Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The trouble with blogs

Blogs are a great tool, a fun way to connect with friends and to meet new ones. They also seem to attract more than their share of opinionated nuts. For (aspiring) writers, I guess it's a glimpse into the ramifications of taking their personal writing to a public level.

My friend Leeandra writes a blog on Open Salon, and a recent post was featured on Salon.com's front page--high honor, and deservedly so. She wrote a wicked funny satire about some of the customers who come into the gallery where she works. Thousands of views later, she had many positive comments, but also a few who seem to have entirely missed the humor and the point of her original essay (mostly those who took offense at her Croc-bashing). Another writer even posted a critique on the Times-Picayune's website, blaming her essay (and others like it) for...well, I'm not sure what. Preventing New Orleanians from "just getting along"?

To her credit, she takes it all in stride and sees the humor (and irony) in writers criticizing other writers for writing. Who knew that trying to elicit a few laughs (and exorcise a few retail-related demons) could cause, as she put it, such a shit-storm?

In a much reduced way, a recent post of mine on Open Salon attracted comments from a gun lover. I was trying to begin a discussion about kids and toy weapons, and this dude went all gangbusters on freedom to bear arms. Yikes.

I guess it's the dangers of putting your opinion out there for all to see (and comment on). I don't mind someone disagreeing with me, as long as they stick more or less to the topic at hand and can keep things intelligent and calm. But maybe in the blogosphere, that's just too much to ask?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jazz Fest 2009

Last weekend, and the weekend before, was the 40th anniversary of Jazz Fest (officially called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival). It's seven days (over two weekends) of music, food, crafts, and celebration of all things New Orleans (and even tangentially related to New Orleans--I mean, Bon Jovi was one of the headliners this year!). We were lucky enough to fall into three free tickets, plus tickets from Mom-in-law for Hubby's bday, so we got to see Emmylou Harris, Gal Halliday and the Honkytonk Review, Silky Sol (an R&B singer who was just hilarious), and overheard lots of others as we strolled past all the different stages. We ate and drank ourselves into oblivion, and I bought a new hat (as you can see above!).

We went on Thursday, known as "locals day," because nobody seems to know it's open--and so it's not crowded at all. No lines for food or potties, the porta-potties still have toilet paper, and you can actually get close to the stages to see (or find space further back to spread out without being stomped). Perfect!

We had such a great time, I can't wait for next year! Happy Jazz Fest, y'all!