Treme? Here at Slabbed we wipe our asses with Treme. A Guest post from a NOLA Lifer.

Folks the following came to me via email from a long time reader of Slabbed and a life long resident of metro New Orleans.  As my mom’s family has very long roots in NOLA metro I’ve watched both seasons of Treme with interest and concluded it was crap myself but my main man says it better. ~ sop

I don’t consider myself a racist, although I guess everyone has their tendencies. But the post-Katrina media coverage and shows like Treme (which I will not watch) lead the rest of the nation to believe that Black New Orleanians have the market cornered on culture. So what you wind up with is the old, blue-blood history of New Orleans and the “Mardi Gras Indian” culture/history. In my opinion, those views completely ignore what the real New Orleans is all about.

To me, there’s so much more to what makes New Orleans and I think this video speaks to the way so many of us grew up. I can picture myself as a kid doing all of these things. My brother sent me the video yesterday. I had seen it quite some time ago, but I had a chance to absorb it yesterday. It stirred up great memories, but it more so made me sad for what the city has become. If you have never seen it, I know you’ll identify with it.

21 thoughts on “Treme? Here at Slabbed we wipe our asses with Treme. A Guest post from a NOLA Lifer.”

  1. "The post-Katrina media coverage and shows like Treme (which I will not watch) lead the rest of the nation to believe that Black New Orleanians have the market cornered on culture."

    Pardon my French Butt, huh?

    Your profession to know what the rest of the nation "believes" is a grandiose generalization & you've introduced a divisive atmosphere …..all with one this one sentence.

    You may not "consider yourself a racist", but you've incited an unnecessary racial conflict.
    Gawd. Why?

    You feel compelled to share your proud heritage?
    Why do it at the detriment of another group of people?

  2. I don't think it is to anyone's detriment Patricia. Treme presents a small slice of the gumbo pot that makes up NOLA. It's more what Treme leaves out that is the problem.


  3. Treme is a great show about New Orleans even though there will never be perfect show about our city (we are too prideful to accept anything that may slightly be creative freedom). David Simon shoots all over the city (uptown, downtown, and has come to Jefferson a time or two). Everyone is represented fairly. But I strongly disagree with the statement and the entire premise of this post. I think it has the Jackie Clarkson mentality of everything was so good in the 50's and 60's. But who was it good for? I remember when my father told me he had to go to Lincoln Beach because Pontchartrain Beach was off limits because he was black. Slabbed, I usually agree with what you post on your blog, but you should have considered history and not a revisionist version of it from a YouTube video. Because everything that is good for one never was really "great" for the other. And someone clearing up that they aren't racist before they make ignorant statements usually means they are.

  4. “The post-Katrina media coverage and shows like Treme (which I will not watch) lead the rest of the nation to believe that Black New Orleanians have the market cornered on culture.”
    Pardon my French Butt, huh?”

    Thank you Patricia … la passion est la garantie de l’existence, mon petit chou…

  5. Omg, I totally know what you mean! The fact that Treme doesn't go back in time decades to when Whites started fleeing the city in droves due to suburbanization, poverty, substandard housing and infrastructure and because they didn't want their children to go to integrated schools is such a lost cultural heritage on the show! They really need to weave that story line in there so that people understand why all that good pastel and sepia toned nostalgic culture shown in the above video is now delegated to antique shops and a few tourist traps in da quarter. It's a lost heritage and culture and ignored by Treme because it barely exists anymore. It barely exists because it was abandoned by a group who chose to squander it by fleeing. Oh and by ongoing corruption and incompetence in the power structure – which has no color lines.

    1. Hey them whites that fled to the 'burbs have been the puppets masters over the City of New Orleans and its inhabitants for generations. Surely they deserve a place in the narrative no?

      Treme is a cartoonish portrayal of the City. There is a reason it never was an emmy contender. Season 1 back to back with the Pacific – it wasn't even close.


  6. Why is everyone so hyper-sensitive to this post? I thought the First Amendment gave us the right to say, "Treme sucks." New Orleans is not all about the kid playing the trumpet in the ruins of the lower nine. The nasty, self-righteous, indignant comments to this post pretty much demonstrate that if you criticize the Holy Grail (Treme), you get bashed for suggesting there could be any other depiction of New Orleans.

    Maybe the "blue blood" crack was a shot at the Jackie Clarskson ilk. I watched the video and thought it looked race-neutral. New Orleans has become a caricature of what it once was, thanks to shows like Treme. Second lines don't spontaneously break out as often as teen shootings. It seems like much of the one dimensional portrayals of N.O. have to do with the fact that we can't move past Katrina because it feels too good to wallow in self-pity.

  7. i gave treme a shot. the wire is the best show i can recall so my expectations were high. i watched all of season 1 of treme and was unimpressed. i have not seen any of season 2. the davis character was hard to watch.

  8. Hey Matzerath I mean Matzaball: Good to see ya' back here again. I forgot to tell ya' I did some family tree research on the surname of Rathke,, and it said," Last name : Rathke. This most interesting surname of Old German origin, and is a diminutive (short form) of any of the various Germanic compound personal names containing the first element "rat", meaning counsel, advice ;…." Kinda' explains you giving advice and counsel to ACORN , but more importantly what http://www.NOLA thinks about you, "Rat", and your agenda at Coffee Grinds.

