Monthly Archives: August 2011

Five Classes Got Soul (In a Little Tent)


We went over to Lafayette, to this store called Right On Fashions, to see whether we might buy Stetson hats. It seems they are $125 hats, but the store could “let us have them” for $99 plus tax. Yeah, right we said. Nobody knows the trouble I seen, nobody knows the sorrow.

Axé.

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David Edwards

28 June, 1915 – 29 August, 2011 and had shows scheduled.

Axé.

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Deux vieillards qui parlent bien

This is tight. Goodnight, Irene.

Axé.

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29 August 2005

I became quite interested in this song when my cat, who may have been Turkish, disappeared earlier this year. He celebrates his eleventh birthday today and his sixth month of disappeared status Friday. When he was first absent I would sing this lullaby in case he was hurt or scared somewhere, and to calm myself.

Other people sing it in all sorts of versions, including tacky versions, punk rock parodies, and versions with Turkish subtitles. It is a lullaby for a child who has beauty spots; his hands are decorated with henna tattoos. The cows are eating the cabbages and must be run out of the garden.

On 29 August 2005 it was my cat’s fifth birthday and it is hard to believe but more than half of his life — that is, more than half of the part of his life he spent with me — took place after Katrina. Now we will sing the song again, a cappella, in honor of that night when the storm had passed through, and the levees had not broken.

Axé.

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On Magnaville and Fordlândia

See the Northern Gaijin. “A comparative cultural study of the two attempts at creating a utopian community by bring in an outside group into a different culture would be an interesting research paper for someone,” says he, and it is true.

I think the N G must have lived in this area at one time. I have not discerned his field of study, it is mysterious. He lives on Lake Ontario, but was not originally Canadian.

Axé.

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On Commodity Fetishism

La Selva, Salomón de. Tropical Town and Other Poems. Houston: Arte Público, 1999. 978-1558852358. $27.

We have two copies of this book and I almost put it on an acquisitions list again; I seem to have fetishized it. I appear to believe that ownership of this book signals that our library is on its way toward vitality.

I do not know why this book in particular suggests that to me. It has something to do with the alliteration in the title, the son rhythm I hear in it, and with how heimlich the title feels on the one hand, and how faraway on the other.

Axé.

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Numa sala de jantar domingueira, lendo jornal…

Not From the Tourist Board

Student: There is a very dark side to that famous Cajun joie de vivre and all the other forms of insistence that Louisiana is a happy place.
Professor Zero: The poverty, the political hierarchies, and the colonial social and economic structure?
Student: Those things, yes, but also the domestic violence, the self loathing, and the general emotional pain.

Advice to New Faculty

Once again, new ones are reaching out and their strategies are varied. You can guess which is my favorite.
A: Let us have lunch to commiserate about the teaching overloads we have this semester.
B: I do not know how the work is being divided up for Important Committee X, but I had some ideas for our text and I wrote them down. I sent you e-mail with an .rtf attached. Please feel free to cut and paste it as you see fit.

Mestizo Music from the Fess

Axé.

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Irene, Good Night

Afternoon is fading in Maringouin and I did not get to Rising Tide, which must have been an adrenalin filled event since Hurricane Irene made landfall as a Category One storm in North Carolina this morning. I have written Eric Cantor:

Bayou Maringouin, LA. Today marks the sixth anniversary of the arrival of the Hurricane Katrina evacuees we were destined to host here and at points north and west over the next few months. Evacuees and refugees from Hurricane Rita would arrive a few weeks later. In honor of all those who suffered, and especially of those who died or suffered permanent losses as a result of these storms, I request that you do everything in your power to provide immediate and long term relief for all victims of Hurricane Irene, without a requirement to “pay it back” in the form of other budget cuts. Yours very truly.

Axé.

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Gates of Eden

This song is for that Spanish Professor and Clarissa. It is truly American, and it explains a great deal.

*

I hope, but cannot promise, to be at Rising Tide today. This year August 29 falls again on a Monday, as it did in 2005. Classes had just started and things were hectic, and we were keeping our back eye on the storm. Saturday morning things seemed cosy and bright, and I was not thinking about it at all when the phone rang from New Orleans, can we come up? Everyone was packing all Saturday and securing houses, and we were shopping for supplies.

Sunday people drove up and in some cases through in slow contraflow, with the sky darkening, and we went to one of the afternoon dances. Monday we felt the outer bands and tried to aim Google Earth at New Orleans streets. By night it appeared not to have been so bad.

Tuesday I went in to work, where we soon heard that the levees were breaking. I did not get to New Orleans until Thanksgiving and when I got there, it looked — no, was worse than San Salvador. I had the foolish idea of going to Managua at Christmas and it was as New Orleans is now: settled into disaster. Later that winter, moving toward spring, I started this post-Apocalyptic weblog.

Axé.

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Rough Underbelly

Police issued arrest warrants for the two for their roles in a bar fight Aug. 19 at Shady’s bar. BRPD contacted LSU Coach Les Miles and the players’ attorney, Nathan Fisher, to request the players turn themselves in, which they did at 10:15 a.m. at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.”

Various people were quoted talking about how traumatic it was for the football players, who apparently kicked someone in the face and sent four to the hospital in this bar fight, to be “accused.”

*

I’ve missed studio time and workout time and I am going to miss two interesting extracurricular events, all because I am flashing back too much to be a reliable driver. The content of these flashbacks appears to suggest that if I could be forgiven for having done the PhD, then the pain of having a professor job, namely a job caring for the fractious and the weak, might end.

I have talked about this before and I know it is irrational. But I want to be forgiven for having done the PhD so that I can actually graduate. (At one point I had actually graduated but it turned out to have been a crime or sin.)

*

How was your summer? I asked the students. Depressing, said one. Why? Because I live in a small town. Boring, said the next. Why? Because I live in a small town. Why do you not like that? The self-loathing and the domestic violence all pitch and heave together, ze said, and it is worse when it is hot.

Axé.

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