". . . 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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Orleans, Fall 2009, Part 2, Updates

Big thunderstorms, very big thunderstorms, every day.

The Octavia Books reading and signing on Saturday (it was wet and overcast) went very well.  He read and read, and nobody left, he was told to keep on going.  An excellent q&a afterwards, and books were sold, which is what makes the bookseller (and the writer) happy.

Had a terrific Second Line Sunday with Prince of Wales -- again, second lines are terrific opportunities to Go Bang, i.e. to see all your friends at once.  He's also hearing great music.  Well, um. duh -- this IS New Orleans.

Working very hard on three projects at once for the week: the script and taping for the AfroPop Worldwide show on the Hogan Jazz Collection -- yesterday they listened to tapes of 19th century cajun music (obviously NOT recorded in the 19th century ...);  the keynote for Friday's Z√≥colo Foundation Conference; the Louisiana Book Festival appearances in Baton Rouge for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, of course, President Obama comes to town. Will his perceived snub of NO earlier be overcome with this visit?

And me, I'm living in 1972 - 1974 for the MIP, going through New Mexico newspaper archives.  What one can researcgh from one's home desktop these days, and more is possible nearly every day, as archive after archive gets digitized and put up on the web.

The building's heat came up about 5:30 AM, for the first time this year. It's still only in the 40's at 2 PM. Judging by the sounds of the building's plumbing at that time the heat woke all of us up too. Dayem.


K. said...

Fill us in: What's going on in New Mexico?

From what I've been reading, many New Orleanians are upset that Obama's visit is scheduled to last only four hours. They also feel that he takes too much input from the Army Corps of Engineers and not enough from the local grassroots organizations that sprang up after Katrina.

I just hope that the trip comes off well and that he comes away with an improved personal feel for the problems there. I don't doubt that he understands the issues with wetlands or that the causes of the catastrophe were manmade -- he's too smart and too perceptive to believe otherwise. The question is, what will/can he do?

Foxessa said...

When Vaquero talked with Katie Richdel (formerly of the Gambit, now Ti-Pic) on Sunday, what people are more looking at are the people Obama's bringing with him.

Katie, for instance, is going to be following Obama's newly named Housing Administation, Shaun Donovan, around.

So the approach to NO is more about the people the President's bringing with him, as he sees it, than about him.

People have been submitting their written questions for the Town Hall at UNO.

Vaquero has to go to the airport book store tomorrow to sign stock, so he's hoping that the POTUS doesn't use Louis Armstrong airport.

V. hung out with Dan Baum today.

They agreed that it is an absolute disaster for them both that the print media -- magazines -- have died.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

New Mexico is where my mess in progress is set, the mid-'70's.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

I'd like to add, btw, regarding President Obama's NO visit: My 10 days there last month was my (not Vaquero's! not by a long shot!) first trip back since Obama's election.

Wherever you go, where any black community gathers, you find Obama pictures and tributes.

Even in the Mother-in-Law Lounge, which is a walk-in, interactive altar to Ernie K-Doe, and now, Antoinette, there are prominent tributes to Obama and his family.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

Here's today's NY Times take on it. Which is let us recall first and foremost the NY Times. This means its full of the views of the rabid Louisiana and Gulf repugnians.

Even so, the reader must notice that even repugnians are praising this administration for unknotting the strings of the funds that were supposedly promised long ago by the previous regime, but never arrived. They are giving points to Obama's administration for accomplishing this so quickly in the time frames of government.

I noticed the huge difference between the last time I was there in the improvement of dilapidation and now, and this is very much consequence of the release funds since Obama took office.

Love, C.