Monday, February 19, 2007

Berkeley Mardi Gras

And a happy race still lives in the vast
forests of California, whose hearts
are not withered by pale care, whose limbs
harsh disease does not waste: the woods
feed them, the hollow cliffs shelter them,
the watered valley refreshes them, death’s
dark day looms over them unseen. Oh,
wise nature’s realms are defenceless
against our sinful daring! Their shores and caves
and peaceful woods lie open to our un-abating
fury: those violated races learn
misery’s invasion, unprecedented
greed: and happiness, fleeing, naked,
is pursued, into the western deeps.

--excerpt from Leopardi's Hymn To The Patriarchs (VIII)
(Or: The Beginnings Of The Human Race)

We held our first Berkeley Mardi Gras parade in 1991, according to my holy memory. The evolution never ceases to amaze. There's always a fresh crop of young people associated with various activist groups, and this year the oak tree sitters have added quite a bit. Of course, it's not just Fat Tuesday that's involved; we've been having king cake parties every weekend since Three Kings' Day (January 6th). The theme this year is Commuting the Death Sentence of Global Warming, hence the cooling tower in progress that you see here. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We'll meet at dawn, and with any luck will keep dancing until midnight rings.


Siobhan said...

ANy pictures of the parade or candids of the day? Did the boy end up going with his swollen face? Poor thing, and sucker pushed at that! Hope he's all right.

Anonymous said...

zxpkkkjmI didn't take any pics myself, but Ms. Me may have. She came with the kids for a short while during our People's Park stop, but the daughter was a little under the weather, and Gumbo was somewhat overwhelmed by the loud music. He seems to be recovering from the teeth thing, as the one tooth works it's way out, but it still hurts him and is still swollen. He seems OK with it emotionally though, so all's well.