Sunday, June 20, 2010
"treh-MAY" - Episode #9: "Wish Someone Would Care"
(All photos/general information can be found @ http://www.poptower.com/treme-pictures.htm or Wikipedia.)
Creighton (John Goodman) gives his class an assignment to read Kate Chopin's The Awakening, a novel that is perhaps one of the earliest examples of literary feminism. But Creighton as a professor urges his students to dig deeper than that, for as he explains, it's more about the search for "truth" and "peace." When his freshmen students asked about how they'll be graded for the course, based on his response, Creighton's mind has gone to an entirely different place: "Everyone of us will be tested and everyone one of us will be found lacking."
His mind has been in a different place for a long while. With the pressure of finishing his novel on the 1927 Flood looming and him not feeling able to turn out quality pages for his editor, he like so many people (especially New Orleaneans) are distracted by post-Katrina and the city's slow recovery. Instead, he continues to posts his rage (and ultimately, the insurmountable rage of a city) on YouTube. Instead of this serving as a cathartic release, it only drags Creighton deeper into a depression where he seeks solace in drinking.
The next morning, Creighton is wide awake and will head off to teach his freshmen lecture. His daughter Sofia begs him to take her to school, but he tells her that she must listen to her mother, Toni (Melissa Leo), and not ditch her first period class. Just as Toni and Sofia get ready to leave, Creighton gives Toni a very passionate kiss. And then he tells Sofia how beautiful she looks today. And as they both jump in the car, Creighton tells his wife to "kick a little ass."
Creighton continues with his lecture on Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Some students express to him how they find it depressing. He explains that not only there isn't "an end," but how it is more of her "embracing spiritual freedom." As Creighton utters these words, he looks at his students and sees nothing but a sea of blank and confused faces. This prompts him to dismiss class a bit early, telling them to go out and enjoy the day. And soon enough, he takes his own advice.
First, he grabs a hearty sampling with includes a shrimp po'boy (YUM!) at Liuzza's, waits on line for hot beignets at Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street, and wanders over to Frenchmen Street and catches Annie (Lucia Micarelli) performing (with a new piano man) "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" and drops a $20 into Annie's violin case and says to her, "Always for pleasure."
Creighton then boards the Canal Street Ferry (also known as the Algiers Ferry) and bums a cigarette from another passenger. He walks over to the front of the boat, stares out and then flicks his cigarette into the Mississippi River. The other passenger watches him for a while and when he turns around, he (along with the rest of us) notices that Creighton is no where to be found. Hours go by and Creighton's empty jeep is the last car in the parking lot.