Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Beauty of Life...

I had been glancing at the paper over lunch that day before the gig. Don't know why but a particular article caught my eye. It was all about a radical and contraversial figure in the New Orleans area that was going to be leading a march that evening. So said radical was a pastor of sorts...not the kind you'd want to actually follow or find out more of what he believes...more of the fire and brimstone burn in Hell kind.

Anyways, he had organized a march that see, NOLA had several festivals come through every year...Jazz Fest, Voodoo Fest, Bayou Classic...and then there was the Southern Decadence Festival held every Labor Day weekend. I remember my first time to be playing while it was going on. No one had told me what it was or that anything special was happening...I was just perplexed at the enormous abundance of assless chaps on the street that weekend.You need to understand that Decadence Fest is a gay and lesbian festival. Brings quite a different crowd with it. So this guy had organized a march against gay and lesbian folks to coincide with the festival. Brilliant...sure to win many souls for the cause.

My interest was peaked because when they plotted out the protest route in the paper, my club happened to be right in the middle of it. Sweet...this could be entertaining.

I actually forgot about it...went in to the gig...played the first and second sets without a hitch. Quite a normal night, albeit the gay factor was up a bit more than usual, but whatever.

On our second break I had decided to go out and watch the street...I did this alot on my breaks. Bourbon Street can provide you with an endless supply of cheap eyecandy and entertainment...I love to people watch, so it just fit with me. I took my normal perch outside the Famous Door, leaning on the wall by the window, watching the madness ebb and flow up and down the street. And then i heard them...whistles, yelling, laughing, cheering...

For as long as I live I'll never forget what I saw coming down the street.

A scantily clad, gay, middle aged man was high stepping down the street, you know, like a parade marshall. Here he came in all his pomp and glory...wearing nothing but some tennis shoes, tube socks, and whitey tighty Hanes underwear. He had topped this off with a parade marshalls hat, a very large parade baton, and a whistle. What a fuss he was raising...waiving his hands to the crowds, high stepping, tweeting his whistle loud and proud, twirling his baton, and every few feet he would swing into a cartwheel...He was obviously leading this parade...proudly, loudly...but what or whom was he leading?

And then I saw...

Here they came....It was the newspaper picketers...picketing posters in hand, angry snarls, nifty little sayings on their signs like "Turn or Burn" (one of the signs even had a very detailed drawing of people falling off of a cliff into a bunch of flames with cartoon devils dancing in the fire...genius! Sure to win converts every time....) was the protesting "Christians"...all led by an almost naked gay man...


I stood in awe as this haphazard parade flowed by...It couldn't have lasted more than a couple of minutes...I swear time stood still though. Very few pictures remain in my mind as vividly as this one does.

And then they were gone. The Street moves like a river...something happens, a disturbance arises, and then it flows slowly downstream...

I don't know that there's anything to learn from this...nope, I'm positive of it. There's absolutely NOTHING of value in that story.

But you know what...sometimes life is weird. Sometimes situations are messed up. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense. I think that's part of the beauty of it though...


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