T. Geronimo Johnson's Hold It 'Til It Hurts has been named among the five finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award, a prestigious peer-juried prize for writers. It's his first novel and it's partially set in New Orleans. It follows Achilles Conroy as he returns from the war in Afghanistan and tries to recover a normal life and find his younger brother.
Johnson grew up in both New Orleans and Columbia, Md., and is a graduate of Warren Easton High School. Susan Larson interviewed Johnson for Gambit here. Johnson teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.
The other finalists are Amelia Gray for Threats, Laird Hunt for Kind One, Thomas Mallon for Watergate, and Benjamin Alire Saenz for Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club. The winner will be announced March 19.
The Brooklyn Brewery Mash rolls into town next week with a six-day schedule of events at venues around town mixing cuisine, art, film, music and, of course, beer.
New Orleans is the second stop on an 11-city national tour for the Brooklyn Brewery Mash, which is organized by the New York-based brewery and benefits the nonprofit Slow Food USA. The Mash continues across the country all year, and at each stop event organizers orchestrate collaborations between people in the local food and art scenes and counterparts from Brooklyn traveling with the road show.
"I am really down about the way the President has been attacked," Bush writes in a 2005 letter to journalist and long-time friend Hugh Sidey about the criticism directed at his son for the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. "Over and over again the networks attack him. First for being late in moving. Then for over flying Louisiana on the way back to Washington. Then on the snail like pace of relief."
Bush went on to say "My heart went out to him. Here is a guy who cares deeply. Who wants every possible resource of the Federal Government brought in to bear to help people, yet he is being roundly accused of not giving a damn...the critics do not know what is in 43's heart, how deeply he feels about the hurt, the anguish, the losses affecting so many people, most of them poor."
The senior Bush goes on to compare the criticism of his son with his own experiences being shot down by Japanese forces during his time in the U.S. Navy, and concludes, ""Now I see some of his most nasty critics trying to shoot down my beloved son — shoot him down by mean-spirited attacks. I was a scared kid back then. Now I am just an angry old man hurting for my son."
In other Bush family news, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum (known as Bush Center) will be unveiled next month at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
DC Comics’ storied superhero supergroup Justice League of America will become Justice League of Louisiana, sort of. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the publisher will unveil its series of covers picturing League members hoisting every U.S. state flag, including Louisiana's. DC offered Gambit the first glimpse of the issue.
The latest series re-launch, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by David Finch, begins with the 40-page issue No. 1 — the cover recalls Joe Rosenthal’s iconic image of U.S. troops raising the American flag on Iwo Jima, but with League members Catwoman, The Green Lantern and Green Arrow raising the Louisiana flag. Finch is a former Marvel Comics artist who helmed DC’s Batman: The Dark Knight, which wrapped 15 issues before he began working on the latest Justice League series.
You can find the issue at Crescent City Comics (916 Freret St., 504-891-3796), More Fun Comics (8200 Oak St., 504-865-1800), BSI Comics (3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-2550) and Media Underground Comics (4953 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 504-301-2435), among others.
For more comics, read this 2010 Gambit cover story on Louisiana's comic cottage industry.
Today's a good day for cleaning house here in New Orleans, and January is National Organization Month, so what better time than now to talk to clutter-buster extraordinaire Virginia Barkley? The professional organizer's first book, ClutterBusting for Busy Women, was published this month and is a number-one bestseller on Amazon in its category (Home Improvement & Design). Here, Barkley explains why the psychology behind clutter and how to get rid of it, one piece at a time.
(Note: This is an extended version of a section we cut from an early draft of this week's cover story on Southeast Louisiana Hospital.)
I found the choice of a quote from Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince a little strange given the context. Dr. Frank Opelka, head of the LSU Health Care Services Division, was presenting a plan to cut $152 million from seven LSU hospitals to the LSU Board of Supervisors. This is a setting that, one would think, demands extreme trust and sensitivity.
And yet, he decided to include in his accompanying PowerPoint a quote from The Prince.
