Play nice or Brother Folse will hit you in your head with a coconut.
Janeeeette’s so bo-o-ored with the USA…
Delmond’s set at the end of the show, with Hidalgo in the audience, was some darn good stuff.
But what’s this flirtation in the previews with Sonny and Annie? Say it ain’t so.
Any show with Mac in it makes it a good show for me. I’ve been a fan for decades.
Yes, Ray, someone loves him some Strummer.
A lot of relationships tested in this episode. And the Larry-LaDonna scenes – high holy tension. He loves her but this is not the time to make her take any blame.
High blood pressure meds? Antoine has failed his sons? Oh boy.
I’m a sucker for those flawed vehicles.
Stuck between Simon and Ray highfiving to Joe Strummer. How did I get here?
The Vietnamese population/communities – the Gulf fishermen – Indians-in-popular-music
This series had BETTER get a handful more seasons added to it, HBO!
We need to just post London Calling and let them sing “We live by the river” really loud in unison!
Delmond, Donald Harrison, Dr. John and Albert seems to be shaping up to be like Donald Harrison’s Indian Blues album. Great album on which you can hear Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. singing Shallow Water, which according to Al Kennedy’s book, Big Chief Harrison and the Mardi Gras Indians, the Big Chief wrote. It was a revelation and Big Chief Harrison, Sr.’s point of view seems evident in Albert often. Dr. John did play on that album and I can see him having had the same conversation with Harrison, Jr. upon being pitched the idea. I loved the scene with Harrison and Delmond discussing the album. It seemed a bit surreal to have Delmond explaining to Harrison exactly what Harrison had done years earlier.
As for the rest of the episode, I’m still digesting it. I’ll no doubt be back here later.
Oh yeah, great photo of Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. here: http://guardiansoftheflame.posterous.com/44698175
I’m going to have to watch the scene with Dr. John again, but this time with the subtitles on. 😯
So what about this new Investigator Hotpants? Way to shake things up. Also glad to see more oystering rehab action
Thanks, sam, for that photo. And I ain’t worrying about Janette being bored in the USA anymore, her entry level comebacks from fuckups are over, right? That Clash song that Joe Strummer is wailing on is about Yankee soldiers , used to really cheap skag in Vietnam (the song says Cambodia, but trust me, it was just about everywhere in Vietnam by 1970-71) returning to the good old USA and finding there was no way they could get their fix.(
$$$$$) I was there in Vietnam and one of my jobs was running a small medical ward for what the doctors called “candy habits”—short-term acquired nasty dragon addictions. Sick, sick young guys…made me see clearly; I never stuck a spike in my arm.
A powerful Sofia/Toni scene. Toni was overdue to stop walking on eggshells and giving Sofia a pass on just about everything, and when Toni then expressed her hurt and grief and bewilderment over Criegh’s exit, Sofia got to see her Mom a little more clearly- as a person that was hurting herself.
And Larry- LaDonna: I didn’t realize until just a few seconds before Larry’s face fell when the investigator said ‘gang rape’ that he hadn’t realized (or hadn’t let himself realize) what had happened to her. It was hard to watch- he shriveled up before our eyes- and then realizing how the prosecutor saying that then meant LaDonna now had more bad fallout to deal with made it hard to watch. And then when they were home: him not even able to look at her- undoubtedly angry and ashamed and dumbfounded all at once. I winced when he worked in “how many times did I tell you to sell that bar”. Such strong work by both actors.
I missed the preview’s, Dexter, but he sure looked like a tongue-tied schoolboy when we saw the young woman at the seafood plant. Look for some further establishment of a plot tying the city to the country.
I think that moment between Sofia and Toni takes Sofia off the cash list. You can’t help but think they’ve turned a corner.
Sam, I wished I’d see that hookup with Delmon and Harrison coming. I read that moment under the bridge as an epiphany and turning point, but completely missed where it was going.
More when I am actually awake instead of pretending to be awake for an 8 am central work call. And I’ve got a couple of knuckle chuggin’ drinking beer and cranking the Clash too loud in the back of the crowd in my sites. I’m tryin’ to listen to the Warren Easton band fools.
That would be an 8 eastern call, and knuckle heads. Waitress, where’s that french press IV I ordered?
The minute that pack of money smacked on O.T.’s desk, hubby said, ‘Oh my God. Hidalgo’s a Fed.’
I agree with Ray on the Swoboda parallels, and wonder if the Thomas character (and this one is truly hard to peel apart) isn’t into the game just to make things happen, like taking care of the Pigeon Town Steppers. Maybe I’m being too kind, but then Thomas the person was really everyone’s hope for mayor to carry us out of the Nagin era at that point.
The Janette storyline leaves one to wonder just where in the hell it is going and just when is she coming back to Louisiana? I would have to assume that they are fleshing out the NY / Michelin-rated dining to later juxtapose against the NOLA dining experience in later seasons.
The last few episodes has me ecstatic on where this series is going in the next few years (covering a wide array of subjects).
I’m chomping at the bit for more Sonny story and the assumed new romantic interest for Sonny will be (what I assume) a bridge to the Gulf fishermen and Vietnamese community stories of NOLA.
Another big assumption on my part would be for future counseling sessions between Larry and LaDonna would provide a platform for LaDonna to go deeper into her PTSD Katrina experiences.
Also LaDonna has to make the hard choice: Should I Stay or Should I Go. WWe all think no way she’ll sell the bar but now I’m not so sure.
Do we really know it’s a given that Janette will return? What has the character said or done that indicates that?
How many ‘fugees do all of us know that live in exile? That’s a part of the post-Katrina story, just saying.
We have no way to know, but the I thought the concensus was we thought she would never give up the bar. Now, I’m not so sure we weren’t being setup for the oppostive. If so: point, set and match to the writers.
@VirgoTex: That’s what I was getting at with the Clash quote (which was playing in the kitchen when she met with Chang). USA == anywhere that’s not New Orleans.
Janette’s been nothing but bored in NYC, drinking alone in quiet bars, not finding a place where she fits no matter how great a kitchen she’s working in. She’s listening to Chang tell her they don’t have fun in his place and she’s gotta be thinking by now “fuck this shit, this isn’t any better than fighting the fight in New Orleans”. If it’s gonna be hard no matter where she goes, at least New Orleans is worth the hassle compared to other places.
