Lafayette’s gene pool has been host to a long line of eccentric characters who have blurred the lines between crazy, genius, disturbed and curiously entertaining. Make no mistake, Hart Fortenbery occupies a position of good standing somewhere near the top of that curious heap. From his forays into music, film and video, Fortenbery’s antics — spouting malapropisms, absurd facts and a confounding array of non sequiturs — have impressed, perplexed and amused many a local citizen. Posthaste sits down with him to explore the man known as Hart of Fortenbery.
Hart Fortenbery in five words more or less. Dynamic individual tearing down the runway. What have you been up to? I am always jumping around acting crazy, saying what I am doing. Now that certain things have come to pass, nondisclosure agreements preclude me from saying anything. But for now, come take my riverboat tour at Tokyo Live.
Where does the name Fortenbery come from? A minor place in Bavaria, Furtenbach. German power brokers of old. For some reason, that makes perfect sense. As far as local lore goes, there is a profound legacy of debauchery and depraved excess surrounding your house on Demanade Boulevard? Tell me a crazy story from the past? We kidnapped Freddy Fender after a concert at Alex Broussard’s ranch before the live radio remote interview and autograph signing session. Huey Meaux was not pleased. We get back to the motel room and a hundred dollar bill and Freddy’s plane ticket back to Houston were shoved under the door. All other stories are unfit for print. Does your neighbor Ben Berthelot (executive director of LCVC) ever get fed up with you and start slinging rakes, used tires and bricks over the fence? Only when a departing guest knocks over and demolishes his brick mailbox.
Worst job ever? Painting eight miles of split rail fence while on my last work release job. What exactly is Hart Fortenbery’s “job?” Waking up at work; making records; making movies.
Biggest hassle in maintaining a full blown ZZ Top-length beard? Tobacco adherence when licking the rolling papers while rolling my own, and all the girlies and their moms who can’t keep their fingers out of it.
At the Monterey Pop Festival, guitarist Mike Bloomfield once famously advocated everyone to “dig yourselves ... because it’s really groovy.” In the event of losing one’s grooviness or coolness — by age, cultural shift, whatever — what method should one use to regain it? Hopefully hang on long enough to “come back” into fashion. If you were to change careers, what line of work would you be interested in pursuing? Being the guy in all the Corona commercials. In the event of a deep spiritual crisis, where does the being known as Hart Fortenbery turn? The Grateful Dead. It’s a Saturday night in Lafayette. How do you get into the Fortenbery persona? What’s the pre-game ritual? Two laps around the pool, step in the boots, step out.
Danzig buys an accordion and synthesizer, and decides to start a Cajun band, (perhaps called Ween Toups). What do you tell him? Get a job.
Name one thing nobody knows about Hart Fortenbery. I am the Song Fairy.
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OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the ameoba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
OCT 21 Gambit offers its endorsements for the upcoming election in this post, including an endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. The best way to protect Louisiana's clout is to re-elect the senior senator, the paper opines. Sending a Republican in her place won't accomplish anything, the paper adds.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 An audit finds very little federal oversight of coastal restoration grants, the Advocate reports here. Two federal agencies charged with overseeing how the money was spent didn't oversee the grants properly, didn't know enough about how the grants were supposed to be spent, and provided conflicting records about the money, the audit found.
OCT 21 The first Senate debate featuring all three candidates was a big ho-hum, columnist Jim Beam writes in this post. Nobody said anything new or interesting, and nobody emerged the clear winner, he says.
OCT 21 Bobby Jindal can't seem to leave Daniel Malloy alone, this post on NOLA Defender says. On a recent trip to stump for another GOP'er (Ever wonder: does any of his stumping really help these guys? Or is he just trying to get his name in other newspapers?) Jindal again ran afoul of Connecticut's Governor, who has no problem calling Bobby on his claims, the post tells us.
OCT 21 Jeremy Alford writes about David Vitter's playbook in this post, and frankly, there are some things we don't want to know. We've all heard about what's in that book, haven't we? That kind of stuff is not our idea of a good -- oh, wait. Jeremy's writing about Vitter's political playbook. Never mind.
OCT 20 Remember those great posts from blogger Jason Brad Berry that featured emails and letters related to the BP claims process? Well, apparently Patrick Juneau (who was featured, but not in a positive way, in those documents) ordered a background check on Berry because of it, this story in Louisiana Record says. Huh?
OCT 20 The Globe and Mail, a Canadian paper, has posted its story on Louisiana's coastal loss here. In it, author Omar El Akkad clarifies it neatly: it's "a battle between prosperity and the planet's well-being." Are jobs and money worth the trade we're making? As Jonathan Foret says in the story, Mother Nature may come and answer that question for us.
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