Cajun Injustice

Maybe you’ve had the chance to catch an episode or two of the A & E reality series called “Cajun Justice” since its debut on June 5.  Maybe you’ve had the chance to watch the show and just don’t want to admit that you actually sat through a whole thirty-minute episode.  Or maybe you fall into the camp that says they have never and will never watch the show.  But before you throw the Cajun out with the boiling pot, hear me out.

After sitting back and hearing what others had to say about the new and supposed reality show based on the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Department, both for and against, maybe it was past time for me to form my own opinion.

Last night, while lying on my bed searching for something on TV that might put me to sleep, a friend text me the following:

“Oh Lawd.  Da rou garou is loose on da bayou!”

Somehow I instantly knew he was referring to the A & E show, so I immediately switched to the forty-somethings, looking for the right channel.  Once there, I was determined to clear the visions of  the most-viewed show in the history of The History Channel–Swamp People–from my brain and judge this show on its own merit.

In “Cajun Justice”, we meet all the players up front in the introduction to the show and then later each one says a little more about where they came from.  That helped me judge who was a real Cajun and who wans’t–not that it matters—but some of us are very literal people.  Let me just say that maybe half of them are of Cajun descent.  Okay, so I gotta loosen up a bit and enjoy this for the entertainment value.  Open mind, remember?

What struck me first was how it appeared that the show producers searched for a very particular type of local person to insert here and there as cameo shots.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a problem, and no offense to anyone on the show, but they found a pocket of people who either don’t  brush their teeth, have never seen a dentist, or had no teeth at all.  Which begs the question, “why?”.  Do the producers want the world to think this exemplifies bayou people?

All told, I watched four episodes and was, for the most part, very entertained.  But not for the reasons you might think.  I was entertained because of all the discrepancies in the information, in the names of the bayou communities and certain landmarks.  Heck, they must have made at least four calls to Bayou Dularge in those four shows.  But the real draw for me was to learn that the swamp where I take folks during my wetland tours is a haunted swamp.  Now, that is GOOD information to have!

My favorite part was when they got a late-night call that there was a light and some weird noises coming from a shack behind a pumping station.  The two deputies tip-toed in with flashlights and arrested three young men who were obviously doing some sort of voodoo-religious ceremony.  When the deputy who hails from California shoved the fellow in the squad car, he yelled out a curse on the deputy.  The other deputy, being from the area, decided to have some fun with the Cali transplant, convincing him that he just had a voodoo curse put on him.  Long story short, bad things started happening to California, and he ended up going to see Priestess Miriam in New Orleans to get the curse removed.  Back at the station, once relieved of his curse, he opened his squad car door only to find a voodoo doll with a pin in its back sitting on his steering wheel — with all his comrades watching and laughing their heads off.  It was funny to me, anyway.

I could go on and on about the episodes, but I won’t, except to tell you to watch them for entertainment value only.  There are lot of inaccurate things going on, and a good bit of the calls are staged, and some of them are just short of a blanket insult.  But while you watch, please remember that bayou life is a very rough life.  Some of the fights that occur really do happen between folks, and sometimes even family members.  It’s a different world down here, and if the show does nothing else than depict that, then it has done it’s job.

 

The Cajun Injustice of it all comes July 1st when twenty-four of the current employees of the TPSO will lose their jobs, their insurance, and their pensions when the new sheriff takes office.  The new sheriff has further stated (in every interview since he was elected) that he will NOT allow further filming of “Cajun Justice” and is definitely not concerned about breaking any contract they might have with the film company, MAK Pictures.

So, maybe Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois didn’t make the best deal he could have for the department with this reality TV project.  Most reports say that the TPSO is receiving $1500 per episode for doing twenty-one episodes, but I somehow think it wasn’t about the money for the exiting Sheriff.  Rather, I tend to think it was about his going out with a bang, since he didn’t even attempt to run for re-election last fall.  Way to go, Sheriff!

Knowing there will only be twenty-one episodes might make me sit up and take notice every Thursday night through the rest of the summer while looking for something to watch.  Part of me is just a little sad that the new sheriff isn’t going to give our deputies the chance to become as famous as homeboys R.J., J. Paul, Tommy, and Joe of Swamp People fame.