I like that it’s the “carpet bagger” who was trying to do what was trying to save the city money and do the right thing but it was the born-and-bred insiders who aimed to exploit it for their own interests. Take that and juxtapose it against every so called “carpet bagger” who has been accused of coming to the city and exploiting it and not understanding the culture and so on.* Sure, perhaps they don’t get the culture and that ignorance could certainly be damaging but how many opportunities has New Orleans also missed out on over the years due to the fierce localism that, while preserving the city’s “unique culture,” is also a ripe petri dish of corporate and political corruption on down the line?
*This does not mean Ed Blakely, whom I wish would be lit on fire and eaten alive by wolves.
Yeah, I got what you meant Ray, and I agree it would be unlikely (dramatically) to have one character living in another city for the run of the show. But I disagree with the “she’s gotta be thinking by now” part. We’ve seen things converging- her ennui, a possible like-mindedness with her room-mates that might coalesce into a restaurant venture, or at the very least, launch her into a solo venture, trouble brewing at home, etc, But I don’t think we’ve seen her surrender to what we all think is inevitable. We might see it, Eric Ripert might see it, but we haven’t seen evidence of her consciously struggling with it yet, have we?
Right, I overstated. Not so much, “she’s gotta be thinking now”, but “the way things are going now, she’s gonna be thinking soon”. The Clash lyric was foreshadowing, it’s the elephant in the room that maybe she hasn’t noticed yet, but if her life doesn’t change for the better in some way, she’s gonna have to start figuring out that maybe she doesn’t belong up there.
This isn’t just a New Orleans thing either, it’s just as much a New York thing. Lots of creative people (chefs, actors, musicians, writers, artists) move to NYC because it’s the center of the universe, and some of them after a while realize that maybe the center of the universe isn’t necessarily the best place for them to accomplish the things they want to accomplish. Delmond is having a little bit of that, too, right now.
Plus Wylie Dufresne hasn’t made his Season 2 appearance. If we’re going to make complete use of the Season 1 chef cameos, and we’re going to follow the Rule of Threes, there’s still time for him to show up and bestow some chefly wisdom, like how to make crawfish etouffee using a ribozyme gelee and cold fusion.
the center of the universe isn’t necessarily the best place for them to accomplish the things they want to accomplishM
Yeah, that’s kind of how it worked with us. And the whole time we were there, people were always moving to and then back away from, NY.
You’re not the musical theatre type person, so you may not know the Sondheim song, “Another Hundred People” but it encapsulates this brilliantly. My absolute favorite song about NY ever.
Or her “mise en place and knifework and shit” may simply not be up to Chang’s standards.
I find unless there is an obvious gut punch, I have to digest and ponder these episodes before commenting. Very good episode in developing the characters’ stories. The things that stood out to me: 1) Larry’s reaction to LaDonna’s news that a gang rape happened and his reaction afterwards. 2.) Toni coming clean on her pain of Creighton’s suicide to Sophia and 3.) Susan Cowsil snippet of “Cresent City Snow (Sneaux? Who knew?)
That song spoke to my heart in the years after Katrina. But there were so many other beautiful moments. Sonny being dumbstruck by the seafood girl, Davis watching Annie sing her song, the drummer improvising his drums. Also a great trumpet duet at the Royal Palm. Who was that trumpet player? He was fabulous! Anyway, loved the episode. Thanks again to all that had a part in it’s creation.
I was pleased to see Annie playing with the Susan Cowsill Band at Carrollton Station. While not a New Orleans native, Susan has made a home for herself there since the early ’90’s. She lost her brother Barry to the storm. Crescent City Sneaux is a heart-breakingly beautiful song.
Loved the improvise drums in the Apostles set, the music at the Royal Palm and Sonny’s reaction to the Vietnamese woman–I hope he continues to make progress with his addiction, but that’s a tough old road. Sofia & Toni’s scene was blistering: I didn’t expect it to come so soon, but I was glad Sofia finally got to see that she was not the only one hurt by what Creighton had done.
So, so worried about LaDonna—when you think things could not be any harder for her, her lie of omission comes out to devastate her husband and pulls the rug from beneath of her very precarious footing. Amazing episode!
@Mistlethrush Anyone that helped in the rebuilding of New Orleans in the dark days post-Katrina with always be considered a New Orleanian by this native. They EARNED it and I will be eternally grateful to each and everyone of them! Ladonna? Yes,I am very worried. The strongest stood it beyond what the strongest could take and they still stood. There is a price to pay for that.
I have found it unbelievable that possibility of sexual assault would not have occurred to Larry immediately, let alone over the weeks since the event. It’s hard to know what the writers have in mind here going forward. I do know that watching my favorite character vanish more with each week is just awful. Ladonna needs to interact with people in order to be Ladonna. I miss her so much it shocks me! If she remains terrified and gives Larry what he wants, I fear she will disappear entirely.
Ditto what y’all’re saying about Toni, Sophia, Ladonna. Just re-watched and want to add how much I liked Davis’ Bush and the Not. One. Word. end of their song. I also love Harley & Annie’s song and Steve Earle, just in general, so this back-story. Also, Del’s moment of realizing his daddy’s bluff and calling it with “I’ll just get somebody else to do it.” I don’t want the season to end.
Am I making things up that Jacques not wanting to publicize his name through Davis’ benefit concert means he is deeper into something in his home country? What yall think?
Varg, I don’t think Jacque wants Davis’s reputation to tarnish his own fight to stay in the country.
Right. If your future depends on any body that could be described as “establishment,” Davis McAlary is probably not your go-to advocate. Heh.
My viewing partner for Treme applauded when Susan Cowsill appeared on screen — “They put a woman musician of a certain age front and center! Where else are you going to see THAT!”
He happens to be a professional musician himself, so of course he wondered why Steve Earl’s guitar was out of tune in the first scene of Harley and Annie practicing the song, and noticed then, when they played on Frenchman that the guitar was now in tune.
What a great episode. But then, when you’ve got Mac you got something. The musician just howled all the way through that scene: Mac and Donald Harrison Jr. are two of his most favorites and respected.
