Hello New Orleans registered voters and well-wishers--
Big times here in our small town. The mayoral primary is this Saturday, which also happens to be Earth Day, an event which goes unnoticed here in New Orleans, with the exception of Whole Foods. I like to stock up on such popular items as organic cranberries in sauce and wheat-free bread crumbs at their annual Earth Day 25-cents-off Sale.
That said, Saturday should be a big day, here and in Vegas. I would assume D.C. is paying attention too, to see who they'll have to battle next in their struggle to keep the money out of our dirty, sinful hands and into the pockets of those poor, wartorn oil magnates. I hope you remembered them when you paid your taxes, that your money is going overseas while people here in the Big Unlucky are living in tin cans since their homes were destroyed by good ol' Made In The USA Collapsable Levees. Sure, FEMA trailers are fun for playing house, but when the 2006 crop of hurricanes come ashore, the trailers might lose their novelty.
I digress! Forgive me--all of our sores have been picked open by the relentless discussion of The Issues as we try to decide which liar running for office will have the best time courting Mr. Bush for federal dollars. It has been fascinating to watch The Seven (the top two tiers of candidates out of the twenty-something in the running, a group which includes civil servant-turned-jailbird Kimberly Williamson Butler and my old boss, Mac) try to give respectable answers to impossible questions on the spot. For you out-of-towners, here are some samples of what a potential mayor has to think about, plan for, and answer intelligently on television:
--How do you, as mayor, plan to stop hurricanes from forming in the Atlantic Ocean? What's your experience with implementing climactic change?
--What's your plan for getting impoverished, unskilled workers living across the country back into New Orleans where rents are bottoming out at $1,000/month?
--As our public school system has failed, what do you propose we replace it with? Are you willing to teach a few classes if we can't afford to pay teachers?
--Because our hospital infrastructure has been demolished, are you prepared to perform surgery at the few MASH-like units on the edge of town? By the way, what's your blood type?
--No real business wants to open in this apocalyptic scenario we call home. What imaginary businesses do you think can succeed in this environment?
And so on and so forth. There are also the City Council races to consider, but who has time for that, with so many colorful mayoral candidates to choose from? There's James Arey, the classical-music deejay who used Mayor Nagin's "Chocolate City" remarks as an excuse to discuss different varieties of vanilla plants in a televised debate. (Strangely, that was the only debate Mr. Arey was invited to.) As well, there's Manny Chevrolet, an entertainer running under the slogan "A Troubled Man For Troubled Times," which is funny enough, but rumor has it that he's beginning to take his own campaign seriously, evidence of the corrupting power of politics if there ever were one. And did I mention my old boss, Mac? I bring him up again because I had the opportunity to interview him for www.nolafugees.com, the same website which brought you Maggy's vulgarity-laced testimonial for the Mardi Gras Doggy parade.
So I'm pulling out here to let you see Mac for yourself. Go to http://www.nolafugees.com/Features/issues/9/campaign/primary.html and click on the face to read the interview. The techies at nolafugees seem to have knocked one too many back, because there's no scroll bar on several of the interviews, including mine. I find that it works best to highlight the text with the mouse and move it to scroll down. These are trying times, friends, so we all have to improvise.