NFL Crawfishes

From Nola.com:

” ‘Who Dat’ we do not claim to own by itself,” said Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL. “It’s when ‘Who Dat’ is used in conjunction with Saints marks that it’s a problem.”

McCarthy said T-shirts and items with ‘Who Dat’ and a fleur-de-lis logo unlike the one owned by the Saints are allowed as long as they are not advertised as being Saints or NFL paraphernalia.

‘Who Dat’ shirts being sold at the Fleurty Girl shop on Oak Street would be acceptable, McCarthy said, as long as the shop removes advertising referring to the Saints.

Femme Fatale Friday: Fleurty Girl

As YatPundit said (thereby starting the viral buzz), it all started with a tweet a week ago today


and now it’s exploded into a huge Who Dat diatribe. The Who Dat Nation is on fiya!

The tweet in question was referring to this tee (left) worn by Lauren Thom, the creator of Fleurty Girl tees. She received a “cease and desist” letter from a division of the NFL who claimed to have sole rights to “Who Dat” . Further, she was told she could sell her remaining inventory of tees as long as she paid a 10% royalty to the NFL. Needless to say, locals raced to buy the tee with each tweet updating the unfolding status of a virtual David vs. Goliath situation.
Lauren was actually fine with being allowed to sell out her inventory and leave it at that but the Who Dat Nation had other ideas. (More on that later.)

The next morning Lauren was the guest on @mrs_cocktail’s (Ann Tuennerman, founder of Tales of the Cocktail) The Straight Pour on local radio WIST-AM where she talked at length about her tees, her store and the NFL brouhaha. The 1/23 podcast can be found here – scroll down to The Straight Pour. I am very happy to say I scored the infamous tee for calling in to the show and doing a little schmoozing. (With a bit of a talk about a possible so far non-existent westbank tee!) Since then she’s been interviewed and quoted so much I can’t even begin to post all the links here – I probably don’t even know the half of it anyway.

The upshot of all this is that now there are tons of pages on FaceBook screaming out the rage of the Who Dat Nation against the NFL. As of right now (9:16 p.m. on Thursday night) here are the pages dedicated to putting the NFL on The Who Dat Nation’s sh*t list:

DEFEND #WHODAT
Hey NFL! Keep your hands off of WHO DAT and the Fleur De Lis
The NFL does NOT own the fleur De Lis or the phrase “WHO DAT”
Who Dat Nation STAND UP
“Who Dat” Belongs To The People Of New Orleans
The Who-Dat Nation WILL NOT buy “Who-Dat” Merchandise licensed by the NFL

So, NFL, hear us loud and proud: “Who Dat” belongs to *US* – to New Orleans and her crazy, happy, proud, partying, dancing, crunk Saints-loving people and NO ONE ELSE.

TRUE DAT!

Update: Here’s a link to Lauren on Garland Robinette’s show yesterday.

WHO DAT NATION!

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button GeneratorCreate Your Own

Who Dat.

Who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat.

Who dat trying to take the who dat from the who dats? Dat damn NFL

who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who dat who sat

Suck it NFL.

Anyone listening?

With all the Saints frenzy around town, and the simmering stew of Mardi Gras almost upon us, its no wonder no one is talking about the election

Election? What election?

Yeah, that one, the MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS election

So if your SuperBowl-MardiGras plans have got you in a tizzy, and you are fretting about getting to the polls on February 9th and dodging Choctaw-Adonis-Pontchartrain-Sparta-Pygmalion then guess what? Early voting starts TOMORROW!!!

Environment America’s Report Includes Statistics On Toxic Discharge in Mississippi River

For Immediate Release:
January 12, 2010

Contact: Heather Emmert, Gulf States Field Organizer, Environment America

504-525-1528 x 200

Over 230 Million Pounds of Toxics Discharged into American Waterways

Industrial facilities dumped 12,811,400 pounds of toxic chemicals into Louisiana’s waterways, according to a report released today by Environment America: Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act. The report also finds that toxic chemicals were discharged in 1,900 waterways across all 50 states.

“While nearly half of the rivers and lakes in the U.S. are considered too polluted for safe fishing or swimming, our report shows that polluters continue to use our waterways as dumping grounds for their toxic chemicals,” said Heather Emmert, Gulf States Field Organizer with Environment America.

The Environment America’s report** documents and analyzes the dangerous levels of pollutants discharged in to America’s waters by compiling toxic chemical releases reported to the U.S. EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory for 2007, the most recent data available.

