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Carlos Mencia may actually have testicles February 3, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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“I’m glad Hurricane Katrina happened. It taught us an important lesson: black people can’t swim.”
–Carlos Mencia

If you think the title of this post is funny, you are probably a fan of Carlos Mencia, or likely would be. Here on Toulouse Street we are not quite so excited to see he was selected as one of the celebrity riders of Harry Connick Jr.’s Krewe of Orpheus. But it does take some cojones for Mencia to come down and ride on a float in the city he suggested it was stupid to rebuild.

It looks like the Blog of New Orleans has stolen all our thunder* on this one with their response to the Krewe’s announcement that among their featured guests is the comedian, restaurateur and astute social critic who came up with the above quote.

Personally, I want everyone in New Orleans to see the above quote and to vid the clip cited below, and for the NOPD to suggest to Orpheus that they can’t afford to protect Mencia’s sorry ass on the night before Carnival.

For some backstory, you need to go in the wayback to 2006. Those of us who don’t watch much Comedy Central or who have stumbled into his show and fled the room as if it were filling with carnivorous army ants probably would have missed Mencia’s take on New Orleans.

Fortunately someone sent an unrelated clip to NOLA novelist, activist and blogger Poppy Z. Brite. She ended up clicking on another Mencia clip on Comedy Central, and she Was Not Amused by what she saw. That led to this post on 3/6/06 on her blog Dispatches from Tanganyika that launched the phrase We Are Not OK. A number of us picked up on that phrase We Are Not OK, most famously Ashley Morris.

I agree with a lot of my fellow local bloggers that we have bigger things to worry about then some idiot riding on a float: living in the world’s third most violent city, rampant government corruption, Louisiana State University’s plan to bulldoze an entire neighborhood before they figure out how to pay for their new fantasy hospital temple complex (leaving us all without sufficient hospital beds three-and-a-half years after); things like that.

Worrying about Mencia is like getting upset about whether there will be lemony-fresh street washing in the Quarter to help hose down the blood the next time someone is gunned down at 8 p.m. on a Saturday evening.

Still, I recognize the importance of the tourist industry, and I want everyone–even Mencia–to feel welcome. I think all we might reasonably ask from Mencia is an apology for being an asshole. However, I have a strong suspicion that he doesn’t recognize he’s an asshole, so until someone comes up with a twelve step program for assholes I suspect we wont’ be getting that apology letter anytime soon.

Hey, Carlos, if you actually have the endocrinal fortitude to show up, I just want to let you know: We Are Not OK, still, all these years later. But we are not going anywhere. We are rebuilding right here, so you can come down and ride on a float in Carnival. A couple of cautions: stay off of Bourbon Street, don’t drink anything in a funny shaped container, and, oh yes: some of us throw back.