Al “Carnival Time” Johnson sings “it’s Carnival Time and everybody’s havin’ fun…”
The twitter feed, the facebook, the news cycle all make it very clear that not everyone is having fun… but this weekend (until Ash Wednesday), I will put my twitter feed down, my facebook and the news away, and I will spend time with the people of my city dancing on the streets in handmade costumes with bands that have been practicing all year. Beloveds, we are going to have some fun.
Carnival time in New Orleans is complex, with a twisted history of racism, classism, sexism — AND it is an opportunity for the utter subversion of the oppressive status quo. It is a time when strangers become friends, generosity is the word of the day, and hope for a new day is lived out in the prefigurative politics of a communal celebration.
See y’all after the Mardi Gras.