Major findings of the report include:

* ExxonMobil released 4,211,142 pounds of toxic chemical waste into the Mississippi River in Louisiana. The ExxonMobil facility was the largest reported polluter of toxic chemicals in Louisiana in 2007.
* The Mississippi River is ranked third in the nation for the amount of toxic discharge with 12,717,205 pounds discharged in 2007.

· Industrial facilities discharged approximately 87,896 pounds of chemicals linked to cancer into Mississippi River

With facilities dumping so much pollution, no one should be surprised that nearly half of our waterways are unsafe for swimming and fishing. But we should be outraged.

Environment America’s report summarizes the discharge of cancer-causing chemicals, chemicals that persist in the environment, and chemicals with the potential to cause reproductive problems ranging from birth defects to reduced fertility. Among the toxic chemicals discharged by facilities are lead, mercury, and dioxin. When dumped into waterways, these toxic chemicals contaminate drinking water and are absorbed by the fish that people eventually eat. Exposure to these chemicals is linked to cancer, developmental disorders, and reproductive disorders. In 2007, manufacturing facilities discharged approximately 1.5 million pounds of cancer-causing chemicals into American waters.

“This report gives us yet another example of how the Clean Water Act is a dream deferred,” said Matt Rota, Water Resources Program Director for the Gulf Restoration Network. “From the pollution in Mississippi River to the Dead Zone in the Gulf, it is obvious that the EPA and Louisiana must step up and take decisive action to reduce the pollution that is permitted to flow into our waters every day.”

“There are common-sense steps that should be taken to turn the tide against toxic pollution of our waters,” added Heather. “We need clean water now, and we need the federal government to act to protect our health and our environment.”

In order to curb the toxic pollution threatening the Mississippi River and other waterways, Environment America recommends the following:

1. Pollution Prevention: Industrial facilities should reduce their toxic discharges in to waterways by switching from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives.
2. Tough permitting and enforcement: EPA and state agencies should issue permits with tough, numeric limits for each type of toxic pollution discharged, ratchet down those limits over time, and enforce those limits with credible penalties, not just warning letters.
3. Protect all waters: The federal government should adopt policies to clarify that the Clean Water Act applies to all of our waterways. This includes the thousands of headwaters and small streams for which jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act has been called into question, as a result of recent court decisions.

In June 2009, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee passed a bill that would restore the Clean Water Act. Now it is up to the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee to take up a similar bill. Heather concluded, “We urge Congress and the President to listen to the public’s demands for clean water. They should act to protect all of our lakes, rivers and streams from toxic pollution.

Environment America is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that works to protect clean air, clean water, and open spaces
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heather Emmert

Gulf States Field Organizer

Environment America

Office 504-525-1528 x200

Cell 817-312-0079

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
**I have the report in PDF format if anyone would like me to email it./Charlotte

Our City, Our Town – Finish Strong Or Brett, Who?

I have a confession to make. I’m from Wisconsin, two hours from the Minnesota border.  I was born there and spent my life there until a few years ago when I packed up my car with all the essentials (music, books, clothes and my mister) and drove 1,200 miles to start my life in the Big Easy.

So, I know all about Brett Favre and how people LOVE Brett Favre and how Brett Favre is treated like the 21st century messiah by the city he happens to be playing for. Well, except maybe in New York. I get it. I do. And, because I am from up North, I’ve heard my fair share of trash talking from friends (and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends)  still there.  Being from Wisconsin, Viking fans were always annoying, but their smugness over Favre Almighty or Purple Jesus – what they like to call him up there – it  has gotten much more difficult to take.  Honestly, if I hear one more  reference to the Superdome being the place of Favre’s Superbowl win, equating this game to that, I cannot be  held accountable for my actions.  I hated it growing up and I especially hate it now, when the story of Favre’s play-off game at 40 is beginning to over-shadow the talent and skill held by a  younger, much more grounded Drew Brees.

Screw ‘em.

Brett Favre has become the equivalent to Marsha Brady, but Drew Brees ain’t no Jan. He’s the person that makes people forget Marsha Brady and after Sunday, my hope is that when Favre’s name is brought up, people will say, “Favre, who? Oh THAT guy.”

I realize I should cut Favre a little slack, even he as admitted to being a Saints fan, but I can’t.

I look at retirement/not retirement shenanigans and am just sort of appalled.

The whole way he was signed to the Vikings, is shady.

I think to the interview he did a few weeks ago with Chris Collinsworth, foreshadowing another retirement if the Vikings take the Superbowl.

I think about the temper tantrum he threw on the sidelines during the Panthers game, disrespecting his coach and his team on national television – and simply not caring, because he is Favre and doncha know Favre knows best?

