LINES OF THE DAY

". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, May 9, 2008

Last Night

Party last night, was outstanding. It wasn't so much a party as it was a performance. Vaquero talked, read, took questions, played his guitar and sang his songs. The weather was horrible -- that peculiar polluted over-amped toxic brew of still humidity and 'too warm too chill at the same time' air, that is Our NYC on occasion. It was one of those days the health advisory board advises you to exercise indoors, not go running outside. Additionally, traffic was held up, messed up, at all points of egress, ingress, partly due to the demonstrations and protests going on around the Sean Bell police shooting case, because the non-juried trial acquitted all the cops in question of all charges.

Nevertheless the small theater of the Brecht Forum was filled to capacity, with old friends, new friends and people we don't know.

Among them was the music director for The Wire, Blake Leyh. He gifted me "The Five Years of Music From The Wire". I got him to autograph it. I screamed and nearly swooned like a fan, when he was introduced to me. Vaquero, who made the introduction, marveled, "She NEVER does that! whoever you are! You really must be special." He'd already read The World That Made New Orleans. He'd already given a copy to David Simon. He bought another, to give to Jonathan Demme. I've been harassing people, that SOMEBODY should be bringing this book to the notice of those crews. So now I can rest easy on that matter. He also bought a copy of Cuba and Its Music, and a Cowboy Rumba cd.

I met some new friends face 2 face that I've made via online. It was so wonderful that they came, and gave The World That Made New Orleans their blessing. They, and all our friends, old and new, created a very special night, and a memory that I will cherish.

8 comments:

Foxessa said...

P.S. Vaquero just sent an MP3 to Blake Leyh of Coco Robicheaux's Spirit Lands.

If you all don't know, the Simon team's been NO for months, working up a new series set there. They have been talking to all the right people too, including jazz musician and Big Chief of Congo Nation, Donald Harrison.

Love, C.

Renegade Eye said...

I wish I was there.

Foxessa said...

I wish you had been there as well.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

By the way, a 14-year-old friend, the son of some of our oldest friends, is coming up to the office today to ask us questions about Saint Domingue and the Haitian Revolution and subsequent history of Haiti and Haitians.

His contribution for his school's end-of-year week of international awareness or something like that, is going to be the plight of Haiti. He loved TWTMNO, and he's a voracious history hound. He considers us as a part of his research tool set, and has ever since he found himself in love with history.

Love, C.

K. said...

Cowboy Rhumba is a great CD! Still one of my faves!

A David Simon series set in New Orleans? Shiver.

Have you read any of David Fulmer's Valentin St. Cyr books? I'm totally wrapped up in Chasing The Devil's Tale. It's set in 1907 New Orleans, almost entirely in the Quarter and Storyville. Buddy Bolden figures in a major way. EJ Bellocq, Jelly Roll Morton, and real-life Storyville political boss Tom Anderson all put in appearances.

Foxessa said...

K -- I have, and about 8 other series exactly like it!

This really bugs me because there is so much splendid material in NO to make a good series, but EVERY writer who wants to do this kind of thing has exactly the same setting, the stories, the same historical characters, and only the name of the principal changes. And they All love the music and Get Down wit' it, no matter who and what they are. Feh.

It's just like no writer about anything about NO can stop himself from characterizing what he's writing about as a 'gumbo.' That goes for Ken Burns too!

Love, C.

K. said...

I'm reading a good offbeat one now called The Eye Of The Cricket, by James Sallis.

It would be hard to market a mystery set in NOLA without involving music, food, and the French Qtr or Garden District. The trick lies in the plotting and in how successfully the writer evokes them. Fulmer's approach is classic noir: An outsider, romantic-in-spite-of-himself character thrust into a distinctly unromantic milieu. I liked how he handled it in Chasing The Devil's Tail, where he took the historical fact of Buddy Bolden's breakdown and linked it to fictional serial killings that were themselves connected to a historical fact. I never did get the point of those black roses, though!

Foxessa said...

Ah, but Jim's a musicologist and a poet, and he's born in the South and he's not white.

Love, C.