Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


The mother of our host prepares to head back up to the office with her giant box of Mard Gras loot. The poignant thought that instantly came to me was "You can't take it with you." But this wasn't an image of an elderly woman clutching desperately to her hoarded riches. She was just there to enjoy the Krewe of Carrolton parade and catch some throws if she could.

This float depicted the volatility of the oil industry and the fluctuation of gas prices, etc. After all of the deep thinking I've been doing about that and the future of civilization, to see it reflected in this deeply cultural artform was intriguing. Maybe the topic is in more of the collective consciousness than I thought.

The King of the Krewe of Carrolton, 2009. He was a friend of my uncle (who was riding on float #16) and our host, herself a friend of my aunt and uncle.

Notice the ornately carved United Fruit Company doorway arch. From wikipedia:

The United Fruit Company was frequently accused of bribing government officials in exchange for preferential treatment, exploiting its workers, contributing little by way of taxes to the countries in which it operated, and working ruthlessly to consolidate monopolies. Latin American journalists sometimes referred to the company as el pulpo ("the octopus"), and leftist parties in Central and South America encouraged the Company's workers to strike. Criticism of the United Fruit Company became a staple of the discourse of the communist parties in several Latin American countries, where its activities were often interpreted as illustrating Lenin's theory of capitalist imperialism. Major Latin American writers sympathetic to more independence from foreign governments and corporations, such as Carlos Luis Fallas of Costa Rica, Ramón Amaya Amador of Honduras, Miguel Ángel Asturias of Guatemala, Gabriel García Márquez of Colombia, and Pablo Neruda of Chile, denounced the Company in their literature.

The business practices of United Fruit were also frequently criticized by journalists, politicians, and artists in the United States. Little Steven released a song called "Bitter Fruit" about the company's misdeeds. In 1950, Gore Vidal published a novel (Dark Green, Bright Red), in which a thinly fictionalized version of United Fruit supports a military coup in a thinly fictionalized Guatemala.

This guy was next to us for the entire parade. I think he had cerebral palsy or something similar. No worries though, he seemed very nice and definitely enjoyed himself. People-watching at Mardi Gras has to be some of the best on the planet.


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