Mistlethrush: “Sonny’s reaction to the Vietnamese woman–I hope he continues to make progress with his addiction, but that’s a tough old road.”
Not looking promising. Watch closely in that scene outside before the gig Just after Herman gets out of the cab, while the rest of the band is asking him where his car’s at, Sonny gets surreptitiously slipped a little something from the straw boss.
I quick-rewound to make sure I’d seen what I thought I had. Yes, indeed I did. Oh Sonny, Sonny, Sonny…
Addendum, for what it’s worth: my partner also muttered at Larry, after his revelation of what LaDonna had not told him: “Dude, it’s not about you.”
@CalliopeJane Not looking promising. Watch closely in that scene outside before the gig Just after Herman gets out of the cab, while the rest of the band is asking him where his car’s at, Sonny gets surreptitiously slipped a little something from the straw boss.
I totally missed that–this is another reason I love reading this blog–thanks for pointing it out. I didn’t much like Sonny at the beginning but this season, when he managed to be decent to Davis re: Annie and seeing him gain a little confidence playing in Antoine’s band, Annie seeing the telling photo of him at the gallery topped off by his Mardi Gras with the oystermen, I guess I decided to start pulling for him a little bit.
Addiction is rough enough, but when you’re self-medicating to try and ward off heavy cases of PTSD, it seems impossible that anyone could throw it aside. I’m thinking of LaDonna and Sofia as well.
@Foxessa — My viewing partner for Treme applauded when Susan Cowsill appeared on screen — “They put a woman musician of a certain age front and center! Where else are you going to see THAT!”
As I mentioned upthread–I was so pleased to see Susan. I was a fan of the family band back in my young teen years (Susan and I are of an age) and have followed her career pretty much ever since. It didn’t occur to me, that whole ‘women of a certain age front & center’ thing. It’s another great thing about New Orleans—the music is so important and so integral that you forget about things like that.
“The minute that pack of money smacked on O.T.’s desk, hubby said, ‘Oh my God. Hidalgo’s a Fed.’”
@ jay: that scenerio treads water in my house. me and my wife were discussing your theory.
neither one of us could come up with much of hildagos back story.
he’s from dallas.
he has a shit load of cash to get in the game.
we think he told his first benifactor in new orleans that he was the first kid in his fam to go to college (not so sure about that one).
he trys to sell his wares at a cheaper price to no avail and still gets the gig.
it seems like he has the least backstory of all the charactors.
please some one tell me i missed something.
Mistlethush — Yes that’s what makes New Orleans and music so very different. It’s not stage dressing, it’s not wallpaper — it’s a part of daily life, the daily life of people of all ages. It’s a musical culture. That’s perhaps why so many reviewers don’t get it: they’ve never been inside a musical culture. Ireland is another one, so is Puerto Rico and Cuba — and even Spain is, like almost all of her former empire. In these cultures you don’t rigidly segregate by age either — each generation’s favorite music bleeds into the consciousness and enjoyment of each other’s. And the audience is as important to the musicians performance as the muscians’ performance is important to tthe audience. They are a feed-back look all the way.
Tonight, Musician Viewing Partner raves: “It’s just great what they’ve got going on in Treme. Everyone is starting a new collaboration — and these bands are great. They even let Rogan put together a band and it’s really good!”
Then, he marvels, “But hands down, the best scene was that music class with the kids in the school. I’ve never seen a movie or television show a real music class and what goes on in it. Man, I just loved that!”
Nelson Hidalgo is from San Antonio, not Dallas — a whole other kind of Texas town.
He made it clear that his family has always had the Texan ‘man’s’ boot in their face until his generation. “I”m different,” he says.
IOW, knowing what I know about San Antonio, he was well positioned to take advantage of the advantages that NAFTA provided. Of course, I don’t know that this particular guy is one of those, about whom a newspaper friend in San Antonio said, “I was against NAFTA because I knew who all was in favor of it.”
Varg Vargas, as regards Jacques not wanting his name used, he is behind bars and he doesn’t want to give immigration another excuse make his situation even worse. Immigration beaucrats wield ridiculous power, and many of them are as arbitrary as grapefruit.
I’m an outsider; I’ve never been to New Orleans, nor do I even know much about music. Watching Treme has been a bit of an roller coaster of emotions including that of unrequited love. About three episodes ago, I finally realized how Treme makes me feel. It’s like being in the same room with a beautiful woman and watching her pleasure herself. At first it is exciting, and its like, “Go ahead, you are beautiful and it is a thrill just to be watching.” After a while, however, I realize that she is so wrapped up in herself, she couldn’t care less whether I think she is beautiful or not, or whether I am even in the room. I struggle with the superiority complex/elitism of the citizens and on occasion it becomes a barrier to empathy and respect.
In this episode, of all the rich content presented, the scene that evoked the greatest emotion was Davis’ Bush act. Really? I thoroughly enjoyed “Shame, Shame, Shame”, but are (or, were, at that time) New Orleanians still blaming Bush for the fruit, or lack thereof, of the scandalously ignorant, lathargic, and self-interested behavior of the Mayor and Governor? What about their role in all this? Talk about “not one fucking word”. I am patient to see this series to the end, and hopeful that blame and praise will be appropriately distributed as earned by characters real and fictional.
This was an exceptional episode. I find myself relating to, or at least sympathizing with, each and every character. The LaDonna thread is breaking my heart for so many reasons. I would be very surprised if Khandi Alexander didn’t pull a Christian Bale Machinist and drop as many pounds as safety would allow, to play this part. At first, I was shocked that Larry didn’t know, but then I realized, the doctors were not at liberty to say, and it isn’t something that he would want to ask or she would want to offer. That he didn’t know is believable for Larry. Now I wonder though, does Antoine even know?
Larry’s scenes were brilliantly written and acted. Had I been in Larry’s shoes, I too would have probably lashed out with a comment about the bar. Nothing makes me angrier than the fear or knowledge of my loved ones being hurt. It is like the father slapping the face of his son who just fell off his bike and broke his leg (Ben Younger’s Boiler Room). You are so precious to me, how dare you hurt yourself so much!