    It's no wonder you read the Old German novel ,The Tin Drum. But I need to correct you. Matzerath was not "the " character,but it was only the surname of several characters, namely Oskar, Alfred and other Matzaraths.

    Finally, on your critical post above on Sop's opinion that "Treme is a cartoon" .I think the You Tube video is more representative of NOLA than Treme. Kinda' like you do not represent the general political, racial views of NOLA.

    Now go pour yourself some more Kool-Aid Coffee Grinds to wake ( Wade) yourself up a bit.

  9. The video is a white-centric nostalgic trip through white New Orleans, viewed through rose-colored glasses. It glorifies segregated society, and ignores the harsh, back-breaking consequences of de jure segregation. Glorifies Ponchartrain Beach, and completely ignores Lincoln Beach? Every restaurant featured was segregated – whites only. All the photos were of white people. And you say Treme is biased. Get real.

  10. So I get it Mr. Bill Dees. We need to revise the YouTube clip and instead of Creole Jazz playing we should replace it with homeboys Little Wayne and all that cool, crude rap crap with pants to the knees and some oldie but goodies,1970's Wade Rathke photos of him birthing ACORN and all their black malcontent, financial extortionists, Right ?

    I'm sure glad the NAACP cracked ( pun intended) down on the white producers years ago when there were not enough representative black actors in movies and TV.We wouldn't have the misrepresentation of the all black Treme would we. You get real, Mr.Dees.

  11. Treme is a great show. It isn't about Metry or da Parish or the North Shore but it never claimed to be. Be thankful because you would not want any truth about those places to be shown.

  12. And don't forget Hap Glaudi's mug Bill. That segment he ran on black high school football on the news way back in the day was beyond disgraceful.

    Now for the inside joke because the greatest irony is the comments here are actually a better illustration of what NOLA is really about than anything you've seen on the TeeVee.

    I do not expect to win any converts immediately given the historic divisiveness between the many differing ethnic communities that make up he NOLA gumbo pot but I'll add the reader that lives Uptown is not a whole lot different from one in Bucktown in terms of wanting a better community for their kids etc..

    A long time ago Nowdy wrote a post under the lede My brother Darryl and my brother Darryl – and we’re all in this together that ended up becoming a running title here on Slabbed.

    The now departed Rocheblave nailed me cold in a comment to a post not that long ago when he noted the topic at hand had resonance in both liberal and libertarian circles. A curious and never befored discussed demographic of Slabbed is this blog is very popular with certain elements of the metro NOLA TEA party along with some of the most liberal folks in this area along with the legal community both plaintiff and defense. It at times makes for a fractious and quarrelsome group. For example I feel safe in saying Matzerath and Patricia share my passion for social justice while Lockem shares my passion for the liberties that make Slabbed possible. It is a potent combination folks and such diversity is the secret behind Slabbed success. But….

    The things that divide the populace in some respects are trivial but in that divide operate charlatans like Nunny.


  13. The show is named "Treme" because it is about a neighborhood in New Orleans. It is not named Uptown or "Bywater" or North Shore or South Shore. It is a good show. Sometimes it is over the top but basically it is a good watch. But to critique a show that you don't watch is as dumb as it gets.

  14. No, I don't. What was Operation Bootstraps? As far as the show goes, I hear they are in for a 3rd season, so somebody likes it. It covers the corruption in the police department and it has a lot of what is going on in New Orleans whether we like it or not.

  15. Operation Bootstraps was a nonprofit affiliated with Entergy that did Habitat for Humanity type work.

    The show is about more than a single neighborhood thus my beef with its cartoonish portrayal of the city. Since I'm sharing I didn't care much for Spike Lee's documentaries either.


  16. Last night, I FINALLY watched part of the first disc in this series!
    I was CAPTIVATED by the guy who plays the DJ….
    (Avoiding reference here to save myself from unintentionally REMEMBERING his name)
    The pimple on his RIGHT ASS CHEEK should be nominated for best supporting actor award.
    The actor, whose portrayal brings me back to the 3rd grade & the first time I ever heard fingernails scrape across a blackboard, is testament to the power to cinema assault via digital media.
    Maybe his character becomes bearable a few episodes later.
    I will NEVER KNOW.

    BOO DAT!

  17. I burned off about 30 twitter followers after I did this post Patricia. What I discovered after was that around two-thirds of the so called NOLA folks I burned off love the City from afar as they do not even live here or maybe did for a few years back in the day. Treme has about the depth of quality that would be imparted from the impressions of serial tourists and it shows. And now like me you also understand exactly how badly the series bites.

    But what I think does not matter in a respect, after all different strokes for different folks right. But consider this:

    The show’s second-season ratings so far have dipped from last season. The show’s April 24 second season debut drew 605,000 viewers, about half of the season one premiere total, but only a slight decrease from the show’s Sunday night average in season one. Episode two had 560,000 viewers for its first Sunday night play, episode three, 518,000.

    This show has been relentlessly promoted locally and yet the locals are turning off the TeeVee in greater numbers with each passing episode. That, more than anything else, should clue everyone in something in the show (like some authenticity) is missing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *