It's Carnival time again in New Orleans, and this is what I can show you, courtesy of the Times-Picayune, of the satirical Krewe du Vieux parade that rolled Saturday night through the French Quarter.
This year's theme: "Stimulus Package." If your mind is in the gutter contemplating that, you have a fair-to-middling mind picture of the parade. But it's probably too tame.
I'VE SEEN the photo streams of Krewe du Vieux 2009, and I'm here to tell you that the Picayune's video report was highly sanitized. Let's just say that what the krewe's floats depicted -- graphically -- in chicken wire and paper-mâché would mean speedy arrest for anyone who tried it in any Bourbon Street bar or strip club.
In Omaha, the floats would be enough to earn someone a trip to central booking. And if any kids were along the parade route, krewe members could expect getting hit, too, with contributing to the delinquency.
In New Orleans, though, Krewe du Vieux is considered satirical and ribald. No more, no less.
ONE THING, THOUGH. If a bigger-than-life depiction of "Fannie Mae" performing fellatio on Mr. Monopoly is merely "ribald," and an equally gigantic instance of statuesque anal sex falls under "satire," you'd have to figure that obscenity is a phrase devoid of meaning in the City That Care Forgot.
One other thing, while I'm at it. You have to wonder what kind of city New Orleans might be if its "cultural elites" put the energy and money they just expended on paper-mâché beejays into things like education and civic improvement.
You also have to wonder what Our New Economic Reality has in store for such a place . . . and such people. After all, all Marie Antoinette wanted Frenchmen to eat was cake.