May 14, 201208:14 AM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
Understanding Shelby Stanga
Abby Miller Photograph
Please help me understand Shelby Stanga. I know this: He is one of the lumbermen featured in the History Channel’s reality show, “Axmen.” There are several axe swingers from across the country on the program. Stanga is the Louisiana guy who spends his time in a Tangipahoa parish swamp mostly pulling out sinker logs. He has a dog named Piss Willy who understands French but only in the dialect spoken by Stanga, Oh, yes, he’s a TV star, a big star.
I remember the History Channel back when I thought the “H” in its logo stood for Hitler. The Channnel’s programmers, however, have apparengtly found a formula of real people doing real things - "Ice Road Truckers," "Pawn Stars" - and it must be working.
I am especially aware of Stanga because in January 2011 one of our publications, Louisiana Life, ran an article about Stanga that was posted on this site, and we are still getting responses.
We try hard here to collect and provide lots of varied information to you folks, but so far, I suspect nothing that we can do creates the interest of Stanga, even if we would:
• Reveal a cure for Cancer
• Display Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate
• Prove that there was no Saints Bounty program but that it was an Atlanta Falcons conspiracy
• Write a biography, with pictures, of the Navy Seal who shot bin Laden
None of these things would cause the reaction that Stanga does. Not even does what's-his-name, the alligator hunter, get the same reaction.
So what’s the secret? Several of our responses say that Stanga should have his own show. Is it his style? His profession? His dog? I would like to know; so too, I reckon, would the programmers for the other cable channels.
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