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  • Mar 05 / 2011
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Platefaces Now Recruiting for 2011 Mardi Gras!

Platefaces spotted in the French Quarter at the 2009 Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Is there any way to see the krewe in action this year? We are willing to mask. Any info is appreciated. — Roger P.

Last year around this time, I received the above email inquiry from a prospective member of the Spontaneous Krewe of Platefaces, and replied as follows:

Thanks for writing. It’s been 25 years since I last led the krewe down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day. I moved to Boston later that year (1985), returned in 1991, left again in 1995, and have lived in St. Louis ever since.

I hear reports of Plateface spottings every Carnival season, but have no idea who’s resurrecting the krewe, or in what numbers. Of course, I’d always hoped it would take on a life of its own. That was the whole idea from the beginning: ordinary people putting plates on their faces and starting their own spontaneous parades. Power, and fun, to the people!

So, I guess the answer to your question is: If you want to see the krewe in action, you’ll have to mobilize it yourself.

Any other prospective krewe members out there? Remember: membership is free, and the costume costs next to nothing. Just put a paper plate on your face and show up in New Orleans on Mardi Gras day: Tuesday, March 8th. Anyone else wearing a plate on his face is, ipso facto, a fellow krewe member.

  • Feb 12 / 2011
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Alias, Yours Truly

Bayou Bob, Père Robért, T.J. Pleindemerde, Murray Gold, Omar Cayenne, Armand Legg — these are but a few of the pseudonyms and aliases I’ve used over the years, for fun and profit. I once struggled to convince a skeptical landlord that all five of the names on my mailbox belonged to me and that the apartment I rented from him was not overrun with squatters. Under one alias or another, I founded an extraordinarily thrifty New Orleans carnival krewe whose costumes consisted of masks made out of paper plates; rewrote (in one day, for a flat fee) the captions for a Simon & Schuster cartoon book so inane that I didn’t care to have my real name attached to it; and received an advertising award, in absentia, for a free-lance job that was judged superior to material submitted by my daytime employer. I’ve used pseudonyms to protect my privacy, to forestall reprisals from cranks and crackpots, and to liberate my imagination from the pedestrian persona of a mild-mannered reporter. When the occasion warrants, I’ll use them again — on the Internet or anywhere else I please. For all you know, I may be using one right now.

  • Jan 06 / 2011
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Become a Politickle Pal on Facebook!

This is your official invitation to become a Politickle Pal on Facebook.

When I launched my career as a social satirist back in 1978, there was no such thing as the internet, much less Facebook and Youtube. Making your own videos was prohibitively expensive, and buying airtime to broadcast them was out of the question. The only solution — the only one I could come up with, anyway — was to trick the radio and TV stations in New Orleans (my hometown) into recording my antics and broadcasting them free of charge. Believe it or not, it worked.

As a vehicle for my “performance art” (a term not yet coined), I started my own Mardi Gras group, the Spontaneous Krewe of Platefaces, and during carnival season sent press releases to the hometown media promoting my latest satirical thrust. Every year I was interviewed, plate on face, by at least one radio and one TV station and soon became, on the local level, an anonymous phenomenon. On Mardi Gras day I’d jump out ahead of the Rex parade on St. Charles Avenue and lead a small band of spontaneously recruited krewe members (a proto-flash mob) down to Canal Street, where we dispersed and went our merry ways without ever bothering to make each other’s acquaintance.

That went on for several years, but, eventually, life intervened and I had to be serious for a while. Then, in 1997, I launched my weekly Politickle via email and internet and was back in business. Now, here it is 2011 and I’m still at it — flailing away at impostors, poseurs, and flimflammers.

Why not join me as a Politickle Pal on Facebook? You can comment on my weekly limericks or write your own. (Keep it clean. No Nantucket stuff.) Invite your friends to get in on the action. Click here to get started. Let’s have some fun.

  • Feb 15 / 2010
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Platefaces Dish It Out for 32nd Year

2010 may be biggest spontaneous turnout ever

NEW ORLEANS, LA — The year was 1978. Mardi Gras in New Orleans had been getting bigger and more expensive every year, the floats and costumes of the organized carnival krewes more and more lavish. If something hadn’t been done soon, the average reveler would have been confined forever to the role of spectator. It just didn’t seem fair.

It was his far-sighted recognition of the need for a carnival krewe so cheap that anyone could join that prompted a presumably handsome young New Orleanian to found a new carnival group 32 years ago. No preparation was necessary to join, and the cost was less than a dime. All you had to do was put a paper plate on your face.

Without even knowing it, John Smith, the anonymous and mysterious captain-for-life of the Spontaneous Krewe of Platefaces, had simultaneously paved the way for peformance art and flash mobs.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Smith predicts that Mardi Gras 2010 will see the biggest spontaneous turnout of Platefaces ever.

This year’s theme is “First Plates,” in honor of the Saints’ first-place conference finish and their first-ever Superbowl win.

  • Jan 20 / 2010
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Platefaces Now Recruiting for 2010 Mardi Gras!

Platefaces spotted in the French Quarter at the 2009 Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Is there any way to see the krewe in action this year? We are willing to mask. Any info is appreciated. — Roger P.

I recently received the above email inquiry from a prospective member of the Spontaneous Krewe of Platefaces, and replied as follows:

Thanks for writing. It’s been 25 years since I last led the krewe down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day. I moved to Boston later that year (1985), returned in 1991, left again in 1995, and have lived in St. Louis ever since.

I hear reports of Plateface spottings every Carnival season, but have no idea who’s resurrecting the krewe, or in what numbers. Of course, I’d always hoped it would take on a life of its own. That was the whole idea from the beginning: ordinary people putting plates on their faces and starting their own spontaneous parades. Power, and fun, to the people!

So, I guess the answer to your question is: If you want to see the krewe in action, you’ll have to mobilize it yourself.

Any other prospective krewe members out there? Remember: membership is free, and the costume costs next to nothing. Just put a paper plate on your face and show up in New Orleans on Mardi Gras day: Tuesday, February 16th. Anyone else wearing a plate on his face is, ipso facto, a fellow krewe member.

  • