"Mardi Gras is so rude
this year," a friend told me a few days ago.
I hadn't thought much about it except for the usual tent cities that go up in Mid-City on the neutral grounds in the days before Endymion rolls. On Friday morning, though, walking down Canal Street, it struck me that no other city in America would let people set up living rooms on the streetcar tracks 30 hours
before a parade was set to roll:
Canal Street neutral ground, on the Friday morning before the Krewe of Endymion was set to roll Saturday afternoon. The city was routing buses up and down Canal Street, as the streetcar tracks were impassable.
The next day, a friend who works as a server in the French Quarter — and who has worked many a Mardi Gras — told me this year's crowd was "hell." And it seemed like I began to hear more stories of impolite and belligerent behavior than is usual at this time of year, particularly from people who had gone to the Uptown parade routes this weekend. (And I'll ignore the guy who screamed "Fucking asshole!" at me as I crossed Esplanade Saturday afternoon in a crosswalk
. I may be an asshole, but I wasn't trying to drive an SUV in the French Quarter on Samedi Gras.)
Rudeness knows no time nor season; Charles Maldonado wrote about the Mardi Gras "ladder control problem"
in 2013. Brightly painted ladders can be cute. No one begrudges Mawmaw and Pawpaw their low-slung camp chairs near the route. Everyone has a little too much to drink, especially the second weekend. But this year all those things seemed to be flashpoints for some super-rude behavior.
Social media, of course, is just one small porthole on the world, and can often blow things out of proportion, but there certainly seemed to be a lot of tweets describing awful behavior this year. A few tweets from the routes:
What do you think? Is this Mardi Gras any ruder than any other?