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Friday, February 24, 2017

Muses and Chaos parades roll Uptown

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 12:50 PM

click to enlarge Muses' Dr. Seuss-inspired theme included "Mayor McShiney McSheen and His Resilience Machine."
  • Muses' Dr. Seuss-inspired theme included "Mayor McShiney McSheen and His Resilience Machine."

As the Knights of Babylon's typically gorgeous, floral-covered renderings of its mythical pantheon floated down St. Charles Avenue, the Knights of Chaos were not far behind, sending its satirical shrapnel in every direction.

Each float played on New Orleans street names for its "Chaos in the Streets" theme. The krewe delights in skewering elected (and unelected) officials, from the New Orleans City Council-as-egotistical muses to a bloodbath-y "Blue Dog"-led float covered in the faces of Democrats (Blue Dog wore a sticker: "I Voted For Trump"). On "Skid Row," Hillary Clinton was the "guest speaker" at a homeless shelter, bombarded with emails as she held a "will speak for food" sign. Irvin Mayfield's jazz market fiasco ("Music Street") and Mike Yenni's sexting scandal ("Desire Street") — presented on a float with a pole dancer in a Jesuit unfiorm — also were targets.

Some floats replaced the krewe's over-the-top social and political satire with tired conservative tropes. "Division Street" depicted confusion over gender identities as well as a police officer and Black Lives Matter protester (wearing a "no peace" button) battling like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Effective satire should buckle the knees of the powerful, not the people impacted — often violently — by those in power. The parade's final float, "Washington Avenue," bore a Donald Trump bust (in a "Make America Grate [sic] Again" hat) surrounded by flames and not-unbelieveable "quotes" as the White House burned. On the float's rear, Melania Trump said, "He grabbed me by the ..."

Chaos moved at a quick clip, and Muses thankfully left little room between the parades, countering Chaos' downward-kicking satire with a playful Dr. Seuss theme, "Dr. Meuss on the Loose: Oh, The Parade We'll Throw." Coupled with the debut of its crowd-pleasing rubber duck floats trailing the krewe's Bathing Muses bathtub float, the krewe doubled down on whimsy as its Seussian poems and rhymes paired with its satirical stabs.

An impressive array of marching bands — boasting the massive St. Augustine and Landry-Walker bands following one another at the parade's beginning — and eccentric walking groups and dance teams filled out the gaps. Honorary Muse Tamron Hall rode the signature massive red shoe and wore a Carmen Miranda-esque headpiece.

Most floats gave Seuss material a New Orleans accent — like "Yat in Da Hat," "Welcome to Shoeville" and "Horton Hears a Who Dat" — and added Seussian flare to local and political satire, including Trump, Yenni and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who became "Mayor McShiney McSheen and His Resilience Machine." A Grinch-like Trump was surrounded by dozens of whiney fake tweets.

The back of each float featured a themed Seussian poem — on "The SCOTUS" float, featuring a red-robed Seussian judge-creature, the poem read, "The SCOTUS 8 rarely see eye to eye / We need Justice 9 to break the tie / We asked the new resident and here’s what he said / 'SCOTUS Number 9 will most definitely wear red.'"

Among the final floats was "Wife 1, Wife 2, Wife 3," featuring a giant wedding ring and the rhyme, "I think your White House is overrated / I prefer my home gold-plated. / Donald moved to D.C. to flex his new powers / But we know he prefers golden towers."

Melania also asked, "Does this make me the third lady?"

Among the marching groups was the Dead Rock Stars, who this year dressed as the late George Michael in feathered wigs, sunglasses and "Choose Life" T-shirts. Michael's Wham! bandmate, "Andrew Ridgeley," served as the grand marshal — but was it actually him?

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