Brad Goins Wednesday, March 5, 2014 0

Melissa Mosley works at Recon Engineering, where two of the staff have been personally affected by Huntington’s Disease. The company’s created a committee that’s intended to increase area awareness of the disease.

Part of this awareness effort is a walk that will take place on March 22 at the Grove in Sulphur.

The group is in need of sponsors, volunteers and participants for the walk. If you’d like to help or participate, call 337-309-7819 or email


If You Lie, I’ll Tell!

It wasn’t long ago we learned that Rep. John Bel Edwards would be running for governor of Louisiana.

Of course, it was shocking news. After the story broke, it was no longer possible to deny that there’s at least one Democrat in Louisiana.

Edwards continued to shock when he recently gave the public a hint of the direction his campaign might take. He did this by making some unorthodox comments about Mitch Landrieu’s victory in the New Orleans’ mayoral race. Landrieu promised he’ll be mayor for four years, which would mean, of course, that he couldn’t run for governor.

What Edwards said was, “I can tell you that when I make a promise, I keep it.” The Associated Press reported that Edwards “expects the Democratic mayor to keep his promise to serve a full, four-year term.”

I know there are some people out there who think politicians are dumb. I don’t know about that. But I do know politicians sometimes say things that are a little complicated and hard to understand.

Let’s take Edwards’ statement as an example. Here’s my interpretation of what it says about the direction his campaign may take. It’s as if he were saying, “If you don’t vote for me, I may call one of my opponents a liar. I may also say, ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire,’ to him. And if you still don’t vote for me, I may say ‘nanny nanny boo boo’ and ‘nyah nyah nyah’ and ‘cho mamma’ to him.”

I guess I would have preferred it if Edwards had made a comment about one of the really big issues. For instance, I might have been more pleased if he’d said something like, “I have a plan that will enable Louisiana to give 50 cents to its institutions of higher learning.” But I’ve got to admit that if he’d said that, I probably wouldn’t have written about it.


Nagin Trial Boring

Considering how interesting Louisiana politics is, I feel the Nagin trial should have been a lot more interesting than it was. As it was, I thought the constant stream of not very exciting Tweets from reporters covering the trial diverted media attention from the usual freaks and geeks of Louisiana politics.

If only the news from the trial had been more dramatic. I kept wanting to walk into the courtroom and yell out, “Make it more interesting, damn it!”

The Tweets went on and on about whether Nagin asked Home Depot to support Stone Age or might have asked Home Depot or might have wanted to ask Home Depot. I looked all over the place for a Frapaccino to give and no matter how hard I looked I just couldn’t find one. Not one Frapaccino anywhere.

Sometimes it was confusing to read the Tweets. These two came right after each other:

— “On redirect govt asks Price if any other public ofc ever did what Nagin did. ‘No.’”

— “Yes, and that was my main concern.”

The first Tweet came from David Hammer of WWL-TV and the second from Gordon Russell of The Advocate.

Louisiana political bloggers were having a lot of fun with the idea that came out in the testimony that if you receive a bribe, the IRS wants you to report it as income. (FYI — I don’t know for sure that is the case. I’m just the reporter.) Also an especially funny moment in the generally tedious coverage was a C.B. Forgotston post that referred to the “Heh, Heh, Heh Ethics Board.”


Let’s Keep Twitter Sort Of Pure

As long as I’m writing about Twitter, let me send out a special request to KPLC-TV. Please tell me you’re not going to keep posting your gigantic Winter Olympics ads on Twitter just as if they were regular Tweets. Twitter isn’t an advertising forum — not yet, anyway.

And if NBC should happen to have any popular shows in the future, please don’t run enormous ads for them on Twitter either.

In return for your cooperation, I promise that if I get a hankering to watch the Winter Olympics for the first time in my life, I will go to a place that has KPLC-TV and watch them on KPLC-TV.


The State Of Journalism

It ran in the New York Times — the once great newspaper of record for the United States. It’s true, it was only a blog. But what a fancy, New York Times-style name the blog had: “ArtsBeat.” ArtsBeat! Well, la di da.

Let’s follow the beat of the arts as the Times reported it:

“‘Girls’ Recap: Kicked Out of a Funeral


“‘Solipsistic? Navel-gazing? Vainglorious?’

“Thus read an email from an esteemed colleague, trying to help out as I moaned about having run out of adjectives to describe the unrelenting egocentricity on ‘Girls.’

“But alas my problem remained unsolved, and not just because I’d already used the word ‘solipsistic’ last week in the recap of the episode, ‘Dead Inside.’

