Forget the Mardi Gras Marathon. Just a lengthy trot.
Crescent City Classic? Walk in the park.
As tests of endurance go, they all pale in comparison to this entire month's slew of politicians on parade. I speak of the innumerable forums for all the local offices up for grabs in the upcoming elections. Most of these forums have been for all the mayoral candidates to speak generally and specifically about the issues of import to the city that they will do their best to work on if they get elected - which, considering all the incompetence and corruption we have been experiencing for decades in these parts, is a marvelous idea. What better way to gauge a prospective mayor's future performance in office than by grilling the people up for it incessantly, seeing how they react to the questions and to each other's answers to these questions, and getting it all out in the open for the public to take it from there?
Really, it still is a marvelous idea - except that it seems that nearly every night this month there are one or two mayoral forums, increasing the possibilities of election overdosing for political junkies (something that has been aided and abetted by Twitter, especially - just checking the #nolamayor tweets on there is a plotzworthy activity. Really, lie down before you check.) and also testing the mettle of the average voter in trying to make a decision. Even if one only reads the dead-tree Times-Picayune reports on the forums after the fact, the effects are overwhelming. Short of performing MRIs on each candidate and consulting lie detectors they are hooked up to while we ask them these questions, it seems we are bound and determined to vote them off the Isle d'Orleans one by one, because we know what we don't want more than what we do want of our city's top official.
- We don't want incompetence.
- We want crime to be brought under control, and the NOPD with it.
- We don't want any more contract hijinks.
- No more stonewalling on how things really work in City Hall.
- Don't lie, of course.
- Don't say anything to get elected.
- And God forbid you should miss a forum.
The best I can say about all of this is it's a good break from having to supervise my seven-year-old son in tracing a map of Canada for a school project. Yes, you read that right. He had to trace Canada...and include the capital and three major cities...and the major rivers, mountain ranges, bordering oceans, and lakes...and label them all...and when's the next forum, somebody?????
My biggest worry about it all? That the sideshow entertainment of all these forums will be distracting us from continuing to act in ways that will sustain our city and enable it to thrive above and beyond the current service economy dominating it at this time. Improper use of a magnifying glass can cause burns if one isn't careful. Take the humor, outrage, and occasional truths revealed in stride, dig deeper if something is really nagging at you about a candidate and/or the issues, and keep on keepin' on.
47 more days...
Update, 4:10 PM: Forgot an important part of that list: quit using race to divide us all.
G directs us to musician and Haitian native Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund to aid victims of the disaster there. People need help. Keep it up.
Anudder update, 1/16: Stuff I missed, from the comments:
One issue that we DO want is the return of curbside recycling to stimulate the economy.
I've been amazed--this is a POSITIVE change, it will help the city, seems to be one issue on which most New Orleanians agree, but i have not heard it raised.
AND: Yele Haiti is suspect. Try Doctors without Borders or
Cathedral of the Incarnation
2015 West End Av.
Nashville, TN, 37203
They are sister parish to St. John the Baptist in LaVallee, 50 miles west of Port-au-Prince, and have been offering relief there for 30 years.