Woman of the Hour: Wendy Davis


Well, I was a little late to the Twitter-Wendy love fest last night but I certainly enjoyed it while I was there!  The great thing about social media is the power it gives all of us to unite behind a cause and communicate when all of the so-called 24 hour cable news networks are snoozing.  If you aren’t familiar with Wendy Davis, Texas State Senator representing Fort Worth, who stood for 11 hours filibustering Texas Senate Bill 537, go here for a little bit about her background and if you missed the live stream of her filibuster and the chaos that ensued, get the bullet points here.  And if you’re completely in the dark on what all of this is about and exactly what Wendy’s filibuster defeated, go here.

This has been your lazy bloggers PSA of the day. Carry on.

NOLA Noteworthy

Good morning, NOLA!

Here for your pleasure is another random (as in whenever I get around to it) post of links that impressed me from the NOLA blogosphere as well as articles of interest that are not local but are NOLA-related. Without further ado, you must click over to:

  • Karen Beninato wrote her review of episode 13 of HBO’s Treme, “On Your Way Down”. I’ve mentioned Karen’s reviews here before because I like her style of writing clearly and knowledgeably, as a local,  but without getting mired down in minutia. This episode drew upon the explosion of violence we experienced in the city in 2006 – a situation that was especially heart-wrenching to those of us who experienced the spirit soothing balm of a violence-free few months in the wake of the storm. Probably the only positive, however short-lived, that came out of the devastation. This episode depicted the robbery and rape of our feisty and strong LaDonna and I particularly like how Karen took the opportunity to educate her readers on  rape statistics in New Orleans and to recent political attempts to “reclassify rape victims as “rape accusers,” and  “efforts to split sexual assaults into two different terms, rape and “forcible rape”. Great job, Karen!
  • The rising of the river and threat of flooding was, and continues to be, a concern for New Orleanians and Southeast Louisiana residents. Several local bloggers and photographers have posted pictures of the rising water. Kate over at What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today blog posted what is a stunning photo of the engorged river from the Holy Cross community with the cityscape in the background. The tranquility of the scene belies the seriousness of the situation but, sweet baby Jesus, you cannot help but admire the beauty of it. Arthur over at Calliope Street blog has been watching people watching the river and posted several photos taken from the French Quarter area and Liprap posted a slide show of river photos that look like they were taken at The Fly.
  • Harry Shearer was on Real Time With Bill Mahr Friday night. I have to confess this was the first time I’d ever watched the show and I tuned in strictly to see Harry. I’m glad I did because I think I like Bill and his show but I know I love Harry who has worked his butt off trying to educate people about the great levee failure of 2005 and exactly who is responsible. He talked a bit about his film, The Big Uneasy, but didn’t get nearly the amount of time to expand on it that I would have liked. Not only did I like this episode because of Harry but also because of Bill’s commentary about Bin Laden’s death, Christians and the teachings of Jesus at the end of the show. Y’all must watch. But not if you’re an easily offended person who thinks you’re a Christian. Just sayin.
  • Dambala at American Zombie went to court Friday for a well-earned day of entertainment compliments of the Mark St. Pierre trial and, in turn, entertains us with a blow-by-blow. Eat your heart out, MSM.
  • If you’re into the local literary scene or just like to know who the hot poets and writers are and who are signing their books around town, check out Mark Folse’s weekly lit post, Odd Words, every Thursday.
  • Aura Fedora’s latest podcast on Backstage On The Bayou is an interview with NOLA’s own hip-hop artist, Truth Universal. Don’t miss it.

Well, it’s past midnight and I’m ready to visit la-la land so off I go. Remember, you can catch many of these stories, and more, weekly via NOLAFemmes on Twitter. Or, you can wait for the random post here. Until next time….

NOLA Noteworthy

It’s been a busy week in NOLA and I’ve been saving like crazy to my Delicious and Instapaper. I thought I’d share some of  the interesting reading I found this week about our city and her people.

The Rumpus, an online zine based in California, published two NOLA-related stories. One, With Words and With Pretty: Super Sunday 2011 by Benjamin Morris, is a colorful narrative with photos of this years Mardi Gras Indian yearly spectacular. It explains a bit about the Indian culture to those who aren’t lucky enough to live here and unable to see it for themselves.

