Mitch, I know where you got them shoes

I follow former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on twitter. I don’t know why, all of his tweets are essentially the same: Condescending, white “progressive” and self-flagellating for woke points. If you saw him on the street and said “Nice weather.” He would probably respond with “Only for white people.”

In all fairness, he is running a business. In 2018, he wrote the book “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.” Genius grift by the way. How can a white Southern man from a prominent political family gain capital from racism? I chuckle when I see CNN calls Mitch to polish up his head to appear on one of their panels discussing…what?

To paraphrase President Biden: “You’re a one-trick pony soldier horse fat face … come on man, you know, the thing.”

“Hey Mitch, where can I pick up a good po-boy?”
“There’s a place three blocks down from the white supremacist statue to racism, on the left.”
“Uh ok, thanks.”

Like that monotypical uncle who always manages to steer the family dinner conversations back to his favorite topic of model railroading; Mitch will always come back to the statues. I think he deserves a statue for tearing down statues of fellow Democrats. It’s probably safe to say Mitch’s official stance on slavery in this country is that it was a bad idea. I really don’t know any American that would dispute that. None. The minute number of actual real white supremacists share that same belief, also.

The statue issue aside, who cares? Tourist come down here to binge eat, binge drink and cheat on their spouses. They want to see titties, not General Lee. Some locals may find the reminder of slavery from 200 years ago offensive? Slavery bad?

I know where you got them shoes.
CHINA!

You must have at least one pair of sneakers in your walk in closet filled with those wild gray suites. Do you even wear the pants anymore? Or just the shirt, jacket and tie when you’re a talking head for six minutes of relevancy?

I’d bet a paycheck that many of those folks down at the statues protesting wear one of many major brand of sneakers; made by humans enslaved on the other side of the globe, imprisoned for no other reason than their ethnicity, forced to work under horrendous conditions and daily inhumane abuse. Protesting the ugliest part of America’s past that’s been over for about 150 years while wearing shoes made by slaves a few weeks earlier.

Imagine 180 years ago, a Northern educated white lady and an abolitionist, sipping tea and clutching her pearls while saying, “Those Southerners are so evil, using slaves to work in the fields! By the way, do you like my new cotton dress? It’s so comfortable and inexpensive.”

Imagine being a Black slave and knowing that 180 years later your descendants would be wearing apparel made by forced labor. You could hear that facepalm clear across the field.

We cannot correct past injustices to those people. History is etched in stone despite what we write on paper or what bronze we tear down. If you are sincerely and deeply disturbed by this blot on our nation’s past, and feel the need to do something positive, work to end slavery that is happening today. Your moral outrage will not change the past, but it could change today.

Perhaps it’s not important to you since they aren’t Black Americans. They’re so poor and live so far away, it doesn’t matter to you. In 2016, there were about 40 million “modern” slaves, including forced marriages, sexual exploitation and debt bondage, according to the United Nations. It’s difficult to calculate exact number for obvious reasons. Less than 400,000 human beings used for chattel slavery were shipped to the U.S. between 1525 and 1866, according to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Imagine if we turned all of our energy and passion for this crime in a direction that could tangibly change something. If protests were directed towards bad actors, instead of inanimate objects from the past, there would be meaningful change.

In September 2018, there was news story about how Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn wanted to ban Nike products following the Collin Kaepernick-Nike deal. Mitch was quick to jump on board that streetcar named Attention and call “unpatriotic” and defended Nike. How could Nike afford to pay Collin Kaepernick $25 million dollars? Slave labor. Does any of this click?

A few corporations have stepped up to the plate and took a stand against China and its Uighur concentration camps: forced labor, sexual abuse, forced abortions and organ harvesting of Uyghur Muslims. Any business that takes a position opposing slave labor in China should be applauded and patronized. Those who ignore or profit from it should be treated worst than Aunt Jemima syrup was. Doesn’t that seem a little ridiculous now? Outrage over a syrup label but none over people enslaved today.

Hey Mitch, do you know where the slavery is?
On your feet.

About the title. Here in the French Quarter of New Orleans, specifically Bourbon Street we have street hustlers. “Shoe Guys” will stroll up to unsuspecting tourists, point to their feet and say: “Nice shoes, I’ll bet you $5 that I know where you got them shoes.” The gullible tourist will usually blurt out “Where?” The Shoe guy will respond: “You got them shoes on your feet. You owe me $5!”

If they’re not running shoes, you better pay up.

Chris Owens on film!

Bourbon Street’s most beloved entertainer is still spreading her wings and taking on challenges. The famous live performer is turning her talents to film. Ms. Owens is eager to commence filming her movie debut. “When I saw the photos of that handsome all male chorus line, I couldn’t wait for them to pick me up and spin me!”

Asked about the production company, “I had never heard of the company before. I believe it’s a Chinese movie production. The producers are two brothers named Bang.” Her reason for starting a film career at this point her already noteworthy life, “I think the older you get, the more you need to stretch yourself as a performer. I’ve been bending over backward to be the best performer I can be my entire life.”

A Rat and a Cage

A number of years ago I was working nights as a dishwasher at Little Vic’s on Toulouse. I can’t remember exactly when it was, it might have been around Mardi Gras because we were slammed. Every seat full inside and out, the counter had a line going out the door. Customers wall to wall, a long line for the restroom, drunks pissing in the courtyard next to others who were dining. A situation both profitable and volatile.

The head cook was pissy and slamming shit around, the wait staff frantic with the demands placed on them. I was elbow deep in suds for hours as well as bussing the tables and trying to police the bathrooms. It was a single use bathroom and groups would go in, one would use the toilet while others would piss in the sink and in the drain on the floor.

