In my quest to find newsy items to write about and since the blog has been Sarah-Palin-Free all through the month of February and since it is that time of year again (Fat Tuesday) I am doing both today, mentioning Sarah Palin (there I did it) and focusing on Mardi Gras. It isn’t clear what these two things have in common. What has Sarah Palin done in the past month except see her popularity wane in favor of the new celeb of the month, Chris Christie. She finds it necessary to speak out against him to let all of us know that she’s still there, somewhere in Alaska. She is probably trying to let us know all of the wonderful things she has accomplished in her half-of-my-first-term-as-governor-before-I-abandoned-my-elected-office term. She still sounds like she is still full of herself as per her usual.
Speaking of being full of ourselves, today is Mardi Gras, or as they say, Fat Tuesday, a celebration of food and song the day before the 6 weeks of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Today in Ireland it is called “Pancake Tuesday,” for the same reason. When I was living in Ireland I fell in love with the idea of having breakfast-for-dinner. Great idea. In New Orleans (or Rio) the celebrations go on for days before leading up to the stroke of mid-night Tuesday. At 12 a.m. on the dot, the celebrations abruptly end with the street cleaners pushing the revelers out of the French Quarter. The Catholic roots of this festival before the austerity of Lent go back centuries. The word “carnival” comes from the Latin term “good-bye meat” in reference to the meatless weeks leading up to the celebration of Easter. In ancient Roman times, the Romans observed a 40 day fasting period which came after a season of food, dress-up and music.
It’s nice to see that history can and does still play a part in this cynical and intellectual period of our lives in America. Now is the time when living along the Gulf Coast would be a hoot. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we fast. My suggestion to Sarah Palin, a one-time Catholic, feast today, dear, because tomorrow you will be still full.
and so it goes…