I do know a few things:

1. The Saints are playing better than they ever have. It’s not just their offense, its defense AND special teams. They are rested. Those that were hurt are healthy and Lord, whoever lit the fire under Reggie’s behind – THANK YOU.

2. Drew Brees is a force. Don’t underestimate what he can do. Have you seen the Sports Science video that demonstrates the amount of skill and talent that this man has? And, on top of that, he’s a stand-up guy. He lives in this city. He’s one of us.  He gives back to this city in so many ways – they all do – but when Brees talks about New Orleans, you know he is talking about home.

3. It’s not just a team here, it’s our family.  When you talk trash about our city, our team or our players, we take it personal. You are talking about our home. You are talking about our brothers or sons. We are protective of each other. We look out for each other. We live large, love big and laugh often – despite hardship or maybe because of them.  Down here, even if you aren’t born in New Orleans, New Orleans is born in you.  The Superdome is our collective home, where we share stories, become acquainted with lost relatives and share memories.  Many of the city experienced tragedy there that no one can really understand unless you were there. The Superdome will no longer be a symbol of what went wrong, but an icon of what went right. This is our city. This is our town. They are our team.

I think the song and video below sums it up best:

Ways to Give this Season and Have a Blast While Doing It! Part Two: The Camel Toe Lady Steppers Toe Down

This is the second article in a series about lady groups in Nola doing good things for good people while having an excellent time doing so.

This one’s about The Camel Toe Lady Steppers, better known as another fantastic group of females that marches in the Muses parade. Their major fundraiser, called the “Toe-Down” donates a percentage of the proceeds to The Roots of Music, which is an after school academic tutoring and music program founded by Rebirth’s Derrick Tabb.*

Click on poster or scroll all the way down for information

I interviewed Cynthia Garza, a founder f the CTLS who was gracious enough to take the time to answer some questions during a very busy time of year for the group. There is a LOT of information in this article, including an explanation of the infamous dance-off that goes down between the CTLS and Pussyfooters and a tribute to Miss Antoinette K Doe so read on!

When and why did the CTLS form?Back in 2003 a group of us thought it would be fun to dress up for Halloween like the majorettes who parade with the marching bands during Mardi Gras. We had big dreams of making costumes that year but ran out of time so we ordered these awful gold lamé boy shorts and crop tops off a danceteam and majorette website…a website meant for high school girls. When we tried them on…well, let’s just say the snugness of the shorts inspired the group’s name.

We made huge fluffy yarn tassels for our marching boots, put on some cheap tiaras, and carried batons, which only a few of us knew how to twirl. I had the most dance experience (and I was drum major of my high school marching band way back when so I also had experience with the whistle) so I choreographed two routines for us. We recruited some friends to put together a drum line, and they followed us all night around the Marigny and the French Quarter. There were 8 of us that night. After a few hours of marching and drinking, our Camel Toe cheer was born and our group name solidified, “Hey! Ho! We got Camel Toe!” It was a crazy night. We had hundreds of folks following us up and down Frenchmen and Decatur.

Months later, Casey (our head boss lady) got a call from Muses asking how much we would charge to perform in Muses, and her response was, “Uh,sure, uh, can I get your number and call you back?” We were ecstatic.

What are your colors?

Our colors are hot pink, black and silver, although the original gold lamé was a bigger hit apparently. Our first year marching in Muses was 2004, and we wore jumpsuits in our new colors. Later, on Mardi Gras day, a group of transvestites came up to us during Saint Anne and said, “Girls, you made a big mistake with these costumes. The gold lamé was SO much better. And what were you THINKING choosing black as an accent color for a night parade?” Those bitches totally shamed us, and they were so right. So the next year, we upped the pink and got rid of the a lot of the black.

What have your themes been and what is it this year?

2010 – Urban Carnival (inspired by Ebony Bones, Lady Gaga, and a general carnivalesque aesthetic)

2009 – Camel Toe Cabaret (Bob Fosse)

2008 – Dream Toes (Dreamgirls, Motown)

2007 – Bollywood

2006 – Retro Swim (the year after Katrina – we did an out of water synchronized swim routine in hot pink Esther Williams swimsuits and flowery swim caps)

2005 – 1940s Gangster/Bonnie and Clyde

2004 – Debut year in Muses – no real theme exce

Who all is a CTLS and what are the membership requirements?

Our ages range from women in their mid-twenties to late thirties. Most of us are around 35 or 36. Occupations represented by our members are: professor, burlesque dancer, community activist, jewelry designer, hairdresser, grad student, doctor, lawyer, teacher, interior designer, aerialist, horticulturist, bartender, actor, and arts educator. A lot of us are also moms.

