A Perfect Little World

The inciting article has been removed ... the story so far:

At one of New Orleans' most beloved restaurants,
a sainted waiter is fired, ostensibly for sexual harassment.
Or is it just Globalism come home to roost in an unlikely spot?

Dan responds:

What Jogen says is true, but it is a virulent reminder to me of just what I find so loathsome about my hometown.

It's not the heat, it's the vapidity.

Albert has a question:

Dan - I'm not sure what you find loathsome in this article.

The thinly veiled corporate machinations of a stockholder beholden restaurant dynasty entering the 21st century, or the gothic, archaic and elitist attitudes of an inbred clan of atavistic epicures and bon vivants?

Dont answer 'both' please - i really am curious...

Dan answers:

The latter.

It really is like our old boss Christian put it. The analogy to integration (how ironic that less than a generation later, that word is considered part of the problem) is most appropos.

People cried foul when Mardi Gras was forcibly integrated (in our adulthood, remember), but lo, the sky kept its distance.

On a personal note, it's only recently in my life that I can acknowledge the obviously interesting aspects of a story like this. Heretofore I would have been blinded by my distaste for the big easy attitude. I have no wish for anyone to suffer under "thinly veiled corporate machinations," but one of the reasons I can't go back to NO is that I am no longer able to embrace "the devil I know".

Albert retorts:

I think there is a difference between people fearing change for its own sake one the one hand, and people wishing to preserve one of the true pleasures in life on the other.

I think it is interesting that Galatoire's is using political correctness to further its revenue-growth every quarter, stock-option having, new management stylin coporate agenda.

I think it is believable that the restaurant wants to ditch its senior wait staff, as well as it's inefficient gaggle of ancient and slow eating customers to bring in a new breed of tourists who wont even notice when the quality of the food goes down.

My question, as always, is, without places where epicurean delights like Galatoire's can be found, WHAT IS THE POINT of being rich?

In other words, we have the accusations of waiter to waiter sexual harrassment on the one hand, and the demise of one of the most beloved dining experiences in America on the other.

I dont think there is anything loathsome about the men and women rushing in to preserve the embodiment of the few things worth being on this planet for. And I dont think the rest of us do very much to change their elitist attitudes about who is able to appreciate such an experience.

But you know. Political correctness is our priority.

And by the way. the etymology of the word vapid - it comes from a word for bland wine and tasteless food.

( bitch )

Love, Albert

Albert continues:

Dan wrote:

Food as an aesthetic experience is something that matters more to you than to me. I understand the lament. I've experienced it in other realms that are important to my sense of a life worth living. You have my sympathy.

I dont want your sympathy. I want a place to eat food besides the fucking strip mall.

But it's also inevitable. When a business is turned into a temple by its patrons, someone is bound to get hurt. The mere passage of time will bring this on. I think the real "problem" is as Glenron inadvertently betrays: an insular resistance to change, even when it's in the service of justice.

I see. So as the planet becomes democratized and made safe for mass market capitalism, we should no longer attend to any passion for the arts, we should disregard any appreciation for any but the most socialist forms of beauty, and we should happily embrace the lowest common denominator as the inevitable arbiter of justice and taste.

Perhaps we should also hasten the 'heat-death' of the universe, as any attempt to ward it off is merely "an insular resistance to change"

There is a potent distrust of democracy. It is a peculiarly American shizophrenia.

Shizophrenia - implying that distrust of democray is inherently irrational?

Community action is seen as anti-individualistic, yet the quintessential strong actor is the despot we cannot abide.

Good point. But arent you ignoring your own type of individualism here? As Nietzsche says "Do you want to walk along? Or walk ahead? Or walk by yourself? "

So we place our trust in a zig-zagging process known as the market to navigate a course approximately between these two undesirable extremes.

The market, however, is just as corrupt as the people effecting it. So, like the misguided attempts to control pest species with other imports, we attempt to "manage" it. We lack the requisite wisdom in either example.

But what else is there?

If you really think that the global economy in any way resembles a 'free' market in the sense that should coincide with your idea of a democracy, then we need to shift focus to this issue before we proceed to the more subtle ones of taste and aesthetics.

In any case, Art and beauty existed long before democracy as we know it and certainly long before capitalism.

Thus we say it is the best, worst system available.

I dont say stupid inane shit like that unless I am completely depressed, apathetic and hopeless.

BTW, congrats to you and the good folks at google for the etymological tidbit.

comma, :)


It was webster.com, * , and I had to look it up cause I wanted a clear idea of what 'vapid' meant.

You know - its been a long time since I had to deal with it.


Dan responds:

You'll take my sympathy and like it! :)

I would have thought that as the original case of the "Albert Web Page Disease" you would have fixated immeidately on the small point, rather than the obvious set-up, but you have foiled me once more, caped crusader.

My point is that the problems with our social milieu are a conundrum. The only process we can stomach to determine the middle course between chaos and chains is a market-like one. And note well: I never used the word free.

The independence of art/beauty and democracy/capitalism is clear.

It is just this uncoupling that makes their intersection at places like Galatoire's so tenuous.

Oh, and passion for the arts is hardly incompatible with social justice, as centuries of experience have shown.

I wanted a clear idea of what 'vapid' meant.
You know - its been a long time since I had to deal with it.

Has it really been almost a year since you moved to Brooklithium?