Last week I was introduced to John Hiatt. This week, it was Susan Cowsill.
Always assumed the background story about getting as far away from his family and seeing the world was an attempt to account for Hidalgo/Seda’s total lack of resemblance to a Mexican from San Antonio, Texas. To be fair to Seda he did a better job of it in Selena. It’s a common failing of casting directors to assume Puerto Rican will equal Mexican to the general public.I really don’t want to think that about the Treme production, Seda’s a good actor, Hidalgo is a convincing opportunistic asshole, he’s just not a convincing San Antonio opportunistic asshole. So I believe the bit about not wanting to be like his family is a good bandaid. As a friend of mine said about his older brother, he’s “de-Mexed” himself. If he’s a Fed that might work well in tandem with the lack of SATX flavor but if he is, then his cousin doesn’t even know about it either. Corruption is a better fit, and if there’s a city in the US that can rival NOLA for centuries of entrenched corruption, it’s San Antonio.
“How many ‘fugees do all of us know that live in exile? That’s a part of the post-Katrina story, just saying.”
I heard from one of my favorite people today, in exile in NYC, sending me a link to Susan Cowsill’s Crescent City Snow and saying, “. . . this always makes me cry.” So, I guess that’s kinda how a lot of people are doing because they can’t be here right now. It just breaks my heart for all of them.
I listened one more time to the song, knowing, as I knew the moment I first heard it, exactly what snow that was she was writing about and this time, I cried. That was the Christmas before it happened; I remember it well. Finally, our little family had found the way through a series of difficulties and we experienced that beautiful snow together like a benediction and blessing. It was a soft, quiet and joyful snow. I’ll never forget that snow.
Sorry, Rick. I should have said: in my opinion, corruption is a better fit. And my opinion is often mistaken
And all we really know about Hidalgo’s backstory is what he tells people. He’s already had to back away from his devout Redemptorist bonafides once Liguori tried to get him to actually go to Mass. Who knows how much of it is made up?
I suppose if he was a real Fed and Liguori was the target, he woulda sucked it up, gone to communion and everything. Only an actual lapsed Catholic would think there’s anything wrong with taking communion just to look good. If that was all just an excuse for him to stick to his date with his ho of the week, that would make sense, but it would make it even less likely he’s a Fed, right?
Has anyone noticed that he’s always giving his cousin shit for speaking crappy Spanish, but he never speaks much of it himself and he never EVER addresses the Hispanic laborers directly. What’s up with that? Does a double-size social class upgrade really make you incapable of speaking to the help? I thought you had to be born into wealth to be that kind of douchebag.
And I noticed that we never saw OT pick up the money. He just looked at it like he wasn’t sure whether to smile or say “oh shit”. Was that supposed to be Oliver losing his cherry? I feel so blessed.
“Oliver losing his cherry.” Oh, man, that’s rich. Oliver clearly is a player of the nth degree. He steers Nelson to the second-line club and the Zulu club like a pro. He is no virgin to graft. This is how it’s done. There is a $5,000 per year limit on campaign contributions and you have to give your SSN so it’s all traceable. So what politicians do to get around those rules is send you to donate to others who funnel some of it back so that on paper you have not given more than $5,000. And they will send you to other politicians, yes, but also to private and especially non-profit groups because there is no trail. Another way to do it is to spread it out among family and friends. I know of a company that gave a lot more than $5,000 per year to Mayor Barthelemy by having their employees make the donations. So the company gave $5k, and then the company president gave $5k, and all the vice presidents each gave $5k, and the division managers each gave $5k, and even some of the secretaries gave $5k. That company went on to obtain a number of professional services contracts during the Barthelemy administration.
The fairytale in my head has LaDonna leaving Larry, taking the kids and heading back to New Orleans. Antoine and she get back together (because Wendell Pierce + Khandi Alexander onscreen at the same time = tv on fiyo), she keeps the bar and the boys enter music programs. Only bad thing is Larry and Desiree get the shaft and LIKE ANY OF THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
Retro to cooking up the stuff, watching you guys chow down is vicarious joy.
Or as Grandma Elena used to say: “Eat, bubbeleh, eat.
How do I apply to for a music-buying subsidy? This season is killing the budget once more. Breath deep. Again.
I love that classroom scene: no single character dominates the frame, the moment is given time to evolve, and a small way forward is offered in straightened circumstances. It felt like such a real moment. Watching again, that classroom scene encapsulates what makes this season so great. It’s such a reminder too of how good the “non-professional”(?) actors are on the show, like Keith Hart and Otto DeJean, who are more real, more comfortable, more believable than most of the CSI-level bullshit acting on the tube. It’s so good that Dave Walker’s column draws attention to the locals in the cast and their own stories. From this distance it is awesome to see all these layers revealed.
3Suns, you wrote: “In this episode, of all the rich content presented, the scene that evoked the greatest emotion was Davis’ Bush act. Really? I thoroughly enjoyed “Shame, Shame, Shame”, but are (or, were, at that time) New Orleanians still blaming Bush for the fruit, or lack thereof, of the scandalously ignorant, lathargic, and self-interested behavior of the Mayor and Governor? What about their role in all this? Talk about “not one fucking word”. I am patient to see this series to the end, and hopeful that blame and praise will be appropriately distributed as earned by characters real and fictional.”
Were we still at that time blaming Bush? I’d put it a different way. We were very angry at Bush for his lack of response initially. Then we gave him a reprieve, albeit a skeptical one, as we all hoped that what he said on Jackson Square under generator powered arc lights when the rest of the city had no power–still–was true. As it turned out, our skepticism was warranted. So when Bush gave the State of the Union address and didn’t say a single word, yeah, NOT ONE FUCKING WORD, about New Orleans as we were still fighting insurance companies, FEMA, copper thieves, whoever, and people still couldn’t come home, and power was still out in many neighborhoods, yeah, we were furious. Actually, incredulous first, furious later. The near total loss of a major American city and port didn’t deserve a passing glance to this guy, a throwaway line in his speech? He didn’t manage a self-serving, gratuitous perfectly-placed-by-the-side-of-the-First-Lady-in-the-gallery black family he could spin a heartrending story about grit and fortitude and American spirit, perseverence and backbone, then point to while awaiting the applause of them, as he looked approvingly upward? We would have been cynical about that last bit, but at least it would have been a nod in our direction. That speech showed us that we were well and truly on our own. It also signalled the American public that they could quit thinking about us now.
