Friday, December 27, 2019

The Problem of Sports Mascots and Logos

Since America pretty well has all its national and regional problems licked, there's been a lot of commentary about the appropriateness of certain sports teams logos or mascots. The latest one to be changed is by the Cleveland Indians baseball team, which retired Chief Wahoo after more than 60 years.

Now I'm confused and conflicted about this in several ways. In what way does The Mistake by the Lake have with Indians? So Indians may have lived there at one time; but they were apparently mild-mannered and polite.

No, I'm not sorry to see Chief Wahoo go. He was a particularly ugly and uncute mascot.  But there are other of these. For some reason, apparently the University of Notre Dame styles itself the Fightin' Irish; and has adopted am even more singularly ugly mascot of a belligerent leprehcaun with bad hair:

Now this pugnaciousness may go along with the self-image of Irish-Americans, who also apparently don't mind this Catholic university adopting their ethnic group to name their teams. And we have the example of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's teams being known as the Ragin' Cajuns. (No cute or ugly mascot as yet.) And apparently Cajuns are okay with UL - L's nickname. At least no hind quarters of raccoons are involved  Florida State's Seminoles also get a pass; but the institution represents Seminoles respectfully and the Seminole tribe apparently likes it.

New Orleans's pro football team is known as the Saints. Is there irony underfoot there? I suspect  so. And their basketball team goes by the Pelicans. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Candywuss Chili

Pardon me, gentle readers (is anyone still there, considering  my spotty record of blogging), while I lapse into real controversy. No, not the political carnage that sadly 
happens daily, not sex, but a remark about food.

Now I previously evinced* some displeasure with the notion of culinary cultural appropriation (hell, if you're Irish and you want to do lutefisk, go for it, baby! I will not judge you. But the notion of Cincinnati chili totally astonished me! And saddened me. What is that, you might say?

Well, it's a weak, hyped-up sauce with tomato paste, cumin, nutmeg, allspice, a little chili powder, chocolate, possibly Worchestershire, and served over spaghetti and topped with cheese! Holy horse turds! And often oyster crackers are added. So sad! I encountered this is a regional restaurant which shall be unnamed.

Actually, I have the biggest problem with the nomenclature: call it Cincinnati meat sauce, if you desire such a culinary delight (?); but a righteous chili must be a savory beef and chili sauce, served with red beans or not. If you're adventurous, chop some chilis.

To my opinion, the real questions should be red or green, referring to the type of chili added. And Fritos or Doritos, as a side.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Ethnics of New Orleans; and an Old Creole Ethnic Taunt

After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, this little insulting verse was commonly used by the Creole children.

'Mericain coquin,
'Bille en nanquin;
Voleur du pain,
Chez miché D'Aquin.

Translated, roughly, it becomes:

American crook,
Dressed in nankeen;
Stealer of bread,
From the place of Monsieur D'Aquin.

There were frictions between the French-speaking locals and the newly-immigrating Americans after the Louisiana Purchase.  Some of the problems came because most often the Americans who arrived in New Orleans were the flatboat- or keelboatmen; who felt a desire to cut loose after poling down the Mississippi for several weeks.  Therefore, there was the sense of "there goes the neighborhood."
Like little bits of folklore, it persisted well into later times in certain areas. Even when most Orleanian kids spoke only English.

New Orleans was always a melting pot: the original settlers were French; some brought slaves.  Some intermarried with Native Americans.  The original Creole (white or mixed race) population was joined by the Cajuns, the Spanish, the Canary Islanders, the refugees from Santo Domingo, the Napoleonic refugees from the restoration, and lately, the Americans.  Still later, the Irish and the Germans.

Because of slavery, the African-American population was extensive from the start.  It expanded with the Haitian Revolution, in which sizeable numbers  of African-American and mixed ancestry people moved into New Orleans,  These latter immigrants became an extensive talented artisan class; for example, accounting for the elaborate ornate grill work in the French Quarter.  They were referred to as Free Persons of Color. They also had a few that practiced voodoo. But, most importantly, they developed jazz into an art form.

By the 1880's, the Italians had arrived; and the Dalmatians had moved into the shrimp and oyster business in Plaquemines Parish.  Still later came the Cubans and the Filipinos.

New Orleans is a tapestry of racial and ethnic groups. And interesting restaurant choices when you move away from the old, traditional, (expensive) ones.

There's several really good neighborhood restaurants. You don't have to go to the costly ones! And, there's always the Cafe du Monde for beignets and coffee. And a stroll in Jackson Square or on the Moonwalk afterward.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Inappropriate Gift

While the relationship between Officer Pete and Madeline the Prophetess was just moving past the early stages, it was evident that both were quite taken with each other. Talk about an unlikely combination!