By ten o’clock we were all ready to choke one another. I had turned a deaf ear to the complaints of the raging cooks. Suddenly I heard a commotion in the front of the house. Was there a fight? Did someone pass out? Did someone puke on the bar? I went out front to see what chore awaited me. Almost the entire restaurant was standing by the front door gawking. “What da fuck now?” i asked myself. As I pushed through the crowd I spotted a black car on the sidewalk. The two left wheels inches from both of our stoops. Great, an auto accident I thought. I pushed closer.

There it was, a stretch limo parked on the sidewalk blocking our doors. I see some idiot standing up through the sunroof waving to the gathering crowd like he was the fucking Pope or something. “What da fuck?” I blurted out. A random guy grabbed my arm and exclaimed like a screeching teen age girl “IT’S NICOLAS CAGE! IT’S NICOLAS CAGE!”

I was about ten feet away from the limo when he turned our way with that goofy fucking face of his shaking as many clambering hands as he could. “I don’t give a shit who it is, get the fuck off of my sidewalk!” I screamed and returned to the kitchen. The raging chef asked me what was going on in the front. I told him that evidently Nic Cage thinks we have a fucking drive thru window or some shit.

He screamed “NIC CAGE?” and dropped everything and bolted to the front of the house to see for himself. I just started throwing pans into the sink mumbling about how much I hated every soul in the Quarter right now.

“Celebrities” there’s not a goddamned one I would shake hands with.

The Quarter Rat’s MAN OF THE YEAR 2020

Larry Flynt taught me everything I know about free speech.


His inspiration is the only reason that The Quarter Rat is still publishing. Mr. Flynt took a bullet for free speech, so have soldiers and protesters from around the world. A crack in the side of everything that are pillars of the establishment. Establishment corporate media, the courts, the church and social standards. He has done more to shake the system than any rock band or publication of the 1960’s and 70’s.

A brilliant capitalist, publisher and hustler. I’ve been binge watching old interviews of him from the 1970s. His words and arguments are as true, if not more so today. Same exact motivations, authoritarianism; same people, just forget about left / right, blue / red, liberal / conservative bullshit.

Instead of bible-thumping Baptists screaming obscenity, we have inter-sectional feminists screaming hate speech. Just replace Jerry Farwell with Jack Dorsey of twitter. Those who practice free speech have gone from being called demonic to racist. The irony is, we protect the speech of those who seek to silence us. It’s a tough battle.

If you’re not going to offend somebody you don’t need the First Amendment.
Larry Flynt

Both will use the same scare tactics. “It’s harmful to women.” We want free speech for women as well. “It’s harmful to the country.” No, it’s the foundation of the country. You, the authoritarian, are harmful. A Republican trying to ban adult material, or a Democrat trying to censor social media — same reasons: Control.

Smoke a bowl and consider this: They went from trying to ban Hustler magazine in the 1970’s to banning Dr fucking Seuss books today. I bet Larry Flynt and George Carlin are having some great discussions in the afterlife right now.

From the standpoint of a French Quarter resident, he was one hell of a neighbor. He always kept a nice place and employed a lot of my friends. The first time I got to layout an ad for one of his clubs, I really felt that I had made it as a graphic artist. Larry, as much of a presence on Bourbon Street that you had, we are proud to call you one of our own, a Quarter Rat.

In the up coming years, we at the Quarter Rat hope to continue your fight.

QR Recommendations: Ushanka Show

In a search for quick and easy content that doesn’t take a lot of thought and gets clicks we present: The Quarter Rat Video Creator Recommendations. Independent creators producing original quality content for the web. If you’re a fan of obscure or lesser known YOUTUBERS you may want to check some of these out.

USHANKA SHOW
Sergei Sputnikoff was born in the U.S.S.R. (Ukraine) in 1971 and moved to the U.S. in 1999. He has a catalog of hundred of videos covering his childhood in the final days of the Soviet Union, the opening up and change that happened over the course of less than a decade. He shares many fond childhood memories that dispel or at least explain many of our western impressions of the Soviets. At times he discusses life in his new home Michigan, USA. For the channel’s 52,000 subscribers, he puts out regular well produced videos. A playlist of five videos devoted just to being 15 years old in 1986 in Kiev during the Chernobyl disaster.

Observations both positive and negative, and first impressions of the West. I enjoy his recollections about life in the Ukraine. Playlists covering all aspects, Soviet autos, housing, currency, humor, leadership and many others. On a rare occasion, he will inject his own political views. I’ve watched videos of other Tubers who were from the former Communist block countries who speak very bitterly of their experiences, denouncing it all and sounding like a Regan Republican.

Sergei has a much softer view of the period. For him and his family, it sounds more like a depression-era story from the United States’ past. His childhood sounded happy. He speaks of his friends and the simple fun and pleasures they shared. Occasionally, he comes out with a point of view that would fall on the socialist side of the spectrum. Coming from him, I will listen with an open mind and try to see the ideals. I won’t even pay attention to an American college student talk about something that they have no experience in.

youtube.com/c/USHANKASHOW

I thought this video to share would perfect coming from The Quarter Rat. In the 1980s, Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev created his Glasnost policy (openness) allowing the press to print articles with limited state censorship. In 1986, two newspaper editors thought that they would test the policy. The newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets reported on foreign money prostitution in Moscow. I can imagine those editorial meetings. A serious doubt about how open is too open for the reformed Soviet leadership. About that time Chernobyl was the top story around the world. For a publisher to tests the limits of a newly installed freedom, prostitution was probably the safer bet. The newspaper ran a series of stories, all sold out.

It’s an interesting insight to the final days of the Soviet Union. If you dig his style you can check out hundreds of his other videos.