Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bad elegies for NOLA

Everyone who has been to New Orleans has approximately the same memories of the place. Many have apparently felt the need to recount their recollections in print, littering editorial pages with some really awful writing. Fortunately, CJR does the reading for me, and collects some real stinky jewels, including this rococo turd in the LA Times laid ex-NYT editor Howell Raines:
Oh, wondrous city of music that floats from the horn and poems drowned in drink! Oh, cheesy clip-clop metropolis of phony coach-and-fours hauling the drunken Dodge salesmen of Centralia, Illinois, of shaky-handed failed watercolourists hanging unloved pictures on the wrought-iron fence at Jackson Square, of gaunt-eyed superannuated transvestite hookers, of Baptist girls suddenly inspired to show their tits on Chartres Street in return for a string of beads flung by a drunken college boy on the balcony of his daddy's $1,500 suite at the Soniat House -- must we lose even these dubious glories of the only American city that's never been psychoanalysed?

Then there's Rick Bragg in the Washington Post:
What a place, so at ease here at the elbow of death, where I once marched and was almost compelled to dance in a jazz funeral for a street-corner conjurer named Chicken Man, who was carried to his resting place by a hot-stepping brass band and a procession of mourners who drank long-neck beers and laughed out loud as his hearse rolled past doorways filled with men and women who clapped in time.

Dance, muthafucka!

Sometimes, CJR is like a Tivo for newspapers.

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