This was noted by both the New Orleans Eccentric Union and the NOPD; and they wondered where this was going. And, to be frank, Madeline was not holding up her end in eccentricity so expected in New Orleans. OMG! Was she turning out to be the usual Lakeview* or Irish Channel* charmer?

Well, Pete wanted to gift Madeline a little token of his interest, so he asked Sgt. Angelo for some advice. The good Sergeant, in a spell of whimsy, said, "Why don't you give her a red bra"?

Now, in many circles, this might be seen as an inappropriate gift; something to cause someone to be offended. But Pete was, despite his occupation, somewhat innocent of some ways of the world. (And unlikely to advance in the NOPD scheme of things.) He found the right one at a dance clothing supply store, of all places!

Anyway, the occasion came, and the grand moment occurred. Madeline was totally surprised. Awed!

And smiled! Broadly. He got her size right. Some good detective work there.

She promptly partially undressed, removed her plain bra, and replaced it with the new bra which was lacy and a bit sparkly! She was clearly pleased at his thoughtfulness and wore it for the rest of the evening even though her sweater was a trifle thin and she revealed herself somewhat.

Sometimes a girl just needs encouragement!

*Neighborhoods in New Orleans

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Keep It Classy, Dude!

I actually saw someone wearing this shirt at a Yankees game!

Bad Kitty!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Reflection on Burreygard's Horse's Ass

The rules of social discourse have become exceedingly complex; and this is accompanied by a hair-trigger mentality regarding taking offense. This results in the unaware stumbling into a loaded situation and causing problems.

Let's face it: Keeping up with being woke is hard work; and these is no handy-dandy clearinghouse enabling a person to learn to be cool or even inoffensive. Case in point: the "okay" sign.

How in hell did this wind up being a fascist or racist symbol? Did those clowns manage to get a patent on it because none had thought of doing so before?

Anyway, it would really be cool to have some web site to give us not terribly informed people pointers on what things we say or do might have antisocial meanings. It should be basic. There are people, like me, who are just plumb unwoke.

And also how about some tips on what is déclassé nowadays?  a few years ago there was the movement to take down Confederate monuments in New Orleans. I opined that we should keep General Burreygard (how us Yats refer to General Beauregard) because he was a local figure. Anyway, I got a shit storm of negativity for that.  So much for free thought. Yes, Ma'am, it was so. 

Actually, I felt a little nostalgic about the statchoo: I remember Teen Angel receiving some heavy antipodal exploration while parked in a car in City Park with an up-close and personal view of Genl. B's horse's posterior!* So, in the desire for social harmony; why not a compromise? How about putting Genl. B. in the garage or some museum; but leaving his horse's statue in place? He's the cool one in the scene.

The same can be said for Andy Jackson's mount in the Place d'Armes (what some unwoke Orleanians call Jackson Square). Oh well; it looks good against the background of St. Louis Basilica.

Right now there's a surfeit of horse's asses in Washington. But that's to be expected, with all at politics going on. It's the local vice there. But those Washingtonians did get one thing very right: they came on like champions supporting the Washington Nationals during the MLB playoffs! OMG! That sea of red towels waving looked like the Alabama stadium during a football game! Lookin' good, Washingtonians!


Friday, August 30, 2019

Arrrgh! A Rant!

I guess with time I've developed low frustration tolerance.

Besides the 24/7 political coverage and bickering we're regaled with and patronized over, and the increasingly unpredictable weather (winter storms now given cutesy names), there's something that really chafes me big time.

I hope you agree; but I'm going to vent anyway.

The Captcha feature on Blogger, where you have to prove you're not a robot. It sucks! Like I have to click on pictures containing a bus or a crosswalk. Some are dim; some use questionable possibilities (is this a bus or a van), and they go on forever. As a matter of fact, I sometimes when trying to respond to a post (in a reinforcing way), I get so frustrated! 

I do not like to play guessing games with Captcha! No, Sam I Am!

As long as I'm airing bête noires, here's one from an old Clint Eastwood movie:

I double the sentiments for mayonnaise. Why does that goop have to be the default condiment for take-out sandwiches?

In a more serious vein, there's the increasingly used practice of some states issuing travel bans for their state employees to penalize other states that pass legislation that some out-of-state legislator disapproves of; or gets on a moral high horse about.

