Friday, October 31, 2008

Bad Voodoo?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:28 PM


In the days following the 2008 Voodoo Music Experience, the message boards on the festival's Web site have turned from a source of general information to a place for VIP commiseration. Numerous people who paid the extra money for special LOA passes, which sell for three to four times the general admission price, are charging that Rehage Entertainment Inc. failed to provide many of the promised perks. Gambit Weekly spoke to two of these people, and their stories are remarkably similar.


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"In the tank"? We report, you decide. We're fair and balanced. No bias, no bull. Your most trusted name in news.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:07 PM

In the interest of creating a one-stop link shop for those who say the media are "in the tank" in the presidential race, we offer the following story from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (of which Gambit is a member):

An informal email survey and website scan of AAN's 123 American papers finds that 57 have made presidential endorsements this year, and all of them are endorsing Barack Obama.

It's quite a difference from eight years ago, when a similar survey found alties' endorsements split evenly between Democratic candidate Al Gore and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. Nader, who is running for the third straight election this year as an independent, garnered no endorsements from AAN members. Nor did this year's Green nominees, Cynthia McKinney.

Although many AAN members continue to maintain that it is not their place to make endorsements at all, and still more only endorse on local races, many papers jumped in and endorsed for president for the first time ever (or in some time) this year.

Chicago alt-weekly Newcity was one of those papers. "In our two-plus decades of publishing, we have never endorsed any candidate for any office. We do not have expectations we'll do so again," its endorsement reads. "But never before have we encountered a candidate so compelling on so many levels, or a time for change so imperative."

Other papers, like New Orleans' Gambit Weekly, are sticking to their guns and not endorsing. "Gambit does not endorse -- and has never endorsed -- in national races, which includes presidential contests," editor Kevin Allman writes, "for the simple reason that we're a locally-focused publication."

You can read the roster here.

At college papers, it's almost the same story, according to Editor and Publisher:

The Obama campaign leads by better than 23-1 in newspaper endorsements from dailies and weeklies, based on our tally so far. But the Democratic ticket has an even more impressive lead when it comes to college newspapers — 63 to 1, according to UWIRE’s Presidential Endorsement Scorecard (we have been providing a partial tabulation).

The one McCain endorser? The University of Mississippi's Daily Mississippian.

We've done the work for you. Now have at it, cable-news talking-head screamfest friends. Parse away, talk-radio pocket pundits. Dissect. Argue. Just link back here when you do.

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Too Creepy for TV

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:00 PM


Another unintentionally awkward and terrifying moment of national television, courtesy of NBC’s Today Show. Thanks, Meredith Vieira, for disturbing toddlers, stay-at-home moms and barely awake editorial assistants at 8 a.m. Also worth noting: the unfortunate placement of buttons on Al Roker's gingerbread man; a complete lack of Matt Lauer's enthusiasm and a laugh track; Matthew Broderick.


I’m guessing Halloween trumps election years any ol’ day of the week. 


Too bad for you, tardy Halloween shoppers

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 7:44 PM


This was the line yesterday at about 6 p.m. outside the Uptown costume store. It extended all the way down the block. I turned around and went to the drugstore to buy some pipe cleaners, which I guess I'll be wearing on my head, or something. 


Too big to fail?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 7:20 PM

Whether you can't get enough frights this weekend or you want something to sober you up on Sunday, try watching I.O.U.S.A. It's the story of our national debt. When the film was set for August release, the scary number was $9.5 trillion. But that was nothing. Now that Wall Street has melted down and $700 bailouts are bandied about as if that money was just sitting in the bank waiting for a rainy day, the debt has risen to $10.5 trillion as of Halloween. Actually that money is sitting in a bank ... somewhere else in the world. The United States government borrows more than 20 cents of every dollar it spends. Simply put, that's not sustainable. Interest on the debt accrues at a rate of almost $4 billion per day. This Sundance Film Festival selection examines the debt, how government fails to confront the problem and how disinterested the public is in the issue. The screening is at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. 


Mickey D: They weren't lovin' it

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 7:20 PM


* photo by Gambit classified executive/unofficial staff paparazzo Huong Nguyen

Gambit's sales staff coordinated their Halloween effort this year to such great effect that they decided to walk down to McDonalds on Canal Street to show off their costumes.

