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Cognitive Dissonance

In the paper today:

Prominent musician killed while his family watched

Dinerral Shavers, 25, died from a gunshot to the back of his head at about 5:30 p.m. while behind the wheel of his black Chevrolet Malibu in the 2200 block of Dumaine Street, police said…

Although critically wounded, Shavers continued driving four blocks up Dumaine before stopping.

By 6 p.m., Shavers lay motionless on his back in the middle of the street just outside the open driver’s side door as red and green holiday lights blinked rapidly on homes behind him, and a few patrons of the Magnolia Meat Market at the corner looked on.

Shavers was taken to a hospital, but died within an hour, police said.

Shavers was the snare drummer for the Hot 8 Brass Band and the music teacher at L.E. Rabouin High School, where he had recently begun the school’s first-ever marching band. “I’ve got 80 kids marching — we’re making history at Rabouin,” he said proudly in an interview earlier this week…


Big Easy is billed as ‘Fun Spot’

With the media spotlight on New Orleans as the Saints gear up to vie in the National Football League playoffs and as Louisiana State University takes on the University of Notre Dame in the Allstate Sugar Bowl next week, local hospitality leaders announced Thursday a campaign to promote the city as safe, fun and open for business.

Fun spot. Murder capital. Do I even need to explain what I mean by cognitive dissonance?

It’s also Xy’s birthday today, but it doesn’t feel very festive with headlines like these. Xy sent flowers to the funeral of a three-year-old child this morning, the little brother of one of her students who had been ailing for months. Not a happy way to start the day.

Of course, cognitive dissonance is a way of life here. People know how to combine tragedy and celebration without giving short shrift to either. I think that’s the part of New Orleans culture that I admire the most, even though it doesn’t make sense to the puritans, even though it makes us look irresponsible, even though some days it makes me angry.

So, yeah, happy birthday, baby. Let’s try not to get murdered in this “fun spot.”

Published inLife with XyNew OrleansNews & Media


  1. rickngentilly rickngentilly

    yah b. thats it in a nutshell.

    my anger is in the form that katrina didnt change this shit.

    blessed new year to you and yours

  2. That really was a heartbreaking story. I was also sorry to see there was a shooting at the Grits Bar (where my son ends up from time to time). *sigh*

    I hope Zy’s b-day was the best.

  3. […] The District Attorney said nolle prosequi about David Bonds’ case last week. Bonds was accused of killing Dinerral Shavers. I never knew Dinerral, but I was disturbed by news of his murder, which I wrote about in December. […]

  4. […] would shift forward to late 2006 and early 2007. Violence returned to the city with a vengeance. Dinerral Shavers was killed just before the new year, Helen Hill just after, leading to the organization of what I […]

  5. […] were writing about the issue of violent crime before, during and after the march. I wrote about Dinerral’s murder and of course Helen’s. Through connections made in the blogosphere, Karen Gadbois and I were […]

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