Specifically, Alabama and Georgia recently enacted laws that made increased restrictions on abortions. In response, some other states issued travel bans to the Yellowhammer State and the Peach State. Well, whoopee do! If you don't want more restrictions on abortion, then don't pass 'em in your own state. That's an easy solution.

Just don't fooyay into other states' business.

I wonder, though. Just how much is a measure like that going to really impact interstate travel?

[OMFG! Now some out-of-state state employees cannot travel to Gulf Shores to visit the Flora-Game lounge. 

Unless they fly into Pensacola.]

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Unusual Christening Gown

It's Sunday, and like in other Catholic churches over the world, it's time for the Christening of infants into the mother church. This is both a solemn and festive occasion. Infants of a few weeks are brought to the Baptistry to be sprinkled with holy water and be received into the Church! And the new members of the Holy Church are decked out in their splendid baptismal gowns: traditionally white; however, some highlights of color have recently begun to appear.

Father Devereaux, Pastor of St. Cletus's Parish, lately noticed white Christening gowns with trim in purple and gold or black and gold -- but mostly in the Fall. He thought "Tigers fan or Saints fan"; but it was okay since word did not reach the Archbishop of these departures from custom. He was willing to let it slide. And, besides, there is no canonical prescription as to what Christening gowns should be like.* 

After all, Fr. D. was quite willing to shift the time for the last mass to be at 11:45; all with the view of allowing late attendees to still get out in time for the Saints kickoff!

Well, one Sunday Father Devereaux got a bodacious surprise. One of the infant girls was decked out in a baptismal gown of green, silver, and black! Now this caused him consternation? Was this an underhanded way of getting Satanic practices to contaminate a most sacred ritual, or are they practitioners of Voodoo? No way to know; so he went ahead with the ritual, halfway expecting comeback from the Archdiocese. The fact that the proud Grandpa referred to her as "my little Iggle" unsettled him further. Was This some Satanic code word?

He asked Mycroft, aka The Lucky Dog Guy, what was it all about; but this encyclopedia of folklore was not able to answer. Likewise Madeline the Prophetess and Suzette the Existential Stripper all drew blanks.

So next day he asked his Baptist compadre, Brother Bob, what it's all about. Since this was a Potentially Serious Matter, they decamped to Uptown, far away from their congregations' locales and a place where they could get a bracing drink or two without censure from their congregationalists!

Bob, at first, was puzzled. Particularly over the meaning of the colors. But then it all became clear when the Good Padre Tim asked if the child being referred to as 'our little Iggle' meant something devilish.  Bob shook his head, and said, "You got a problem, Tim, but it's not a devil problem." And he told them what the problem was, and what team had those colors.

Tim said, "Oh well, it could be worse. They could have dressed her in Dallas Cowboys colors! That would have caused a scandal!"

*Supposedly, Baptism was performed in the early church on candidates who were stark naked as jaybirds; this may have had the effect of increasing attendance for this ceremony. Even today, some more exotic sects are said to do this as well.

[As an aside: why are jaybirds singled out as examples of nudity; only penguins dress up?

Monday, April 1, 2019

Oldie Songs for Making Out

The  1960's -- a distant era -- was a fertile period for songwriting. There was a plethora of genres that emerged during that time; folk rock, soft rock, and some songs with vile lyrics referred to as 'bubblegum music.' No, my friends, no link here. You're going to have to go that lonesome road by yourself.

By the mid-1960's, music lyrics became more lurid (or suggestive, to use the time-honored euphemism.) Anyway, here are two by Lou Christie (b. 1943) that further that theme.

1.  Oh my ever-lasting Gawd!* Here's Lightning Strikes, which implies that males willingly give into temptation when it come to lips begging to be kissed:

Okay, the message is clear: Don't sweat your b.f. being untrue if temptation crosses his path or if he seeks other opportunities. 

2.  Riding on the crest of Lightning Strikes, Lou Christie launched Phapsody in the Rain. Here he is performing it at a later date:

Originally, the lyrics included:

Baby, the raindrops play for me
Our lovely rhapsody, 'cause on our first date
We were makin' out in the rain.
And in this car, our love went much too far
It was exciting as thunder
Tonight I wonder, where you are?
MGM insisted on a re-recorded version that toned down the lyrical content. Corporate prudes! The third and fourth lines were changed to:
We fell in love in the rain
And in this car, love came like a falling star

I think you might get the idea. Anyway, I thought you would enjoy this excursion into old-time make-out music.**

*I figure this one is worth three Hail Marys. And I don't mean a distant shot from behind the half court line.

**I turned in my V-card at 18; and am a mom now.