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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Joie de Vivre

You know something? I’m getting a little bit tired, now, of the rhetoric. Depending upon the source, some folks don’t want Mardi Gras because they feel that either: the city should be focusing on bringing residents home instead of throwing a party, or holding Mardi Gras would just be another demonstration of racism.

To urban blacks, he said, holding Mardi Gras would be "a kick in the face.

"The divide over the carnival rests largely along racial lines. That is hardly unheard of in New Orleans, where blacks, who comprised the majority of the population before Katrina struck, have had a complex and standoffish relationship with the city's windfall event.

White krewes and social clubs that make up the majority of parade participants fought into the 1990s against calls to integrate, even while Mardi Gras serves as a celebration of a culture — food and music, mostly — brought to New Orleans largely by blacks.

"In New Orleans, everything is about race at the end of the day," Cosey said.

That certainly seems to be true, at least lately, doesn't it?

Harder still to understand is
Nagin’s suggestion to the hotel industry. Not only has he asked them to share their profits, he wants ¼ of the rooms dedicated to local residents and another ¼ dedicated to the hotel workers themselves. Surely somebody besides me has a calculator?

If New Orleans doesn’t hold Mardi Gras this spring because residents aren’t back yet, then everybody may as well say goodbye to Mardi Gras altogether – because no matter how one slices this, it will be many years before the city is rebuilt. That’s assuming all of it is rebuilt, which looks pretty unlikely.

If New Orleans waits for the city to be whole again, it's gonna be too late. It’s time for the musicians to play something other than dirges.

Even if it's a bit premature to say, "Laissez les bon temps roulez", let's at least see a little joie de vivre, eh?

Update: Jeff Crouere at the Bayou Buzz is really upset with Nagin's schizophrenia.


  • At 5:56 PM, Blogger Schroeder said;

    Yes! Someone just needs to stand up and firmly say what Mardi Gras is all about -- FOR NEW ORLEANIANS. For locals, it isn't about lifting you shirt for beads, it's about walking to the Quarter and costuming. It's about camping out on a neutral ground and looking forward to seeing your favorite floats. It's about the marching bands and flambeau carriers. It's about families and a sense of neighborhood camaraderie -- something this town needs more than anything right now!

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