Tonight at Borders at Redmond Town Center, we attended a book signing by Lewis Black. He did about 15 minutes stand-up going off on Seattle, Coffee, and the name “Redmond Town Center”. Of course, Borders had to put him in the children’s section for his talk. For the next 45 minutes, he did Q&A with the audience.
I asked him if he held back doing stuff on Hurricane Katrina on his latest CD. He talks a little about the Superdome, and then goes off on Michael Brown from FEMA, but it was less than 7 minutes of an hour long CD. I was hoping for more material on Katrina like he did on Enron, Janet Jackson, or the Iraq War. I told him I was from New Orleans, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the CD, but I didn’t feel like he let out as much frustration as he could have. It felt controlled. He reeled back, “Controlled!!?? I called the man an *** and you call that controlled?” Well, for Lewis Black, yeah. He said he did a lot of ripping on Bush, but it was on another CD not yet released. Then he said that what really got him upset wasn’t so much what happened the week of Katrina, but what’s been happening these past 10 months. He said that it is so frustrating, he doesn’t know where to begin. Then he just sighed and said, “Thanks, now I’m depressed.” The next question, I forgot what it was, wasn’t related, but he turned back to me after answering and said to me, “Now this guy has really made me depressed, so you don’t have to feel bad anymore.” When he made the point to look back at me after the next question to remind me he was depressed, I knew he was being serious (although he was pretty serious the first time he said it, although there were a few laughs).
We got there early to grab a number for the book signing, so I was the 20th person or so to have my book signed. He immediately recognized me (not too many 5’1 women wearing green and red dragon t-shirt told him that day he was using restraint.) I said, “Don’t be depressed,” as seriously as I could. He asked me how long I’ve bee up here. I said I moved up here 5 years ago, but my entire family is on the Miss Gulf Coast and New Orleans. For the photo, he put his hand on my back and told me to hang in there. I told him to hang in there too.
Reminds me of Anderson Cooper feeling helpless as he walked the streets of Waveland the day after Katrina (he describes it in detail in his book). Doesn’t really matter who we are, does it?