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 (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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