Saturday, February 29, 2020

Did you hear the one about Hillary Clinton strangling Jeffrey Epstein?

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — Sometimes, national audiences don’t understand Mardi Gras.

Some national news outlets were tut-tutting about a New Orleans Mardi Gras float depicting Hillary Clinton strangling pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to death with signs that read, “Epstein didn’t kill himself.” They should have kept their tuts to themselves. Nobody was seriously accusing Clinton of murder. The float was satire, within a whole parade full of satire, in a festival increasingly prone to satirical expression.

“We go local, national, worldwide, Republicans, Democrats, undeclared,” Richard Valadie, the float builder for the parading organization known as Le Krewe D’Etat, told WWL-TV. (Mardi Gras groups are known as “krewes.”) “I mean, you know — we'll go after anybody.”

Sure enough, Krewe D’Etat's work this year also featured barbs directed at President Trump, at Sen. Bernie Sanders, and at numerous local politicians too. In this, the organization is not alone. At least three other New Orleans krewes, the Krewe du Vieux, Chaos, and Tucks, used their floats for humor. In Mobile, Alabama, where modern North American Mardi Gras was born, a group called the Comic Cowboys does the same thing.

Lots of the humor, or at least attempted humor, is political. Some of it's cultural, and of course, some of it is sexually suggestive. Almost all of it is “politically incorrect.” Sometimes, it pushes boundaries a bit, but nobody takes it seriously. Unless it devolves into something bigoted or openly profane, nobody should take offense. If you don’t like it, don’t look.

And if you keep complaining, the Krewe D’Etat may send Hillary to strangle you next.


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