Today is Fat Tuesday, which is one of the biggest days of the year if you’re in New Orleans or from New Orleans. The rest of us either enjoy imagining how much pleasure the last day of Mardi Gras brings participants, or we can’t wrap our brains around the fact that so much time, money and effort is put into a day that basically gives people an excuse to lose their minds before getting right and celebrating the Holy days that lead up to Easter Sunday.
No matter how many time it’s explained to me, I have a hard time connecting Lent with women lifting up their blouses so that men wearing black paint on their faces and grass skirts will toss them a coconut. Even when I’ve had the chance to participate in the Zulu parade, as caught up as I’ve become, it’s still clear to me that the only way to fully understand, appreciate and get swept away with the Mardi Gras experience is to be from New Orleans.
As anyone from there will tell you, they have a certain way of doing things down there, and they don’t really care whether we get it or not. It was the perfect attitude for people living below sea level that have their own way of cooking, eating, talking, dancing and everything else. So when Hurricane Katrina hit and the levees broke, sending thousands of its residents to other parts of the country, it seemed like it was an especially cruel trick Mother Nature – or the government, depending who you talk to – had played. I can’t think of another city in the U.S. where asking residents to make a transition to another part of the country would be more difficult.
People who live in New Orleans will tell you that they cannot live anyplace else. And many, until the storm hit, had never even been anyplace else. Everything they had and needed was right there, and nowhere else could provide those things. We all know people who left there and come to what we thought were better places – with lower crime rates, better economies and superior school systems – who rushed back to the Big Easy the first chance they got. At our live broadcasts in New Orleans commemorating the first anniversary of Katrina, CNN producer Kim Bondy told us that the city is like a mistress that you can’t stop returning to. There’s got to be some truth to that.
The rest of us can shake our heads and judge New Orleanians for going back or never leaving in the first place, even though another storm and future devastation is inevitable. And we can argue with them all day and night about whether the millions it costs to put on the Mardi Gras celebration would be put to better use to clean up and rebuild the Ninth Ward or used to improve the schools or the city’s infrastructure. And while we’re talking, the only thing they’re worried about is parade routes, whether they have enough beans to accommodate their guests and what outfits they’re wearing to whatever balls they’ve been invited to. Can I understand it? Not really. Do they care? Not at all.
So, instead of stressing about it, I’m going to indulge the whole Fat Tuesday thing for a day and celebrate the fact that the people of New Orleans have an outlet that allows them to forget about the crime, forget about the poverty and forget about a system that forgot about them. I just hope they can see more clearly when they have to face reality tomorrow.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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