As for our Mayor and Governor. You’d be hard pressed to find folks willing to stand up for them and their actions, even today. Many of us hoped General Honore would just come in and take over completely. Maybe he’d demand the aid we were told we’d get then secede. Yeah, just a fantasy on our parts, but the fantasy was easier to deal with than the reality that most people in the “other America” didn’t care if we were rebuilt or not. Others wanted Nagin recalled. And Governor Blanco was regularly skewered, so no, we didn’t let the local leaders off the hook at all. (As you saw in the Krewe de Vieux parade that Creighton and family were in, a float showed the Mayor pleasuring himself. That was a pretty standard view of Nagin at that time and still now.)
However, it was at that point that we felt that we were no longer a part of the United States, which was a bitter pill. We watched the U2/Green Day video (2006) The Saints are Coming and wondered why that hadn’t been true. Might sound crazy to you, but it still makes me tear up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD_0fqvT32g
Our friend, Ashley Morris (author of the real Fuck You You Fucking Fucks piece that Creighton Bernette puts on YouTube in Season One) was writing this:
And he was saying out loud what many were thinking. Some of us were also writing from the same emotional place, but Ashley expressed it unabashedly.
Back to the pleasuring him/herself thing. You said, “After a while, however, I realize that she is so wrapped up in herself, she couldn’t care less whether I think she is beautiful or not, or whether I am even in the room. I struggle with the superiority complex/elitism of the citizens and on occasion it becomes a barrier to empathy and respect.”
I am really sorry that that’s how you perceive us. I get Haiti’s culture, I don’t get Japan’s by and large, I absolutely get Joplin, MO and Alabama, even if I’m not always crazy about their views. None of that altered my ability to have respect and empathy for the folks bashed by the earthquakes, earthquake/tsunami/meltdown, or tornadoes.
And for the record, we would care very much that you were in the room. We might not want you to critique our use of the shocking pink blinkie dildo, but we’d most assuredly want you to join in.
@3Suns: Ditto about Larry’s reaction. No, he’s not saying the right things, and no, it’s not supposed to be all about him, but he’s received a shock and for at least a little while he’s going to react accordingly. He’s got a bunch of stuff swirling around in his head: 1) She didn’t tell him. Sure, she had her reasons, but to him, it feels like a betrayal. This huge thing happened to her and the one person in the world (he thinks) that loves her enough to help her with it, she didn’t trust him. And 2) He failed her. It’s part of the male instinct to feel protective of his wife and kids, and when something happens to them, no matter who’s fault it is, you take on some of the guilt, because your instinct is telling you that you failed at your primary job.
But this here, man, I don’t know: “the scene that evoked the greatest emotion was Davis’ Bush act. Really?”
In March of 2007? Hell yeah, we were still pissed at Bush. We were pissed at Nagin. We were pissed at Blanco. We were pissed at the Corps of Engineers, and FEMA, and Road Home, and everybody. There’s been plenty enough hate to go around on Treme for all of these entities if you’ve been paying attention. Bush can be rightly singled out for his staggering lack of leadership, for the failure of the Federal government to act in 2005, 2006, 2007, and in this case, for the failure to even acknowledge the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast in his State of the Union address. The feeling down here was that, despite all the bullshit he spewed on the steps of St. Louis Cathedral after the storm, a mere 18 months later he had moved on and didn’t think about us at all.
Davis’s shtick is an accurate reflection of New Orleanian’s attitudes at the time, and the disappointment over the SOTU snub was national news then. It’s well documented. Google this:
bush 2007 state of the union katrina
Thanks for your long and complex comment, 3Suns.
New Orleans isn’t a concept, as much as many try to romanticize/reduce it so (stumbled upon a girl’s comment recently that one of her “current obsessions is New Orleans”). It is an old city and a rich culture full of real live people with real live problems and dreams. I think that when you start to see the place like this, it becomes more palpable, easier to understand.
And, baby, there are a lot of cultures I don’t get (the Japanese being a particularly insular and cloudy one for me), but I don’t begrudge them their cultural quirks and need to be themselves. That is the beauty of the heterogeneity of the world; there are many things I will never understand and be a part of, but they are worth cherishing and saving, just because of that.
Come back now, you hear.
3Suns, I’m an outsider too. They let me play here with them and they feed me good and slop a lot of sugar on me, but I am not IN the family.
But, to quote the great Bessie Smith, “Sometimes things just be’s that way.”
Surely you’ve been invited to get togethers or reunions or weddings where everyone knew each other and you didn’t know anyone? I think there are a couple of responses in that situation. We can sit in the corner and be resentful (and trust me, with respect to the NOLA insularity, I have) but after a while, it’s not that much fun. As someone who’s deconstructing Treme, or trying to understand NOLA though, maybe it’s more constructive to step back from the personal and observe that insularity, that familial/neighborhood crush, hell even the elitism if that’s really what it is. Do they dance at funerals in the city you live in? Mine neither. Did they invent jazz where you live? Yeah, not here either. Is the city you live in a cultural and historical jewel in the truest, most factual sense, a place unlike any other place in this country, and as hard as it is, and no matter what it’s costing you, you feel like you GET to live there, rather than you HAVE to stay there?
I’m oversimplifying, but that stuff is real, it’s in the air, these people grew eating and breathing it. And more importantly, THAT is what is hanging in the balance for everyone in the story. That’s what they’re fighting for. That’s what Bush couldn’t be bothered to say a word about, that’s what a great portion of the country was pretty much okay about leaving behind and not rebuilding.
Oh, BTW, hi David.
