Thursday, June 3, 2010

If You're Anything Like Me...

... well, good luck with that.
You may likewise appreciate the tradition of music that has come out of the Crescent City. Clifton Chenier, Jelly Roll Morton, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John, Eddie Bo, Champion Jack Dupree, Queen Ida, John Boutté, Allen Toussaint, Boozoo Chavis, Henry Butler, the Guitars Slim, The Meters and various Neville Brothers, Buckwheat Zydeco, Smiley Lewis, Professor Longhair, Katie Webster, and even Louis Prima, Fats Domino, Harry Connick Jr., and Branford Marsalis. And his family.
In light of the present unpleasantness in The Gulf, it is easy to recognize the citizens whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by the effects of corporate inveiglement and congressional intrigue and confounded incompetence. (The Minerals Management Service is still allowing drilling off the Louisiana coast -- just not as deep. Because there's a moratorium.)

Oysters, crabs, shrimp and the people who fish them and sell them? The boy who grew up watching neighbors offload quahogs, clams, and lobsters understads what happens when they're gone. The culture of those communities, the diversity of this once-great nation?
Well, there's always Red Lobster.
The heritage of Gulf fishers is the story of the American people. Its loss is humanity's loss; each crab shack that closes forever is the end of another chapter of American history.
And every musician in Louisiana who falls ill is another page lost, expositions and explanations and jubilations gone.
With traditions of performance and musicianship listed (and not listed) above, one might assume that New Orleans has the healthiest and wealthiest musicians in the world. Well, the names I mention are (besides, of course, the dead ones). They're not going to be personally effected this August First, when the federal government yanks its 90% of funding from the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic. According to its website, the NOMC
is a medical clinic offering comprehensive health services housed within the offices of our partner, the LSU Healthcare Network. It is funded through donations and grants to the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation. Its medical referral network includes the resources of the LSU Medical Faculty, the University Hospital System, and Tulane Medical School, St. Anna's Musicians Medical Mission, the Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans and community providers within our referral network.
We provide NOMC patients with access to discounted prescriptions, patient assistance programs, lab work and vaccinations.
Sure, the hoax paradigm fancies that musicians are notorious for their profligate, unhealthy lifestyles. I tired of hearing that tired flak from the imaginary class war, the one that appreciates the existence of a servant class of expendable entertainers. A lot of New Orleans' musicians work from gig to gig, and since the insurance mandate isn't exactly a universal health care plan, some need a community health clinic. That's why I'm helping Save the Clinic.

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