Commie Karens

“Just present the facts” my editor advised when I bounced an idea for a piece on this shutdown. “Why? People will reject and dismiss information that counters their beliefs.” I don’t trust your sources, you don’t trust mine. Discussion is futile.

“Don’t you trust science?”
Yes I do, I just don’t trust those claiming to represent science. They are humans. They are driven by the same motivations as everyone else. Greed, power, ego, and can be wrong. Doctors were paid in the 1950s to promote healthier cigarette brands. Science gave us Thalidomide, a drug that was prescribed as a sedative and treatment for morning sickness in pregnant women. It lead to miscarriages and severe birth defects in tens of thousands of babies.

Dr. Fauci a year ago said that wearing masks was pointless. Later, he pushed wearing masks, then the wearing of two masks, backtracked briefly on that statement, and finally said we should wear two. I could provide all of the dates, video clips, mainstream new articles substantiating the above, but why. If you are one of those who think the sun shines out of that man’s ass won’t click on the links, or you will contort reason to validate your narrative.

If only Bill Nye would tell people to put a plastic bag over their heads and hold it in place with a rubber band. This pandemic would be over in a few days and the rational people could go on about their lives. We would only lose those people who quote a children’s show host as gospel. I liked Pee Wee Herman, but I would never accept medical advice from him.

I wear my mask like an obedient servant to the state when I go into a business. It’s like a “No shirt, no shoes, no service rule.” Fine, it’s your business, I’ll abide. It comes off as soon as I exit. I want to be seen wearing a mask on the street about as much as I want to be seen wearing a political armband aligning myself to a ideology. A public declaration that I am obedient to the state, corporate and establishment doctrine.

“Do you want to kill grandma?”
Fuck your grandmother. Her and her 97.5% survivable rate in seniors. She didn’t get old by being weak and careful. Granny in her day was snorting a line of coke off the cock of a guy driving 120 MPH in a sports car. Stop the emotional manipulation with “What about the elderly? What about the children? What about the Polar bears?”

I’m a heavy smoker close to 60. I’ve lived my life, I’ll sacrifice it to save my friend’s small business. The economy is far more important than my life, or even a tiny, minute fraction of the population. Where’s the socialist ethos of the individual making a sacrifice for the best interests of the group? Oh, your candy ass meant only the wealthy making sacrifices for you. If you are not willing to die en masse for the sake of the group, then you’re a fucking lousy socialist.

Who is pro-mask? I noticed a lot of similarities in the pro-maskers. I’m not saying everyone who is a mask advocate falls into one of these groups, just that these groups seem to be fanatical mask wearers.

Fat Commie Fucks
This would have been me in my early twenties. We all have worked with you. The slackers, the whiners who spend all day complaining about work. Bitching about how the boss who owns this business doesn’t know what he’s doing and is making a fortune off of our labor. You come in late, you blow off early with false claims of illness. You’re shitty employees and just generally shitty people who are lazy, selfish, narcissistic fucks.

You see this pandemic as a dream come true. The great reset. The government has told you that you are not allowed to go to work. They even give you money to stay home. All of the billionaires will pay for it. You can sit at home all day playing video games in your parent’s basement or share a shithole apartment with other Bernie Sanders supporters. Just enough money to pay for your smokes, binge drinking and mac and cheese. You don’t want to return to work out of concern for your health.

Hypochondriacs
If you always wear a mask, even while driving alone in your car and have been known to bore your friends and co-workers with tedious details of your last surgery, this is for you. I’m sure by now you have already contracted it. The COVID-19 tests have been notoriously inaccurate. You kept going back to be tested until you got back the positive results that you desired.

“The doctor said I almost died from it.” With delight you posted it on social media and keep checking back every five minutes for all of the “support.” Little sad face and heart emojis, maudlin comments from people who love to be seen as one who actually cares. (they don’t) Like-minded contacts are quick to share “I know six people who have caught the COVID, this validates my hyperbolic justification of shutting down the economy.”

You’re probably shaking a fist at me right now. A fist sticking out of a plastic brace because you have “The carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Drama Queens
This has been your decade. Climate change ending the world in 12 years, the President is a Russian spy, cops are hunting minorities, ban scary looking guns for the sake of the children, every man is a rapist. A pandemic is a wet dream for you. I know all of you have been very disappointed that millions haven’t died from it yet. You eagerly share every updated figure and screech about spikes. It’s like you are watching your investment money in the stock market. When the line starts to go up you get all excited. If the numbers drops, you keep your fingers crossed in hopes that it will go back up. You love the death and drama, it fills your narcissistic need for attention.