The other part of me is thinking that it’s time for the Outdoors with Bayou Woman Show, where adventures will be real, people will have (most of) their teeth, and women don’t call me out to fight using the “B” word!

Keeping it real,

BW

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Comments

Cajun Injustice — 42 Comments

      • I’ll second that…ye should have yer own show – far more interesting than a lot o’ the show hosts out there, much more educational (in an “everyone WANTS to learn way)…yer own cast o’ interesting family & friends…
        BTW, great new blog photo!

        • Hey Capt.! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been. The photo is a result of a TV show I did recently. The guy was a good photog/videogrpaher. One of the few pics of myself I don’t mind plastered around the net!!! Well, as far as my own show goes, there is a local TV station who no longer has their “sportsman” episodes because the producer retired and the guy who did all the fishing went to another network. So, that door is wide open, I just need to know how to walk through it and what to say. Knees clattering . . . . .

  1. What word DO they use?

    I was born and brought up a damyankee, but circumstances brought me (and my family) to the Deep South.

    Since settling here I’ve birthed one and buried two–which supposedly makes me at least part Southerner. (And I automatically use the definitive second person plural.)

    And I keep telling myself that one of these days you’ll find me on one of your swamp explorations.

    • Ha ha, Sue! Funny! Hopefully, nobody calls me out to fight, lol! Oh my, but you must be an English teacher—had to think about that one a minute, but if you automatically use the definitive second person plural, then you are definitely a southerner, no matter where you were born and brought up. Just keep dreaming and one day it will be!

  2. BW- the rou garou references got me lol. fun show but I THOUGHT it was awfully busy down by Bayou Dularge. …and please…. why did they call the gator removal team-they were leaving and the camp was in the middle of no where hahaha . but It was entertaining…maybe so because of the fakey stuff. I had no idea that the whole shebang might just be a bit of “politics gone a step beyond”. What fun. So sad for all those who will lose their jobs under the new boss. Hope some of the show money goes their way as a kinda cushion(tho I doubt it).

    • Great comment! You are so right: Why call the nuisance gator team when the gator was just chillin’ in his own territory? Most folks wouldn’t even have noticed that. Hey, maybe I should do a post every work pointing out what is fakey, but then I would just be a big party pooper!!! I even heard that everyone starred in the show is getting fired just for participating. Now that is just wrong, but the sheriff is a very powerful position. I wonder if our sheriff gets a parting gift, like that red Camaro he confiscated from Jessie James?

  3. I’ve watched the show a few times to see if I could pick out some landmarks (Camp Dularge). I didn’t recognize anything.
    I did see the episode you wrote about. I laughed my arse off at the “Left Coast” guy’s facial expressions. That was not acting. He was scared BIG TIME!
    BTW, I’d prefer to watch The Adventures Of Capt. Wendy.

    • Left Coast is a good name for him. Was that his nickname on the show? If so, thanks, I totally missed that. Yeah, he was really, really scared. He was so scared that even Priestess Miriam was laughing at him!!! I got such a big kick out of that. I think I should have been doing a running territory for each episode since the onset. Too bad I wasn’t forward thinking enough.

      • Left Coast, East Coast…if ya don’t remember their name, but do remember where they come from. That’s the name we give them. Deputy Ms. MA would of course be called Deputy East Coast.

  4. At least someone did enough research to know that Maman Miriam is the authority on Voudon – the real deal…though she would also tell ye it’s not like anything they show ye in movies & TV.
    We are privileged to know her & call her friend.

    • I was waiting to hear your response to that. During the show, I knew she was the real deal having heard about her from you. I couldn’t wait to put actual link to her site so folks could see for themselves she was real. I like that she is so nonchalant about her practice . . . . and put him right at ease. You know some pretty cool people, captain!

  5. You don’t remember but when you first made mention of you doing the La. Sportsman show I said you should have your own Bayou Woman show. Since they were already filming in your area, it’s a no-brainer!

    I watch, in amazement, and wonder if I’ll see Camp Dulage in some of the footage. I chuckle at their choice of people to put on camera, wondering what others around the country are thinking.

