2013: The year in (irreverent) review
It’s that time of year again – when the pundits look back over the year just past, and announce the most significant events of 2013. While Year in Review headlines certainly have their place in history, I find that looking back at the most INsignificant stories of 2013 is a lot more fun. And, in an odd way, just as informative.
In a city like New Orleans, it can be hard to pinpoint the most insignificant happenings of the year behind us. A lot of what we do here is, well, frivolous. We take our silliness seriously. Still, journalists are in the business of editorial assessment. So, after a great deal of research, I give you NolaVie’s Top Five Most Insignificant Stories in New Orleans in 2013.
In February, The Superbowl came to town and the nation’s eyes were on the Dome. More insignificant, however, was the action over in the kitchen at Café du Monde. Here’s CBS correspondent Michelle Beisner interviewing Saints tackle Roman Harper on the eve of the big event.
MICHELLE BEISNER: “Who would be the best beignet maker on the team?”
ROMAN HARPER: “Probably the fat guys. They like the grease and the dough ... Maybe Cedric Ellis.”
There you have it, our first insignificant headline:
1. Roman Harper votes Cedric Ellis best Saints player to make beignets
With stars flocking to town to film hits like Beast of the Southern Wild and 12 Years a Slave, Hollywood South continues to bloom. The not-so-big news? Celebrities are just like us! They love Bourbon Street. Just listen to Big Easy visitor Channing Tatum:
“I don’t think anyone can ever have the idea of a bar on Bourbon. That’s just insanity. ... I grew up in Pascagoula/Gautier Mississippi. This was the biggest city I've ever been in, with people everywhere, people throwing beads and girls doing insanity stuff. I was just, like, that's what I want to do when I grow up.”
Our insignificant story:
2. Channing Tatum wanted to grow up and open a bar on Bourbon. And he did.
OK, the big entertainment stories are Mardi Gras and Jazzfest and Voodoo Fest. But in June, you might have overlooked one notable but engaging celebration. As an organizer explains it:
“I'm the moderator of the World Naked Bike Ride. This is a ride that takes place in 20 countries and 72 cities around the world on the same day. A lot of people come out because New Orleans is ranked 7th in bicycle commuters. ... It's a fun event. People enjoy riding. People enjoy seeing us. We ride naked to show our vulnerability. … It looks like a nice, hot day to go naked on a bicycle.”
Yes, it was. And our headline reads:
3. Annual Naked Bike Day hopes to make drivers more aware of bike riders. And it works.
Hurricanes are always big news in New Orleans. But in 2013, we thought we’d dodged the proverbial bullet. Until a late-season storm headed our way and Mayor Mitch Landrieu took to the podium:
“Yesterday, I declared a state of emergency. This declaration gives the city flexibility and authority to take all necessary actions should the storm require us to do so. I myself have witnessed in the last day and a half a level of anxiety. Folks are going faster on the street. They're rolling through stop signs, they're rolling through yellow lights as those of us in New Orleans are wont to do from time to time. I would just ask everybody to slow their roll."
Internet wags assessing the storm’s damage reported that a lawn chair had tipped over Uptown and a puddle in the French Quarter caused a pedestrian to ruin a sock. The insignificant story:
4. Hurricane Karen underwhelms
Finally, in Louisiana, most years begin and end with news about Edwin Edwards, and 2013 was no different. The former governor left jail, married a woman 50 years his junior, is expecting a baby, told all on a brief but embarrassing cable TV reality show and flirted with the idea of another run for governor in 2015. He’ll be 88. It seems to be too much for anyone -- even, perhaps Edwards himself, who said:
“I have been so busy that sometimes I feel like going back to prison so I can rest.”
So that's a wrap for inconsequential headlines for 2013. Next up? 2014 and Carnival. Insignificant? Maybe .... but that's what we cherish here.
Happy New Year to all from NolaVie.
Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]