After a week of Treme withdrawal, the show returned with its Mardi Gras episode. Looks like the rumor the finale would take place at Mardi Gras must have been a misunderstanding, I’m guessing the finale takes place on St. Joseph’s Day, Super Sunday – the day of the almighty Mardi Gras Indians. I can’t wait!
I had more than a few happy-weepy moments during the episode. Nothing can ever take from me the experience of those 27 parades I attended this year, the feeling that I’d come “home” and they threw a big party to welcome me. I’m so glad I was here for Carnival, so glad I made myself go to all those parades. Maybe next year, I’ll costume up. Zulu, Rex and the truck parades were all mentioned in the episode and paltry versions of a few were seen. These few years later, the parades are back to their larger crowds and expensive floats, costumes and throws. If you care to see my video of those parades:
For the posting about Fat Tuesday, including some history and photos:
Endymion was also mentioned as a “Super Krewe” that John Goodman’s character hated. For photos and an account of how aggressively their beads were thrown:
It was sad to see the parallels of our current disaster to the devastation of Katrina, but I loved all the history that was laced into the episode. This place is steeped in history, proud of it and more aware than most cities of its own story. I loved the history of all that was washed away, or, as the locals say since the storm, “Ain’t dere no more.” I also loved all the authentic Mardi Gras music, especially “Pocky Way,” Rebirth’s “Do Watcha Wanna” and, of course, Professor Longhair’s “Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” Goodman’s character leaves the Professor’s song on repeat as they head out to the parade. I’m hear to tell you that it is not uncommon for people to leave their stereo on when they leave the house – but I’ve only seen it done with traditional New Orleans music, no rock or punk, etc.
I grew up in Japan from ages 2 until 5, formative years, so when the Japanese Jazz fan returned to the show, he said what I’ve long known, these are similar cultures in some ways, and not just because of their agreement on rice over pasta. The Japanese, when I was a child, were deeply rooted in traditions passed from parent to child for generations. They respected their elders and sought their wisdom. And they could spend an afternoon contemplating the beauty of a blossoming tree. I have some friends who are half Italian and their culture bears striking similarities to this culture also, especially where it comes to food and cooking, staying close to family, and talking too loud and too much.
And, yes, people do drink beer for breakfast on Fat Tuesday. You can’t beat us so, next year, plan to join us.