Getting To Know The Cone of Certainty
A Q&A with Giant Cone on some pressing topics and issues.

Why put yourself through the rigors of a political campaign?

When you work on the streets of New Orleans for as long as I have there is nothing more rigorous. My days were about as smooth as a Breaux Mart cart on Toledano. Some might say a political campaign is extremely stressful and overwhelming but they also likely have never had to stand, day in and day out, on the precipice of a New Orleans abyss that others call a pothole, as the gatekeeper of life and death.

Politics can be dirty but let me tell you, I’ve rolled with tires, and believe you me, those tracks on my back are a badge of honor that remind me I’m tougher than whatever comes at me. I never stop working, plain and simple. I’ve seen so much in this city. I’ve been run over, kicked, stolen, and defaced. I’m on the front lines day in and day out. I don’t know about everyone else, but over the years I’ve seen my fill of the same old, same old. That said, one thing I do not have is an ongoing IRS issue. That’s gotta count for something.

Are you a member of the Republican or Democratic parties? Or, perhaps, some other political party?

Political parties are about as useful as a Sewerage & Water Board bill. They both say untrue things to get whatever they want. Both the Republicans and Democrats begged me to side with them once I threw my orange mesh into the pothole. I even got a message from the Green Party. Green? Come on. Look at me. It’s just me and a merry band of cone heads who together are standing for our city. The only party we want is a victory party! COVID guidelines appropriate of course.

Have you received any endorsements from political organizations, politicians, or anyone at all for that matter?

None. But hey, if I wanted to I could go on Fiverr and order the backing of 300+ organizations for like $10 plus tax — I always pay my taxes — and slap a bunch of logos on my website that no one recognizes or cares about other than career politicians. I do have the backing of the people, the Broad Street stingray, and Instagram’s @lookatthisfuckinstreet, and that’s all I need. And this lamp, and that’s all I need. Though, I wouldn’t be mad to hear from the local chapter of the National Traffic Engineers Society.

What do you think are the major, uh, roadblocks to your election?

Look, I came up on the uneven streets of New Orleans where there are so many potholes that you after a while you begin to believe maybe there are no high points when you’re in this city. The funny thing is the ups and downs and ups and downs and downs and downs make you resilient. Honestly, I don’t believe in roadblocks. No, this isn’t some anti-science position. I just see them as detours to a different opportunity. So, whatever comes my way, I use my natural-born flexibility to show others there is more than one way forward.

But if you need an answer, I would say the current mayor is one. It’s extremely hard beating an incumbent armed to the teeth with connections, money, and power. She could easily bury an opponent and sweep them under the tarp. Hell, she made the IRS disappear. That’s serious power. Otherwise, my lack of opposable thumbs does come in a close second.

Has anyone ever described you as an obstructionist?

All the time. But the good kind. I obstruct the good people of our City from falling into potholes the size of another dimension. Seriously. Did you hear about that lost civilization discovered living in one in Lakeview? Anyway, when I take a stand, I try to guide people to the best possible options but ultimately it’s up to them to choose the path they want to take.

Has anyone ever described you as an alarmist?

Not directly to my apex, no. I am a cone of certainty, a trait that makes people feel comfortable. But I suppose my bright, fiery orange color could conceivably make a few people who don’t know me think that. Like, orange cone bad! But that’s nowhere near accurate. If I am ever described as an alarmist it would have to be for a good reason because I don’t say anything, I only inspire, and people decide what they want to do from there.

Are you affiliated with the Mystic Krewe of Conus that recently bar crawled in the French Quarter? If not, do you approve of their use of your image in their pursuits?

I am not. Though we’re all made of the same stuff — intense resolve to point out where our city can be improved and to make sure it stays in the public eye until it is fulfilled. Obviously, I’m thrilled about the Mystic Krewe of Conus. It gives my colleagues a chance to unwind from the day-to-day stresses of being a public servant who truly works for the city.

Are you, indeed, THE giant cone that appeared on Washington Avenue in the spring? Can you describe your reaction to the sudden celebrity? Your sudden disappearance? The cult-like devotion that followed?

I just do my job. What people take from that is up to them. I am no celebrity. I am a cone with a point, and that point is that New Orleans may have been founded with the help of criminals, pirates, prostitutes, and gamblers, but that doesn’t mean our elected officials should continue assuming those roles out of tradition.

Are you willing to debate Mayor Cantrell and the other candidates?

