Once again, the debutantes are upon us. It’s “the season.”
You’d think that more locals would be able to come up with some hilarious New Orleans memes.
Well. I wish someone would send me some (please), because just about everything I’ve seen is either about Mardi Gras, boobs on Bourbon Street, Katrina or the Saints.
You’d think that in a town known for alcohol, parties, outrageous behavior, nutjob attitudes, and eccentrics that something related to our crazy culture would be more meme-able. Not necessarily so!
Let me tell you a story. Mr. Steve Winn, who is the genius behind the “In Your Pocket” keychains (Cajun, Mr T., Ted, Big Freedia, Monty Python), and an ex-OffBeat designer, came up with what I thought was a pretty hilarious slogan at the time, pre- his Emanation “In Your Pocket” empire.
He did a series of T-shirts, cups and other merch with the slogan: “It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Stupidity.”
I thought it was pretty hilarious at the time—probably around 1994 or ’95—and so funny that we offered to sell the merch in our mail-order store. I’m a fan of a good pun! Have always appreciated the zany and ribald humor of the Krewe du Vieux, which was created by Ray Kern and friends (Kern has always been my favorite punster).
So, what was not to love?
Well…not long after we started selling the “Humidity” shirts, we got a visit from the Executive Director of a newly-formed group of movers-and-shaker wannabes who was furious because we were making fun of the city.
Dude, it’s a joke. A joke.
That showed me something: while NOLA has a reputation for being wild and crazy, it’s really just a reputation, not the reality. This is a very conservative burg; really, it is. Where else would citizens take being the King or Queen of a Mardi Gras krewe so seriously? I mean, of royal blood, you are not.
Try, for example, to find someone in the city who has skewered the city’s social caste system: the annual debutante balls, or the pomp and circumstance of the old-line Mardi Gras krewes. Find me a meme!
While these institutions are a deep part of what makes New Orleans “New Orleans,” there’s no reason why they should be sacred cows.
Can we lighten up some more? We are all skewerable, n’est çe-pas?
Ignoring the “outside” reputation of New Orleans as party heaven, do you think that New Orleanians take their homegrown institutions too seriously? Let your opinion be heard by taking our poll, and get a chance to win tickets to Anders Osborne’s annual Holiday Spectacular at Tipitina’s on December 16 or December 17.