[Dixielandjazz] Chinese Mardi Gras Beads

Edgerton, Paul A paul.edgerton at eds.com
Wed Jan 26 17:28:23 PST 2005

The salient connection between social guilt and OKOM may be explained as

DJML is a discussion group focusing on Dixieland jazz.

Steve Barbone is frequent (indeed!) poster on DJML who advocates throwing
Mardi Gras beads to the audience at Dixieland performances, because they're
cheap and fun and in part because they evoke the kind of care-free abandon
celebrated in New Orleans on Mardi Gras.

New Orleans is the generally accepted birthplace of Jazz.  Jazz is the
favored music of Mardi Gras.  The two are intimately associated -- not
necessarily in the ribald sense revelers may associate with the Mardi Gras
celebration in New Orleans -- but in the good, wholesome, family-oriented
get-married-and-give-the-kids-a-respectable-name sense embodied by
latter-day practitioners such as those on this list.  Not least of whom, one
might imagine, is Steve Barbone. Heck, there are even Dixieland bands that
have named themselves after Mardi Gras.

It has become customary to throw beads to Mardi Gras revelers as way of
sharing the fun.  This being capitalistic country, everything has its price
-- even beads.  Mardi Gras is characterized by a large number of revelers
who are willing to pay the going rate to accumulate impressive quantities of

Since Mardi Gras is in fact a cathartic outpouring of emotions just prior to
the serious business of Lent, it is embued with a certain Catholic flavor.
If there is one thing that Catholics know about, it is guilt.

It has been discovered that Mardi Gras beads are manufactured in sweatshops
in China.  The most Catholic response to this news is to express feelings of
guilt, and then give up Mardi Gras beads for Lent.  Good thing we still have
plenty of time to enjoy them first!

Having expunged our guilt during Lent, we enter a season of renewal wherein
Mardi Gras Beads become once again a symbol of appreciation and approval --
and what better place for them than in a Dixieland concert?

Rinse, lather, repeat.

I was going to offer a simply syllogism, but it, like Topsy, just grewed.
Hey Steve, where ya been?

-- Paul Edgerton

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