Friday, February 14, 2014

Nagin Trial - My interview with Gambit

Gambit:  Interview with the Zombie

Big thanks to the Gambit for this interview, I needed a little love :)'s Valentine's Day.

I do have a Nagin opus I'm writing but it's going to take some time because of the linking and such.

And thank you to B.T. and V.B. for the donations yesterday...much love and appreciation to you! 


Political Shitblaster said...

To monetize: write a book. Or rather, write a proposal, outline and sample chapter. (Then start pitching.) I'll even give you the title and subtitle:


How a lone blogger brought down the corrupt mayor of New Orleans.

Move fast, someone will write a book on the rise, decline and fall of C. Ray. Might as well be you.

Anonymous said...

The book is a pretty good idea.

Reading through some of your old posts, the ones you linked to during the trial and others that linked to those, it struck me just how much you had been the one to cover for the first time.

How different the Ray Nagin corruption and New Orléans political landscapes must look to those who`ve been reading your blog vs. those who never have!

One old post of yours had a comment about the 2006 election for Mayor of New Orléans, a dark hint about some kind of election fraud related to it.

I never know what to make of that sort of thing.

But I took a look at an old election map from, a map of where the dislocated voters were coming from. Lots from Texas and other parts of LA, obviously, but it really was a shockingly national election.

If it was clean, it was a remarkable feat of ensuring that the Flood did not deprive people of their votes in the city they still thought of as home.

Given how many homes got mysteriously demolished even when work was taking place to restore them, if the vote was clean, it was an amazing effort to help those displaced people.

If it was not-so-clean... well, whoever pulled off the actual grunt work, the backroom and campaign worker hustle, of a stolen election that had real national scope... someday I`d love to see an ``interview with a little guy`` explaining how all THAT went down.

And I wonder if those guys still find work in political campaigns of all stripes on the strength of that 2006 work.

Congrats on the Gambit piece. Thanks for the BP and Wisner work, too. The Nagin book is a good idea.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I had this crazy idea at one point where I wanted to make a coffee table pop-up book on the history of New Orleans and Louisiana corrupt politics.

I looked into it and I was told it's a horrible idea just based on the production costs of such a book.

I still think every Louisiana loving person on the planet would buy that book...but what do I know?

Sam said...

The "Catching Ray Nagin" idea is a good one. A solid one and the other commenters are correct: If you don't do it someone else will, and I have a couple names that seem like obvious ones. Why not you?

The Nagin story got international coverage. People would buy that book in minute. You really should give it some thought IMO, but you have to move fast, pre-appeal. If you wait til after all the dust on this settles, you'll be too late.

If you start now on what you knew/know, you'll be caught up in terms of the info and structure, then you can add to it as the next shoes are dropped. You'll be ahead of the curve.

Yeah. I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

it's not a horrible idea regardless of the production cost. i wish I had a dollar for every negative comment I received for an 'out side the box' idea I have expressed to others. or for that matter the mucho bucks some of these same critics made using my ideas.

presently i am thinking that a conviction chart of those politicians, their family and friends, and other miscellaneous appointed or otherwise employed public officials might be the visual impact needed for the public to really understand the scope of corruption that is so culturally imbedded. sort analogous topa the campaign contribution expose now being published.

Anonymous said...

Two thumbs up o the pop up book. Something which is tactile offers a unique value proposition for your material. If you do this double down for scratch and sniff. Chocolate City, you fill in the rest.

Seriously, you are way down on the tail of the bell curve, why take advice from those in fat middle?

Jason Brad Berry said...

Thank you means a lot to me to hear this.

I guess I listen to the fat part of the bell curve because they tend to make money and I seem to have been cursed at birth with that inability. I know it's some psychological, self-defeating, mechanism but I can't seem to shake it. In fact, I have trouble believing I'm worthy of my own ideas so it doesn't take much to knock me down into the void of self-doubt.

In some ways, I think I am fascinated by guys like Nagin and Bennett because they despite any tangible vision or talent they seem to excel in the capitalist rat race. Perhaps I'm even a little envious...but only a little and only in my deepest moments of doubt.

The truth is, I don't grok with the dogma of greed and laissez-faire capitalism. I wasn't raised that way in the hills of Kentucky and I was never taught that success = hoarding money, accruing shit you don't really need and judging your entire existence on the numbers in your bank account.

