My original intent for this column was pure comic relief. Things are grim enough in the Gret Stet of Louisiana without obsessing over the pandemic. That hope was forlorn, alas. One can always find humor in every situation, but some things are not funny: death is at the top of the list.

It is, however, funny to see Trumper Attorney General Jeff Landry on stage with the Governor at his pandemic pressers. You know things are dire when a creep like Landry is acting responsibly unlike the Republican Governors of most Southern states; most notably Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Florida’s Ron DeSantis both of whom think a nice walk on the beach is the cure for what ails us. There’s a special place in hell for those who delay action because they fear the wrath of President* Pennywise.

I wake up every day grateful that John Bel Edwards was re-elected Governor. I was a clothespin voter in 2019 but he’s the sort of leader produced by West Point: cool, calm, and collected. In contrast, it’s easy to imagine Eddie Rispone dancing to the tune played by his master, the Impeached Insult Comedian. In 2020, that tune is a funeral dirge. Trumpism is hazardous to your health.

I was raised Greek Orthodox but I’m not religious. I think of myself as an agnostic, not an atheist, because I can’t prove that there’s no God. But I’ve seen too much lunacy in the name of religion to be a believer. It’s a pity: faith would come in handy now. But blind faith is never a good idea. That brings me to the first segment of this edition of the 13th Ward Rambler.

Hell Of A Spell is the title of a 1980 song by the brilliant Texas musician Doug Sahm. Doug is no longer with us, but his words ring true in Baton Rouge 20 years after his death. I think you know where I’m going with this.

I’d never heard of Reverend Tony Spell until he decided to dis, defy, and disobey Governor Edwards’ ban on large public gatherings. He’s the pastor of something called the Life Tabernacle Church in Red Stick. His insistence on holding services in the face of the worst public health catastrophe since 1918 has rendered his church’s name ironic. If there is a God, I suspect he/she/it would want their flock to live to spread the gospel. Spell has conclusively proven that irony is not dead, but his parishioners may end up dead as a result of his ignorant arrogance.

I admit to flinching when Spell was arrested for violating the Governor’s orders. I’m a firm believer in all aspects of the First Amendment and arresting even the most errant biblebanger is bothersome. Spell, however, asked for it with his reckless endangerment of his congregation. Hell, even Tony Fucking Perkins agrees:

“If I thought this was an attack on religious freedom, I’d be right there with him,” says Tony Perkins. “It’s a directive for the sake of public health not to meet.”

Hell has officially frozen over. I agree with the head of the Family Research Council on something. Even dipshit wingnut Advocate op-ed columnist Dan Fagan has called Spell an “attention-seeking fool.” And Fagan is intimately acquainted with fools being one himself. I’ll resume disagreeing with the semi-literate columnist directly.

Spell, of course, sees himself as a modern Christian martyr. He hopes to build a national reputation with his defiant stance, which is why he brought in the dread Roy Moore to defend him. I hope the defrocked Alabama Supreme Court Justice and failed Senate candidate stays away from the Mall of Louisiana. It’s shouldn’t be hard for Judge Pervert: all the teenyboppers are on lockdown.

I’m no expert on the teachings of Jesus but I don’t recall him urging his followers to become a death cult. And I thought Christians like Spell were pro-life instead of members of a death church. If Spell doesn’t relent, his congregation should be renamed the Death Tabernacle Church. Here’s hoping the spell is broken and he will choose life. How’s that for a nifty piece of political Ju-Jitsu?

The last word of the segment goes to Richard Thompson:

I promised comic relief. Let’s pay a visit to the Tweeter Tube to see if we can score some.

Tweets Of The Week: Both Tweets were fired off by former editors of the Gambit Weekly. The first  involves our old pal Senator John Neely Kennedy and comes from Herriman biographer and parade route book signer Michael Tisserand:

Neely looks like death warmed over. Four years of shilling for the Impeached Insult Comedian has taken a tremendous toll on him. A friend commented that he looks like he’s been hollowed out from within. It reminds me of something John Lennon wrote in 1971, “one thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside.”

The Neelyisms have dried up. I haven’t seen one worth adding to my compendium of his folksy cornpone sayings in quite some time. It’s what happens when you’re a phony relentlessly defending the indefensible. Neely is a well-educated man who, in General Russell Honore’s memorable phrase, has been “stuck on stupid” since the advent of Trumpism.

Our next tweet comes from former Gambiteer Kevin Allman. Kevin is vexed by the continuing MSM focus on Mardi Gras 2020 as the root of all coronavirus evil; every time Governor Edwards or Mayor Cantrell appear on national TV, they’re asked why they didn’t cancel Mardi Gras. It’s gotcha question syndrome run amuck.

Kevin has been on a crusade to refute this nonsense. He’s even offered to write a piece for the outlets pushing this story. It’s Kevin’s version of Swift’s A Modest Proposal:

Remember the good old days when I called it The Cursed Carnival? Trust me, LaToya Cantrell would have cancelled it if she thought it was hazardous to our health. She likes yelling at people. It’s high time for the MSM to focus on the chicanery of Jared Kushner and Donald Trump instead of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

We have one more segment that should tickle your fancy as well as your funny bone.

Sign Of The Times: Nobody’s talking about the removed White Supremacy monuments anymore, we have bigger fish to fry. But the presence of Jefferson Davis Parkway in New Orleans remains irksome as you can see from this Facebook post by my friend Chef Chris DeBarr:

The odds of it becoming Angela Davis Parkway are slim and none and slim just moved to Bunkie. But I promised comic relief and I like to keep my word.

That concludes this edition of the 13th Ward Rambler. The last word goes to Doug Sahm: