I was supposed to opine for Bayou Brief last week, but COVID got in the way. Dr. A tested positive, so into quarantine we went. Instead of scary, it turned out to be restful since we were both asymptomatic. Our quarantine ended last Sunday. Our brush with the virus should serve as a cautionary tale since we’re both hyper-careful and vigilant about masking and taking the proper precautions. COVID is a sneaky bastard apt to strike when it’s least expected. In the immortal words of Bela Lugosi in Glen Or Glenda: “Beware…take care…beware”
Now that I’ve quoted an Ed Wood movie, it’s time to explain the column title to any heathens out there. It’s a tribute to Alex Trebek who hosted Jeopardy for 36 years before dying last month at the age of 80. I’ve tried with limited success to model my demeanor on Alex’s. Nobody’s that cool, calm, and collected in real life.
Longtime readers know that I’ve used the potpourri gimmick for many years at First Draft. It was always a tribute to America’s favorite Canadian, Alex Trebek. For some reason, neither BTO nor BNL gets as much love as Alex. It must be the acronyms…
In the spirit of Jeopardy, I’ll provide the questions *and* the answers. FYI, I graduated from the same high school as Merv Griffin who created Jeopardy. How’s that for trivia?
Ready for my Johnny Gilbert impression? Here’s the host of Jeopardy, Alex Trebek:
What Is Carnival 2021? According to Mayor Cantrell it hasn’t been cancelled, it’s just going to be different. I think she’s tired of being attacked about something that she cannot control. Repeat after me: the pandemic isn’t her fault.
The status of next year’s Carnival was the topic of much discussion during the pandemic. New Orleanians love Carnival as much as the Saints or Gumbo. I was always the wet blanket who insisted that absent a vaccine the parades would be cancelled. Carnival was one of the reasons we had such an early COVID spike last spring, after all. I take no pleasure in being right. I’ll save the “I told you sos” for another time.
I was pleased that Krewe du Vieux pulled the plug on our parade before Herronner’s announcement. We have some alternate antics planned. In the meantime, I’m repeating John Valentino’s “wear the damn masks” image as the featured image. I suspect it will play a role in our 2021 theme: “Krewe du Vieux has no taste.”
I have a secret to share with you: despite our bawdy reputation, Krewe du Vieux is full of responsible adults who take our civic duties as seriously as we do our satire. In fact, the sub-Krewe of Drips and Discharges was founded by medical types. I’ve already outed Dr. Jim Aiken in my Mask Wars column last July. We’re the good guys only with phalluses on our floats.
A final thought on Carnival. You can cancel the parade season, but you cannot cancel the Mardi Gras holiday. It’s rooted in the Lenten calendar and celebrated wherever there are large concentrations of Catholics. Parades have been cancelled at least a dozen times including during the Great War, World War II, and most recently in 1979 because of a police strike. Carnival has always returned, and it always will. Carnival 2022 promises to be as emotional as Carnival 2006.
The last word of the segment goes to the late, great Professor Longhair:
If you watch Jeopardy, you know what happens next:
Who Is Cedric Richmond? I wrote about the soon-to-be former Congressman’s future in the 13th Ward Rambler’s last appearance. I’m not surprised that he’s joining the Biden administration, but I am surprised that it’s for a staff job.
Once upon a time, leaving Congress for a staff job was unthinkable. It’s a move from elected glory to reflected glory as a staffer who serves at the pleasure of the president. Times have changed and power has increasingly moved from the cabinet to the White House. Cedric Richmond has always had a nose for power. I wish him well in his new job. The Gret Stet MSM has already decreed that this move is “good for Louisiana.” I’m dubious: Cedric has always been about Cedric and his influence in New Orleans politics.
As you can tell, I’m not displeased to have a new Congresscritter. Clancy DuBos listed the possible candidates in a recent column. Who am I to argue with Clancy?
There’s at least one prospect who leaves me cold, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. She’s run for Congress before. In 2006, she forced then incumbent Dollar Bill Jefferson into a runoff, but lost since many New Orleanians don’t have a problem with voting for someone under indictment. I voted for Troy Carter (who may also run to replace Richmond) in the primary but sat out the runoff between two machine politicians representing rival factions. At that point, I called her Princess BOLD after the political organization her late father Ken Carter co-founded. I won’t repeat the nickname fourteen years later because I have a bigger problem with KCP in 2020.
As you’re well-aware, KCP served as Louisiana Democratic party chair from 2012 until recently. The party was on the decline statewide before she took over and the decline accelerated during her tenure. Her most noteworthy moment as party chair was when she tried and failed to convince a relatively unknown state representative to drop out of the 2015 governor’s race. His name was John Bel Edwards. I’d prefer that KCP not exercise that sort of judgement on our behalf in Congress.
What Is Saturday? It’s runoff election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. The big race on the Orleans Parish ballot is for District Attorney. I’m still having difficulty deciding. I’ve met Jason Williams several times over the years and I like him as a person. I also prefer his platform to that of his opponent, Keva Landrum.
My problem with Williams is that he’s under federal indictment. While his protestations of innocence might be true, as I know from my past life as a lawyer, prisons are full of defendants who proclaim their innocence. I also find it odd that only one of his council colleagues supports his candidacy, I suspect the indictment is a factor. The Mayor has thrown her support to Landrum who is the favorite in the runoff.
I’m leaning in Williams’ direction but the indictment gives me the heebie jeebies. I’m not a fan of special elections. Stay tuned.
Back to my favorite Canadian quiz show host, Alex Trebek. I made a BNL joke earlier. That stands for Barenaked Ladies who are my favorite Canadian band. The band specializes in irony as they’re neither barenaked nor ladies. They did, however, record a song that fits today’s Jeopardy theme as the show has had a few million-dollar tournaments. That’s why they get the last word of our Final Jeopardy round: