Capital Idea: Bring Carnival to DC

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Bushlandia, carnival centerpiece in Torres Verdes, Portugal; photo credit: Skip Kaltenheuser
Washington, DC is a town that takes itself way too seriously. It depends on Jon Stewart for an injection of levity.
Skip Kaltenheuser, a chronicler of carnivals around the world, has just written up his proposal to bring Carnival to Washington. And given New York Times diplomatic correspondent Helene Cooper’s efforts to “hip up” Washington, I think a political extravaganza on floats with a bit of wildness would be just the thing to get over the bad hangover after the George W. Bush administration.
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Bill Clinton and Jealous Mistress, carnival float in Cologne, Germany; photo credit: Skip Kaltenheuser
Maybe Jon Stewart — or Colbert — could be Carnival King. . .and Maureen Dowd or Arianna Huffington, queen?

— Steve Clemons

Comments

9 comments on “Capital Idea: Bring Carnival to DC

  1. AaronSt.Louis says:

    Raunchy political commentary with fanatic protestors from both sides. Could it really be light hearted? I’m envisioning WTO protest meets abortion clinic picket line. Throw in alchohol w/beads. Would you bring your family?

    Reply

  2. erichwwk says:

    sorry, the intended tiny url creation:
    http://tinyurl.com/39jtqt

    Reply

  3. erichwwk says:

    Incorruptible wrote:
    “Like like the float where Bush is getting his head lopped off strapped into the guillotine with cheering masses as a long line of well known criminal political figures are readied to mount the scaffold.
    Oh, Baby, that should lighten things up with laughter all around.
    I love freedom of speech in a carnival setting”
    What would you prefer, a make belief carnival setting, or the one were it is no longer a carnival?
    http://tinyurl.com/create.php

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  4. Carroll says:

    Sign up here to ride in the Trogan Horse float.

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  5. Incorruptible says:

    Like like the float where Bush is getting his head lopped off strapped into the guillotine with cheering masses as a long line of well known criminal political figures are readied to mount the scaffold.
    Oh, Baby, that should lighten things up with laughter all around.
    I love freedom of speech in a carnival setting>

    Reply

  6. Linda says:

    “damn everything but the circus”–e.e.cummings

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  7. erichwwk says:

    C’mon guys lighten up. Steve,you get MY admiration for this post. I hope we all contact Skip, and weigh in with our support. EXACTLY what DC, needs. And if it happens, and Steve holds some get together for his TWN and NAF supporters, I’ll be there.
    Why a carnival? For the same reason, when we have a government that is self-deluded, the indirect way of songs, plays, novels, become a much more cost effective way to inject serious content into discussions w/o rancor, w/o loosing our humanity.
    What was the influence of the troubadours of the Vietnam area re those that tried to engage politicians directly? Who could forget Hieronymus Bosch and his Garden of Delights, the prototype for carnival figures?
    Wish I had the time to find and make accessible photos from a carnival (I believe it was before the invasion in march 2002, but it could have been after) in Köln. One showed GWB, with a large ornate cross inscribed w/ “God Bless America” held firmly horizontal in both hands, the tip aimed at the audience spitting fire. My favorite was one of GWB bent over, w/ hands on knees, naked from the waist down. A ladder goes up to the center of his anus. Above him is a sign with an arrow to the corresponding spot proclaiming “Offering you an opening”. When one sees this, with the scale of the figures, and the size of the crowd, it created just the feeling intended. Laughter *IS* the best medicine.
    “I think a political extravaganza on floats with a bit of wildness would be just the thing to get over the bad hangover after the George W. Bush administration.”
    ME TOO!!!! couldn’t have said it better.
    Jon Stewart gets my vote for carnival king, on the basis of his style is the lightest – and has the deepest content. Bitterness and meanness can stay at home.
    Nice!!!!

    Reply

  8. Skulz Fontaine says:

    Steve? Isn’t Washington a “carnival” already? You know, sort of like a sick twisted ‘freak sideshow’? Why, Babylon-on-the-Potomac has a bearded lady and the man with a mechanical heart and torturing attorneys’ general and warmongering madmen and fascist congress-creepers and oddities and peculiarities and corruption on the rampage and that savage ignorance and well, you can catch my drift. Yeah that’s exactly what America needs. More diversion from the important issues at hand.

    Reply

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