Katrina Satire on Parade Some say Carnival shouldn't roll in this suffering city. So many lives were lost. The damage still is massive from the levee and floodwall breaks after Katrina. Only New Orleans could marry these two events with style and wit, revealing the city's profound bitterness.
NPR logo Katrina Satire on Parade

Katrina Satire on Parade

Parading members of the Krewe d'Etat wear costumes satirizing the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, Feb. 24, 2006. Reuters hide caption

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Parading members of the Krewe d'Etat wear costumes satirizing the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, Feb. 24, 2006.

Reuters

Floats, signs and costumes skewer the Crescent City's plight, its politicians and its new found public enemies: FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, insurance companies, and the White House, among others.

One float in Le Krewe d'Etat parade Friday night was titled "Rotten to the Corps." Another big crowd pleaser had written across its front in faux graffiti: "Katrina You Bitch."

More than a dozen men marched menacingly, dressed like some kind of ninjas under the banner "DEMA" for "Dictators of Emergency Management Agency." Another float here in a city that's lost more than half of its population spoofed the Orleans Parish Jail. A sign read: "Houston's Problem Now."

Other paraders wore capes made of the ubiquitous blue tarps that cover many thousands of damaged roofs across the region.

Today there's a blue tarp fashion show featuring "frivolous costumes laden with meaning." A Friday auction of the costumes at the old-line, starched-tablecloth restaurant Antoine's raised more than $6,000 for the America's Wetland Foundation and the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation.

It's satire as fundraiser. Satire as release valve. Satire in the name of mental health.