Everywhere you look in this city, on every street and every sidewalk, you see support for this campaign — little cones reminding everyone of my big plans. I’m not interested in spewing a bunch of hot air, especially with COVID going on. Besides, I have to dictate my responses, through telepathy, suggestive looks, and occasional smells, to my campaign manager, and that just wouldn’t work out very well. Besides, I am the only candidate who doesn’t have to say a word to truly move people — all that other stuff is just Landrieuing.

Do you have any comments about the other contenders?

Only those that include crude, anatomical references, and wild, unsubstantiated innuendos. My lawyer wants me to skip those.

What are your major platform points and your personal view of leadership and responsibility?

I always start and end with potholes. It’s what I know. The potholes in this city are symbolic. We’ve been hollowed out by apathy and no one has been cone enough to fill us with real hope. My thought process has always been that first, you do all the little things well. Then the big things almost begin to take care of themselves. Fill the potholes and you begin to fill the people. That’s my platform.

Who are your political models or mentors?

I’m not a fan of politicians. The last one I looked up to tried taking a leak on me one year during Mardi Gras and said it was only rain.

As for mentors, artist Dennis Oppenheim is one. Years ago his work really inspired me to go big with my life. Also, Steve Gleason. He is my absolute top idol. He, too, can move people without saying a word. It’s a gift, truly.

Where do you stand on live outdoor entertainment?

I don’t stand on live entertainment! Someone could get hurt. I just stand nearby. Just about anywhere needed, really. By the stage. At entrances. Blocking traffic. On top of heads. In front of portolets that have no business being portolets. You name it and I’ve been there and rocked them all. Back in the 90s Mick Jagger even used me once as a mega megaphone.

What position will Look At This Fuckin' Street have in your administration?

I would not lock Look At This Fuckin’ Street into one, restrictive position because flexibility will be key in my administration. I’ve always admired Look At This Fuckin’ Street’s real-world experience and ability to bring public awareness to critical issues. Like a “visitor” passing through Storyville, LATFS has seen it all. I know its counsel will be invaluable in so many more than just one area. I hope to work together throughout my administration so ultimately we transform the City of NO and the City of Yes into the City of Look At This Fuckin’ Awesome Place.

Will rallies be held strictly in potholes, or will you be branching out to, say, uncollected trash bins?

I might be big but that doesn’t mean I’m not flexible. My priorities go wherever our people go, as long as I can Zoom in or catch a ride. I hate asking for rides. But the reality is we all depend on each other, and I depend on large vehicles and people who can lift at least 50 pounds. With that said, New Orleans potholes obviously make great venues for rallies since thousands of people can fit inside while maintaining a six-foot distance from each other. Ultimately, I’m open to all of the possibilities of potholes, uncollected trash bins, bar crawls, anywhere we can unite and all take a keg/stand together.

How do you stay in such great shape?

I’d say good genes for the most part. Polyvinyl chloride with plasticizer additions, I believe. Anyway, they say a body in motion stays in motion, and boy, do I stay in motion! I try to go on a run every day but it really depends on if I get caught up in the tires of those cars or not. Aside from that, I get run over, kicked to the curb, get bent in half, and peed on by dogs and drunk tourists. Every day. That makes for quite a workout. Otherwise, I just try to relax and enjoy life. I really like a pint of Urban South’s Oh! The Humidity while listening to Richard Campanella on audiobooks.

Are you concerned being mayor could take away from your duties ensuring Bobby Jindal doesn't come back through the Hellmouth to lay waste to the earth?

Concerned? Absolutely not. When you come up on the uneven streets of New Orleans as I have, you learn how to manage the highs, lows, and the 28-3 lows. I don’t know Bobby personally but do know of him through acquaintance cones who have worked closely with him and can confidently say that at this point in his life he is more interested in relaxation, tanning, and writing his 37-volume autobiography. Keep him flush with paper and toner cartridges and he won’t be a bother. With my administration, the city of New Orleans will finally be entering into a cone of certainty. You cone count on it. Everywhere you look in this city, on every street and every sidewalk, you see support for this campaign — little cones reminding everyone of my big plans. It’s time the mayor’s office is put under construction.

How will you spend your first day in office?

Sobering up — the second day, too. At least I’m honest.

Anything else you'd like to say?

New Orleanians, who still have a pulse at the moment, have for so long been demanding a detour from the S.O.S. that continually plagues our city. New Orleans may have been founded with the help of criminals, pirates, prostitutes, and gamblers, but that doesn’t mean our elected officials should continue assuming those roles out of tradition. The Giant Cone campaign is a grassroots-in-the-cracks movement that is sending a unified message from locals to put all offices of our city’s leadership, their associates, and their minions under construction for improvement. There’s a void in our city’s leadership and, as the Cone of certainty, I’m ready to fill it.