Internet & Technology

Monday, January 4, 2016

"Total War Puppets" demilitarize the Mudlark Theater

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Sandy the Slut, one of the Total War Puppets
  • Sandy the Slut, one of the Total War Puppets
In the years I've been acquainted with the woman known as Nyx, she has been not only a very solid poet, artist and anarchist-feminist theorist but an outspoken and unstinting critic of what she perceives as weak or regressive creative endeavors here in New Orleans.

After a sojourn abroad, she and her new collaborator Ben Bornstein are returning to town Jan. 9, 10, 12 and 13 with their project Total War Puppets, in a production at the Mudlark Theatre titled "Fire with Fire."

I spoke to Nyx and Ben about their puppet show, its ideological underpinnings, and what Nyx finds lacking in the New Orleans DIY art scene. One of the most principled and least cowardly New Orleans artists I know is back with a vengeance, and I couldn't be happier about it.

What's the origin of "Total War Puppets?"

I left New Orleans to go to Bread & Puppet in Brattleboro, Vermont for an apprenticeship. I met Ben there and we had more political affinity than I had with most of those people. I'd had the idea for a show about militarism and its connection to my family. A few months later I was working on little scenes, and I had enough to make a show. Ben joined me and we spent a month doing nothing except building the puppet show. We both wrote different scenes and then heavily co-edited them.

BEN: The name of our troupe addresses how a militaristic culture isn't relegated to statist violence like the police. Total War is the current doctrine of war, including citizen non-combatants — Total War throws you into the context of war simply by being alive.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Maple Street Book Shop to close at end of 2015

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Gladin Scott is a longtime customer and owner of Maple Street Book Shop. - COURTESY MAPLE STREET BOOK SHOP
  • Gladin Scott is a longtime customer and owner of Maple Street Book Shop.

Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott announced the store will close at the end of 2015.

"With dwindling sales, it's tough to keep open a bookshop that isn't self-sustaining," he said.

Scott said changing technology contributed to the difficulties of keeping the shop open.

"I think technology has changed the way people read and buy books," he said.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jazz funeral for Sudan’s Kenneth James Dykes Sr.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Sudan member Kenneth Dykes Sr.
  • Sudan member Kenneth Dykes Sr.

Kenneth Dykes Sr.

Sunset: Saturday, September 12, 2015

Last Saturday, the social aid and pleasure club community laid to rest one of its beloved members to rest. Kenneth James Dykes Sr., age 54 and founding member of ‘Sudan’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club, succumbed to cancer Sat., Sept. 12, 2015. His club honored Dykes with a traditional jazz funeral homegoing ceremony.

(videos and more below the jump!)

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Paddlewheeling podcast ends its Mississippi River journey in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Reid Lustig, Galen Huckins and Brian Benson aboard the paddlewheel boat home to the trio's storytelling podcast The River Signal. - VANCE WALSTRA
  • Reid Lustig, Galen Huckins and Brian Benson aboard the paddlewheel boat home to the trio's storytelling podcast The River Signal.

The Channel Princess is just a few riverbends away from docking in New Orleans, where the 35-foot paddlewheel boat reaches its port of call after a summer-long journey on the Mississippi River.

The Princess — home to Galen Huckins, Brian Benson and Reid Lustig — also is a workshop and recording studio for The River Signal, a traveling storytelling podcast inspired by the trio's adventures and the characters and artists they've met.

The boat was rescued and refurbished after it sunk into Oregon's Willamette River during a snowstorm in 2012. The group hauled it on a trailer 2,000 miles across country and set off from Minnesota in June. The four-month journey comes to an end next week. The trio had several ideas for the trip but ultimately created a magical realism-inspired serialized radio drama using music and the Mississippi.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Deborah "Big Red" Cotton honored at Rising Tide conference

Posted By on Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 6:36 PM

Deborah Cotton, aka Big Red Cotton, accepting the Ashley Morris Award at the annual Rising Tide conference, which was held today at Xavier University.
  • Deborah Cotton, aka Big Red Cotton, accepting the Ashley Morris Award at the annual Rising Tide conference, which was held today at Xavier University.
Writer, filmmaker and Gambit second line correspondent Deborah "Big Red" Cotton was honored today at Rising Tide X, the 10th annual conference put on by a group of New Orleans bloggers. She received the group's Ashley Morris Award for her work as a "connector" in the New Orleans community in the years after Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods.

Cotton has been tireless in chronicling the city's second line, brass band and social aid and pleasure club cultures and recently co-created The Community Voices Project, a series of videos interviewing longtime and native New Orleanians about changes in the city.

