It has become commonplace on social media for the response to any lousy event to be “2020” even when it’s the passing of a famous elderly person. Octogenarians have a way of dying, y’all. Until recently, I looked askance at the practice, but I’ve finally given in upon realizing that we all have 2020 fatigue. Who among us isn’t sick and tired of being sick and tired?
There have been many rotten years in American history: 1861, 1918, 1963, and 1968 come to mind. 2020 has topped them all because of its toxic combination of political instability, racial unrest, and a pandemic overseen and needlessly worsened by a crazy, corrupt, and racist president*. Everyday life has been flipped on its head. We’re all living in Topsy Turvy Town, which is the title of a children’s song that I used as a metaphor for post-Katrina New Orleans. Haven’t heard it? That’s what your friendly neighborhood columnist is here for:
In the Gret Stet of Louisiana, the year 2005 comes to mind but 2020 is nipping at its heels like a cartoon dog chasing a fire truck. (I’m not sure if they do that in real life but I like the image, so it stays in.) Hurricane Laura has wreaked devastation in Lake Charles, which is being ignored by the MSM because so much else is going on. The only national coverage I’ve seen recently was an interview Esquire’s Charlie Pierce conducted with Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. The title says it all: When The Wind Stops Blowing, The Cameras Go Away. Read it and weep. Literally.
One reason this column is called the 13th Ward Rambler is that I tend to digress. Let’s put this train back on the track and focus on 2020 Fatigue, Gret Stet of Louisiana-style. I could also call this “things that bug me,” but I have a larger vocabulary than the Impeached Insult Comedian and I like to use it. Isn’t that tremendously beautiful? Stop me before I degenerate into what the late Philip Roth called Jerkish.
Speaking of Trump, the New Orleans MSM is milking his Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for all it’s worth. She grew up in Metry and attended St. Mary’s Dominican High School. (Where you went to high school is a big deal in some circles in the metro area.) She hasn’t lived here since graduating high school in 1990 but the local media is still couching it as a “local woman makes good” story. It’s what they do.
I recall being gobsmacked upon moving here to learn that if there was any local angle to a story, the New Orleans MSM would find it. It’s something of a talent albeit a minor one. I made this prediction on the Tweeter Tube:
It happened on Sunday. The Picvocate published an editorial praising Barrett to the skies. It was no surprise. They think Steve Scalise is good for Louisiana so why not a Judge who hasn’t lived here in 30 years.
The real story of Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Metry, Washington DC, South Bend, and Chicago is of religious and ideological zealotry. She’s one of those Catholics who seems fixated on abortion and overturning Roe v. Wade. My First Draft colleague Allison Hantschel wrote a great piece the other day about why it doesn’t matter that the Democratic nominee and Speaker of the House are Catholic. They’re the wrong kind of Catholics as far as the right-to-lifers are concerned. I’m tired of this too.
I’m also tired of headline grubbing Gret Stet Attorney General Jeff Landry who tweeted this out after LSU lost to Mississippi State:
What the hell is LSU Stadium? It’s Tiger Stadium you addle-pated ninny. Landry brings to mind something Earl Long said about one of Landry’s less than illustrious predecessors: “If you want to hide something from Jack Gremillion, put it in a law book.”
In Landry’s case, hide the law book in LSU Stadium, which does not exist except in his feeble imagination. Hopefully, the Trumpist fever will have broken and this red-faced bozo won’t be our next Governor.
Another thing that bugs me on social media is the Gret Stet Senate race. For no good reason other than party affiliation, Double Bill Cassidy is the prohibitive favorite to win re-election. His appeal escapes me but I’m a Republican-phobe nowadays.
Cassidy’s lead annoys me but almost as bad is the whining of supporters of Democratic candidate Antoine Pierce. He’s the darling of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) set and has been campaigning for two years. He seems like a good guy, but his campaign has not caught on except on Twitter. Pierce’s supporters are outraged that Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins has not only entered the race but has garnered some heavyweight endorsements including former President Barack Obama. Here’s the difference between Pierce and Perkins: the latter has won elected office whereas the former has won the hearts of the Twitter left. That’s not enough, y’all.
Another thing that has given me 2020 Fatigue is the endless wrangling in New Orleans over go-cups. They’re sacred to some people including the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe of Mishigas:
It always comes back to Krewe du Vieux with me.
A huge social media controversy arose when Tracey’s Bar on Magazine Street posted this on their Twitter and Facebook feeds:
They claimed not to be in violation of the city’s COVID regulations but were called on the carpet by the Mayor. They’re back in business after working something out with the city.
I’m tired of these disputes even though I’m a hardliner on COVID restrictions. Tracey’s is allowed to be open because it qualifies as a restaurant as far as the city is concerned. The city also lifted its restrictions on the sale of go-cups but only for restaurants and those bars that qualify as restaurants. I call bullshit on that.
New Orleans is known for its neighborhood bars. It’s part of our culture that has become collateral damage of the pandemic. Since no level of government is willing to help bail them out, bars should be allowed to sell go-cups in order to survive. The go-cup cult is eager to help keep them afloat. The City is not unless and until we’re in Phase III. Cut them some slack, give them some relief or they won’t survive. Let my people go-cup.
Repeat after me, TFC: This Fucking City.
I’m tired of the moralizing and posturing adopted by both sides of the mask wars. Pandemic related restrictions are about public health, not about making anyone feel morally superior. Put your ego aside, mask up, and save lives. A reminder that, as of this writing, nearly 5,500 Louisianans are pandemic related casualties. I’m tired of that too.
To paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, 2020 Fatigue is a frustrating mess.
The last word goes to The Beatles: