Great Namazu LESSONS FROM THE NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS AND MARDI GRAS PAST
THE GREAT NAMAZU FORMER JAPANESE DEMIGOD, NOW AAB ANALYST
Editors note: 12/28, 2019 RE: Mardi Grais 2019-2020 starts the 12th night after Christmas. It is almost upon us. We asked the Great Catfish to share some insight into the custom. HE says that this 2017 post is as far as he has ever gotten, He reports no change in his basic mystification.
As you know New Orleans just completed another Mardi Gras season culminating at midnight on Tuesday February 28, 2017. This was my fourth New Orleans Mardi Gras though I don't physically attend. The festivities are well lubricated with alcohol and go on day and night. I simply can't hold my human form of apparition that long so I stay in the office , listen to the commotion outside and watch everything on local television. Johnas and the rest of the crew take to the streets and make fools of themselves. Actually, this year Johnas skipped the festivities and went to the beach. But the rest of the motly crew limped in today and are mostly under their desks nursing massive hangovers. Every year I wonder about this hundred and fifty year old New Orleans biped tradition. I know the origin is religious, the last "Fat Tuesday " the last day of feasting before the lenten season of fasting and abstinence from meat in the Christian calendar. But really the Protestant Christians gave up trying to eat or not eat their way into heaven two centuries ago. The Catholics are down to Fridays meat abstinence, hardly a sacrifice in New Orleans where tasty seafood abounds, and only two fast days in the four weeks of lent. "Fast" by the new Catholic definition means that you may eat only three times a day but the total calorie intake should be no more than the typical of two meals. Children and the elderly are exempt from this rule. So I can sort of understand the tradition of over eating. Many Christians give up something for lent as a discipline and abstinence from alcohol is a popular "sacrifice"'. So maybe the excessive drinking is understandable. But my bottom line is that even with my 3,000 years of experience in observing and analyzing biped behavior I'm at a loss to understand Mardi Gras. The New Orleans Mardi Gras is still the most bizarre massive group biped behavior I've ever seen.. Try as I might I'm unable to decipher any real reason for it or behind it that might be of cosmic consequence. I'm only able to report the two most articulated reasons heard from the native participants:
1. BECAUSE EVERYWHERE ELSE IT'S JUST TUESDAY !
2. IF WE'D ALL GET NAKED AND STAY DRUNK THERE WOULD BE NO WARS.
Since in 3,000 years of observations I've never seen a war of the naked drunk people , I have to assume there must be some truth to articulated reason number 2. Then there is the reason stated by the King of Mardi Gras "Rex":
3. FOR THE GOOD OF THE PUBLIC
I have to admit that on Mardi Gras day the real crime rate drops off the scale while criminals and their usual prey are in the streets dancing, "second lining", and drinking. So maybe "for the good of the public" the entire nation on one Tuesday every year ought to "get drunk and naked and dance in the streets. ". Seems to work for New Orleans. Looks like more fun than McGruff the Crime Dog's "Nights out Against Crime". Otherwise, your normally all wise catfish is totally stumped on this unique local aspect of biped behavior. At least it's finally Wednesday everywhere.
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