May 18, 200910:39 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Errol Laborde: Michelangelo and e-mail insanity

Errol Laborde

While on vacation last week I sent an e-mail to the gang at the office. Toward the end, I added a line saying, in an attempt at inside-the-industry whimsy, that that day I had seen Michelangelo's David but that I accidentally leaned against it and sent it crashing, causing a leg to be broken. The people of Florence, I added, were somewhat angry at me and that we might have to offer them a free ad.

Later in the week I read about the latest e-mail controversy in New Orleans and that made me wonder, what if I was a public office holder and some political jackal who was out to destroy me would post my comments on a Web site? How would the enemy want my comments to be interpreted?

Maybe my words could be seen as anti-enlightenment, because Michelangelo was the ultimate Renaissance figure. My comments, the politically obsessed might argue, hearkened for a return to the dark ages.

Or, maybe my comments were intended to be anti-David and pro-Goliath who, my critics would say, is a symbol of big industry and corporate greed.

Or, maybe I was being anti-Florence. Back in the days of warring political states Florence had powerful enemies in towns, including Pisa and Sienna, that it had conquered. Certainly my message revealed pro-Sienna sentiments.

Or, since David is depicted in the statue as being famously nude, might I have been making a statement for Puritanism?

Or, maybe I was striking a long overdo blow on behalf of Leonardo da Vinci. He and Michelangelo were contemporaries in Florence but did not get along. Could I have been the instrument of da Vinci's revenge?

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According to the legislature, and the courts, e-mail sent via public facilities are public property and the public has the right to know what has been written. What the public also needs to know is that you cannot fairly judge people by their e-mails. The computer is a whole new way of communicating that allows random, chatty, off-the-cuff statements to flow, sometime frivolously, quite often as a way to testing ideas. E-mails are seldom a reflection of a person's full position on any issue.

I find the whole e-mail controversy to be asinine. I miss the days of hearing about building better levees, fighting crime and improving education. The political thugs need to go away.

As my friend David would say, there are bigger battles to be fought.

Let us know what you think. Any comments about this article? Write to errol@renpubllc.com. For the subject line use MICHELANGELO. All responses are subject to being published, as edited, in this newsletter. Please include your name and location.

 
Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival- Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via E- mail at gdkrewe@aol.com or (504) 895-2266.

WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7PM, REPEATED AT 11:30 PM.WYES-TV, CH. 12. NOW ON WIST RADIO, 690 AM, THE ERROL LABORDE SHOW, 6PM FRIDAYS; 8AM and 2PM SATURDAYS; 5 PM SUNDAYS.

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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