Walt meet Frederico. Frederico, meet Walt. New Orleans is Disney meets Fellini this week.
Today the upscale suburb of Covington told parents they would let students make up work later if their kids stayed home out of concern for an impending campus brawl. Tonight is Covington’s big carnival parade, and quoted in the Times-Picayune, Lt. Jack West called it “one of the biggest conspiracies to get out of school that I’ve ever seen.” Kids were asking their parents to rescue them from school because shots were fired and the building was locked down, West said. Ten officers were posted, just in case.
Working at the Car Wash
Yesterday a teenager was accused of stealing a $70,000 BMW at a New Orleans car wash, and wrapping it around a tree after an extended police chase. It was his first day on the job.
Very Poor Parenting
Last night 17-year-old Clarence Johnson allegedly killed another teen who had just beaten him in a fistfight. Police say Clarence's mother sent him back out to avenge himself with a gun. The victim had just returned to New Orleans after a long evacuation in Dallas.
This morning, the Times-Picayune cover was a photo of the alleged killer holding a fist full of cash in one hand and a gun in the other. The portrait had been mounted on the wall of his mother’s home. His teen victim arrived in town from Dallas by bus yesterday, and was murder victim number 21 by last night. Clarence's mother is jailed on second degree murder charges.
Very Good Parenting
It’s hard to move from that story to one of the kids who are alright, but my friend Jonah is a comic with Muscular Dystrophy. He called inviting us to his standup comedy (his words) routine tonight. Each week Jonah wheels himself from his gutted home through the streets of New Orleans to the local comedy club. They just gave him his first Friday night show. His parents stand behind his spirit and his promise. I can get behind parenting like that.
The Disney Ending
More than 20 years ago, young John Thompson was imprisoned for killing a local executive. In 2003, weeks before John was to die by lethal injection at Angola, he was acquitted thanks to a prosecutor’s deathbed confession of hidden evidence. Here’s where it gets pretty Disney - as of this week the city owes John $14 million and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are allegedly in talks to play his pro-bono attorneys in a Disney movie.
BuzzFeed.com has run this blog under “Caring About New Orleans Again." And later under "Not Caring About New Orleans Again." I prefer the Disney version.