notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

NFTM Department of Racial Harmony

Allen Toussaint is one of my all-time favorite musicians. He's a brilliant New Orleans songwriter/composer who has written some of the funkiest music I've ever heard - check out the song Worldwide for a small sample - and has performed alongside such legendary artists as The Meters (who were originally the house band for his record label), Dr. John, and The Band. He collaborated with The Band on their 1972 tour, writing beautiful horn arrangements that completely transformed their songs and eventually led to the release of their incredible Rock of Ages live album.

Meanwhile, there's our president, George W. Bush, who has a storied and cringe-inducing history of trying to ingratiate himself with black people, presumably to compensate for a lifetime of fucking them over. Bush's need to appear in public with minorities has produced tragicomic encounters. For example, back in January 2004, Bush invited Coretta Scott King to the White House to dedicate a portrait of her late husband. At that event, Bush demonstrated both his penetrating insight into the history of the civil rights movement and his knack for always saying the right thing, when he gave the following opening remarks: "Mrs. King, thanks for this beautiful portrait. I can't wait to hang it." More recently, in one of the most blatant suck-up moves of all time, Bush awarded medals of honor to Aretha Franklin and Muhammad Ali (as well as Alan Greenspan and Sheriff Andy Taylor - can't forget the base!). Bush again showed his coolness and poise around blacks by getting visibly flustered when Ali hilariously and repeatedly called him crazy during the ceremony. He also once famously (perhaps apocryphally) displayed his racial sensitivity by asking the President of Brazil "do you have blacks here, too?"

Anyway, apparently still unsatisfied with having repeatedly humiliated himself in the presence of black people, Bush invited Allen Toussaint to perform Thursday night at the White House to mark the 40th Anniversary of the NEA/NEH.

According to Reuturs, Bush remarked that although Toussaint had lost his home to flooding in New Orleans, he had "maintained his talent and spirit," a statement that is only slightly less patronizing than the one Bush originally planned to give: "Sorry I fucked up your whole city, but at least you'll always have rhythm."

Putting all these clues together, I sense that our President just isn't comfortable around black people. While I doubt that he is overtly hostile to people of other races, he is clearly the type of person who’d rather just stick with his own kind, which is why Crawford, Texas, is the perfect place for him. Whenever Bush finds himself around non-white people, he’s always got that look of a person who knows that at any moment he could say the wrong thing and give away the whole ballgame. And, at least partially because he’s so petrified, he invariably says the dumbest things to black people. So Mr. President, I implore you: do yourself a favor, do the American people a favor, and especially do minorities a favor. Avoid black people like the plague. Except Condi. She's OK, mostly because you’ve got some bizarre psycho-sexual thing going on with her. But please steer clear of any other dark-skinned people. You’re not fooling them, anyway. At the very least, please leave Allen Toussaint alone. The man's been through enough.