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Monday, February 22, 2016

Y@ Speak: The Flyest

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 3:00 PM

As Saint Mannie Fresh once said in the Book of Big Tymers, "Can't pay my rent, 'cause all my money's spent, but that's OK, 'cause New Orleans has a portion of Audubon Park called The Fly," or something like that. Well, RIP to that, maybe. Also in this week's Twitter roundup: updates from Louisiana's budget hell world and a reminder that Anthony Davis is 22 years old and better than all of us.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Y@ Speak: everywhere else it's also Wednesday

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Mardi Gras 2016 is in the books. Here's a XXL-sized edition of your very serious Twitter report from the last week of Carnival. Krewe of Chad gets dumped on, Beyonce conjures New Orleans in "Formation" while her sister Solange gets a key to the city, and Indians, costumers, drunkards, Confederate monuments, giant octopi, shirtless weathermen and Ted Cruz as a Rex page take to the streets and your local public access station.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Krewe of Vaporwave's virtual Mardi Gras parade

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:47 PM

A snapshot of "A Tribute to War Not Being the Answer," one of the vkv floats.
  • A snapshot of "A Tribute to War Not Being the Answer," one of the vkv floats.
Last night the first annual Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave rolled. Theirs was a virtual parade, viewed via popular streaming service Twitch. To be clear, the parade, a series of video/music collaborations by pseudonymous artists, was entirely online.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a symptom of alienation, but watching it was the opposite of alienating. So many of us do already consume so much of life through screens, whether we're streaming ParadeCam, a small bright rectangle of noise and spectacle in the corner of our workstation at some geographically remote office, or scrolling numbly through Carnival-soaked social media, the documentation of other people's good times. The Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave positioned itself as a joke about this tendency — “This is something to be experienced alone on your computer in the dark,” the Krewe's founder, Merely Synecdoche, told Michael Patrick Welch — but functioned as both a critical commentary on it and, by bringing viewers together at a set time to watch it, even a partial remedy.

Whereas some react to the malign influences of digital technology on our daily lives by mindlessly celebrating technology, fetishizing it, or hailing it as a magical force that can rescue us from our problems, Synecdoche says Vaporwave is about "the loneliness and pointlessness of the Internet."

Vaporwave as a genre is internationally influenced, built of broken pieces of the past, born of a sense of loss, and according to Synecdoche, "on the Internet it’s already been declared dead many times over,” making it a good genre fit for 2016 New Orleans. This first year's theme was "Vaporwave is Dead: Long Live Vaporwave." So: elegiac, fatalistic and unshakably fixated on itself... any of these characteristics sound familiar?

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Y@ Speak: The #Chad Awakens

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 1:40 PM

It's Carnival time — you know what that means: watching buildings burn, spray-painting public spaces, catching Confederate flag beads and sleeping on strangers' stoops. Plus: a look at some of the DIY floats from 'tit Rex, Chewbacchus and Barkus.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: Oh! You pretty things

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM


A David Bowie memorial parade and several streets-sized block party made the French Quarter on Saturday night look like the bottom of the box where you keep your glittery Christmas ornaments. Also: Everyone turns into a Powerball goblin, President Barack Obama visits New Orleans Baton Rouge, and Gov. John Bel Edwards is pope of Louisiana.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Y@ Speak: king cake fever

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Say "king cake" in a crowded place and people will scramble like Fred Flintstone. Now that it's socially and legally acceptable to buy and eat it, you are its prisoner. Is it in the office kitchen this morning? Should I grab a single slice in a plastic container at this drug store? How much is "too much"? You're thinking about eating it now. It's OK. Have that slice. You earned it.

Also this week: Sean Payton loves New Orleans so much that he's keeping his multi-million dollar job in it, and Wizard World Comic Con comes to town.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Remembering C.B. Forgotston, a Louisiana original

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 6:22 PM

C.B. Forgotston, the attorney, blogger, talk show guest and frequent irritant to those in power, died Jan. 3 at 70.
  • C.B. Forgotston, the attorney, blogger, talk show guest and frequent irritant to those in power, died Jan. 3 at 70.