Also on The Rumpus is NOLA native Mark Folse’s book review, The Last Book I Loved, Mystic Pig. I read this book back in about 2006 and found it a bit too dark and violent for my taste at the time. The city was still in the active aftermath of the storm and my psyche was still a little too sensitive for such an intense story. After reading Mark’s review, though, I’ve decided that it’s a good time to reread this book. Mark also has a FaceBook page for it – click here.

Our own Emilie Staat wrote a wonderful tribute to some NOLA artists on her personal blog, Jill of All Trades, titled “Going To Bragtown”. It’s a great run-down of several of our city’s best and brightest authors, musicians and film makers and all the wonderful things happening to them lately. Thanks, Em!

Dawn Allison of Dawn Breaks blog recently volunteered at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and penned a great recollection of her experience including photos, Tennesse Williams Poetry Slam. Wow – I really missed a great event but I won’t miss it next year!

Finally, I want to direct your attention to an upcoming event at The Jazz Suite in Algiers and organized by O. Perry Walker High School  benefitting The Wonderful World of Jazz Foundation. The event also honors Japan native Yoshio Toyama who has come to NOLA for years with his band to play at the Satchmo Summer Fest and is a huge supporter of the O. Perry Walker band. This is such a wonderful story and you can read all about it here.  Here are the particulars of the event:

O. Perry Walker’s benefit and jam session will be April 12 at 7 p.m. at the Suite Jazz Cafe, 3580 Holiday Drive, in Algiers. The Roots of Music kids will lead off the night. Other performers include Rebirth Brass Band, TBC Brass Band and The O. Perry Walker Jazz Ensemble. The Jazz Cafe is an adult venue.

Do you follow NOLAFemmes on Twitter? If you did you would see my tweets about all of this and more. Follow us on Twitter!

A Well Raised Southern Girl Always Says Her Thank You’s

Roots Run Deep Here

Photo by Maringouin

My mamma raised me right so I want to let everyone know formally (wink!) who supported, tweeted, linked to, talked about and shared our Katrina Photo Project how much I appreciate y’all. I think it turned out well and received a lot of good buzz considering it was a last-minute brainchild born of an impulsive mother. I want to say a special thanks to my sister NOLAFemme, Maringouin, for jumping in and saving my ass when I was feeling overwhelmed & wondering why I thought I could get and post 60 days worth of photographs. Well. Shows what I know – I ended up with way more than 60 days worth thanks to the photographers who contributed to this project and I got some posting breaks thanks to Maringouin. But I have to tell ya, it was a little nerve-wracking in the beginning.

Luv, luv, luv to the following people who contributed photos and helped make this a community effort:
Chris Lorenzen
Geovanni Velasquez
Stephani Leff
Julia Pretus
Laura Bergerol
Rex Dingler
Valentine Pierce
The Preservation Resource Center
Edward Branley
Greg Rhoades

Huge thanks to those who shared our project with their readers:

Liprap’s Lament – The Line

What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today

On Transmigration here and here and here

Project NOLA

Humid Beings

The Times Picayune/NOLA.com (Special thanks to Terri Troncale)

and special thanks to a true friend, Editilla of New Orleans Ladder who posted a link to us every single day of the project. You can’t buy support like that.

Big Twitter hugs to everyone who tweeted us – and there were many. I know I’m missing many of you (due to my disorganization–I should have made notes as we went along.) but I do want to recognize the most prolific Tweeters:

As the voice of NOLAFemmes on Twitter, I made many new friends and contacts during this time. If I can stay focused *cough* I want to highlight some of you in future posts here. Again, I need to backtrack to get everyone’s info but here are a few who stood out because they repeatedly showed us the NOLAFemmes luv:

The Moxie Bee
Estudio Martita

Bayou Girl

Metry Chick

Special thanks to The Moxie Bee and Metry Chick for posting our badge on their websites!

I wish I had kept notes during the 60 days of this project so I wouldn’t have left anyone out. But, duh, that’s me.
However, please know how much it means that each and every one of you read and supported this effort. It was our intention to spotlight NOLA neighborhoods in the five years post-federal flood and not only the homes and hoods still in disarray and disrepair but also the ones that have come back stronger than ever. I hope in our small way, we did that.