Cotton was among 19 people who were shot during a second line parade on Mother's Day 2013, a crime which shocked a city that had become inured to violence. She continues to recover. 

"I was one of the worst injured in the shooting incident," she told the crowd at Rising Tide. "It took me more than a year to get my feet back on the ground." Nevertheless, she said it never occurred to her to leave New Orleans. "Next stop, Charbonnet," she said, making a joking reference to the Charbonnet Funeral Home.

The trial for her shooters is scheduled to be held in October, Cotton said, and she is nervous about testifying. "I hold them responsible," she said. "But I hold us responsible too." Of the city's continuing violent crime problem, she said, "We do not convert outrage into holding leaders accountable."

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Watch: Gov. Bobby Jindal's would-be viral video featuring him doing pushups

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 2:29 PM


Twenty-three years ago, the sight of presidential candidate Bill Clinton playing his saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show was controversial. At the time, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun wrote:

Clinton's saxophone-playing appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show" in June, though, was widely mocked at the time by many members of the we-know-everything gang covering national politics.

It wasn't dignified. It demeaned presidential politics. It "coarsened" the discourse of democracy, to use the language that syndicated columnist George Will seems to use to describe anything that isn't white, male and borrowed from ancient Rome or Greece. Clinton was dubbed the "Elvis candidate," in part because he was playing (or rather gamely trying to play) Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel."

That was ancient history. By 2008, then- (and now-) presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was slamming boilermakers for the camera because that's just the kind of thing Serious Candidates had to do to prove they were real people.

Since then, of course, the rise of the staged-viral video has resulted in sights like Lindsey Graham destroying his cellphone like a macho man, and Ted Cruz cooking bacon on the barrel of what was described as a machine gun (and is actually an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle). 

Now Gov. Bobby Jindal is in the mix, cooperating with Buzzfeed for a video in which he has a pushup contest against "the issues" (don't ask us):

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DeRay Mckesson to deliver keynote speech at Rising Tide X

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 10:00 AM


Rising Tide
, the annual bloggers' "conference on the history of New Orleans," will feature a keynote speech by civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson when it holds its 10th session Aug. 29 at Xavier University.  

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Y@ Speak: disrupting

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Y@ Speak is back from a short break and is ready to disrupt the Twitter industry with sweeping changes in the delivery of great content by continuing to provide the tweets you want, when you want them (on most Mondays, exclusively around noon-ish). In this week's edition, termites are probably still in your shirt, we say goodbye to Monty Williams, Gov. Bobby Jindal does things, and goats go to Bayou Boogaloo.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Red Schtick: Forget about 'no-go zones'; Jindal's on to 'no-bro zones'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 5:19 PM

The satirical Baton Rouge website The Red Schtick has been on a bit of a roll lately — a roll over Gov. Bobby Jindal, with stories like "Last Known Jindal Supporter Throws in the Towel" and "10 Other Nonexistent Things Bobby Jindal Decries."

This one, however, literally made me laugh out loud:

There are portions of American cities where insufferable, Axe-Body-Spray-laden douchebags are not welcome, according to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The Republican railed against the existence of these so-called “no-bro zones” Thursday, claiming local government and law enforcement agencies have ceded control to roving bands of relatively tasteful citizens who shun devotees of the douchebag lifestyle.

“Right now in the United States, including here in Louisiana, there are entire neighborhoods where it’s not safe for preening young men who brag about their imported cars but only drink cheap domestic beer,” Jindal said. “That’s because the authorities in those areas have given up control to radical enforcers of decency.”
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Welcome to Night Vale added to Civic Theater schedule

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 4:11 PM

Mary Chapin Carpenter.
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Americana country-roots singer Mary Chapin Carpenter and the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale have both been added to the Civic Theater's spring schedule.

In the 1990s, Carpenter won four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and she's known for the singles "I Feel Lucky," "Passionate Kisses" and "Down at the Twist and Shout."

Cecil Baldwin narrates Welcome to Night Vale. - LIEZL ESTIPONA
  • Cecil Baldwin narrates Welcome to Night Vale.

Welcome to Night Vale played New Orleans last spring, and Alex Woodward interviewed the creators.

Tickets for Carpenter go on sale Fri. Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. (an American Express cardholder presale is on now), while Night Vale will go on sale Fri. Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.

Mary Chapin Carpenter
with Aoife O’Donovan

Thu. March 26, 7 p.m.
The Civic Theatre

Welcome To Night Vale
Thu, April 9, 8 p.m.
The Civic Theatre

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