Live to Ride, Ride to Live

Le Krewe d’Etat rides again this year Friday, their motto is “Vivite ut Vehatis. Vehite ut Vevatis” which translates to the title of today’s post. Nola’s post today relates how important Mardi Gras 2006 was for the city, and how this krewe in particular throws parades “for the locals.” It’s in the tradition of the great Comus parades going back to the 1870s, where members engaged in biting satire aimed at the powers that be. Krewe de Vieux does a good job of this as well, but Krewe d’Etat tends to be a bit more family-friendly, which means they do not incorporate a penis into every float.

The theme of the parade Nola wrote about was “Olympics d’Etat.” Floats depicted fictional Olympic events based on what we had actually been through in and after the hurricane in ways that poked fun at our pain. “Refrigerator Hurling” and “Looter Shooter” were themes I remember and there was float based on Aaron Broussard’s tearful TV appearence.

2007’s offering spared no one. Local scandals like the “Dollar Bill” affair and Vinnie Marinello’s arrest for murdering his wife were fair game for the lambasting; national figures got the treatment as well, with the White House and Condi Rice targets.

Another throwback item this krewe keeps alive is the parade bulletin. Krewes in the past printed these poster-size handouts that featured artist renderings of each float in a kind of parade on paper. An explanation of the float’s theme was put on the back. I tried to locate the 2006 bulletin to scan and present today, but have not found it yet. Here are some highlights from the 2007 bulletin.

In 2007 the theme was “KDTV in Dictavision,” the “Dicatvision” a reference to the krewe’s Dictator–it has no king (another officer of the krewe is called “The Special Man”–if you don’t know why that’s funny then you’re not from around here and I can’t even to begin to explain it).

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“No. 7 Murder He Wrote

Criminal Genius he is not, as Vincent Marinello left more clues than a blind man at a urinal and his alibi was as believable as his toupee. While Vinnie may want to think that the outcome of his trial is a “wide open betting affair,” the Dictator’s verdict is already in: GUILTY! By reason of stupidity. His fate is sealed tighter than Sheriff Lee’s pants after a buffet.”

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“No. 11 – I Wants to be a Millionaire

In this game show, there’s only one contestant— “Dollar Bill” Jefferson—and he always wins! Maybe it’s because he makes up the rules as he goes along, ironically, he has been playing this “game” for decades, but only recently has he taken it national by letting the Federal Investigative Network videotape some of his more outrageous moments. In tonight’s episode, he has once again made it to the million-dollar round. All he has to do to take home the loot is choose the correct “honorable explanations” to open the freezer and take home the cash. Which will it be—his 401 (k)? His appliance rebate? His Road Home grant? Or his flood insurance settlement? We can’t wait to hear his “final” answer!” The way we figure it, the loot was supposed to be his “retirement” fund—but in the end, he’s probably going to retire to Club Fed!”

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“No. 8 The Worst Wing

What a difference a year makes. After this series was granted a four year renewal in 2004, ratings have fallen precipitously since then. We see President Bush in his tower, seemingly insulated from the criticism and holding his course, but the discontented are getting restless. They are ascending their scaling ladders, all hoping to pull the castle down. Everyone from the Democrats and Katrina refugees to foreign dictators and fanatics from Iran. To top it off, the Fourth Estate smells blood. This series will definitely be canceled in 2008.”

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“No. 12 Wheel of Torture

Buy a howl from the lovely Dungeoness as the wheel turns along with our stomachs. Round and round she goes, with shifting clues as to the riddle of what is “legal”. Bon chance at solving this “Before-and-After” puzzle before your turn in Mistress Condi’s Chamber.”

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“No. 10 Blunder Woman

“Louisiana’s waiting just for you!” Funny, she looked so much stronger in the comic strips-and on the campaign trail against her Ghandi-esque younger opponent four years ago. Now, it seems, she has blundered her way into one tragicomic episode after another—and her red,white and blue costume can’t hide her sagging…fortunes. From her “Road Home Alone” program to her weepy, whiny fits of finger pointing, The Governess has truly lost control of her charges. She was billed as a super-hero before the going got tough. Now she’s just another frumpy grandma who can’t seem to find her own road home. Not to worry, Miz B, “Dr. J” will show you home–to your retirement home, that is, come this autumn!”

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“No. 16 Dome Improvement

Who knew? When the season began and the Saints beat the Falcons in the first game back in the beautifully refurbished Superdome and the national spotlight was on New Orleans, that was plenty enough–or so we thought. Who could have known what was coming? No one, not even Buddy D broadcasting from Saintly Radio Upstairs wearing a halo, could have foreseen St. Reggie, St. Drew and baby-faced Coach Sean Payton taking our beloved Saints to the NFC Championship Game. Bless you, boys–you’re our heroes! The Dictator and his loyal revolutionaries salute you! Go Saints!”

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4 Responses to Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  1. Eric Hundin on January 31, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Eric Hundin

  2. Nola on January 31, 2008 at 10:20 am

    We need to score a 2008 bulletin. Great post. Love a little history! Living up to that tagline of yours!

  3. […] is my all-time favorite parade. I love it! It is satirical, and its satire is truly biting. Read Pete’s post for a good description of this krewe.  Post-Katrina, there was a big brouhaha about whether to […]

  4. stacey on January 31, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I love this parade!! It will be a great night now with Muses rolling as well!

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