Sounding Off: Marking the Unfathomable

“Depth sounding refers to the act of measuring depth; it is often referred to simply as sounding. Sounding is finding the depth of a given point in a body of water.”

Welcome aboard, Shreveport-Bossier, to Sounding Off! This is a completely unscientific and shallow measurement of our area’s political and social flotsam and jetsam, and the aggregate effect on quality of life. We’re going to start drying out here soon. Any day now, we can expect a stretch of 4 or 5 days without rain, thus allowing us to wash our cars and hair sans the sardonically huffed misapplications of causality by people who still don’t understand what irony is. But seriously, trenchfoot is not a good look in espadrilles. Espadrilles are still a thing, right?

Last Mark: 12 feet

“I think we need to kill more people. … I think the death penalty should be used more often. It has come to the place in our society where it is used less often, and I think crime in our society has expanded so expeditiously … that we’re going the wrong way with the death penalty that we need it more than ever and we’re using it less now…” These are the actual words spoken by a supposed human being, the new Caddo District Attorney Dale Cox. Louisiana is already the incarceration capital of the known universe, but DA Cox apparently feels that our collective redemption as a society comes not from further cautious, reasoned consideration and reflection, but through assembly-line vengeance rendering, in spite of the incontrovertible fact that we have put innocent people to death in this country, repeatedly. Representative governance is, by definition, an expression of the mores and aspirations of the governed. So when the DA proclaims with great relish his zeal for the acceleration of state-mandated carnage, what does that say about us? And just who is to find comfort and satisfaction in such ghastly rhetoric?    – 2

unnamed-2Your dear captain long ago decided to no longer refer to Governor Voldermort by his given name, but his relentless pursuit of blood purity continues. Adherence to a strict code of obviously (to everyone but the Governor-who-shall-not-be-named-and-who-no-longer-gives-a-flip) destructive economic tenets and an aversion to revenue collection has left public services and institutions in tatters, and now LSU is on the brink of becoming the cow-i-est of cow colleges. I challenge you to name one other public endeavor that can endure an 82 percent reduction in state funds in one year and remain remotely recognizable. To be fair, we are all still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but the budget negotiations in Baton Rouge feel more like a steel-toed boot party on higher education, not to mention on talent and employer recruitment and retention state-wide.   – 2

We enjoy a red sky at night as much as any traveler, so when Wallethub releases a study naming Shreveport as the best city in America to start a business, it’s YO HO HO and a mason jar of anything off The Blind Tiger’s Technicolor Cocktail Menu! But, being a cynic means viewing the world as a flat circle, and we are doomed to double back and, despite better judgement, take a look at the methodology that produced this result. You’ll notice full weight given to metrics like “Corporate Taxes,” which Louisiana condemns as the maniacal scribblings of Godless heretics;  “Office Space Availability,” as two out of three buildings downtown are probably Potemkin and no one has yet noticed, and “Median Annual Income,” basically a big sign reading Shreveport: Will Work For Pie. We agree that Shreveport is a great place to start a business, in the same way that the back seat of a Malibu can be a great place to start a family. There is a drop in novelty and excitement after the initial, um, kickoff… Still, good press is good press, and for now, we have a lot going for us.  + 3

FORECAST: 11 feet, and we’ve settled into a pattern of dodging sand bars and listlessly picking at the loose threads on our rum-soaked ruffled cuffs. Although we sometimes appreciate the stability in dullness, swashbuckling is our true calling, and we expect action is just around the next bend. May it arrive quickly, before disrepute falls into further disrepute!