A Frayster's first trip home since Katrina.

A Frayster's first trip home since Katrina.

A Frayster's first trip home since Katrina.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
March 1 2006 11:38 AM

Touching Down at the Lou

A Frayster's first trip home since Katrina.

Fatso: An invaluable contributor to the Fray's Katrina coverage over the summer, Sawbones recounts his first trip back to New Orleans since the hurricane. Where is Sawbones on the rebuilding question?

to the rest of you: those who don't bleed with each inevitable Saints loss; those who have never heard a Boudreaux-and-Thibodeaux joke; those of you who don't know what it means to eat boiled crawfish so hot that you can't tell the tears from the sweat from the snot (and think that this is a good thing); those of you who wouldn't think of calling a perfect stranger "dawlin'": you can think whatever you want and maybe even say it to my face. You can say that it can't or shouldn't be done. Depending on my mood, I might just punch you, but your words and my reaction don't change the simple fact that it will be done. It will be done either a painful millimeter at a time by New Orleanians alone, or more quickly in concert with other citizens elsewhere who understand that real patriotism must also involve treating your neighbor's fate as if it could be your own tomorrow. It is a rare moment when words from George W. seem appropriate, but you are either with us or against us. Get on board or get out of the way.

'bones' full account deserves a read. Stroll the Ave with him here.

Trustifarians:MacGuffin shares the frustration of Field Maloney ("Free Bob Marley") over the hijacking of Bob Marley by the kids at Andover and the brothers of A.Z.A. MacG lets it rip in Music Box Fray:

I am pleased that Maloney wrote this article about the dangerous scourge of our time: trustifarians. I agree that these hacky-sack playing, ginseng tea sipping, Foucault reading, hemp necklace wearing hippies who are busy at work writing 10-page, double-spaced papers for sociology courses about the existential crisis caused by Tina Yothers, while toking on ganja, cut with oregano and bonsai tree clippings, are ruining Marley and what his music really means.

As Fray-rants go, it's a good one—replete with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Take lunch with MacGuffin hereKA8:30 a.m. PST


Tuesday, February 28, 2005

Prescriptions for Left and Right: I'm going to miss ShriekingViolet—a liberal poster who, unlike many of her left-leaning brethren on the Fray, is never reluctant to call totalitarianism by its rightful name but is also unwilling to cede to the facile militarism of the right. Here she is in response to Francis Fukuyama's survey of current works on the challenge of the West vis-à-vis fundamentalist Islam:

It will be difficult to move forward and address this burgeoning crisis, but the first step is (and should always be) to reject the simplistic ideological prescriptions from the usual suspects.

First of all, the Left needs to come to terms with the limitations and failures of identity politics. As much as we prefer cultural diversity to conformity, and as much as we generally prefer to sympathize with the powerless rather than with the establishment, we need to be willing to stand up and defend the superiority of our values to those of the radical mullahs. We believe in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. We believe in equal opportunity for men and women of all races. We believe in liberal democracy. And we will only welcome people into our countries who share these minimum values. We value diversity in art, music, cuisine, personal expression, religious belief, and political philosophy, and we really don't care what you do in the bedroom. But if you've got a problem with liberal democracy and human rights, then we've got a problem with you. And we aren't afraid to fight when we must.

Second, the Right needs to come to terms with the limitations and failures of military action. No matter how deeply they believe that we're facing a clash of civilizations, no matter how strongly they prefer tough talk to diplomacy and military power to soft power, and no matter how much they prefer our traditional values to cultural diversity, they need to accept that millions of Muslims already live in our midst and most of them want to peacefully coexist with us. They can't defeat radical Islam by intimidating it into submission or invading Arab dictatorships and attempting to impose liberal democracy from the outside. The only people who benefit from a direct, violent confrontation between the West and the Islamic world are the radical mullahs who wish to coerce moderate Muslims into choosing Islamic solidarity over Western values. It would only succeed in encouraging the allies we need the most to take sides against us.

Read the entire post here.

Hangover Cure: Try Poems Fray, one of Departing Fray Editor's favorites; for the most part, PF is a self-policing, civil, and collaborative community. Perhaps it was for these reasons I didn't visit PF more frequently. But with stalwarts such as MaryAnn holding down the fort, FrEd felt that the board was in the safe hands of its veteran de facto moderators.  Here's MA on this week's poem, Dean Young's, "Ode to Hangover." … KA3:05 p.m. PST


Wednesday, February 22, 2005

Cheesily Blonde: Jack Shafer's hilarious appraisal of the concrete blondes who deliver the news has generated all kinds of responses, ranging from the defensive to the confessional. Then there's historyguy, who finds Shafer's visual exercise puerile and uninteresting:

"many female newscasters lie about their true hair color every time they appear on television"

Yeah, and they also lie about what their skin looks like by wearing clothing. The male anchors do that too. And everyone lies by using studio lighting.

The male anchors lie about their true facial appearance every time they appear on television shaven. except Wolf, who lies by trimming neatly.

Next in the series: radio broadcasters lie by editing out their stutters and hiccups! Print journalists lie by letting editors and spellcheck software improve their prose beyond its natural state!

Shafer, find a real topic next time.

As a Mom of two blonde kids, omnibus1reader finds Shafer's potshot at the fair-haired to be off the mark, anthropologically speaking:

People of usually Nordic extraction who are blond are not necessarily using it to some advantage over others. It is just a trait. If your ancestors lived in the frozen north, they would have perished from rickets if they had been dark — unless — and this explains the Inuit and those, like Catherine Zeta-Jones who are various forms of "black Celtic" (she is black Welsh, my mother's father called himself black Irish): the reason for the color difference has to do with access to the sea and access therefore to vitamin D in mostly fish livers and such…

You have to have practically transparent skin to let the sun in, such as it is, in some latitudes, so that your body can make vitamin D. Or as George Carlin put it, you have to be iridescent.

This isn't to say that omni doesn't have issues with the blonde brigade:

If there's anything annoying about the Fox women and their MSNBC competitors, it is their soap opera voices and tacky Banlon cleavage.