Karens
As overused as this term has become, it is a pandemic of its own. You love rules. Rules allow you to feel in control, of others and your own life. You walk out of your front door looking for others to dominate. “Clean up after your dog, you can’t park there, wear your mask.” You are a virtuous and brave super hero fighting evil where ever you see it. All of this would have been over by now if everyone had just obeyed the rules. “It’s not fair, all of you are selfish monsters, it’s the rule!”

Ideologues
The only facts that you want to hear come from your political alignment and corporate establishment. With cult-like devotion you blindly regurgitate talking points and numbers that you truly don’t comprehend. Your obedience gives you comfort. You feel secure with belonging to a group. Like an insecure high schooler overly self-conscious about wearing the right clothes, the right hair style, fitting in with the cool kids. No individuality, no critical thought, just group think. It must be true because my favorite late night talk show hosts say it is. I belong to this side and everyone else is evil.

I don’t fucking give a shit anymore. My health is failing from a lifetime of poor choices. Let me contract the fucking COVID, let it kill me. If it ain’t that it will be something else. I do hope it’s something else just so not to add to their fear-mongering statistics. Oh wait, if a gutter punk was to beat me to death, the coroner’s report would still list it as “COVID related.”

Tell me again about your statistics.

Graphic by Eric T. Styles. Questions, comments, complaints, anecdotes, tips or do you want to tell Eric about those statistics? Send it to styles@thequarterrat.com or dave@thequarterrat.com

The Quarter Rat presents: MYSTERY GIF THEATER 2020

What’s this all about? Just some The Quarter Rat-related GIFs I created. It’s kind of like Times Square, except on a web page.

Consider it a little visual candy as you stay locked down (and safe?) from COVID-19 inside your dwelling as you count the minutes down to 2021.

Comments, questions, suggestions? Email Eric T. Styles at styles@thequarterrat.com or Dave Minsky at dave@thequarterrat.com.

The Quarter Rat’s TOP 20 Memes of 2020

(All memes by Eric T. Styles)
The only folks who loved the “Year of the Rat, 2020” were those of us who created memes. Here are the Top 20 Memes from TheQuarterRat.com.

20. We could only find 19 memes, NEXT!

19. I posted this in February before Mardi Gras ’20 as a warning. Back then it was all in the back of our minds about the potential for an outbreak from Corona but no one even dared to utter it. I caught a few comments from “No way! Really think they are?” to “Well, what are we supposed to do? Cancel Mardi Gras? NEVER!”

18. We got to see how the mayor handled hurricanes and natural disasters.

17. It took 10 months to recover three bodies from the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, which occurred in October 2019. Months after the tragedy, a leg of one of the victims dangling from the rubble could be seen from Canal Street. Mayor Cantrell was outraged that a photo was taken of the leg and posted on social media. We were outraged that there was a leg sticking out months later to photograph.

16. Bourbon Street hadn’t been this empty or clean in over 300 years. An eerie silent street with windows boarded up. I was told that it was busier in the days after Katrina than during the shut down. A couple of friends messaged me and asked if I needed help to actually paint this on Bourbon. As tempting as it was, in my older age wisdom I decided not to. Such public messages are only tolerated if it’s approved by the establishment to promote their agenda.

15. If anyone exemplifies a political “Karen” it’s our Mayor.

14. The George Floyd protests came to our city. Thousands went out to protest in various parts of New Orleans over the course of a week. With the exception of a few protesters getting pepper sprayed by cops on the bridge, they were all peaceful. No charges were brought against any city official for the deaths of three and injured dozens of construction workers. Selective outrage.

13. LaToya Cantrell thought that this summer was a great time for a photo-shoot to update her pictures on social media. Like somehow a resting bitch face would instill a sense of confidence in a community locked in their homes from a pandemic and collapsing local economy. I didn’t think the original City Hall background did her justice.

12. Admit it guys, who hasn’t at least once.

11. Ah yes, nothing like the classic memes.

10. The Hard Rock Hotel became a great example of incompetence from the city and it’s hired contractors. “How can we fuck up a collapsed building?” “I know! We’ll set it on fire!”

9. The Quarter Rat publisher kept after me to make a temperature gun meme. I think this one is now my favorite from 2020.

8. Remember when Mayor Cantrell went off on a reporter during a press conference about opening up businesses?

7. For those of you familiar with the humble beginnings of The Quarter Rat Magazine, you would agree that no one would ever dream that it had much potential to ever be taken seriously. In 2020 this web site has shown otherwise. The talent and professionalism of Dave Minsky has shown the QR as an emerging reliable source of news information. City officials now actually take the call without saying “The WHAT?” Don’t get me wrong, self-improvement is a lifelong journey and we still have a lot of work to do. Thanks for keeping the faith.