What we learned:

Today's Youth has no earthly idea who classic McDonalds characters are. (Neither, for that matter, do McDonalds employees. Don't they teach these things at Hamburger U?)

• When a sales executive is dressed as Mayor McCheese, he can expect questions like "What are you supposed to be, a Big & Tasty?"

• Oh, yeah, and: Toddlers are freaking TERRIFIED of the Grimace. If one little girl has nightmares tonight, it's Danielle's fault.

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The Green Mind Said It's OK

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 4:43 PM

New Orleans’ grassroots movement for all things green now has a face — and a home. The Alliance for Affordable Energy opened the doors to its BuildSmart Learning Center last night, providing the New Orleans community with a resource facility to not only learn about the benefits of sustainable development, but see them put to use in a tangible and hands-on facility. For a city constantly evolving in the rebuilding process, why not build on the cutting-edge of sustainable development?


In the unassuming Art Egg Building under the Broad Street overpass, the 2,500 square-foot facility serves homeowners, builders, or anyone who needs advice changing a light bulb. A life-sized shotgun house inside the facility showcases dozens of different practical applications and tips, from the very simple — like replacing your gas water heater with a tankless one, or using nontoxic cleaning supplies — to the latest in solar panels, steel-beam construction, insulation and everything in-between. The cut-away house turns sometimes abstract and difficult changes for the everyday homeowner into realistic (and extremely cost-effective) solutions.


Now that en(t)ergy costs are hitting the pocketbook, the center provides an invaluable resource to help save money while saving the environment. The center provides how-to workshops and an expanding library and resource area with plenty of information for DIY projects.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also announced New Orleans as one of the 25 cities to receive the DOE’s Solar American Cities Award — $450,000 in federal aid to integrate solar technology into the city. The city will draft a plan to incorporate and expand solar technology, hoping to stimulate the marketplace with a demand for all things solar and create a new job market for sustainable contractors, builders and businesses. 


The center, in turn, hosts a Workforce Training Program for Energy Efficient Building Practices, providing young people an opportunity to learn about and gain hands-on experience for future green jobs.


What's Halloween...

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 3:38 PM

...without Morgus?


A Smashing Pumpkin

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:34 PM


Today is high tide for pumpkin popularity. Thanksgiving is a close second, of course, but since the jack-o-lantern is the de facto emblem of Halloween tonight's the night.

Unlike Thanksgiving, though, you don't get to taste much pumpkin on Halloween, unless you stumble upon some ambitious and generous household giving out pie to trick-or-treaters instead of "fun size" Snickers (and if you do, please let me know so I can get my android-transgender-Sarah Palin costume over there pronto for the slice).

But back in the real world, given the paucity of edible pumpkin on this of all days, I was intrigued by the appearance of pumpkin ice cream at Angelo Brocato's. I dropped into the Italian-style ice cream parlor yesterday for an innocent cup of coffee, not a mid-day ice cream, but when I spied the seasonal flavor and could not resist. Forget Halloween, this tasted like Thanksgiving dessert in a cone. Mellow, spicy, creamy, not too sweet and utterly delicious. Seasonal flavors like this are around for a limited time at Brocato's, so if you want a taste I recommend beating a path there quickly.

This pumpkin ice cream is definitely a treat.

-- Ian McNulty


Happy Halloween

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:09 PM


*Horrifying image courtesy of the great site Plaid Stallions

Like New Orleans needs a reason to play dress-up.

So far this morning we have had:

• managing editor Kandace Graves as a particularly convincing Amy Winehouse ("Oh, you have coke residue under your nose! How cute!" squealed a coworker)

• a graphics department with a great Sweeney Todd Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York and an even better Morgus

• A&E editor Will Coviello as an excellent caveman ("I made the pants myself")

• a "Ghouls Gone Wild" Bourbon Street corpse

In the TOTALLY CHEESED OUT ON THE CONCEPT DEPT., we have senior writer David Winkler-Schmit in street clothes trying to pass himself off as The Undecided Voter. Boooooo.

But the award for completeness goes to one Gambit staffer who is wandering the halls as unwed teenage mom Juno. "And it's real," she announced, patting her stomach. Using Halloween to make your pregnancy announcement -- now that's commitment.

Pictures later. What are you doing for Halloween?


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