I feel like a fish out of water most of the time. I get berated a lot by my close friends about how bad of a business man I am. Trying to get better but I've come to realize I just don't think I have it in me. Perhaps I should just accept my fate.

Jason Brad Berry said...

- they...didn't proof read that.

Jason Brad Berry said...

damn I sound like Marvin:

Political Shitblaster said...

Pop up book sounds like fun, but it would probably require writing it in advance, then printing, then selling it. Huge risk, huge cost.

The non-fiction game is based on producing a proposal, SELLING the proposal, getting an advance, then writing the book. Much less risk, and an actual chance of getting paid. I've been in the book game, OK?

Do the industry-standard non-fiction route, GET PAID, then use the profits to make the pop-up book, if you must. It's all good.

Anonymous said...

A pop-up book sounds like fun. It sounds like it would be a fun project from the beginning to the end.

I also wondered once about murals. Serious expensive WPA type murals, but also wheatpastes. (Harder to paint grey.)

Sparky`s old map did that to me. I have commented so many times over the years about the effect of that map, and it was only for one little piece of the city, for a story we never learned the end of.

Infographics and maps thrown up all over the city as wheat pastes, and made in big enough runs that you could sell them online at maybe even at art gallery gift stores... that would be, if not cool, at least something.

A family tree of New Orleans corrupt political interconnections done as some kind of info graphic might be fun to put up as a public service during election season.

When I grew up, I learned to love wheat pastes even more, because it is totally not illegal to paste some gorgeous piece up on your OWN garage, or the wall of your friend`s house.

You can even sell little pieces with cute little bottles of paste and instructions not to do illegal things.

That`s helpful if your kid needs you to stay out of jail. And shit, Banksie sold out.

Another idle thought I`ve had (over the years of doodling pictures to try to understand the connections you`ve made in your posts) was fabric.

Toiles are very French, often loved in the South, and they depict not only plantation or estate life in France or her colonies, but also sickly sweet and creepy idealizations of the working class work done to maintain these lifestyles.

A series of Louisiana political toiles might be fun to do-- the coke parties on boats, the freezers full of cash, frat boy John Georges parading in blackface with his friends... The possibilities are endless.

Throw pillows in prints like these might actually sell. I bet you there is at least one Uptown living room with a couch that needs a fancy little cushion depicting Louisiana`s political corruption.

You just know some girl is going to want that fabric on a dog bed for her yappy little dog.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Nagin and Bennett and others like them... sure, they seem to be doing OK in a capitalist culture, at least until they go to jail.

But think about Nagin`s little girl, who seems to be innocent and blameless in all of this, and who will go through life with a lot of shame about her family, a family she also no doubt loves.

The horrible faces of Meffert`s wife and St. Pierre`s wife... it`s not worth it.

Selling out your city, screwing over your kids and others who loved or trusted you... meh. Not worth it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the Dark Yoda? Is he getting out of all of this scott free?

Anonymous said...

Shitblaster is right -- the nonfiction book idea is good. Somebody will...why not a zombie? maybe work that into the subtitle some way... Catching Ray Nagin: A Zombie's Long Game

monetization is staring you in the face.

jeffrey said...

Pop up books are awesome. Seems like the Ray Nagin Coloring Book sold pretty well. And I thought that was kind of lame.


so happy to see you getting some props from outside the the box. you , oyster , ashley , and the rest were my post katrina ptsd therapy. you cats gave me hope those first few years and kept me sane. much love pal.

Anonymous said...

These all need work but.....

Ray Catching Rays: A Mayor Burned from Exposure to a Zombie's Light on the DarkSide of the Chocolate City

Catching Nagin, Catching Rays:
How A Zombie's Light Burned the Mayor in the Darkside of His Chocolate City.

Catching Nagin, Catching Rays:
How A Zombie's Light Seared a Mayor in the Dark of His Chocolate City.

There is plenty to work with here......DO it. We can help.

Brian D said...

Oddly enough, my technical experience is morphing back into what it used to be - a fascination with elemental arrangements of shapes and color to convey information - which is morphing into art project ideas, many of them half-baked that may take time to develop. One of those ideas is getting some traction lately - how to make pop-up books, and I think I have the technical details worked out. I could offer some tips if you like. It's a great idea. A book I'd like to have on my coffee table.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Let's talk Brian D.