Today’s Forecast Calls For High Waters, Partially Gray Moral Dilemnas

New Orleans Prisoners Abandoned to Floodwaters: “‘It was complete chaos,’ said a corrections officer with more than 30 years of service at Orleans Parish Prison. When asked what he thought happened to the inmates in Templeman III, he shook his head and said: ‘Ain’t no tellin’ what happened to those people.’

‘At best, the inmates were left to fend for themselves,’ said Carey. ‘At worst, some may have died.’

Many of the men held at jail had been arrested for offenses like criminal trespass, public drunkenness or disorderly conduct. Many had not even been brought before a judge and charged, much less been convicted. “

Well, that was fun…

…if by fun, you mean not really.

Watching a couple get mugged 20 yards away from you is never cool. Fortunately, I think I was able to give the cops a pretty good description of two of the guys and the car. Yay, finally finding a use for the criminal psychology degree and training…

And it was the poor guy’s first date with the girl. But he handled it well. She better give him another chance at a first date… Though that’s definitely something to tell the kids one day…

That’s Mr. Award-Winning Screenwriter to you

Yep, I’m the proud owner of the as-yet-unnamed (after 7 years, at that) Sidewalk Film Festival trophies. And that bitch is HEAVY, I’ll add.

Muckfuppet is a 12 page short about a brief lunch break and confessions of the heart. Totally predictable and transparent. No darkness involved. No twists or turns in the last moments. Nothing supernatural or in the least bit spooky, no insanity. Just a little bit of romance, a little quippy dialogue.

Yeah, I’m surprised, too. But incredibly honored and happy. Edging daily towards pretentious and arrogant.

Thanks to Chance, Mia and Melissa for reading it and offering advice beforehand; Eric and Catherine and Mary Catherine and everyone else responsible for carrying on Sidewalk over the years for the encouragement; Daniel Wallace and John August for judging and offering script notes; and to Neely, especially, without whom there would be no script, no clever and catchy title, and no award.

Working on raising money for the film now (thank god it’s a short; the plan is to shoot on 16mm instead of DV, and the budget shouldn’t run any higher than $1000 — less if we can get Kodak to sponsor us and provide the stock). Melissa Bush and Scott Ross have agreed to join the cast, Stacey Shirley has accepted my invitation to produce, and Chance Shirley (Hide and Creep) is onboard as Director of Photography. I’m hoping to get Adam Wingard of Team Bloodjet! to edit, Michael Praytor to do cinematography, and a few other local folks to fill in the remaining crew spots… There’s no reason why this shouldn’t turn out to be an amazing short.

Outside of the win — I hear I looked composed during my thank-you speech, but I don’t remember any of it except for feeling like I would collapse. Yay nerves and adrenaline! — the weekend was great. There were a few technical glitches (none in my areas of responsibility, thank god), but I heard that everyone was by-and-large very happy with the end result. Some great films — if you have the chance to see Gorman Bechard’s You Are Alone or a feature called Swimmers, make sure that you do. The Exhibit(s) played twice — once a VERY laid back set at Restaurant G (the Sidewalk Music Cafe) which got a lot of surprising compliments, and once at the Saturday night Film For The People party; I was too tired at that point to notice what the crowd reaction was. But it was a great room, free beer, and we blew up a monitor, which means it must have been somewhat okay.

I should have taken the entire week off, honestly. I need about three more days to rest and catch up with my life.

C’est ca.

From FEMA to funny…

The Observer | International | Armed and dangerous – Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina:

Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy’s cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying ‘toxic dart’ guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet’s smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.”

Blessed are the … oh, fuck it.

FEMA plans to reimburse faith groups for aid – Highlights –

‘I believe it’s appropriate for the federal government to assist the faith community because of the scale and scope of the effort and how long it’s lasting,’ he said.

Lynn disagreed. ‘The good news is that this work is being done now, but I don’t think a lot of people realize that a lot of these organizations are actively working to obtain federal funds. That’s a strange definition of charity,’ he said.

… FEMA officials said religious organizations would be eligible for payments only if they operated emergency shelters, food distribution centers or medical facilities at the request of state or local governments in the three states that have declared emergencies — Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In those cases, ‘a wide range of costs would be available for reimbursement, including labor costs incurred in excess of normal operations, rent for the facility and delivery of essential needs like food and water,’ FEMA spokesman Eugene Kinerney said in an e-mail.

That whole checks and balances thing that I recall hearing about in high school seems to be a thing of the past, eh?

Well, maybe this will make God happy. So happy even that He’ll feel a little guilty about wiping out New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast over the past two years.

Unless this was His plan all along…


Ex-FEMA chief slams ‘dysfunctional’ Louisiana –

“Former FEMA director Michael Brown aggressively defended his role in responding to Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday and put much of the blame for coordination failures on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

�My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional,� Brown told a special congressional panel set up by House Republican leaders to investigate the catastrophe.”

… �I�ve overseen over 150 presidentially declared disasters. I know what I�m doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it,� Brown said.

What. An. Asshole.

I wonder if Brown is one of those guys who has absolutely no friends in the world, whose wife only puts up with him for the money?

He’s either an asshole with no sense of reality, or he has a pair of brass balls so big that Alec Baldwin has to salute every time his name is mentioned.

ABC’s Wide World of Sporks

Or was that “wild”? Can never remember.

Sidewalk’s here again, and if you’re not coming, you suck. Period. Don’t even bother arguing with me.

The rest of the world — well, it’s gone crazy. The Post-Herald, my one-time employer, published its final edition today. Which makes five places that I’ve spent significant time at that have shut their doors forever. And counting.

Guess UAB will probably not make that list in my lifetime…

Busy. Getting ready to play at the festival (Restaurant G, 1 PM Saturday, and then again at the big Sidewalk Bash on Saturday night), work (projectionist at the Alabama Theater this year), and maybe even catch a movie or two. Way behind on my freelance work, which sucks a lot…

October will now be know as catch-up month. As well as the month that temperatures finally become bearable again.

Back to the crush, I guess…