So yes, that’s me on the left. Your eyes do not deceive you: I’m wearing a sash and a crown. And if you subscribe to my Twitter feed, you already know the truth: I am King of Carnival 2009. More precisely, I’m king of my Carnival krewe, the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon. (That’s my queen, Wedon, on the right.)
In New Orleans, there are a lot of Mardi Gras krewes, but the king of the krewe of Rex is commonly referred to as the “King of Carnival” since he is the symbolic mayor of the city on Fat Tuesday. Rex is a very old krewe with a place of privilege on the parade circuit (it rolls on Fat Tuesday morning), and the conclusion of the krewe’s ball–when the king of Rex meets the king of Comus–marks the official end of Carnival.
There’s not really an equivalent “overlord” position among gay krewes, but since there are only seven such organizations, I’m going to be really cavalier and claim the title for myself: King of Gay Carnival! I will thumb-wrestle all those who wish to challenge me.
As far as duties are concerned, I’ll be presented at the Satyricon ball (February 15!), and I’ll parade around the hall balancing a weighty headpiece. Yay. I’ll also attend the balls of the other gay krewes, where we’ll exchange regal gifts like silver-plated letter openers, hand-tooled leather riding crops, and the occasional page. I will also drink my weight in alcohol. Repeatedly.
I couldn’t find any footage of gay Carnival balls on YouTube, which is really strange and really sad. I’ll do my best to film this year’s event so you can see what all the fuss is about. Rest assured, most Carnival balls–at least the gay ones–aren’t really “balls”, in the sense that there’s not much live music or general dancing. It’s a lot of sitting and watching tableaux vivants. (Yes, we use the term tableaux vivants in our programs. It’s that old-skool.) Stay tuned.
P.S. On a completely unrelated note, will someone please explain why the New York Times is allowing claptrap like this whiny, sophomoric screed on sexual addiction to sully its shrinking pages? Not only is the piece poorly crafted and self-indulgent–some might say “masturbatory”, which would be totally appropriate–but it’s penned by a 30something. Reading a 30something confess his dark love of self-love is like reading about a NASCAR fan’s love of fast cars: IT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY.