Media

Friday, December 9, 2016

Jordan Flaherty on saviors, New Orleans, media and activism

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 11:59 AM

hi-res_cover.jpg
Jordan Flaherty's latest book, No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, draws in part from his career as a reporter and TV producer — work that has taken him to sites of grassroots struggle around the world, but it's anchored in his home, New Orleans.

Mixed in with the movement for indigenous self-determination in Black Mesa and sex workers contesting the police state in Arizona are multiple local stories. Flaherty gives us a front-row seat for the cautionary tale of FBI snitch Brandon Darby, one of two white bros who came here from Austin and rose to power through Common Ground, living out the savior complex by launching a career at immense cost to the people he claimed to be rescuing and representing. On a more positive note, Flaherty also tells the story of the New Teachers' Roundtable, a New Orleans collective founded by three former Teach for America participants to push back against TFA and the charter school movement — educational "reforms" which function as a profitable large-scale weaponization of the savior complex.

The crux of this wide-ranging book is finding alternatives to activism's savior mentality, that hero model in which a person of privilege uses their genius or other exceptional qualities to "rescue" the less fortunate.


I came to Flaherty's book with wariness, braced for scolding — but instead found No More Heroes to be full of love and compassion, including towards those who fall into the traps of saviordom. 


At 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, the Community Book Center (2523 Bayou Road.) will host one of a series of book release events Flaherty has organized across the South, previewed here by Kat Stromquist.


Flaherty advocates going from "How can I be the single best white anti-racist activist with the sharpest critique / most specialized language / busiest schedule?" to "How can we find ways to bring more and more people into social justice work, from lots of entry points, to grow vibrant mass movements?" To clarify the answers, I sat down with Flaherty to discuss his book, journalism and activism.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Editorial: Our pledge to you

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

President-elect Donald Trump. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President-elect Donald Trump.

America’s political landscape will change dramatically after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017. Already there are mixed messages coming from his transition team as to some of the promises he made while running. For now, we can only go by the man’s words and how they may affect Louisianans.

In the weeks and months to come, we will be keeping an eye on the following:

• The president-elect has promised to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but has provided few details. As of mid-November, more than 339,000 previously uninsured Louisianans are receiving health care through the ACA. We promise to outline their options and find out from doctors which screenings, tests and procedures they should get done now should the ACA go away — with a special focus on women's health care. (Meanwhile, the open enrollment period continues through the end of January; visit ldh.louisiana.gov.)

• The president-elect has made it clear that he does not believe in climate change and promises to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and key environmental protections. We promise to speak out for clean air, clean water and Louisiana’s fragile coast.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to speak at Tulane Nov. 16

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 12:34 PM

PHOTO COURTESY TULANE OFFICE OF COCURRICULAR PROGRAMS
  • Photo Courtesy Tulane Office of Cocurricular Programs

Maureen Dowd, the acid-tongued New York Times columnist known for her acerbic political commentary and insider-y conversations with Washington bigwigs, will speak at Tulane next month. She'll discuss the peculiarities of this election cycle as explained in her book The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics.

Dowd won a Pulitzer Prize in the '90s for her commentary on the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. At the event, she'll be in conversation with think tank VP and former journalist H. Andrew Schwartz.

The event takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall at Tulane's Lavin-Bernick Center and is open to the public. Admission is free. A book signing follows.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Y@ Speak: the deadline to register to vote in Louisiana is Oct. 11

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 7:41 PM

In this week's edition of an election cycle in which candy must clarify its positions on refugees and sexual assault: Louisiana officials denounce Trump's comments (but not Trump) and we watched some "debates." Meanwhile: LSU thought it could take on a hurricane, and Mike Yenni won't step down despite many calls to do so after inappropriate and likely illegal sexual behavior. Sounds familiar!

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Y@ Speak: "the sky's the limit"

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Lil Wayne endorses Hillary Clinton after she maybe referenced Da Drought (or, more likely, her own speech in 2008), the Louisiana delegation steals the show, and New Orleans in deep summer means exploding streets, snakes eating bicyclists, and tourists who should be fired into the sun.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Idea Village co-founder Tim Williamson to take over NOLA Media Group

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 12:27 PM

Idea Village CEO Tim Williamson will become the next president of NOLA Media Group. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Idea Village CEO Tim Williamson will become the next president of NOLA Media Group.

Tim Williamson, CEO and co-founder of the entrepreneur nonprofit The Idea Village, will become president of NOLA Media Group (NMG), the umbrella company that oversees NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, NMG announced today.

Williamson, a native of New Orleans, worked with Cox Interactive Media in Pittsburgh before returning home and launching the now-defunct website InsideNewOrleans.com in 1998. He will take over at NMG Aug. 15, according to a letter from The Idea Village's board of directors, while remaining on the Idea Village's board. Emily Madero, chief operating officer of The Idea Village, will become acting CEO Aug. 1.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

More love for Shaya and Cane & Table from national magazines

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 5:56 PM

Chef Alon Shaya. - COURTESY BESH RESTAURANT GROUP
  • COURTESY BESH RESTAURANT GROUP
  • Chef Alon Shaya.
Chef Alon Shaya's namesake restaurant is on a roll. The restaurant was named Best New Restaurant in America at the James Beard Foundation awards in May, and Shaya was named Best Chef: South by the group in 2015. Esquire's Tom Junod named Shaya the magazine's restaurant of the year in March. And Shaya (4213 Magazine St., 504-891-4213) also drew recent accolades from Saveur and Garden & Gun, among others.

This week, GQ included Shaya among its top restaurants in America. Written by New Orleanian Brett Martin, the survey explores dining trends from New York to Los Angeles, as well as cities less well known for dining, such as Atlanta. Martin reflects on everything from yacht club restaurants to more casual concepts, such as David Chang's chicken sandwich concept Fuku, and Shake Shack creator Danny Meyer's Chick'n Shack. 

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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, 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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Monday, October 26, 2015

What others are saying about Louisiana's suddenly interesting gubernatorial race

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 5:33 PM

click image TWITTER / @DAVIDVITTER
  • TWITTER / @DAVIDVITTER


It's been almost 48 hours since the Louisiana governor's race got interesting — and statewide and national media are taking notice. A few samples of what the world is learning about politics in the Pelican State:

Salon
, "David Vitter lurches toward a humiliating defeat: A record of scandal and hypocrisy finally catches up to him"

Sean Illing explains the Louisiana "jungle primary" system and sums up the events of last week, including an explanation of why the auto accident in which Vitter was involved last Friday may be more than a simple fender bender. But Illing lays out the story and the players for a national audience (from a pro-Democrat point of view):
For months, David Vitter was the prohibitive frontrunner. He has name recognition, political clout, a plethora of cash, and a state whose demographics increasingly favor conservative Republicans. But this is a unique political climate. Jindal, one of the worst governors in the history of the state, has made toxic everything he touched, including the Republican brand. Running as a Republican gubernatorial candidate after Jindal was always going to be tricky. In addition to that, Vitter, as James Carville told Salon recently, is “one of the most flawed candidates in American politics.”


The Daily Beast
, "The Big Sleazy’s Insane Governor’s Race"

Writer Gideon Resnick calls GOP nominee David Vitter "a kind of dorky dad-figure who would fit perfectly in a Tim Allen sitcom role," and runs down the various stories of the last week: the candidates, the prostitute, the American Zombie, and the Big Chief vs. Spy Boy contretemps that took place last Friday on Metairie Road. 

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