The documentary of the day is: Saving Jazz.
There are so many reasons why this is an important piece to me. Not only because Herman Leonard's photos are an amazing exhibition of a time that the American music scene was at its best I believe. Not only because it shows New Orleans before and right after and months after Katrina hit that city. Not only because it shows the culture of the arts in that city that sadly has been damaged potentially beyond repair. Not only because it shows the photographer's process in the lost art of film and developing. But so much more.
Mr. Leonard says that he feels powerless at the hands of the government machine. And to be honest he should. What our government did to every single person that lived there is something that our country should be ashamed of. It breaks my heart a little bit more every time I see something about this tragedy. Honestly I go out of my way to to stay away from politics and discussions of our government but how Washington DC didn't take care of these people who invented the most important music scene to me makes me absolutely sick.
My Dad used to work with the sheriff down there and every year we would get a Zulu coconut. The first year we got it, we didn't understand what the heck that was. But now, it is so important. We have a serious tie to New Orleans.
Why can't our government fix this. What is NOT happening is that nothing going on in a effective way, and its stupid. They are packing up the temporary housing right now and putting people in low income motels, but only for three months. That is no solution. This makes no sence. There are houses to rebuilt. There are lives to be rebuilt. Why is it that Harry Connick Jr , Brad Pitt and the Marsalis family are the only ones that are actively working to rebuild? Is it because they have the money and not the fucking election to worry about? Charity is rebuilding (look up the projects that Habitat for Humanity are doing, hell even the company that I work for sends medical personnel down for 6 weeks at a time because Washington DC isn't) not our government like so falsely promised on that "illuminating" press conference. I think our government should be so so so ashamed.
Parts of my family came through New Orleans when they immigrated. I only found that out recently and honestly it makes me wish for better for the City.
I actually know two gallery owners that seriously I could probably discuss having an exhibition of his work at. I don't know if I will get any kind of response or if it will even be in my price range but I still want to inquire. Its history that can't be forgotten. New Orleans isn't just Mardi Gras and boobs and beads and that shouldn't be forgotten even if our damned government has.
Please visit Mr. Leonard's website and view his photographs and realize what a treasure these images are... then consider buying a book.
And in other,less politically fired up news, I am very seriously taking half a day off so I can go to Denver's very own Mardi Gras parade of sorts... The National Western Stock Show parade is Tuesday, January 15th! Next to when the Shriners were in town this is my favorite of parades downtown. And yes I will probably go and weep a little bit. I don't know why but parades make me cry when I am there in person.