@VirgoTex: There are hierarchies of insularity in New Orleans and I know there are people out there who who moved to New Orleans whenever and then question my own bonafides because I didn’t live there for the storm and don’t live there now, but by the power vested in me through my status of someone who has a respectable answer to the nativist question “where’d you go to school?” and who knows what ward he grew up in, I hereby bestow upon you the title Honorary New Orleanian. You and Scout and Sophmom, y’all have your own keys, come and go as you please, and help yourself to what’s in the fridge.
bingo Ray (as usual)- this time on the multiple things Larry had running through his head. Certainly focusing on himself at the time (his own shortcomings as a ‘protector’ and as an observer, his anger, his disgust, his grief that LaDonna didn’t think he could handle it, wondering on his part if he CAN handle it). And I think there’s that aspect (which definitely could lead to a significant if not permanent rupture to his relationship with LaDonna) of feeling a betrayal of trust. When significant information has been omitted and you don’t realize it but later find out, there’s a part that wonders how you can ever trust that person again? And immediately some distancing happens.
LaDonna had obvious reasons for trying to keep that information from him, but it was also probably salt in the wound when she said she had hoped to never tell him (“She thinks I can’t EVER handle it?!”) which I think might’ve then kicked him into “how many times did I tell you to sell that goddamned bar”.
These moments probably weren’t Larry’s finest hours in his life- but they damned sure were written and acted realistically. And heartbreaking.
Also another comment on the always amazing Khandi- that pre-credits scene of her in the examining room waiting for the results- so distressed and worried she couldn’t even keep her head held up – beautifully framed w/the camera to accent her nearly curled up within herself- so, so hard to watch and so, so spot on. (I hope to God LaDonna ISN’T scripted to lose more weight- Ms. Khandi certainly doesn’t seem like she has any to spare!)
@brueso. LaDonna didn’t say she was hoping to never tell him because she didn’t think HE could handle it. She wasn’t sure SHE could handle the shame, and the blame, and all the attendant “my fault” stuff that comes with being a rape victim. He’s reading it one way. She another.
But you’re right about it being perfectly written and heartbreaking on both sides.
He’s reading it one way. She another.
Exactly. That’s a reason this kind of stuff tears families apart. When two people face this kind of thing, it can be so isolating because each one can’t help but have the reaction they have, which of course, is going to be different than the other. And both need the other to be there for them and neither of them can be.
It’s easy to try and fault Larry for not rising to the occasion and putting his own initial reactions aside but people aren’t always perfect and selfless when we most need them to be.
sam- I worded that poorly- I know LaDonna didn’t say she didn’t think Larry could handle it, I was saying that after her saying she hoped she’d never have to tell him, in his head he probably heard it as “She thinks I can’t handle it”. He was undoubtedly in a spiral (which was one of the strong things about the acting- Lance Nichols with his head racheted straight up but inwardly undoubtedly feeling like he wanted to curl up like LaDonna in the first scene from the episode when she’s in the waiting room). And hearing that also feeds into that possibly frightening realization for him that his mate could have something devastating happen to her and she could keep him from knowing about it.
These scenes speak volumes about what can go on between two people. Couples are different about what they share with their partners or what they feel they’re obliged to share, and sometimes a tragic event like this can really underscore the differences between partners. It’s hard to watch people in such pain, but I admit I’m fascinated as to how it’s all being played out.
(virgo, was writing my post and saw in between you already said some of what I was typing!)
Larry learning about the rape is so very well played. There would be confusion, anger, even anger at himself for not seeing it sooner–never mind that LaDonna has worked silently in every scene since it happened to keep it from Larry precisely because she knows what it will do to him, to her and perhaps to their relationship. There really has been a fantastic accumulation of glances and moments that have fueled the tension as LaDonna has signaled one woman after another from the very beginning that she is not telling Larry. It didn’t work this time only because the new lawyer met her for the first time with Larry present appearing to be the concerned and informed husband. So she blew it.
A few seconds of Larry and LaDonna in the car is all it takes to show us the entire grim, silent hour from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Larry’s inevitable focus on why it happened: because LaDonna would not sell that bar which meant so much to her self esteem because her father saw her as a worthy successor to the business, even though she had a younger brother, her father left it to her, and now, Larry has wanted all along for her to get rid of it, even to forget about New Orleans and let him take care of her. There is an element of blaming LaDonna for the crime that was committed against her in Larry’s reaction, and it is not easily resolved.
This scene could not in any way be played as a cathartic moment that resolved in tears and hugs as the crisis came to a head, which actually was somewhat possible between Toni and Sophia. This kind of lie about this kind of crime sometimes cannot ever be resolved. Larry was pitch perfect and all the feelings showed in his face as the truth dawned. But the reaction takes hours driving home and days and weeks asking questions and wearing each other down and it still might never be resolved.
Marriages break up over such things. Men sometimes think that brushing aside women’s concerns for their own identity is appropriate because it’s a man’s duty to keep his woman safe but, sometimes in doing so, he reduces her to feeling like a pawn rather than a person. Sometimes men are tortured by this crime against their loved one and, from their pain, ask very demeaning questions that further destroy a woman’s sense of herself. LaDonna has been trying to hold onto her identity and keep Larry from taking it away from her and he doesn’t even know it. He just loves her and wants to have her around and protect her. He has not done anything wrong but he doesn’t know what LaDonna feels and thinks in her own life. He doesn’t even know that there is so much complexity going on for her, even before the rape. I think there are some more painful “whys” which will be asked.
This is all there in this marriage and Larry is a tremendously loving, generous, accepting and wonderful husband. Women whose husbands are more self-centered might understand how bad a man’s reaction to this news could be. What the victim of a crime like this needs the most is exactly what a man who loves her is almost surely not able to react with immediately. Maybe there is no helpful reaction. That’s understandable and certainly forgivable but, now, LaDonna has to take care of Larry’s feelings and needs and fears and she’s probably going to lose the bar (and what it stood for) anyway. She’s not strong enough yet to even know if she can ever again pick up a baseball bat and break up a bar fight. That image of LaDonna probably wasn’t in Larry’s head before and, now, look what’s in his head.
@3Suns Aint the way the scene reads to me though. There was an abrupt cut suggesting something more to it, like something was unfinished. It was also acted like Jacques knew more about the situation and it was more than something a bail party could get him out of. That whole storyline has seemed to be more than it appears. We’ll see though.
I do agree that if it never crossed Larry’s mind that his wife might have been raped by the men who beat her to a pulp, then his shocked responses would be understandable for all the reasons you all have discussed.
