delta. We all gotta do what we all gotta do.

  108. June 14, 2010 7:36 pm

    Okay, finished watching again. Maybe I heard a splash.

  109. June 14, 2010 7:47 pm

    Yeah, Doc. Treadway was our daughter’s pediatrician. He was a sweet, wonderful man every single time we saw him. Can’t shake that one.

  110. June 15, 2010 8:57 am

    Davis’ comparison of “life” in NYC and NOLA is quite apt, but when Jeanette says “…they’re just moments, they’re not a life” the obvious response should have been “It’s those moments that MAKE a life!”

    Without those moments that raise us up, make us emotional, make us contemplate our existence…without those “moments” and people to share them with, what kind of a “life” is that? No life at all, I’d wager…

  111. brueso permalink
    June 15, 2010 3:03 pm

    I think Creighton’s gone. But if he isn’t found right away, it’s sad/spooky that Toni will be herself living what LaDonna had to go through when she was wondering where Daymo was, sensing in her gut he’s probably gone, but trying to hold out hope.

  112. June 15, 2010 10:57 pm

    I can’t remember where I saw the comment that prompted me to write this, but there has been some talk about the depth and character displayed by the writers here at BOT, and I have to say that although I don’t know all of them personally, I do Know Ray, and Mark, and Sam, and Alli, and a few others, and you will not find people more top-shelf, ferociously loyal, and all-around stand-up than these guys. They have saved my ass. Literally, more than once, and I would cross mighty rivers and shit for any one of them.

    I don’t always agree with their opinions, or their biases, or the look on their faces. Hell, Ray and I irritate each other so much we might as well get married. But I’d fight his battles for him if he asked, because I know he’s so it for me. And you owe me a funeral mix, don’t forget, fucker.

    You don’t have to be a good person to be a good writer — but when those streams cross? You get what you have here.

    Y’all rock.

  113. June 15, 2010 11:20 pm

    Oh, uh-uh. That was a Mardi Gras fuck, Greg, the legs are closed.

  114. virgotex permalink*
    June 16, 2010 9:19 am

    Do we need to put this in the upper right sidebar, folks? IMDB is NOT reliable. It is a user/volunteer-updated site. No one’s job depends on that data being accurate.

  115. June 17, 2010 3:26 pm

    This open thread is too depressing. Here:

  116. liprap permalink
    June 17, 2010 5:12 pm

    Bless you, Greg. Now I wish that was coming out instead of Toy Story 3.

  117. June 17, 2010 10:22 pm

    That was stupid.

    Thanks for the laugh, and peace,

    Tim

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