    All entertainment for us who know the difference of how it really is verses what’s highlighted in the shows but what people must think of us in the rest of the good old USA?!

    You need, no must, contact the producers. Or better yet, call up Sheriff Bourgeios. Since he won’t be busy working maybe he could be your agent. He knows all of the TV folks, after all.

    And I’m glued to the TV set when Swamp People are on. If only I could figure out where best to showcase some of those bobble-heads…….

    • Wonderful thoughts, Cuz. I’m with you on almost every one of them. You make some valid points and questions. The closest thing I’ve come to bigger TV is La. Outdoor Adventures with Kevin Ford that is still airing right now. (Is that the show you are referring to?) Watching it the first time was hard for me because I was embarrassed about how I would look/sound. The second time I watched it I got to enjoy it a little more. I’m hoping they will send me a DVD so I can have it for posterity. It was super fun making that show, and it sparked all kinds of ideas in my head about how my show would go. Heather and I have been brainstorming about that for a few months now. And I do have a surprise for y’all coming soon. Here’s another hint: there was a videographer on the boat for the first Bayou Woman Adventure!!! Bobbleheads, LOL!!!!! Who is your favorite? Did I ever tell you that R.J. and I go to the same salon? He goes to the husband/owner and I go to the wife/owner, their styling chairs are right next to one another. I remember the first time I saw him about four years ago, BEFORE he was famous, and thinking what a strange haircut that was–shaved to the scalp with a long pigtail down his back. But the muscles made up for all that, lol! Okay, that was sexist. I apologize. (he he!)

  6. Walks in, grabs a clean cup and waves to all.

    Captain Wendy could take folks out fishing the come in and cook that days catch, adventure/cooking show. Justin Wilson made it cooking and telling stories. I bet BW has stories that are just as good.

    I remember awhile back reading here about a fella went fishin with BW, they got stuck in a canal due to low water and he had to push/pull the boat to good water again. That there would have to be good entertainment, if it could get past the censor. Would not even need a script for that to be humorous.

    My name is Foamheart and I like the Gator guys…….. There I said it! Although having been out with gator hunters before, I realize there might be a wee little bit added drama to the show. But I can assure any who need it, that those folks all be talking like they belong, that just can’t be taught.

    I have got to share, I am also a huge fan of Mike Rowe’s show “Dirtiest Jobs”. I will drop a link to a small out take below. I had tears in my eyes when he did the show about harvesting wild gator eggsin the delta and raising gators at the Cherenie Ranch, you know, down da bayou. My sides hurt when they got him to sex the gators, but my favorite was when he learned about red ants. I know it hurt, I know I shouldn’t have laughed at anothers misfortune, but being from here we can all understand. He got covered in ants in his pants in his nether regions before he realized what it was, red ants all attack in unison too, then he learned that not of the delta has water (even if it is swampy). LOL…. Cut the carnera, I’m getting nekkid. I am getting nekkid if you don’t cut the camera off.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzYi5F4_i64&feature=related

    What made me think of this was the fact he lost all the expensive production equipment. Thats the kinda thing that would happen to me if I attempted a show.

    I will not even add my two cents about the Terrbonne Sheriffs dept. (I lived in the Lafourche Parrish, they’re worse), but I can see why it might cast a disfavorable shadow upon the dept. AND thats not even using a script.

    • NEWS FLASH: Foamheart is addicted to watching Swamp People and Dirtiest Jobs.
      Thanks for that true confession, Goldie. I’m so laughing at your post right now. What a great way to start a Saturday morning, along with my warm, dark friend, Mr. Coffee. I saw that episode of Dirty Jobs and absolutely loved it. I love Mike Rowe, anyway! And let’s talk about my episode of running aground. The only expletive that was blurted out came out of MY mouth, and not his. He is just the coolest old cucumber and had no qualms about stripping down to his long johns so he could jump overboard and push us out. I was silently panicked. It was cold. No blankets. No food. How would I survive in that boat for 12 hours while waiting for the tide to come up and hopefully float us out? Of course, he and I laugh about it now, and he mostly laughs about how upset I was and how little faith I had that he could get us outta there. And we keep asking the question: WHY was HE at the wheel when I was showing him some new waters he had never fished before????? I should have been at the wheel. So, thanks so much for your input. I’ll have you know that I LOVED Justin Wilson when I first discovered him on PBS back in the day. I bought his cookbook, AND learned the secret to perfect jambalaya from him and no one else. But I’m sure you already know what that secret is. Great hearing from you, Goldie. Very entertaining!