But how can it be that it would never have occurred to him, so that he’s completely unprepared and shocked? Isn’t it the question that automatically follows for any man in such a circumstance: did they touch you? Maybe I need an education, but to me, it’s an obvious problem for the story. It stands out all the more because such flaws are so rare in this show.
@3 Suns, concerning the hate for President Bush. To this day I have visceral hate for the man. Maybe it is because I was a true believer since I voted for him twice. I probably held on to belief in him longer than most here. It wasn’t until he pulled support for the Louisiana Baker plan (a plan that had the support of his hand picked hurricane csar Donald Powell) and held a press conference not even 24 hours later when he said these words that are etched in my mind forever: “We would like to support those folkes in that part of the world (the US citizens of Louisiana) if only they had a plan.” Not 24 hours after he himself pulled the rug out from under us! It was then I knew for sure he was our enemy. And he was. The only time New Orleans ever crossed his mind was when someone stuck a speech in front of his face at each anniversary of the storm. To be fair, he did mention the “Gulf States” in his 2007 SOTU address, only they were the Gulf States of the Arabian Peninsula, not the Gulf States of the United States of America. He abandoned Americans FOR YEARS after the unthinkable happened and I will never forgive him for it. Ever. I am a New Orleanian, born and bred. I also thought I was an American. Bush made we question that for years, with cause.
I forgot to add, the only reason given for the White House reversal of support was that the US government was “not in the real estate business”. What a joke, considering what they did later buying all those bad real estate deals. The truth was that plain old citizens don’t matter. Only if you have the green to cross the palms do you matter. That goes for New Orleans, for Louisiana and the USA. Maybe you can understand where the characters are coming from now. It is not your truth, but it is our truth that we lived.
Oh, Ray, thanks. I’m honored in so many ways, not the least of which is being mentioned in the same sentence as those two great women. Y’all’re the friends I’d been looking for all my life.
Now, I have to watch it again to see the alleged hand-off to Sonny. I think Michiel Huisman’s performance is just plain brilliant and want to see redemption for his character.
As for that SotU, I remember being angry at the time, just as I remember being angry about his (also referenced) “high times” and “great place to take the family” remarks during the same period.
And, Varg, I agree about Jacques. It sounded/looked to me like he wanted to keep it all under the radar.
Finally, I thought Larry was also beating himself up for not having figured it out. That’s the thing about denial. It’s not about pretending not to know; it’s about really not knowing.
thanks guys for giving me some other angles to digest.
this blog is like a meal at your favorite restaurant where you are a regular, and you tell the waiter , who knows you to order for you and you also know the chef.
and the food comes out , blowing your mind.
She winked and with her free hand, blew me a kiss.
Thank you for the warm welcome, and for so graciously providing the links and background to stuff that I had forgotten or didn’t know. I realize that my recall and understanding of even just the most significant events is jumbled, flat, and black and white, to what must be 3D, full color, living, moving pictures for those who experienced the history first hand. Also, it is very easy to think of these major disasters as a point in history, rather than the long line it represents in the lives of those affected. Thank you again for graciously contextualizing everything.
As regards Bush, I didn’t vote for him, but nothing he did surprised me, unlike the current administration which is surprising me all the time! I look forward to watching the scene again and enjoying it like I did Shame, Shame, Shame.
The Nagin float was fun, but to me it was about as insulting or critical as calling a comedian “ugly”. Ugliness is almost something comedians aspire to. Politicians pleasuring themselves and others (on a third party’s tab) is kind of the essence, or at least reality, of politics.
@Varg, understood and chances are you are right. My experience with immigration has been such that no ulterior motives or deeper explanation were necessary to account for Jacques’ caution. However, to have some skelton in the closet would be more entertaining and equally believable.
(P.S. Sam, Elle Oh Elle at the blinkie!)
::turns out the lights::
I’m back again. I find myself wishing there was a PM feature in WordPress blogs because there are so many great and personal comments. Instead, I will just say:
Amen to what you said, maitri, and thank you for sharing, virgotex. In the interest of full disclosure, since both sam and maitri mentioned Japan, I guess I should mention that I have been living there (here) for 18 of the past 21 years. At some point (though I suppose it would be best discussed in another venue), I would love to chat about it; hear your thoughts and share mine.
I look forward to the next episode, and the ensuing discussion here. Though I have read the comments here for the last couple of episodes, I know now that I am going to have to go back to the beginning and read it all. It will be a great excuse to watch through Season 1 again, too.
3suns: I would love to discuss Japan with you! Feel free to contact me off site. We can start a round robin of cultural emails!
CalliopeJane: having re-watched the scene with sonny and the straw-boss a half-dzn times i can’t say for certain if it was:
a) just a handshake
love this space. look forward to the conversation every week (nearly as much as the episodes themselves). cheers.
Recally how LaDonna hung on to Larry’s hand in the hospital — they are going to get through this and their marriage will be stronger than ever. But, in those scenes, LaDonna, without being explicit, led him to believe that she wasn’t raped. He very gently, in circumlocution, basically asked, and she said she was all right, and so did the staff. That is, if I’m recalling that correctly.
She was also terrified of having contracted a sexually transmitted disease — you could see her starting to unfold again out of that rigid, so tight protective bud she’s made of herself against the terror. That confirmation gives her some space to let Larry in — if Larry can understand and be patient a while longer. She has been battling her own guilts all wrapped up with this over him wanting her to, and she refusing to, sell GiGi’s.
Going back to Antoine would be regression for her, and for him, at this point.! For one thing it would be playing a really rotten move on Desiree and their baby. The other thing is that Antoine and Desiree whent through the Katrina devastation together. Larry and And LaDonna have. These things matter in the history of our lives as couples as much as individuals.
What would be good is that the Antoine-LaDonna boys get some music instruction though, to see if they like it. Even if they don’t want to be musicians, it would give them a deeper understanding of where they come from. Besides, music is fun!
“Not One Fucking Word” is a great song. Yeah me!!!!!! Would love to share it in it’s entirety when I can.
“‘Not One Fucking Word’ is a great song. Yeah me!!!!!! Would love to share it in it’s entirety when I can.”
