". . . 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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blogspot's *Library Archives" Doesn't Like *Tremé* Or Tom Piazza Or Chris Rose Either

For whatever reason this Blogspot, titled for whatever reason, Library Archives, doesn't have perm urls for each individual post, just one long roll.  The name of this particular entry is "That Ain't Right," put up on April 12th.  Here's the url.

Jeffrey doesn't like Tremé, and he doesn't like it for the same reasons advanced in certain quarters all along, while the show was being shot -- shoot, since before the shooting started.  There's a certain validity in certain of Jeffrey's arguments.  Obviously I'm not going to agree with his assertion that Tremé was made for NS, TP or CR -- what would be the point of that? For instance NS doesn't own a television, and never watches television. He hardly ever goes to movies.  HBO isn't in the business of making series for people who don't watch television.

Mostly these are the same anti-Tremé arguments that have been circulating long before the shooting of the show even began.  People have that right.  I know what it's like to live with the more than inconvenience of constant television and movie crews in my neighborhood.  You hate them.

However, there are things Jeffrey hasn't considered either, as in his criticism of Albert's scene, suited up as Big Chief.  That is a Donald Harrison suit.  You can tell because of the tail piece.  It's DH's signature Congo Nation Big Chief suit tail piece.  If this scene is preposterous Mardi Gras Indian behavior why did DH consult on , give it a heads up, even unto the point of donating his signature tail piece?

Jeffrey, alas has no profile on his Blogspot. However, it's obvious he lives in NO, and has a wide circle of those willing to engage with him. This is why reading this entry of Jeffrey's is worth reading, and also the many comments made to it. Not everyone agrees with him.

It's contradictory, that he accuses writers of attempting to grab an identity at his expense, while making the accustation anonymously

The take away from Jeffrey's Library Archive entry, "That Ain't Right," is this: he's set up an 'us' vs. 'them.'  He's the us -- and who are this 'us'? what is their culture?  and everybody else is outsider.  This is so useful for saving New Orleans from what will be New Orleans's future if a whole buncha others have their way, which is a future without Mardi Gras Indians.  The music would be over, which evidently is what some people want. -- a New Orleans minus New Orleans culture, so much of which is rooted in these communities that make music. Why is that, do you suppose?  Maybe Jeffrey doesn't have ears and doesn't like music and can't dance, so he sees those who love the music and the cultures out of which it comes as a them, while the non-dancers and non-music lovers are the us?  Just because one is born in New Orleans doesn't automatically make one a music lover.

Still music lover or music hater, it was the music, it was the cultures out of which that music came, that were the first responders to the psychic catastrophe that was the Failure of the Levees. It was those who love the music, the musicians, the cultures who responded immediately with attempts to help, to tell the world what was being destroyed, who responded immediately to the Failure Catastastrophe, wheverever they lived -- and that was all over the world
In fact, it's pretty clear Tremé is NOT made for NS, et. al.  Tremé is made for: all the people who don't know New Orleans, who know nothing about it, who don't know who lives there, who wonder why bother to save this national treasure of culture, history and tragic evil.  This, in order that the city not be swept away, not be turned into French Quarter Get Drunk at 10 in the AM and Show Your Tits, that it not become New Orleans theme park with Mardi Gras every day at 4.

By the way, the owner operator of Piety Street Recording Studios, who is as antagonistic to hype and hope as anyone you know, says he's seeing the consequences of that Tremé money going directly into the musicians' pockets -- they've got more money than they've had in a long time.  Some of them more than they've ever had.  And it's showing in more gigs, more hires for the gigs, and the making of new recordings.

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