We live in Midcity, Broadmoor, the Bywater, St. Roch, the Marigny, the Riverbend, the 12th Ward, the 7th Ward, the Irish Channel, the LGD, Lakeview, and Central City.

As far as how someone can become a Toe, because we are grassroots in our approach to creating our performances (meaning that we encourage input and creativity from ALL members), we aren’t a very big group (compared to other marching groups in the city). We also look for women who are committed to the carnivalesque, to creativity, and to a certain lifestyle that prioritizes social action through performance. So our new members have integrated themselves into the group organically – mostly through friends – and not through a formal audition process or anything. We fear that if the group gets too big, it will change this dynamic. In the future, though, we would definitely like to add new members and, at that point, it will be about a person’s willingness to give her all in a performance and throughout the months of preparations. Also, we’ve had women interested in membership, and when they realize that they’d have to be at rehearsal EVERY Sunday, volunteering on one of the committees, attending sewing circles, etc., they kinda renege on their interest. It’s a lot of work.

We have five boss ladies that represent the different committees that make up our organization: choreography/dance, costumes, fundraising/PR, accounting, and general organization, and this group meets at the end of summer to start planning. Then we have a general meeting in October at Ernie K. Does’ Mother in Law Lounge to vote on a new costume and theme every year. The dance committee then choreographs two new routines for the theme and in the appropriate dance style, and we organize a workshop in that style to start to get the girls into character and moving in the right way. The costume committee organizes sewing and crafting circles to make the costumes.

In what situations did you march/dance/make appearances then and do now?

Our main event is Muses so we start preparing for that usually at the end of August. We don’t do any other performances (except for our fundraiser) during Carnival Season. Outside of that, we’ve performed for the New Orleans Bingo Show, Liquidrone, DJ Soul Sister, the Dirty Coast Fashion Show, Voodoo Fest, the New Orleans Ballet Association Ball, and the Muses fundraiser.

It appears that you have a separate, smaller group of gals who dance for events. Is this the case?

Of our 40 members who parade in Muses, we have about 15-20 who have some past performance experience. So we have a group of rotating dancers that do stage numbers outside the parade. This is also an outlet for the choreographies I have constantly running through my head. They’re a little more intricate than the parade routines, and they’re meant for the stage (as opposed to the street). Two years ago, we did a skanky goth cheerleading routine to the song “Pussy” by Miami rapper Jackie-O and made huge signs that spelled PUSSY. Last year, we performed a militant Bollywood routine to MIA’s “Boyz”. It was 1/3 Bollywood, 1/3 Public enemy, and 1/3 Afro Cuban fierceness. I know that sounds crazy. I can’t explain how I combine all these aesthetics. They just blend together in my head

This year, we have a marvelously stupid funny routine planned, but you’ll have to go to the fundraiser to see it. I’ll just say this. We think that Marie Antoinette was kinda ghetto fabulous, and if she were alive today, she might wear grills and gold chains.

What is your fundraiser like?

We used to have our fundraiser at Ernie K. Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge, but we outgrew it. So for the past three years, we’ve had it at One Eyed Jack’s. Every year, the proceeds are used to pay for our brass band in Muses, and the rest goes to Roots of Music.

We have a variety of acts, but we begin the night with a performance from the Roots of Music Marching Crusaders. They’re middle school aged, but they’re playing at a high school level. Derrick Tabb is doing amazing work. We were all standing in awe, some of us in tears, last year when they performed. Then we rotate acts like Fleur de Tease Burlesque (Trixie Minx, the creative director, is also a Camel Toe), an aerialist group, and a brass band and/or another type of band (this year it’s the Happy Talk Band). We also invite other groups to make an appearance. For three years, it’s been Miss Antoinette and the Baby Dolls, but since she passed away, there’ll be a memorial for her with an appearance from the Dolls.

There’s also a live auction. We have a member of CTLS whose father was an auctioneer, and she’s pretty skilled at it. Other items are raffled through pre-sold raffle tickets. There’s usually an MC. Last year it was Chris Lane, and this year it’ll be Ronnie Numbers from the Bingo Show. And then the main event is the Camel Toe stage performance.

I just joined The Pussyfooters last year and was told that there is a dance off between the CTLS and The Pussyfooters- I was scared to death at the prospect of performing in such a thing, but it never happened last year. What’s up with that?

