The late, great Ashley Morris struck a chord with displaced Louisianans when he wrote his famous FYYFF post three months after Katrina and the federal flood disaster. It was a perfectly timed rant that resonated among bloggers focused on New Orleans, and passionately expressed their common frustrations. FYYFF became a touchstone within the local blogging community, and Morris’ blog became a “must read” for many New Orleanians.
After a while, Morris would sometimes complain about the popularity of his FYYFF rant. He noted that during his career he had made presentations to NATO, worked for NASA, and advocated for New Orleans in national media, yet he would always be known for a coarse, spur-of-the-moment rant on his personal blog.
Anyone who met Morris quickly learned that he wasn’t merely a simmering volcano of FYYFF frustration waiting to blow. He was a polymath with a sense of humor. He loved New Orleans: the music, the parades, the food, the football team… But even after his untimely passing in 2008, Morris’s FYYFF rant continued to inspire. FYYFF T-shirts were printed celebrating Morris’s life. At the end of the Rising Tide IV blogger conference, attendees stood up and yelled “F-ck you, you f-cking f-cks” in unison. In episode 4 of HBO’s “Treme” series, professor Creighton Bernette’s character (who is partially based on Morris) made an FYYFF-inspired Youtube rant, which is shown as a rallying cry for the city.
Now, as frustrations about the oil gusher have boiled over, many local bloggers have adopted the celebrated FYYFF template to express their frustrations about the disaster. For example:
On May 19, M. Styborski at the Humid City blog penned FYYFF, the oily version. Styborski apologized to “to Ashley Morris, the Morris family and the blogging community for hijacking FYYFF” but explained that “it seems like it’s the only appropriate response to the morons who are destroying our coast, our people and our state.”
Dambala at American Zombie suggested that Mayor Mitch Landrieu use the phrase as a terse response to Chris Myers’ disparaging comments towards New Orleans.
Slimbolala even interrupted his “family blog” to do a curse-filled FYYFF-style rant.
On May 21, the conservative blog The Hayride even got into the act. While discussing the tone of a letter sent to the president by Louisiana’s junior senator, macaoidh wrote that “Vitter isn’t quite Ashley Morris yet, but he’s getting there. So are we on this blog.”
Since The Hayride has extolled and chronicled BP’s response efforts to the extent that they had to defend themselves from charges of being “shills” for Big Oil, and since The Hayride has previously downplayed the “oversold disastrous effects” and environmental “alarmism” about the spill, and since they recently wondered whether the spill wouldn’t be “good” for the state’s economy… I’m tempted to respond to their invocation of Morris with a retort worthy of Lloyd Bentsen.
Instead, I’ll simply note that today Think Progress linked to an intriguing post at the progressive Daily Kingfish blog, which happens to give a big FYYFF to Vitter and BP in the title. I expect to explore the connection the Daily Kingfish makes between Vitter and Anadarko oil in a future post, and I’d say chances are good that I’ll make use of the FYYFF phrase.
It’s sort of the thing to do right now.