  7. It must be the food. How else do you explain all these Louisiana based shows all of a sudden?

    Billy the Exterminator – Bossier City
    Duck Dynasty – West Monroe
    Cajun Pawn Stars – Alexandria
    Swamp People – Houma
    Big Easy Brides – New Orleans
    Cajun Justice – Houma

    What am I leaving out? Oh, yeah.

    Bayou Woman – Bayou Dularge

    Great food, colorful characters, and only $1,400 per episode. What a deal!

    There was also that New Orleans actor/cop show for a while. Big guy, huge, into martial arts. Wouldn’t you just love to know the backstory on all these shows? Like how they got started and what they’re making, etc.

    I’m with Foamheart. Love those bearded backwoods boys. I was in school in Monroe at the same time Phil was at Tech in Ruston, and we both majored in English. Tech always beat us in football b/c they had Phil AND Terry Bradshaw. I think it’s hilarious that Phil turned down some major league offers because football season interfered with duck hunting season!

    Ah, Louisiane….

    • Wow Thanks Brenda for giving me the curiousity bug. I found the below article on Sports Illustrated about Phil. Bradshaw was HIS backup (I did not know that), and he got a Masters just incase he needed it. LOL.

      http://college-football.si.com/2012/03/22/duck-punt-how-phil-robertson-found-stardom-after-giving-up-football/

      I lov when he is giving the grandsons his swamp wisdom about good marrying women. She needs to be Godly, make good squirrel dumplings as well as how to clean frogs.

      I love it.

      BTW I believe that Steven Seagul is an actual Deputy Chief in Jefferson Parish (a reservist). He is one of the second-in-commands.

      Seagul and BW cleaning up the bayous of South Louisiana. We’d have to insist BW gets one of those all alumium spec ops go fast boats. Maybe use Termite on the forward 50 cal. Can’t you just see the opening? All Three running down the pier jumping in the boat and powering out into the bayou headed for a drug bust at point aux chene.

    • And I don’t think I’ve mentioned here the calls I’ve gotten from producers about other news shows like “Cajun Wives”, “Cajun Sisters”, and more. First off, I’m neither Cajun nor the wife of a Cajun, but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter. Well, I had to gently turn them all down and direct them toward more genuine women, which you will see on upcoming episodes!!!

  8. Enjoyed that link, Foam. Phil and I are not only the same age and from the same place, we each have a masters in education and taught high school English. No wonder I love that show so much.

    • Now, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it? What I love about Phil, especially him, is that they look like backwoods rednecks that don’t have a pound of brain between them, but when they start talking it’s apparent how smart they are. I just love how that throws people off!! See? Not all Louisianians are dummies, right?

  9. I tried to reply to y’all’s comments early this morning, but I think the Ru Garou slipped into my room and messed with my computer, and this is NO JOKE: When I tried typing this morning, everything typed exactly backwards. Once I finally got it shut down, and rebooted after many tries, then the screen was rotated 90 degrees to the left. So, I turned the monitor on its side so I could see. Then it took me another short while to figure out how to rotate the screen back. I finally have it now and will reply . . . . dat Ru garou gonna get you if you don’t watch out!

  10. Ah, shoot. Give me a call when they start filming the noodlers and I’ll go find me a tv. Just heard this morning about some old boy up in Oklahoma who pulled a 70 pound catfish out – used breaded chicken, like chicken nuggets from McDonalds, for bait. I swear.

    They kept it alive, too, and finally released it after the weigh-in. You can read about it here.

    Who says I don’t keep up with things? LOL

    • Well, you DO keep up with things, but there’s been a reality show on about the noodlers for quite a while now . . . . or were you just joking about letting you know when they start filming them? “Hillbilly Handfishin'”!!! Check it out.