This only happened once, and I don’t know the truth about where it got started. On my end, I got a call from Casey, our boss lady, saying that one of her yoga students, who is a Pussyfooter, said that they were going to challenge us to a dance-off on the neutral ground before the parade. Some girls loved the idea and started talking smack. I almost had an asthma attack. So last year, I called Amber Rosean (a Pussyfoter), and this is how the conversation went down:

Me – Hi, Amber. My name is Cynthia. I’m the choreographer of the Camel Toes. I went to the Blush Ball last week and harassed one of your dancers into give me your number.

Amber – Uh, ok.

Me – So are we doing the dance-off again this year? It’s perfectly fine with me if we don’t.

Amber – Honestly, some girls thought it was not a good idea, and we’re thinking of not doing it.

Me – How did that thing start anyway?

Amber – No idea.

And that was that. Larisa (last year’s Pussyfooter dance leader) and I agreed later to call it a “dance party” and try again, and I kinda think it’s good to get our nerves out before the parade for a “safe” group. So in that sense, I wouldn’t mind doing it again. But, in the end, both groups were way too drunk to pull it together before the parade in 2009 so I think both Larisa and I conveniently forgot about it. It was hilariously funny the year we did it, though, because the drunk ass Bearded Oysters were egging both groups on. I remember after the Pussyfooters danced, and our brass band was preparing to play, the Oysters were screaming, “Are you gonna take that SHIT, Camel Toes?!” From a performative standpoint, the whole thing was like a drunken messy Big Easy version of us playing out our childhood West Side Story fantasies. Come to think of it, I might lobby to bring the “dance party” back.

Cynthia has Something to Say About Miss Antoinette

Our Camel Toe queen in 2009 and 2010 was Antoinette K Doe. She died days after parading in Muses (on Mardi Gras day) and was buried in the ball gown she wore the night of Muses. Before she dies, I had been talking to her about organizing a female marching group party. Just for fun or as a fundraiser for a chosen organization. She wanted to have it at K Doe’s, but I told her we’d need a space for hundreds. She wanted to bring together the Baby Dolls with all the new groups. I know we’re all busy, but I can’t NOT make Antoinette’s vision come to fruition. When carnival season’s over, I want to pow wow with the Pussyfooters, the Sisters of Salome, Fleur de Tease, and the Bearded Oysters.

Other Camel Toe Chants

My shorts are high and my lips are long, listen while I sing my Camel Toe Song.

Ca-mel Toe…Cam..Camel…Toe…

I got a lip to the left and a lip to the right, my Camel Toe is super tight!

*Raffle Packages this year (can be pre-bought at the door)

  1. WE ARE FAMILY PACKAGE – 12 week session of swim lessons from Love Swimming, Kona Mountain Coffee gift basket, pet boarding and bath at Zeus’ Place, gift certificate to Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, and passes for the Audubon Zoo.
  1. LADIES WHO LUNCH PACKAGE — gift certificate for Café Amelie, gift card from the House of Lounge, Alexa Pulitzer stationary, Rocket Science Beauty Bar gift basket, Ladie Bird hat from Jamie Gandy of Fifi Mahoney’s, and a spa treatment from Lux
  1. SPA-LICIOUS! — 1 hour Jin Shn Jyutsu session with Adele Leas, consultation with nutritionist Danielle Paciera, an orchid from Harold’s, yoga classes at Wild Lotus, gift certificate to Satsuma’s Cafe, and spa treatment from Spa Isbell.
  1. SPORTS FANATIC — Gift certificate from Cochon Restaurant, 2 club seats to a Hornets game, a Hornets jersey, gift certificate from the Bridge Lounge, and a Dirty Coast Saints fanatic calendar

Raffle tickets are $5 for one or $20 for 5. The auction packages are even more amazing!! There’s an Art Lovers package and a “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” Package (with a two-night stay in the Roosevelt Hotel, dinner at Mila, and ballet tickets).

REMEMBER:

Sixth Annual Camel Toe Lady Steppers Toe-Down Fundraiser
$12 advance tickets, $15 at the door

Where:
One Eyed Jacks
615 Toulouse

When:
Friday, January 22 at 9pm

disaster in Haiti

Watching the tragedy unfold this past week brought back vivid memories of August 2005. Its terrible especially since Haiti, despite being one of the poorest countries in the west, was experiencing a renaissance of late. It hurts to the soul to see the human suffering and feel the helplessness of the situation.

The very least one can do is donate to the relief effort. I remember the Red Cross presence in New Orleans for months after the disaster – donating funds to those in need, help with medical needs and blood drives and the many food trucks passing out meals around town. If you feel compelled to get involved, consider donating to the American Red Cross.

Link to make a donation directly to the Haiti relief fund

Red Cross picture slideshow