Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Funnies & Arts











As always, click to enlarge. For more Ben Sargent, Tom Toles, Tom the Dancing Bug, Tony Auth, Zippy the Pinhead, Pat Oliphant, and Tom Tomorrow, go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here...

Offbeat interviews Bo Dollis, a pivotal figure in the history of the Mardi Gras Indians:
The mystical power of the word at the heart of Mardi Gras Indian ritual resided in Dollis, whose preacher’s powers made him stand out after he joined the Wild Magnolias. Though he was a relative newcomer, Dollis quickly rose from Flag Boy to Big Chief in 1964 largely because of his singing ability. As Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias, Dollis helped refashion the nature and practices of Mardi Gras Indian culture and protocol through the 1960s, preserving the traditional ritual texts but changing the nature of the competition between tribes and bringing the Indians to a wider audience. Bo Dollis was part of a new breed of Mardi Gras Indians that eschewed violence and sublimated the competition between gangs into a contest of costumes, the prettier and more elaborate the better.

Mardi Gras Indian culture made a dramatic breakthrough to the outside world in 1970 when Dollis and his childhood friend Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles organized a Mardi Gras Indian second line as part of the inaugural New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which took place across the street from the French Quarter in Congo Square. New Orleans had just emerged from the social restrictions of segregation. It was a truly historic moment for a city scarred by the American original sin of slavery to have an African American secret society lead an integrated public parade to a spot where their ancestors had been sold as chattel. The voice of Bo Dollis called the way into the Promised Land...

The Found Poetry of Postcards: Sarah Boxer's slide show essay on recent installations of the postcard collections of Walker Evans and Zoe Leonard...


Premium T. and I watched Gone With The Wind last night. Yes, the second part drags in the middle, neither Clark Gable nor Leslie Howard would stoop to using southern accents, and the racism is palpable. But Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland do the heavy acting lifting anyway, and the movie set a new standard for storytelling and filmmaking.  Leigh was all of 24 when she portrayed Scarlett O'Hara in what gets my vote for Best Performance by an Actress in a 20th Century Picture. I counted once, and she's in all but five scenes of the 3:42 film -- an astonishing effort, especially considering that she is superb throughout. Leigh essays Scarlett's underlying character so compellingly that the character remains consistent from a flighty belle of the ball to a flinty businesswoman who finally acknowledges her beating heart. Here is her great "I'll never be hungry again" scene from just before intermission:



Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, whose album A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina), chronicled the psychological destruction of Hurricane Katrina, is recording his new album at New Orlean's Patrick F. Taylor Library. Here's a an excerpt from the "Funeral Dirge" portion of the requiem, performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic at last year's Jazz Festival:



Food, inglorious food...

Leonard Pitts writes that no one should be surprised that we are losing our religion:
And people of faith should ask themselves:

What is the cumulative effect upon outside observers of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker living like lords on the largesse of the poor, multiplied by Jimmy Swaggart's pornography addiction, plus Eric Rudolph bombing Olympians and gays in the name of God, plus Muslims hijacking airplanes in the name of God, multiplied by the church that kicked out some members because they voted Democrat, divided by people caterwauling on courthouse steps as a rock bearing the Ten Commandments was removed, multiplied by the square root of Catholic priests preying on little boys while the church looked on and did nothing, multiplied by Muslims rioting over cartoons, plus the ongoing demonization of gay men and lesbians, divided by all those "traditional values" coalitions and "family values" councils that try to bully public schools into becoming worship houses, with morning prayers and science lessons from the book of Genesis? Then subtract selflessness, service, sacrifice, holiness and hope.

Do the math, and I bet you'll draw the same conclusion the researchers did...

Note:
Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Ben Sargent, whose work is a regular feature of Citizen K.'s Sunday Funnies, has accepted an early retirement buyout from the Austin American-Statesmen.  For the time being, he plans to develop one cartoon a week, some of which will no doubt appear here...

Sunday Gospel Hour: Orville Noble sings "I Don't Know What You Came To Do" at the homegoing service for his mother, Rev. Vera Bell. Rev. Aubrey Ghent accompanies him on sacred steel guitar. If all churches were like this, Leonard Pitts might not have had anything to write about today...

3 comments:

ZenYenta said...

So much stuff to explore in one post. For now, I'll just say that the cartoon about the middle class fightin.g back should become a classic. It captures the moment perfectly.

K. said...

I got up a head of steam this morning!

ZenYenta said...

Your posts are always a sort of feast for the blog. Today's might have had a couple of extra courses, though. :)