Monday, May 3, 2010

KATRINA’S HARD CHRISTMAS

RESILIENCE, RENEWAL and REPOSITIONING

The first Christmas in New Orleans after Katrina is anything but a happy holiday. In the latest episode of Treme, one of the central characters believes he’s the answer to the mounting challenges in The Big Easy. Full of liquid courage, rising frustration and an uncertain future, Davis announces in of all places, a neighborhood bar, that he plans to run for city council. His decision comes as a result of hitting a crater of a pothole in the city, having his instruments stolen out of his car and failing to get his part-time girlfriend and fraught restaurant owner to have sex.

The possibility of sex grows to a fever pitch for Indian Chief Lambreaux. His opportunity to mentor an at-risk neighborhood teen gives the teen’s aunt the opening to invite Lambreaux to dinner. If a woman could melt herself into a bottle of syrup and pour the contents over a man, Lambreaux would be drenched and the boy’s aunt, significantly sexually satisfied. The woman steals glances at Lambreaux throughout dinner and slyly moves the conversation about his construction skills to a crack in her bedroom wall that needs his attention.

The mental high Lambreaux experiences on a personal level doesn’t match the low blow he receives just days before the funeral of a beloved friend. At the request of the dead man’s mother, the Indian-styled funeral service Lambreaux planned, complete with Indian chanting and customary dancing as a tribute to the life of a tribe member is banned. It crushes Lambreaux, although he complies with the family’s wishes.

If Creighton doesn’t get a handle on his pestering obsession with the unpopular opinions of others regarding the future of New Orleans, his holiday break from Tulane may send the professor into a series of seizures. As he contemplates finishing a novel about the sketchy preparedness of the city’s infrastructure pre and post-Katrina, Creighton finds his way to YouTube for a full blast venting session. Throughout his electronic verbal mooning and crass salute to cities like Atlanta and Houston, where many displaced New Orleanians felt like the welcome mat quickly wore thin, Creighton blasts everyone for their misunderstanding of New Orleans. Creighton’s commentary earns him a free cup of coffee by a fan, who’s also a coffee shop employee. It also gives him street credibility because he says what many displaced residents couldn’t or wouldn’t say, albeit rather vulgar and vicious at a boiling temperature.

Antoine is on a quest, since he recovered from an atrocious beating, courtesy of city police. He gets an alarming awakening, when his two sons who live less than an hour away are hesitant to reconnect with their stereotypical deadbeat dad. In addition to the delicate repositioning of Antoine in his sons drama-free lives, he eats his pride and accepts free dental care from his ex-wife’s husband, as well as the use of the man’s vehicle to take Antoine’s sons to dinner. When, where and how the trombone player will ever renew his solid footing in the New Orleans musician’s inner-circle, become a model father to all of his children, and lose his thirst for sporadic sex are all questions that are as thorny as the answers.

Will you stay tuned? What did you like or dislike about this week’s episode of Treme’?
Please forward all comments to Maniko Barthelemy at newsheels@gmail.com

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