It started with a grand and silly idea. “We are going to do a Mardi Gras parade our way.” Mardi Gras parades usually have strict governing bodies and adhere to a set of rules that often are reflections of our economic caste system. You have “old money” krewes that you have to be born into, “nouveau riche” krewes that you can buy your way into, “working class” krewes and on and on. But regardless, if you want to be king for a day, you have to pay handsomely for the privilege
The Spanish Town parade was going to have none of this. Where the traditional floats strive to be artistically beautiful and extravagant, Spanish Town floats were proudly unprofessional and cheap. They chose a universal symbol for kitsch, the pink plastic yard flamingo as their iconic image. Their theme color had to be pink, the one color you don’t wear without the risk of being called a “sissy,” but this time it was worn in the spirit of “in your face.”
Unlike traditional Mardi Gras floats, the Spanish Town Mardi Gras floats had a message. They reinforced the krewes’ anti-establishment motif. They were often scandalous, consistently irreverent and almost always funny. Some of the things that were said were truly shocking. They showed no mercy in their pursuit of politicians, every year trying to top the previous one in the spirit of anything goes. There were times they went overboard. Politicians represent the establishment and are certainly fair game, but there are deeply personal aspects of a politician’s life that were questionable game for ridicule. But, last Saturday’s Spanish Town Parade was different.
Last Saturday, the “Pink Lives Matter” float made fun of someone’s death in a racist display that has no place in our city. For the sake of the dolts that conceived this float, allow me to explain: “Anything goes” isn’t actually “anything.” It doesn’t include trivializing murder and racism. I don’t expect any repercussions from the loose organization that steers this event. It seems to almost revel in its lack of control, but for me, the event is over. I have no interest in attending another one.
retired marketing director