New piece up in Overthinking Treme on their long-awaited Mardi Gras episode.
“Be good” is the most frequent invocation we hear on Mardi Gras. It’s not said as a warning, but as gentle Horatian satire. “Act out, but don’t do anything too crazy,” seems to be the implication. Mardi Gras gives implicit permission to act out for a day, breaking laws, customs and common sense guidelines. When you put on the mask, you abandon your traditional identity. You are encouraged to act as someone other than yourself for a day. When the mask comes off, you go back to the status quo.
Which is ironic for Treme. Masking on Mardi Gras doesn’t give our protagonists false identities. Rather, it strips away the false identities and shows us who they really are.
Pretty basic, but I only had one episode to go off of this week. Check it out!