Art & The Oilspill

Here’s Banksy’s Priest’s reply to the oilspill. Boos & hisses to @verbz on Twitter for attributing this to Banksy. Boos & hisses to me for being gullible.

Update: There’s some question whether this work is indeed that of Banksy. I’ve attempted to contact him & will let you know if I receive a reply.

Update 2: Have learned from a reliable source that this is indeed the work of Priest and so have amended title & commentary. My apologies. This, boyzngrrlz, is what happens when one acts before verifying.

We *Might* Forgive Chris Myers But We Won’t Forget

Monday night on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show Fox Sports’ Chris Myers was one of Keith’s Worst Persons in the World for this totally asinine statement:

“My best is and maybe it’s a little corny, but I like it. It’s a great country here. We have disastrous issues where people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike and I’m not going to name names. When a natural disaster hits people were not standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay, they helped each other out through this.”

I was furious and tweeted it almost immediately. I have to say I was surprised it wasn’t more of a topic on Twitter that night. Our new mayor, Mitch Landreiu, noticed and demanded an apology from Mr. Myers and Fox Sports for New Orleans and the survivors of the failure of the federal levees during Hurricane Katrina. The apology came today.

I have to admit I’d never heard of Mr.Myers before Monday night, I didn’t know he was a sportscaster here in the ’80’s and I didn’t know he’s married to a New Orleans native. But one thing I do know is, despite his history of actually living here, he’s either totally clueless or totally unconcerned about the REAL reasons people were stranded on their roof-tops after the storm. He’s totally ignorant of the many, many people who helped their neighbors, their friends, their families and total strangers during the storm and in the aftermath. I daresay all of us who lived here at that time know of at least one person who waited for days on their roof top for help and know of someone whose life was lost during the deluge or after, waiting for help.  And we also know first-hand of the many who helped those who were stranded – with little or no regard for their own lives.

After the storm, we who live in New Orleans bore the brunt of ignorant and often-times malicious rhetoric about how lazy we all were. How we all sat down here with our hands out to the federal government. We heard it, we read it and we tried to fight it. We tried to educated the uninformed. I thought that finally, after almost five years of “educating” the public that most of the country was in line with the truth of what happened here in 2005. But if a nationally recognized journalist on a major TV network who actually lived here can make these kinds of statements……well. I must say I am way past shocked. Disillusionment is setting in.

We hear your apology, Mr. Myers, but the fact is you wouldn’t have made the remarks if you didn’t believe them. I’m sure you’re sorry you said it but not so sure you’re sorry you think it.

Femme Fatale Friday: Jennifer Sachs

I first met Jennifer through emails with Katrina Warriors, a local group who came together to support area women and girls shortly after the storm. Founding nodes of the Katrina Warriors Network were
Ashe Cultural Arts Center, The Guardians Institute, Loyola Women’s Resource Center, Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, The New Orleans Regional Alliance Against Abuse (2005-2006), the New Orleans Women’s Studies Consortium, UNO Women’s Center, and V-Day.

Jennifer is a one woman community service dynamo working her magic all over the internets. She maintains the official FaceBook group page for Katrina Warriors in addition to the fan page, Katrina Warriors (heart) Yoni De Lis.

Jennifer has another FaceBook page, Holistic Health and Natural Healing, that is one of my favorite pages. Her page states,

“This group is intended to serve as a networking – informational site for any & all people interested in the beliefs, practices, and activism regarding the union of the body, mind, spirit and soul through Holistic Healing.”

She links to information and articles in various disciplines of the natural/holistic lifestyle such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Aromatherapy, nutrition and herbal medicine and issues a newsletter through FaceBook as well.

Her latest venture on the web is FaceBook page and blog NOLA-Haiti Solidarity that focuses on expressions of solidarity, donation information and status updates about Haiti.

Below are links to all of Jennifer’s pages and her Twitter ~ this is one information guru you want to follow!

NOLA-Haiti Solidarity Blog

FaceBook Page: NOLA-Haiti Solidarity

FaceBook Page: Katrina Warriors Network

FaceBook Page: Katrina Warriors (heart) Yoni De Lis

Follow Katrina Warriors on Twitter