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PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 145: Mardi Gras: More than Just Baring for Beads

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Mardi Gras! (iStockphoto.com/ThinkStock)

Mardi Gras! (iStockphoto.com/ThinkStock)

It’s Mardi Gras time! And it’s time for us to dispel some of the myths about Mardi Gras being, through and through, a festival of drunkenness and debauchery. Holly’s been a pile of times, but I never have. Here’s what we brought up:

  • The origins of Mardi Gras and its lead-in to Lent and Easter
  • The history of Mardi Gras parades and other Mardi Gras traditions
  • The bits of Mardi Gras that showed up because of prohibition
  • Baring of things for beads, and the history thereof
  • The influence of Mardi Gras on other places, especially in the U.S.
  • Mardi Gras food and a Mardi Gras restaurant story
  • King cake
  • The history of Mardi Gras krewes
  • The Krewe of Chewbaccus
  • Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras
  • Katrina and tourism dollars
  • Mardi Gras and New Orleans in the American imagination
  • What a bayou smells like
  • Listener mail! From MEA about how Pinocchio is a very scary movie, thanks to our scary movie episode
  • A digression about very offensive things in some Disney movies and a Slate article about Song of the South (which draws from a book about the film)

My research:

  • Gotham, Kevin Fox. “Marketing Mardi Gras: Commodification, Spectacle and the Political Economy of Tourism in New Orleans.” Urban Studies. Vol. 39, No. 10. 2002.
  • Milhausen, Robin R. et al “A Theory-Based Approach to Understanding Sexual Behavior at Mardi Gras.” Journal of Sex Research. May 2006.
  • Mitchell, Reid. “Carnival and Katrina.” Journal of American History. Dec. 2007.
  • Stanonis, Anthony J. “Through a Purple (Green and Gold) Haze New Orleans Mardi Gras in the American Imagination.” Southern Cultures. Summer 2008.
  • Sexton, Rocky L. “Cajun Mardi Gras: Cultural Objectification and Symbolic Appropriation in a French Tradition.” Ethnology. Fall 1999.

Holly’s research:

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