John Barry Named 2014 King

While Jindal fiddles, our wetlands burn. The cancer brought by nutrient starvation and oil business draglines is consuming Louisiana's coastline at a rate of acres per day. Krewe du Vieux has seen the malignancy, and we have elevated it through our satire; yet all the satire and derision we can muster, and all the political pressure we can bring to bear, has failed to awaken our Governor from his Beltway Dreams.

There is no more important issue to Louisianians alive today than stopping this cancer of wetlands loss. The US Army Corps itself has acknowledged that there will be no "Cat 5" protection for New Orleans without wetlands. Still, acres per day are lost.


These issues are not lost upon our Royal Leader. With a naïveté and gumption that only a transplant could possess, our King has given voice to our pain. In a voice most worthy of Krewe du Vieux, our King has scandalized those in power who try to turn away from our illness. The coastal restoration plan is the prescription to begin the healing of our cancer, yet our dithering government will let this patient die before taking decisive action, though the cure is laid before them. They will not buy the cure unless they are forced.

Our Leader has seen this. Our King has proclaimed from his seat on the board SELA Flood Protection Authority that the Governor's Masters should pay. Our King convinced his board to file the lawsuit against the oil majors that has demanded the attention of our political class. And decisive action WAS taken, and quickly. Governor Jindal forced our King off of that board.

Jindal was, however, denied the words of warning that Obi-Wan delivered to Darth Vader. How could he know "If you strike me down now, I will become more powerful than you possibly could imagine."

The cure is at hand, but it must be paid for. There is no man more vocal in delivering that message than our King. Beware Chevron! Beware Jindal! Heed, Garrett Graves!! Krewe du Vieux has selected their King, and He has become more powerful than you possibly could imagine! Hail King John Berry! King of Krewe du Vieux 2014!

Dawn DeDeaux is Krewe du Vieux as Royal Consort

New Orleans native Dawn DeDeaux began her career as an artist at an early age with painting and sketching, and over the years her creative style evolved to incorporate sound, image, movement and technology, among other elements.


“What started my initial shift from painting early in my career was an interest in reaching out to an audience and reaching the public. …. Then Katrina came along and it did two things: it destroyed my world physically, and it also prompted me to become unplugged.”


DeDeaux became involved in a creative arts rehabilitation program for the inmates of Orleans Parish, concentrating specifically on juveniles and women. Using video to tell the stories of individuals she met there, DeDeaux became enthralled with the concept of juvenile violence in New Orleans and the way in which the media influenced it.



Krewe du Vieux King Has a New Suit

New Orleans-   Every year, many emperors – and politicians – are found to be wearing no clothes (as are many members of Krewe du Vieux, but that’s another story).  But for Carnival time 2014, our King John Barry has a splendid new suit.
   Of course, not everyone loves King John’s suit.  But who cares what Governor Jindal and Coastal Czar Graves think?  Our merry monarch is undeterred in his quest for justice, fairness and coastal – if not royal – restoration.
   In the classic colors of a Carnival suit, behold the tale of King John.


   Our literary lord is one of the most widely-read authors of our time.  Rising Tide, his epic study of the infamous 1927 Mississippi River flood, was named one of the fifty most memorable books of the previous fifty years by the New York Public Library – and that was before history repeated itself in the form of more federal f**k-ups in Katrina.
   “We seem to have started to learn some lessons this time,” observes our optimistic emperor, “like having a flood authority with real scientists and experts, compared to having some politician’s cousin appointed to the levee board.  But overall the impact of Katrina has been higher among the professionals, the scientists, the planners, than on the general consciousness of the nation.”
   Of course the King himself was one of the experts initially appointed to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Authority, and was a leader in pushing for the lawsuit that asks the oil and gas industry to repair the damages they have caused to the coastal wetlands.  His reward?  President-in-Waiting (and we’re talking a loooong wait) Jindal read him the riot act and refused to re-appoint him.


   Yellow is the color commonly associated with cowardice, and not living up to your agreements and obligations is definitely the action of cowards.  Ditto not standing up for the people you purport to serve.
   “The industry knows they caused the wetlands damage, and it is in their own interest to repair the damage,” King John points out.  “But they want the taxpayers to pay instead.  Of course, if state government had enforced their permits and state laws, which require them to make these repairs, we wouldn’t even be in this situation.
   “Unfortunately, there has never been an enforcement action in decades of industry activity.  The flag of Texaco flies over the capital of Louisiana.”


