Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tacky has always been one of my favorite words. I can't tell you what it means, but I know it when I see it. Too much make-up is tacky. VPL - as in "visible panty line" - is tacky. Track mansions are tacky. Polyester is tacky. Tanning beds are tacky. Plastic flowers are tacky. The death penalty is tacky. The death penalty? Yes, the death penalty. I actually heard someone say that on network TV one time. i was watching a political talk show and this William F. Buckley type was going on and on about why we should have the death penalty. He was obviously well educated and making sure that everybody knew it. I didn't think he'd ever stop talking. Finally, it was the other man's turn. I heard the moderator say, "Well, Reverend, let's hear your views." I immediately sat up and took notice because right there on national TV was everybody's favorite Southern Baptist agitator, my good buddy Will Campbell. The camera panned to Will's face, which was scrunched up like he'd just gotten a whiff of bad shrimp. Finally he said, "'s tacky." The moderator and Mr. Erudite Republican looked at each other, then cleared their throats. "Excuse me?"

"Tacky," Will repeated. "The death penalty is tacky."

Mr. Erudite looked at his watch. Mr. Moderator was trying to keep things rolling.

"And what exactly does 'tacky' mean, Reverend?"

"'s a word we use in the South that describes anything that's artificial and unnatural," Will explained, "...that goes too know...tacky."

Mr. Moderator looked over at Mr. Erudite. They both shrugged while the network cut to a commercial break.*

God save us from all the tacky that abounds in this world. Tacky is Hizzoner the Walking Id heading off to a community forum as an expert of sorts on lessons learned from catastrophic events, and serving on that same forum with deposed HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson. Tacky is anything involving Jeremy Shockey, who is himself the embodiment of tacky. Perhaps he designed the Saints bikini I saw in KMart the other day, a tacky-on-tacky thing to see if I ever saw one.

Just for comparison's sake - and just because I wanna show off the stuff I've found on the internet recently - let's see a couple of things that are not tacky:

Ms Alberta Hunter doing some Rough and Ready blues

...and the news that Cameron Frye's house is up for sale in Highland Park. Bueller? Bueller? The tackiest part of that tale, for some reason was learning that the Ferrari that went out the window and into the ravine wasn't a real Ferrari but a fiberglass replica. That's just not right.

The epitome of tacky, however, is the news that local trash diva Veronica White will be signing her book on maximizing FEMA funding after a natural disaster tomorrow night at Dillard University. Forget that what happened on 8-29-05 and after could be construed as more of an unnatural disaster (although I wouldn't characterize all of it as tacky, only certain black-humor-ish aspects of it) ...I can't think of anything tackier than this sorry negotiator of trash contracts that are costing this city money it cannot afford to throw out with the garbage collection getting people to come out and sign a bunch of dead trees she happened to have killed just so she could make a name for herself as another disaster expert.

What on earth qualifies her for this sort of thing other than that she lives in post-apocalyptic New Orleans? If all that is needed is proof of residency here to bolster one's status as an expert in the disaster field, then all of us who live here have PhDs.

Dolly Parton once said, "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap!" She should know. But no matter how tacky Dolly tries to look, she will always be cool. Sometimes you can be so over-the-top tacky that you end up cool.*

This sort of profiteering off the insanity that is what happened here (and is still happening in many ways) after the storm and the levee breaches, is never, ever going to be cool. Ms White ought to donate all the proceeds of her book to the Division of Natural Sciences and Public Health at Dillard, not just a portion. The greenbacks are dead trees that can make a difference.

Otherwise, these books are headed for the trash heaps Ms White is throwing our money into.

*Marshall Chapman, Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller


Update, 11:54 AM: Decidedly NOT tacky: Supporting funding for the Louisiana Food Bank Association:

2009 funding for Louisiana Food Banks and the Louisiana Nutrition Assistance Program (LANIAP) currently rests with the Senate Finance Committee. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, please help the Louisiana Food Bank Association by calling, faxing or emailing members of the Senate Finance Committee with the following message:


I urge you to support an amendment to HB1 or the Supplemental Spending Bill that would provide funding, in full or in part, to support the Louisiana Food Bank Association’s LANIAP program that provides Louisiana food to Louisiana people. The need is real, the situation is urgent, and it is the right thing to do.

Contact info for Louisiana Senate Finance Committee Members below the Jump:

Senator John A. Alario, Jr.
1063 Muller Parkway
Westwego, LA 70094
(504) 340-2221
(504) 341-0794 (fax)

Senator Sharon Weston Broome
P. O. Box 52783
Baton Rouge, LA 70892
(225) 359-9352
(225) 359-9353 (fax)

Senator Sherri Smith Cheek
9973 Mansfield Road
Keithville, LA 71047
(318) 687-4820
(318) 687-4077 (fax)

Senator Jack Donahue
3840 Hwy. 22
Suite 200
Mandeville, LA 70471
(985) 727-7949
(985) 727-9904 (fax)

Senator “Nick” Gautreaux
209 E. St. Victor Street
Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 740-6425
(337) 740-6400 (fax)

Senator Eric LaFleur
P.O. Box 617
Ville Platte, LA 70586
(337) 363-5019
(337) 337-6812 (fax)

Senator Edwin R. Murray
1540 N. Broad St.
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 945-0042
(504) 942-5968 (fax)

Senator John R. Smith
611-B South 5th Street
Leesville, LA 71446
(800) 259-2709 / (337) 238-2709
(337)238-6444 (fax)

Senator Mike Walsworth
4007 White’s Ferry Rd
Suite A
West Monroe, LA 71291
(318) 396-5499
(318)396-0192 (fax)

Senator Gerald Long (Interim Member)
P.O. Box 151
Winnfield, LA 71483
(318) 628-5799
(318) 628-6120 (fax)

Senator Willie L. Mount (Interim Member)
P.O. Box 3004
Lake Charles, LA 70602
(337) 491-2016
(337) 433-8080 (fax)

Senator Francis Thompson (Interim Member)
P.O. Box 68
Delhi, LA 71232
(318) 878-9408
(318) 878-5650 (fax)


Bigezbear said...

"What on earth qualifies her for this sort of thing other than that she lives in post-apocalyptic New Orleans? If all that is needed is proof of residency here to bolster one's status as an expert in the disaster field, then all of us who live here have PhDs."We all know the PhD's. This lady carries a GED.

Cold Spaghetti said...

My beloved high school theatre teacher used to belt out in his Wytheville, Virginia cadence:
"OHHHHHH, MY! THAT is just T-A-C-K-Y!!"

I'd call Ms. White's book tacky. Her signing it? I'm not exactly sure what words I could say... every time I try, I throw up a little.