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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AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
AUG 21 Here's Politico's coverage of Bobby Jindal's loss in the Common Core lawsuit this week. Interestingly, it boils down to dueling quotes from the judge who handed the administration its collective hiney and Kyle Plotkin. There's also commentary here about Jindal's flip-flop on the issue.
AUG 20 Education blogger Mercedes Schneider, as usual, is using her (not insignificant) teaching skills to give us the skinny on the recent court ruling on Common Core. Schneider gets into the details of legal strategy and argument at play here. As usual, it appears that Jindal's lawyers dropped the ball. Hey, at least they're consistent. (Or maybe Jindal didn't really want to win, he just wanted the Tea Party to think he wanted to win?)
AUG 21 Columnist Jim Beam is writing about ISIS in this post. The civilized world has to do something about this group and the atrocities its members are committing, he says. Maybe President Bush "blew it" in Iraq, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything more, he says.
AUG 21 Blogger CB Forgotston is continuing his habit of announcing that he won't be running for stuff in this post on the Forward Now blog. He's also poking fun at State Police Commander Mike Edmonson (and his entourage, dubbed "Dork Dynasty" by some Troopers) and the Advocate. Apparently Edmonson isn't happy with people who are keeping this boondogle in the news. Awww.
AUG 21 This post on the NOLA Defender blog talks about some things that New Orleans and Ferguson, Mo., have in common. As a white woman, author Kezia Kamenetz says it isn't her place to talk about what the African-American community should do about the violence within, but as a human she can certainly call for fairness in the criminal justice system.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 20 This post on the Texas Observer is a good one to read if you haven't bothered to pay much attention to the Rick Perry indictment. The pundits have collectively dismissed it as partisan politics - but the special prosecutor is a Bush man, and the judge is GOP. (They didn't mention THAT, did they?) It's a pretty good round up of what we do know, and more importantly, what we don't.
AUG 20 In this post, blogger Rod Dreher takes a look at the Tea Party's horror at David Vitter's reluctance to say he hates the Common Core with every fiber of his being. He also includes some commentary on the Tea Party's inability to tell news from satire. Hey, maybe that's why Facebook has to add those labels. Mystery solved!
AUG 20 This story in the New York Times updates the rest of the nation on the Common Core issue here in Louisiana, proclaiming that it is "dividing" the state. Unfortunately for Gov. Bobby Jindal, it is only a few sentences in before the author mentions that Jindal "ardently" supported Common Core when Louisiana joined the movement a few years ago, and the implication is that he's agin it now because he wants to be president and thinks that will help.
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