Sunday, February 19, 2006

C'est levee!

C'est levee! (excellent play of words) is the title of this year's Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans.



There is some controversy in the very idea of having a parade while there are uninhabitable neighbourhoods nearby and that it has only been a few months since hundreds of people actually died and hundreds of thousands are still refugees. Some will argue the Mardi Gras festivities are an economic imperative.
But I think that one could also argue that it is part of a much needed psychological and sociological process. As you can see in the picture above, the parade is also about mocking both Katrina and public officials.
Isn't that precisely what carnivals are all about - the irreverence and mocking of authority in a very Rabelaisian manner as Mikhail Bakhtin would have put it? Something which seems particularly welcome and must be a good way to release all sorts of nasty emotions - and, contrary to what Time suggests, it is quite appropriate not despite the circumstances but because of them.
And all we can tell the unhappy whiners is what the cajuns say and live by: "laissez les bon temps rouler"

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