(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.
Samuelsson is a native or Ethiopia who was adopted by a Swedish family at 4 years old. He began cooking in his mid-teens and climbed to culinary fame at the age of 23 at the Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit in New York, which received a three-star review from The New York Times. He's since appeared on TV and won Bravo!'s Top Chef Masters. Red Rooster in Harlem is one of his restaurants, and he recently released the memoir Yes, Chef. In it, he expresses an admiration for and kinship with Leah Chase. The two chefs are preparing a $200 per person dinner at August. Signed copies of Samuelsson's book are available at Octavia Books.
Samuelsson also will appear and sign books at Whole Foods Market in Metairie from noon to 2 p.m. Friday.
Since the Tchoupitoulas bus comes only once an hour—with the exception of coming once every half hour in the early morning, late afternoon and early evening—this bus adventure was more of a walking tour. A very exhausting walking tour. Still, I explored different socioeconomic areas, stopped at some fun places and met some nice people who were eager to talk with me...
Parisians are obsessed with cherry tomatoes, and they're crazy for sushi. They feel guilty about sweets, yet they can justify any dessert so long as it includes salted caramel, which they find “makes indulging almost enjoyable.”
Every Parisian under age 50 wears jeans, but they consider people who wear white socks beneath contempt. And while many Parisians like to disdain Americans as being stupid, or at least without culture, these same Parisians fall into two categories: “on the one hand, people whose favorite after-work occupations consist of watching CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, or Sex and the City; on the other, people who worship Woody Allen and Philip Roth.”
“Parisian are avid consumers of American culture and at the same time are fiercely convinced that such a thing does not exist,” writes Paris native Olivier Magny, who includes all of the above observations in his book “Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi.”
Magny seems to have no hang-ups about American culture. He’s especially fond of New Orleans food in general and one Southern lady in particular. That would be his fiancée, for whom this author and wine expert moved from France to New Orleans.
On Saturday, June 2, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., he’ll sign copies of “Stuff Parisians Like” and discuss both Parisian peculiarities and wine at Vine Dine, a wine shop/wine bar reviewed here a few weeks ago.
The trailer for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby adaptation and the news that Zach Galifianakis may be cast as the hero of John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces broke almost at the same time — confirming many people in my Facebook feed haven't read much after high school.
Dunces has never, ever successfully made the big screen leap. Harold Ramis and, more recently (and infamously unplugged), David Gordon Green, tried and failed to adapt Toole's landmark mess. Terry Gilliam said it couldn't be filmed. (Read Kevin Allman's piece on Toole's latest biography in Gambit.)
Last night, Vulture reported that comedian and actor Galifianakis (who starts in the New Orleans-shot The Campaign) has been cast in an adaptation by Flight of the Conchords co-creator and The Muppets director James Bobin for Paramount Pictures. Vulture also says the script is helmed by Phil Johnston, who wrote 2011's Cedar Rapids and the forthcoming Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) film Nebraska.
Confederacy is one of those books that people sometimes describe as "unfilmable" (I think a four- or six-hour HBO miniseries would be better than a regular movie), but trying to cast it is a fun, fantasy-footballish exercise. Here's my list (note: Spud McConnell has aged out of Ignatius territory, at least in the movies):
• Philip Seymour Hoffman as Ignatius
• Jessica Lange as Irene Reilly
• Estelle Parsons as Miss Trixie
• Becky Allen or Amanda Hebert as Santa Battaglia
• John Reilly as Patrolman Mancuso
• Jessie Terrebonne as Darlene
• Patricia Clarkson as Lana Lee
• Damon Wayans Jr. as Jones
• Neil Patrick Harris as Dorian Greene
• Zooey Deschanel as Myrna Minkoff
Any better ideas?
(Here's our recent cover story on Confederacy and Butterfly in the Typewriter, the new biography of Confederacy's author, John Kennedy Toole.)
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