Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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About Face

February 23, 2015

 

 

 

I don’t discuss regional politics and this post is no exception, but something has come to my attention that makes me shake my head. I feel safe mentioning this because my own state is currently experiencing a gubernatorial scandal prompting our governor to resign in the face of a Federal investigation. If the issue I’m about to discuss occurred in any of the other forty-nine states I’d be just as perplexed. Having said this, I politely ask, “What the heck is going on in Louisiana?”

           

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised when Louisiana elected a non-white governor, but I was. The residents of the Bayou State seem to like Bobby (Piyush) Jindal and that’s all that matters, or so I thought until the unveiling of Jindal’s official portrait at the state capital. First, check out the above photograph of the Louisiana governor. I’ve tried to pick an image that is a good likeness, as well as flattering.

 

Now study the official portrait. Notice anything odd? Is this the same guy? Is it me or has every vestige of Bobby Jindal’s Indian ancestry been obliterated?

 

 

 

 

This can’t be an accident. The westernization of this governor isn’t restricted to just one painting. Here’s another.

 

 

 

           

The flesh tones remain too light, and again the features have been altered—at the expense of a good likeness. This begs the question: Do the people of Louisiana know their governor is of Indian ancestry? In an age of TV and the Internet it’s hard to believe they don’t. Why then are paintings of the Governor being exhibited that make him look less ethnic, as if his ancestors didn’t come from India?

           

I don’t have an answer and wouldn’t presume to speak for the good folks of Louisiana, but I can’t help wondering….

 

Note: Bobby Jindal has entered into this discussion in a fun way, quipping, “You mean I’m not white?” And there seems to be some confusion as to whether or not this is Governor Bobby Jindal’s official state portrait. Some sources say yes, while others aren’t sure. The curious response the painting is receiving may determine its status in Baton Rouge.

           

What do you think? Is this a good portrait of Bobby Jindal?

 

 

                

 

 

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Comments

30 Comments
No, it doesn't even look like him. Not just the skin tone, either.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 23, 2015
Agree, this is a little weird. But not as weird as Michael Jackson!
By: Tom Sightings on February 23, 2015
It's a terrible likeness, it has none of the character his face has. Maybe they just want to make him look more like the other portraits of other governors.
By: Madeleine McLaughlin on February 23, 2015
Holy smokes....These so called portraits do not look like Governor Jindal at all. I don't get it. It's actually quite insulting and I admire the governor for his refreshing sense of humor. Thanks for yet another intriguing post! Have a great week!
By: Kathe W. on February 23, 2015
I think they've turned him into a young Fred Rogers... http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Fred_Rogers.jpg
By: Hilary on February 23, 2015
Those portraits are terrible. You are correct to be disturbed.
By: Michael Offutt on February 23, 2015
i had seen that on the web and just shook my head. the artist(s) should be ashamed.
By: TexWisGirl on February 23, 2015
Not even close though his comment was a bit funny.Do you suppose this is how he sees himself?
By: Akansas Patti on February 23, 2015
it's weird, we know his ancestors are from India and really didn't care, he seemed to be a good statesman at the time he was first elected, and we'd have elected someone purple whose ancestors were from Mars if we thought that person would put the people and the state first, without regard to petty politicking. This has us scratching our heads, too, and the people here are done with him. He was only using this state to try to position himself to run for president. We need someone who will offend people if need be to do what is right for the future of this state, and he started out doing that, but changed.
By: mimi on February 23, 2015
I've (unsurprisingly) never heard of the chap. And I had to look up 'gubernatorial' - thank you for that. It's obviously a shockingly bad portrait - can't help wondering why bother with a painting if you can't find a competent artist. If the man himself is behind this, then sack him - he's trying to be something he isn't and, unlike many politicians, he's been found out. A man should be proud of his roots. If someone else is behind it, it's profoundly worrying. Demand an explanation! What a diversion, though.
By: Mike@A Bit About Britain on February 23, 2015
No, this is a terrible portrait and does not look like him. You would have done a much better job!!
By: Linda on February 23, 2015
Pretty bad for a pretty bad governor.
By: Catalyst on February 23, 2015
I heard about this controversy a few days ago. While I can understand the desire to have a flattering portrait, I think this has gone too far. LOL at his comment. That's what I always say about President Obama when someone mentions that he is black. After all, he's 50% white...are you saying black genes are stronger than white genes???
By: Pixel Peeper on February 23, 2015
I'm totally confused. So is Franklin. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on February 23, 2015
It's not like he painted it himself. I think an investigation should be launched. Compare the portraits of the last ten or so Louisiana governors with their pictures. Then compare the portraits of the last ten or so governors of the other 49 states. Maybe there's something to it...maybe governors are just too cheap to hire quality portrait painters. Let's start with Chris Christie. Is this his official portrait? https://dummidumbwit.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/n-j-governor-chris-christie-98344.jpg
By: Val on February 23, 2015
Not even close! They didn't even get much of the shape right let alone skin tones.
By: red on February 23, 2015
Not even close.
By: Bouncin Barb on February 23, 2015
It's two different people! Unless the artist is entirely incompetent, I can't believe such a vast difference in likeness is accidental. Someone somewhere is still living in the nineteenth century!
By: Botanist on February 23, 2015
That's some serious whitewashing. Not a surprise in Louisiana.
By: PT Dilloway on February 23, 2015
Was the painter BLIND? That doesn't even look like the same person! Yoiks! Cat
By: Cat on February 23, 2015
The question is WHY. Is this a racially motivated? Does he want to look whiter?
By: Daniel LaFrance on February 23, 2015
Why would they portray him as something he is not and why would he accept it. He should be proud of his heritage!
By: John on February 23, 2015
Now that is very strange. I agree with you. Weird weird. I must say that both portraits look pretty bad although the first one y ou showed is at least a reasonable likeness. Maybe someone should be investigating getting better artists!
By: Jenny Woolf on February 24, 2015
I saw this on FB last week. The guy is definitely sucking up to the Republican right wing. He changed his name from foreign to American, abandoned his religion for christianity (though I read something that says he is still a practicing hindu even if he does go to church) and now his official portrait portraying him as white. Don't for a minute think he didn't have anything to do with that.
By: Ellen Abbott on February 24, 2015
WTH???? I normally pooh-pooh all the hysteria about what I consider whipped up accusations of racism and the like. Then, along comes something like this.... Maybe somebody has a point.
By: Al Penwasser on February 24, 2015
I was unaware of this flap until reading your post. You are correct indeed. The paintings seem to have erased his heritage. That is just odd, but then as you note, it is Louisiana. Your own painting experience gives you great credibility to raise this issue.
By: Tom Cochrun on February 24, 2015
All the portraits look very different from the photos. Will the real Bobby Jindal step forward.
By: Eddie Bluelights on February 24, 2015
Sheesh - even his hair it totally wrong!
By: The Bug on February 24, 2015
It doesn't even look like the same guy! Maybe someone made a mistake?
By: Danielle L Zecher on February 25, 2015
I don't follow politics, but I've heard of him. A curious story!
By: Michael Manning on March 2, 2015

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