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Apr 242017
 

I’m not sure, but I think I was recently on the receiving end of some “mansplaining.”

That word is almost a decade old and so probably doesn’t deserve scare quotes or require further explication. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to put quotes around it and offer a definition. I guess I’m a linguistic conservative.

Artwork by Ron Mader, licensed under Creative Commons.

Just in case you’ve been living in an isolation chamber, here’s how the good folks at Merriam-Webster define the word.

It’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.

Women tend to know more about this phenomenon, by dint of experience, or so I’ve been told.

Continue reading »

Apr 202017
 

“Life is full of adventure. There’s no such thing as a clear pathway.”
-Guy Laliberte

This is Me

My name is Matt Haines. I’m 34 years old, originally from New York, and moved to New Orleans in 2009. Here’s a brief list of things I’m afraid of on the Appalachian Trail:

-Being attacked in the woods by a bear
-Being attacked in the woods by a human
-Being struck by lightening
-Dying of thirst
-Dying of hypothermia
-Dying
-Starving to death
-Just being a little bit hungry for what should be a manageable amount of time
-Getting my arm caught under a rock and having to chew it off
-Lyme Disease
-Encephalitis mosquitos
-Heights
-Being forgotten
-Missing the New York Mets have a good season
-Missing Red Dress Run, White Linen Night, and Running of the Bulls
Mt. Washington because it almost killed me once
-Wild boars because they actually killed Robert Baratheon once
-Not being able to pick up a hitchhike when I need to get into town for more food or gear
-Being able to pick up a hitchhike, but by a nefarious driver
-Dysentery

 

And other things I probably haven’t thought of yet. Continue reading »

Apr 172017
 

Photo by Bart Everson

Did you notice the new stripes where the Jeff Davis bike path crosses Tulane Avenue? Kind of hard to miss, actually. And that’s a good thing. According to a friend of mine who knows about such things:

This is pretty major because LaDOTD doesn’t consider the high visibility variety of crosswalk their standard. Rather two horizontal stripes 6 feet apart is their norm.

Two stripes six feet apart? That sounds familiar. Ah yes. Here’s a photo of the same crossing eight years ago.

Photo by Bart Everson

As I noted at the time, it took a lot of cajoling and wheedling to get those stripes.

The new ones are a big improvement, in my opinion.

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

Apr 102017
 

Forget about those confederate monuments for just a moment. If you really want to generate some controversy in New Orleans, try talking about directions.

Case in point: the new Equity Circle installation down on Jeff Davis Parkway.

photo

Equity Circle is the newest installation on the neutral ground of Jeff Davis Parkway.

You may have seen this when passing by recently. It was constructed toward the end of last year and officially dedicated in December. It’s kind of low profile, so you really have to get out of your car to appreciate it.

Continue reading »

Apr 022017
 
Tree

Photo by Bart Everson

Remember how we lost a couple of the great big live oak trees on Jefferson Davis Parkway recently? They have just been replaced with bright, fresh, young saplings. Definitely the most beautiful thing I saw this morning.

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

Mar 292017
 

Patrick Armstrong

Whenever I write about gun control, I like to start with this quote:

“Like most rights, the rights secured by the Second Amendment are not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th Century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. … Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Right now, some of y’all are probably grinding your teeth, wondering what weak-knee, latte-sipping left-winger would dare write such a thing. Bet you’ll be surprised to find out the author was none other than Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most influential Constitutional constructionists to sit on the United States Supreme Court in a generation. He wrote those words for the majority decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller, considered one of the landmark Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment. Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

bart-everson-headshot-2013If you’re looking to justify your gloomy worldview, there’s plenty of material at hand.

Some look to the malfeasance of the rich and powerful. Others point to shocking acts of violence in our own community.

Me? I prefer glass.

Such responsible citizens!

I’ve written before about glass recycling and the challenges it presents. Yet that was a essentially hopeful moment, inspired by the re-launch of a glass dropoff program at the ReFresh Project on Broad. Alas, the moment has passed.

I participated happily over the past six months or so, hauling our empty bottles with me when I made groceries, and dutifully placing them in the dumpster. And I felt good about that.

Full of Glass

Clearly I wasn’t alone. I noted the dumpster was often near to overflowing. Sometimes I even had to keep the glass in the trunk because there wasn’t any room for it.

Now it seems that program has been discontinued, and I find myself dispirited — but not for the simple reason you might think. Continue reading »

Mar 202017
 

Photo by Bart Everson

We colored eggs for the vernal equinox, which this year falls on the 20th of March. I’d never heard of this method of coloring the hardboiled “whites” themselves, but my daughter found a video on YouTube that showed us how. For more on the meaning of this seasonal moment, check out this excerpt from my book. Happy equinox!

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

Mar 152017
 

Patrick Armstrong

On March 3, 1859, the largest slave auction in American history took place in Savannah, Georgia. The event was called “The Weeping Time” partly due to the rainy weather that attendees of the sale would later remark upon in their journals and letters, and partly due to the wailing of human families and communities torn apart by the atrocity of human chattel slavery. The event was big news at the time, even reporters from New York arrived to cover the story. But in years that followed, the story of the Weeping Time was muted by historical revision and omission in the effort to burnish the Lost Cause as something more noble than a conflict over keeping humans in bondage. While Savannah sells itself to tourists as a destination steeped in history and tradition, it did not have a historical marker to note this very real historical atrocity until 2008. Continue reading »

Mar 132017
 

bart-everson-headshot-2013

One day in September of 1995, I made a trip with my wife and a mutual friend to Cedar Bluff, a place I considered the most beautiful place in Indiana, and only fifteen minutes from our home in Bloomington. I experienced an intense re-awakening of some ideas and aspirations that had been slumbering close to my heart. Below, you can read what I wrote in my journal on that day. What’s fascinating to me is how much things have changed over the past two decades — and also how little. The very word “localism” (as an ideology, opposed to “globalism”) seemed like a novelty then.


September, 1995

The bureaucratic state and the multi-national conglomerates have made the individual irrelevant by breaking down the local community. They’ve made the local community irrelevant by isolating individuals in gilded cages.

What can be done? Big business and big government are so entrenched, so monolithic that revolutionary dreams seem like hopeless (and therefore pathetic) fantasies.

The only solution is to do to them what they’ve done to us. We must make big business and big government irrelevant to our lives as individuals and as a community. We need to develop communities that are more self-sufficient, independent, autonomous.

Continue reading »