   Green and healthy wetlands are vital to the future of New Orleans, of Louisiana, and indeed of the entire United States.  Had Katrina hit land even thirty years ago, enough storm surge might have been absorbed by the wetlands to avoid the catastrophic levee failures.  From recreational boating, hunting and fishing to the commercial seafood industry, Louisianans are losing a way of life with every acre of marsh that disappears.
   And if they go away completely, the oil and gas infrastructure goes with them – and America becomes that much more reliant on foreign producers.
   “Coastal restoration is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s an American issue,” says our scholarly sovereign.  “What we are asking in the suit is very consistent with basic American values, basic conservative values:  take responsibility.  Man up, oil industry!”
   Of course, our groveling governor and the oiligarchs see a different green:  money.  And while they don’t mind if we lose our green, they are highly determined to hold on to theirs.


   Purple appears to be the color Bobby Jindal and Garret Graves turned when they heard about the lawsuit.  They will make it a top priority in this year’s state legislative session to take away the Flood Authority’s ability to sue.

  “Several parishes also sued the industry after we did, and I expect more.  The parish lawsuits could also be undermined by the legislature,” muses our monarch, who adds that one hope the Authority had when it sued the oil companies was exactly what happened – that other suits would follow, putting more pressure on the industry to live up to its responsibilities.
   The antidote to these poisonous political posturings?  Purple people power:  “Call your legislators,” recommends our rajah.  “Repeatedly!”



Barry 2
John Barry


   If we don’t reverse the loss and replenish the wetlands, we’re all going to be seeing blue – figuratively and literally, if the Gulf of Mexico ends up lap dancing at our doorsteps.


   When you put all the colors together, you get a rainbow, and while no one is looking for a pot of gold (unless it’s Colombian), King John can foresee a happy ending to all these troubles.  “If we put enough pressure on the industry, more lawsuits if necessary, rather than fight, they might come to the table.  We’re just asking them to keep their word, obey the law, take responsibility for their actions, just like you’d ask any three-year-old.”
   In the meantime, John Barry is this year’s most excellent King of Krewe du Vieux.  A French Quarter resident, our partying prince’s first experience of New Orleans was when he came down for Mardi Gras one year.  He saw through the insanity that this was the place he wanted to live, and moved here soon thereafter – despite nearly getting bulldozed by the Bourbon Street trash cleaning machines at the end of his first Fat Tuesday.
   There were some misspent years when he lived in DC, but our city’s siren song lured back our lost liege.  “There were still a lot of artists in the Quarter then, still cheap, seedy apartments,” our royalty recalls.  “It’s cleaner now, but I miss the old bars and clubs, the sailors’ hangouts on Decatur.”
   This clearly makes him highly qualified to lead the cheap and seedy Krewe du Vieux – but wait, there’s more.
   “I enjoy the physicality of Mardi Gras, jockeying for position to catch some beads – not in a mean way, but just the physical challenge.”  King John recalls his wife being really excited about her first Mardi Gras, when he put his many years of weightlifting to good use by placing her on his shoulders and elbowing his way to the front of the crowd at Lee Circle, which in and of itself is a major Carnival accomplishment.
   The king is definitely psyched for Krewe du Vieux, though he warns his legions of loyal followers that “I tore my rotator cuff and didn’t have the recommended surgery, so I may not be able to hit the back rows with those throws.  I think my throws will clear the float, however.
   And if he could wave his royal sceptre and create a perfect world?  First, he would make sure that the people who damaged the wetlands fund the repairs, protect our beloved city and restore the unique coastal way of life.  Second, he would actually find the time to get to work on his next book.
   Yes, every tale has a next chapter, ideally more colorful than the last.  So all hail King John Barry, the Mardi Gras monarch whose new suit we hope will one day cover us all!


The Krewe du Vieux’s seventeen subkrewes will each present their own interpretations of the theme. Subkrewes include the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Dis- charges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Mystic Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, and Krewe du Mishigas.

Also marching will be many of the city’s top brass bands. Showcasing the local brass band talent is one of many Krewe du Vieux traditions not eligible for coverage under the health care reform bill.