John Adams once wrote, “The love of power is insatiable and uncontrollable. … There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” Those words, penned in the 18th century, infused the more recent writings by Louisiana political watchdog C.B. Forgotston.

For more than 20 years, Forgotston, a Hammond attorney, blogger, talk show guest and frequent irritant to those in power, fearlessly skewered our state’s public officials with Adams-like precision. He died on Jan. 3 at age 70, but his work lives on in the memories of his many readers and admirers.

On his website and his Twitter feed, he took regular aim (and no prisoners) at politicians of all stripes, especially Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom he derided as a charlatan. He often posted copies of Jindal’s campaign promises, juxtaposing them with the governor’s actions, and his website recently featured a countdown clock, ticking off the minutes and seconds ’til Jindal was out of office. Had he lived to see it, Forgotston would have held new Gov. John Bel Edwards accountable from Day One.

Jindal was hardly Forgotston’s only target. He limned former Gov. Mike Foster as “Big Daddy” and a big spender, and he proudly posted the “Louisiana Misery Index” — a list of lists on which Louisiana consistently fared poorly. To those who called him “cynical,” he replied with an entry from his oft-quoted “Glossary” of Louisiana political terms — “Cynicism: The power of accurate observation as commonly called by those who have not got it.”

Forgotston may have been cranky, but he was no crank. An LSU law graduate, he worked for several years as chief counsel to the House Appropriations Committee and later as a lobbyist for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). He opposed both the state lottery and the land-based casino in New Orleans, two battles he lost. If he struck some as cynical, it was because he had served time in the belly of the beast. He saw up close how power corrupted people.

In C.B.’s Glossary, “mullets” were average Louisianans, perpetually suffering under the contemptible rule of self-serving politicians. Among his other definitions:

America: A country that Louisiana would like to one day join.

Ethics: The concept of right and wrong. A concept so unknown to politicians in Louisiana that the leges had to pass a statute to remind themselves of it.

Intaxication: The temporary euphoria one feels when they hear they will receive a tax decrease only to realize that it was their money to begin with.

Statute: A mere guideline for politicians. It is a mandatory law for Mullets.

Statesman: A term used by leges to describe themselves when they turn their backs on the people who elected them.

Like him or not, agree with him or not, Forgotston was exactly the kind of watchdog Louisiana needs. Of the politicians he battled, he told Gambit in 2006, “I don’t know if they respect us as much as fear us, but I consider that a badge of honor.” Rest in peace, C.B. Louisiana misses you already.



A funeral for C.B. Forgotston will be held at 11 a.m. Fri. Jan. 8 at Holy Ghost Catholic Church (600 N. Oak St., Hammond). Visitation from 9-11 a.m.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Y@ Speak: Carnival cruise

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Now that you're bloated and round from holiday glut, you can roll right into Carnival alongside the St. Charles streetcar, as children point and laugh and roll you around like a hoop pushed by a stick. You're the spirit of Mardi Gras. This week: welcoming 2016, released from the prison of the New Orleans Saints, and Trump does Mississippi.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Y@ Speak: 12 tweets of Christmas

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 3:16 PM

Twelve poison ice creams, 11 humid sweaters, 10 "goodbye" letters, nine Saints a-losing, eight pieces spicy,
seven thousand termites, six Chads a-Krewing, fiiiiiiiive Ronnielogues, four Confederates, three boil orders, two Jindal terms, and a Bronze Tom's wine and ice cream.

See you in 2016.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Y@ Speak: the end of sports and monuments

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 12:38 PM

A bronze Tom Benson remains while a playoff-forbidden Saints soldier on and Confederate monuments do not. Drew Brees' biggest problem last week involved a Star Wars drone and Elf on the Shelf, while the city rallies around removing four controversial monuments, Royal Street is a restaurant-designated terror target, and, as per tradition, a mysteriously lonely Bunny Bread bunny signals the beginning of Christmas. 

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