      • You forget – I’ve lived without television for three years now – so yes, I was joking. And I didn’t know! Good gosh – “Hillbilly Handfishin'”. Is this a great country, or what?

            • Well, he’s been very cryptic about that. I think that maybe someone from Discovery Channel came down and did some footage with him, but it’s very hard to get straight information out of him. It would be very easy for them to take advantage of him, so I was trying to be his (free) agent just to try to protect his interests. But he doesn’t care if he gets paid or not, so he could have done a whole series by now and I wouldn’t know. He’s been kind of keeping me at arms’ length for some odd reason . . . . doesn’t want a woman telling him what to do, lol!!!

  11. I can just see it now…The REAL Housewives of The Bayou. I think there are way too many reality TV shows that are not true “reality”. I watch a couple of them just to have something to laugh at.

  12. Ye know, I just had to search a little for the etymology o’ “Rou Garou” – aye, I know the original French is “Loup Garou” commonly thought to mean Werewolf (while Loup IS wolf, garou is from an old Frankish word, garulf – menaing a man who changes into an animal).
    Now, it could’ve been some dialect trip along the way with Les Acadiens – but it’s more interesting than that.

    It seems it’s Métis!

    For those o’ ye not familiar with our western cousins, the Métis are a distinct Indigenous nation with a talent for adopting other cultural traditions and making them their own. A mix o’ First Nations (Cree, Saulteaux, Dene and Dakota), French-Canadian (Canadien), and Gaelic (Scots/Orkney). Their language is called Michif – Michif-Cree, a mixed-language based on Cree (and Saulteaux) verb structures and French nouns/noun phrases; Michif-French, a dialect of Canadian French which uses Algonquian syntax; and Bunjee, a Cree/Scots-Gaelic Creole. The Métis are best known for speaking Michif-Cree, which has long been studied by linguists since it has woven two unrelated languages into a coherent whole with a standardized syntax, verb structure, and noun phrases…and ye thought Cajun was confusing?

    Seems the Elders mixed the culture into the oral history as well and along the way Luop Garou was mixed with the Cree trickster (a shapeshifter that could assume any form) and was reborn le Rou Garou!
    As the Métis practiced a sort o’ “Folk Catholocism” (much like in Voudon), Le Rou garou was used to keep the young folk in line as well as others during Lent. The Métis even use the word “Chi” as the Cajuns use “Ti” to mean “Little” (Chi-Jean like Ti-Jean).

    • That’s some very interesting Metis information, Captain. Thanks for that, and the Metis aren’t the only ones who practice a sort of folk Catholicism–so do the Houma! Somewhere in a past post I mentioned the origin of the term rou garou as coming from the French Loup Garou and that the stories were told, even on this bayou, to keep kids in line. I have a friend in his forties, whose father used to tell him stories about the Rou Garou that eventually found their way into the book: “Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana”. Down here, though, the stories are told as truth and not as lore. As coincidence would have it, just last night an A & E drama series played an episode centered around the Cheyenne “Dog Warriors” or shape shifters changing from warrior to dog back to warrior. Maybe it’s time to work on a piece solely about this bayou folk lore, eh?

      • Aye…it’s always “folklore” when spoken of by people outside the culture LOL
        As it happens, the “original” Métis were from the east coast of Canada (when that was “Lower Canada”) and were mixed with the First Nations of Maliseet, Mi’qmac, Abenaki in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia & New Brunswick – and were all shipped out WITH their Acadian neighbours during Le Grand Derangement…which would be the earliest instance o’ them arriving in Louisiana. Not that some crazy French trappers/traders didn’t make their way down the Mississippi before that…

  13. HEY EVERYBODY!!! STARTING TODAY ON THE SPORTSMAN CHANNEL, MY SHOW WITH KEVIN FORD AND LOUISIANA OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IS AIRING AT THESE TIMES:
    Sportsman Channel Air Times:
    Sunday 7:30-8:00am (cst)
    Monday 12:30-1:00pm (cst)
    Wednesday 5:00-5:30pm (cst)

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