Here's Opelka's quote:
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things"
(More after the jump)
DIG Baton Rouge got an interesting interview with Rollins about why he's touring right now:
When someone says, “Oh, this safety net is making America into a nanny state” — then again, if you think you’re such a rugged individualist, then you won’t be using my road, a public road. You better know how to get to work. That’s a taxpayer road. I use the same street you do to get to the venue. That’s a community. I’m going to stop at the red light. I think we all agree on red means stop, green means go, orange means accelerate dangerously. If we all agree on that, that makes us a community. I don’t like the idea of the United States being 50 angry little countries. The Civil War was fought to really bring us together. It took a lot of dead bodies to do and we’re together now.
Though its last stop in 2012 was in January, pop culture's moustrap Wizard World Comic Con returns in November for its annual three-day event at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
This year's recently announced celebrity headliners include Star Trek: The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart, Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee, and actors Eliza Dushku and Michael Madsen.
Other celebrity headliners include conservative Superman Dean Cain; The Walking Dead's Michael Rooker and Jon Bernthal; Hercules (hey remember that show? hey remember the 1990s?) star Kevin Sorbo; and the stars of morally questionable nerd-catnip The Boondock Saints (Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco).
The convention also features dozens of comic book artists and creators, including Eisner Award winner and Hall of Famer Neal Adams and nominees J.G. Jones, Ethan Van Sciver and Ron Garney, among others.
Events begin Friday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 2. (Stewart and Lee appear Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2; Dushku is scheduled Saturday; and Madsen will attend all three days.) Visit the website for details.
The author of the essay collections Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary is releasing a new book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, in the spring.
The NPR affiliate most recently brought This American Life host Ira Glass to McAlister for an event. Sedaris debuted many of his stories that would later appear in print on that show, and he still contributes the program (recently he performed on a live episode of TAL).
As a marketing officer and online media buyer for American Apparel, Ryan Holiday has bought millions of dollars in advertising. But he has gained a reputation for the hoaxes and pranks (more on media deceptions) that gained free publicity for his company (as well as Tucker Max, the author/professional lout he’s advised on media strategies). There’s a back story on the animus between the Gawker blogs and American Apparel owner Dov Charney, but when Holiday wanted some free advertising, he turned to the Gawker blog Jezebel.
Posing as an employee willing to leak company materials, he offered photos from American Apparel photo shoots that he said were banned from advertising in publications. Thinking they had a scoop, Jezebel staff posted the photos and invited its female, predominantly feminist readership to be outraged. Many were. But at the end of the day, Holiday succeeded in getting the blog to drive readers to view otherwise unused photos. Jezebel benefitted from the traffic the post drew regardless of whether staff checked out the source or not. American Apparel got a lot of exposure without having to pay for it in the form of advertising.
It seems relatively harmless, but Holiday had caught on to how corruptible journalism, particularly blogs and online journalism, can be. To prove his point, he went on the website Help A Reporter Out (HARO), and responded to queries as a source on various topics. He was soon quoted in a New York Times piece about collecting vinyl records (which he doesn’t do), on a website about boatcare, in CBS in a story about embarrassing office stories, etc. He appeared in many news stories and shared bogus information on things he knew little or nothing about. His point: reporters never sought to verify his identity or anything about his credibility as a source. What does he have to say about his attempts to expose the media’s practices:
“People are lucky my intentions are to sell T-shirts,” he says. He finds placing bogus information on blogs and in major publications and broadcasts alarmingly easy.
Holiday moved to New Orleans 15 months ago to write Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. It’s actually a critique of the what’s wrong with journalism and the problems intrinsic to the transformation to the Internet driving news coverage. The book was released two weeks ago, and he signs copies at Octavia Books today at 6 p.m. His thoughts on the decline of The Times-Picayune after the jump.
Two more excellent reasons to get an Advocate New Orleans subscription.
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HumidCity will do everything it can to assist. If there is something we can do…