“Part of the issue was that little of note seemed to happen this week in the episode ‘Only Child.’ Did the characters seem to be flailing in a vacuum?”

Alas. Did the New York Times seem to be flailing in a vacuum as you read the preceding paragraphs? What you just read was from a review of a TV series — a review of a TV series for James Reston’s sake. That counts for “the arts” in the cyber New York Times of 2014.

As I said, the Times calls the thing ArtsBeat. The newspaper promises that readers can go to ArtsBeat “for breaking stories about the arts, coverage of live events, interviews with leading cultural figures, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more.”

For years, I assumed that by the time the New York Times got around to writing about high art that was once new the art in question had already become old hat. But I never dreamed the Times would use words such as “solipsistic” to write about plain old everyday TV shows.

Since I haven’t used the word “silly” in any of my recent reviews, I’m free to say the recent edition of ArtsBeat is silly. I guess it might seem a little less silly if the arts gurus at the Times decide to start reviewing televised cage fights.


The State Of Journalism, Part 2

On Feb. 4, the Opinions page of the Washington Post let loose with this throw down: “CNN needs to stop trivializing serious stories.”

Woah! CNN — you have been called out, sir!

I sympathize with what the Post is saying. But my question is this: Wouldn’t the best time to have made this assertion been June 2, 1980 — the second day CNN News broadcast? Of course, I don’t guess it would have been possible to Tweet the tagline at that. Back in that age, one would have written what was called an “op/ed piece.” And op/ed piece had more than 140 words and took at least half an hour to write.


Miley, Could You Check My Work?

Miley Cyrus was in the news when she pointed out that the magazine Cosmopolitan wrote the name “Justin Bieber” (instead of “Justin Timberlake”) in a Tweet meant to honor Timberlake’s birthday. The original Cosmopolitan Tweet said, “50 literally perfect photos in honor of Justin Bieber’s 32nd birthday.” Of course, Justin Bieber is not 32. He’s 4, or something like that.

Cyrus tweeted, “Bieber on the brain @Cosmopolitan.”

Hey, I feel Cosmopolitan’s pain. I’ve made very similar mistakes in the past.

For starters, there was the disastrous Nov. 31, 2013, “Up Front” in which I confused the popular singer with the writer William Shakespeare.

And that’s not all. In a Feb. 30, 2012 File 13, I confused singer Bruno Mars with the Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno. In an April 31, 2011, feature (“Could Shale Drilling Spur Praline Production?”), I confused Jay Z with Jay and Silent Bob. And in a June 31, 2010, File 13, I made the especially confusing mistake of confusing Beyonce with the then-90-year-old British writer Doris Lessing. I still can’t figure out how I mixed those two up.

Another embarrassing episode was a Nov. 31 feature (“LSU Prof Sees Robotic Alligators On Horizon”) in which I reported the absolutely incorrect information that Nelly was “a really effeminate interior designer who runs a Christopher Street bar called The Powderpuff.” That one’s still in mediation.

I need to get a lot more conscientious about my fact-checking as I’m about to start work on a File 13 about Lil’ Wayne, the classic American actor who starred in such cinematic standards as The Searchers and True Grit.


Experimental Music Really Is Torture

One of the forms of torture pioneered by the United States at Guantanamo Bay was to play music by Skinny Puppy at loud volumes in an effort to disturb or disorient prisoners. So reports the BBC.

Skinny Puppy says it wasn’t asked if its music could be played. If it had been, the answer probably would have been no. Band member Cevin Key told the CTV (Canadian TV) network, “I am not only against the fact they’re using our music to inflict damage on somebody else but [also that] they are doing it without anybody’s permission.”

Skinny Puppy sent the U.S. Army a bill for $666,000. When asked about the matter by the BBC, the Army said it hadn’t received the invoice.

Skinny Puppy was one of the best known experimental bands that sprang up in the post-punk era of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Its music, which ranged from 20-minute-long sound collages to short cuts with poppy electronic beats, was variously called industrial, noise or experimental.

Of the ensembles of this type, Skinny Puppy was one of the few that enjoyed some popularity, and the band still has a loyal cult following. In fact, it learned about the Guantanamo situation because a guard at the torture prison was a Skinny Puppy fan and endeavored to contact the band about the matter.

According to the BBC, music the U.S. Army has used to torture people in both Guantanamo and the Middle East includes — believe it or not — Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Queen and Sesame Street Soundtracks. I’m sorry, but if the U.S. Army is trying to torture men with the song “Fat-Bottomed Girls,” it’s fighting a losing battle.