Sure as hell is Davis, from what we heard so far. I for one will be looking forward to that!
I only re-watched the scene with sonny and the straw-boss 3 or 4 times, but I was convinced it was just a handshake. Maybe just wishful thinking. I wouldn’t put it past these guys to have just put it in there to screw with our heads though.
Love this show and this blog/space too!
Davis, we would love to hear it in whatever form you can share it!
Anita and Foxessa, I thoroughly enjoyed your insight on Larry and LaDonna.
Sam, if you would like, I set up a OT post on one of my wordpress blogs. Last year I set up the blog in anticipation of “Treme”, and then when I discovered all the other awesome blogs out there, my ambition withered and I turned it into a link station for my own reference. lol
On the other hand, I take no offense if we ignore this and go with e-mail. That works for me too, and since I have commented here, you have my address! 🙂 Cheers!
m.e. – perhaps you’re right. I went back and re-watched that scene again, and it could well be just a handshake. Interesting that I immediately saw a “handoff” and the possibility of “just handshake” did not occur to me at all. I suppose that says something about my expectations for Sonny beating his habit.
But it actually makes more sense to just be a handshake, it did seem odd to me that more attention wasn’t called to it, if Sonny were getting drugs. So now I’ve revised my opinion – probably just a handshake; Sonny’s still being good.
“Isn’t it the question that automatically follows for any man in such a circumstance: did they touch you?”
True-Lu, I think maybe Foxessa is right and the little talking they did at the hospital led Larry to believe that LaDonna was “alright”. Of course, she’d been beaten up, she had a black eye, so he couldn’t have been asking if she felt good, could he? That’s what he was asking and she convinced him by not saying anything that she was “alright.” The doctor and the nurses were saying she doesn’t need surgery and she’s not going to die. I believe that’s the answer.
I don’t want to be harsh, but this is not an easy thing to talk about and you did raise the possibility of your learning something more than you already know. so I think it is fair to point out that anybody who could look at a woman with a black eye who has just been robbed and beaten and think to ask, “Did they touch you?” seems to be asking about his property or something.
I watched the handshake scene a bunch of times last night, and stepped through it frame by frame.
If you just watch it, yeah, it kind of looks like there was a hand-off because of the way Sonny sort of curls his hand after the shake and then puts his hand in his pocket. But frame by frame, you can see there was no hand off.
And if you think of it in terms of the story, it makes no sense. Straw Boss knows he’s a dope fiend and a fuckup, so there’s no way he’d be giving him drugs. And it’s doubtful he would have any reason to slip him some money before the gig. Remember, just a couple of weeks ago these cats couldn’t stand him.
Sonny got there early (“go where I say, show up when I say”), he was waiting by the wall when everybody else showed up so he was a little late joining the group by the curb.
Just a handshake. Really interesting idea though, I never would have caught it if somebody didn’t point it out.
@Davis, would love to hear it in its entirety. Watched the episode again last night as I always do after reading comments here and loved the song.
re: Sonny and the straw boss. I’m with the handshake crowd. Sonny’s standing by the wall, early as told to be. The conversation about the car/drums being stolen happens, Sonny walks over, straw boss seems to just shake his hand in a how ya doin’ kind of gesture. Rewound, rewound. Still think just a handshake.
What I noticed that I hadn’t before was that once Toni gets Sofia out of stir, the confrontation, “WHERE are you going?” Then Sofia says, “Why did he do it?” Toni doesn’t hesitate, buy time, saying, “What do you mean?” She knows immediately and starts talking about Creigh’s decision. Not a beat in between. It was a fascinating little exchange.
I’m still laughing over Donald Harrison listening to the explanation by Delmond of the album he, Donald Harrison, actually made and asking why no one’s thought of it before. It cracks me up every time. How surreal was that scene for him I wonder.
I’m still laughing over Donald Harrison listening to the explanation by Delmond of the album he, Donald Harrison, actually made and asking why no one’s thought of it before.
Yeah, that was comic!
Wait, so which Donald Harrison album is that? ‘Cause I thought Delmond was chasing the same thing that Wynton did with Congo Square.
@Ray From a comment wa-a-a-a-a-y up there that I put in right after watching it the first time:
“Delmond, Donald Harrison, Dr. John and Albert seems to be shaping up to be like Donald Harrison’s Indian Blues album. Great album on which you can hear Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. singing Shallow Water, which according to Al Kennedy’s book, Big Chief Harrison and the Mardi Gras Indians, the Big Chief wrote. It was a revelation and Big Chief Harrison, Sr.’s point of view seems evident in Albert often. Dr. John did play on that album and I can see him having had the same conversation with Harrison, Jr. upon being pitched the idea. I loved the scene with Harrison and Delmond discussing the album. It seemed a bit surreal to have Delmond explaining to Harrison exactly what Harrison had done years earlier.”
Album is Indian Blues. It’s great. I listen to it regularly.
yo ray. i got that cd if you want a copy.
my saucier at work the other day was saying how those scenes remineded of that record.
i was thinking it was a mashup of that record and tromebone shorties last record.
holler. ricktippie the little circle around the a gmail dot com.
maybe ol strawboss is setting up sonny.
devils advocate here.
put in in the time capsule , i think season 3 is gonna be wired.
Man, I fucking love this: the school where Antoine teaches is Theophile Jones Elie Elementary. I googled him. Named after Lolis Elie’s uncle, I’m guessing?
@rickngentilly: Thanks for the offer, I’ll probably go buy it. I’ve got an ownership fetish for the actual object when it comes to music. Season 3 is definitely gonna be strange; there was so much carnage in my personal life that when I look back I can’t even remember what was happening in New Orleans that year.
i hear ya.
i was thinking it was out of print.
maybe it’s been reissued.
@Rick I think you’re right about it being out of print. Once in a while you can find it used on Amazon or somewhere like that. It is, however, on iTunes for anyone interested.
thanks , glad to see the guys are still making royalties off this record.
you ever meet a theophile ?
the first time i meet some one by that name he was a cajun.
for years i thought his name was toefield.
one day when i saw his name in writting i started laughing my ass off.
he thought i had lost my mind.
happy “daddy time” day everybody.
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