The Second Time on the “Second Lines”…

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

This is the latest carpetbagger insult to our people here in New Orleans. Mass Culture seeks to have it’s way with us and turn our cultures and our city into another version of Disneyland.

Like I’ve stated before, I don’t perform for tourists… I just live my life.

Here is the reference article: http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/f…

Cross-posted from GentillyGirl. http://gentillygirl.com

Last Saturday, a major dissing of our Cultures and Traditions here in New Orleans went down: Da’ NOPD broke up a Second Line, a Jazz Funeral, in the Treme last Saturday. (Of course the local paper didn’t report on the event until the wee hours of the morning today.) This was as the mourners had finished and were walking to a place to share the Repast at a Community Center.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of this kind of funerary rite, here’s what it entails:`a procession heads toward the ceremonial place of passing (could be a business, a fishing hole, a certain park or the cemetery.) A brass band leads the folks playing dirges. When the selected place is reached, the words are said and the departed is ready to move on. Then the band strikes up a different beat and the mourners start to dance in order to help their friend move on to the other World. “Dancing them Home” is also a way to stop the tears and just remember our friend as we continue through day-to-day life. We are a Family. We take care of our own.

Once the Second Line is done, the folks gather in places and share food, drink and stories about the departed. Some members of the “Family” might be at one place, others at others. But this is usually how it goes down.

This is a Sacred ritual. It is rooted in Culture and Tradition, Respect and Humanity. This act is seen as essential by many of us as part of our Heritage and our City. Events such as this define us as a people and a Culture, the continuation of what has been for many, many years. As a Native I will say now: “This is part of our Birthright, our being a part of the Life that moves through the heavy damp air as it sways the Spanish Moss on the oak trees. Here is where we came from and in the fullness of time where we shall return. The muddy waters of Old Man River, the clays in the swamps… the scent of cypress trees… all of these things are also part of us. We dance the Dance of Life, knowing full well the fragility of the living, and we will not give our ancestral ways up. This is our home and these are our Traditions. This is OUR Dance.”.

This is why what happened last Saturday is an attack and an affront to the Culture of New Orleans. It is orchestrated by those of money and power. Our city is badly damaged by the Federal Flood, and they want the land for speculation, for those who would buy a condo near the French Quarter in order to “celebrate” three days once every year at Mardi Gras. To break the back of the old Cultures in order to be able to schedule and charge for every little thing we locals do as a matter of course. To make their way our way. These are the desires of malignantly evil creatures.

These are the carpetbaggers, those who swoop down when the we are hurting and gnaw on our bones even as we die. They only see New Orleans as a cash register, not the living entity that it truly is. Our Life, our city’s Life, is something they can never know. The Spirit of Place can never enter them because they cannot “feel”.

New Orleans belongs to Her people and they to Her. Native or adopted, it doesn’t really matter: we are all infected with Her elixir… the “Water of Life”. Our strange little anachronistic bastion of the Old World infused with the desire to just be ourselves in the midst of American Culture gone crazy. The reminder of what could be, if only one accepts it.

One paragraph of the above article caught my eye:

“Snuffing Saturday’s parade was an “attack on the culture,” the same culture that gave birth to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, said Wilson’s longtime friend, Jerome Smith. He found the timing ironic: At about the same time that police had scattered an authentic funeral march, near Esplanade and Claiborne avenues, Jazz and Heritage Festival-goers were lined up behind a band at the Fair Grounds, ready to follow a second-line recreated for tourists.

Need I say more?

Senn Fein

15 comments

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    • pico on May 3, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I have never heard of the police breaking up a second line before.  

    Although notice that nobody in the police department seems to know who actually did it.  It was someone else.  Another police car.

    ugh.

    For those of you who’ve never experienced a real second line, it’s something else.  You’ll be doing something completely ordinary, like eating dinner, and all of a sudden the street outside will surge with people dancing and celebrating.  It’s a huge rush.

  1. And how typical.

    • DWG on May 4, 2008 at 2:34 am

    It is hard to imagine the cops breaking up a Second Line. I would love to see the explanation for that one.

    Mourners said Saturday’s dispersal-by-siren was yet another example of NOPD officers clamping down on the city’s celebrated cultural traditions. In October, police cars swarmed a nearby block and officers handcuffed two musicians playing an impromptu memorial procession for a fellow musician. Social aid and pleasure clubs and Mardi Gras Indians have also complained of roughshod treatment by police.

    After the October incident, Capt. Louis Colin, then head of the NOPD’s 1st District, talked with family members and neighbors about funeral traditions in the Treme. Afterward, Colin said that he was determined to find “long-term solutions” to the issue. Colin retired in March.

    It’s unclear who broke up last week’s celebration and why, NOPD spokesman Bob Young said.

    I just do not understand what there is to “solve” about these celebrations.  

  2. and thought immediately of the state I still have to reside in, mAssachusetts.  I am a minority up here as I solidly believe in live and let live.  Your story perfectly illustrates what I try to point out as deliberately false societal norms programming.

    Hey, we are supposed to “embrace diversity” but that is a defined program far removed from live and let live.  It is about indoctrinating people to Pavlovianly check off the proper “race” box in questionaires and has nothing to do with increasing respect and tolerance of people who have beliefs and traditions unlike “your own”.

    I saw the real castle in Bavaria and that made the plastic one in Disneyland look like, well plastic.  Pricks ain’t neva, eva getting my fingerprints.  And yes, I will tell my grandson corpo-America got lots of great music from the black folks in a place called New Orleans.

    Old school non-conventional death beliefs, yea that is something they would attack.   You might ask them if this was a “witch hunt” and what the proper protocol is for witch trials.   Nah, go get the voodoo priest.

  3. beautifully of:

    This is part of our Birthright, our being a part of the Life that moves through the heavy damp air as it sways the Spanish Moss on the oak trees. Here is where we came from and in the fullness of time where we shall return. The muddy waters of Old Man River, the clays in the swamps… the scent of cypress trees… all of these things are also part of us. We dance the Dance of Life, knowing full well the fragility of the living, and we will not give our ancestral ways up. This is our home and these are our Traditions. This is OUR Dance.

    The police should read this and be ashamed.  And the people who want to take make a Disney-leans out of New Orleans should read it and know it can never happen.

  4. Here’s what’s going down in the city as word spreads about the harassment ten days ago

    http://gentillygirl.com/2008/0…  

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