6. In the spirit of wokeness, DIXIE beer has decided to change it’s name (we know there’s a misspelled word in there; that’s the pint).

5. We couldn’t help noticing that those who pushed for a longer shut down seem also to be the same fucks always bitching about their jobs, getting fired a lot and are, coincidentally, Bernie Sanders supporters. Just saying.

4. Best. Headline. Ever. We may never be able to top this.

And the follow up meme.

3. When it comes to making memes, sometimes things just click.

2. The intent for us is not to make light of deaths of those construction workers. Our condolences go out to their families and loved ones. We do how ever wish to see justice, and want to see those responsible for deaths due to incompetence to be held accountable.

1. As if 2020 hadn’t been scary enough for us, NOLA had the distinction of being threatened by two hurricanes simultaneously. This meme got way more likes and shares than anything else posted. It just shows where all of your heads are at.

What will 2021 hold for us? I’m not optimistic. I think a year from now we will be looking back on 2020 as “The good old days.”

Knock Knock

I’m just a janitor in a dive bar who heard sirens. We in the Quarter generally ignore it as background noise. When I saw emergency vehicles race past the windows going in the opposite direction of the one way on Toulouse Street, I stuck my head out. The next block was taped off due to the stand-off on Dauphine Street. I strolled down, found crime tape marked US MARSHALS draped across the street and unmarked vehicles.

Standing at the tape was a tradesman with a tool bag on the sidewalk next to him. He told me he was trying to go to work but his work truck was in the middle of this unfolding drama. He was the first to tell me about an armed man barricaded in a house and in a stand-off with law enforcement. We watched the US Marshals in full tactical gear pace back and forth with long guns.

I gathered details from both media and the locals standing in front of dive bars. I spoke to several who were familiar with the house and occupants. Apparently, in the weeks prior there had been conflict and drama among roommates. One person (who wished to remain anonymous) said they knew Eddy Roche and claimed to have allegedly snorted drugs with him on several occasions. Recently, according to this individual, Mr. Roche had become very erratic in behavior and had been seen flashing a .22-caliber pistol. A second individual, who was acquainted with one of the roommates, also noted Roche’s behavior had become so unpredictable that the roommates had to move out.

Roche

I was later contacted by a third individual who worked on that block and who stated that he was not surprised that Roche made the news. Those on the block were suspicious of the residence being a location for drug deals. People in and out daily, only staying for a few minutes at a time.

The NOPD narrative is: A contractor thinking the unit was empty, entered and was confronted by Roche who fired several shots at the contractor. The contractor was not struck by gunfire, fled and called the police.  NOPD arrived, the suspect discarded his weapon and retreated to the house and barricaded himself inside.

The “contractor” angle smelled like bullshit. As much work as the structure needed, the tradesman I interviewed said he never saw anyone doing work there before. Was the landlord aware of the conflicts between roommates?

I have other questions: Did he confirm sending a contractor to the location with a key? Was he sent to do work or to evict? Why did the property owner assume the apartment was empty? Did he contact the tenants prior? Having worked as a house painter in rental properties, I never assumed any unit was empty upon first entering. You always knock loud and announce yourself.

I know a Quarter resident who bartends at night and sleeps during the day. She was awoken one afternoon to the sound of mens’ voices in her living room. They were greeted by a naked woman pointing a gun at them screaming “Who the fuck are you and how did you get in?” It was a case of a property manager not making the proper arrangements with the tenant. The manager had relied on a morning text message to the sleeping bartender: “We’ll be over in a few hours to look at the leak in the roof,” and didn’t wait on a confirmation reply.

Something about this part of the story sounds shaky to me. As many times as I have been questioned by cops over the years, I would like to ask the NOPD a few. Did you speak to the property owner to confirm the authenticity of the contractor’s story? Why did he tell the contractor the unit was empty when there may have been at least three occupants? Any sign that this incident might have escalated from a drug deal gone bad?

I went over the next day to take some photos of the house from Dauphine Street from the stand-off. On the stoop was a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of “DC comic Bombshells” and a package of tampons. Wassup with dat?

A jigsaw puzzle and tampons found on the stoop of the house involved the police standoff in ithe 500 block of Dauphine Street Friday. Photo by Eric T. Styles.

These are the questions that have been bouncing around my head as I sweep the floors of a dive bar.