Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mitch Landrieu announced for mayor this afternoon. Mo and I went down there, I guess because we were invited, probably because we happen to be on the cultural mailing list. We were riverside, and at least 2 coast guard helicopters flew overhead. Okay I like Mitch. He was our daughter's basketball coach; he spoke at her high school graduation and gave her a hug. He seems to be a good person and a natural born politician. His mom and dad were there, Moon the former mayor. Mitch's speech touched the right bases: a moment of silence for the dead of Katrina, a nod to Mayor Nagin thanking him for his work, just so it's nothing personal. Then Mitch stressed his main selling point: he is a politician. Meaning: he knwos how to communicate and work with other politicians. He mentioned the mayor of Baton Rouge, Kip Holden who was there (I didn't see him.) He mentioned Karen Carter and Ann Duplessis, who were there. He didn't mention sister Mary but obviously he can work with her. I expect he can work with Governor Blanco.
Mitch has a broad minded vision for the city, maybe somewhat unbelievable. New Orleans as an axis for culture and commerce, a world class city, with the business sense of Houston and Atlanta but the charm and culture of , well, New Orleans, adding up to a sort of Paris on the Mississippi. Well, probably not but it was a beautiful day in the sky.
Mitch had lots of cute kids holding hand made signs representing different neighborhoods; Mitch believes and lives racial harmony, and I suspect Mitch has good support from old line politicians. That's what worries me a little, but I think of the three major candidates, he's the most likely to succeed politically.
Anyway the guy is just extremely likeable. And did I mention he was my daughter's basketball coach? Posted by Picasa

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Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning poet and author. He wrote the landmark international bestseller The Jew in the Lotus and the National Jewish Book Award-winning Stalking Elijah. His five books of poetry include The Lowercase Jew --he has been called “the most formidable of the Jewish-American poets”. His memoir, Terra Infirma, has been described as “the most beautiful book ever written about a mother and son.”

            His 2007 book, The History of Last Night's Dream, was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series. Kamenetz takes us on an historical tour of dreaming from Genesis to now, and shows how dreams have been misinterpreted. He then shows how dreams can be used today to reveal the truth of the soul.

In 2010 came Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka, a dual biography published by Schocken and Nextbook Press.

  Rodger lives in New Orleans where he divides his time between working with dream clients and writing poetry. He is married to fiction writer Moira Crone  and is the father of Anya Kamenetz (author of Generation Debt) and Kezia Kamenetz.


Rodger Kamenetz is Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State  University where he was the Sternberg Honors Professor and LSU Distinguished Professor. He held a dual appointment as a Professor in the Department of English and in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He is the founding director of LSU's highly successful MFA program in Creative Writing, and the founding director of the Jewish Studies Program. His students have gone on to successful writing careers, among them poets Martha Serpas, Virgil Suarez, Mark Yakich and Anthony Kelman and fiction writers Olympia Vernon, Ronlyn Domingue, Laurie Lynn Drummond,and Connie Porter. He holds a B.A. from Yale College and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins and Stanford Universities.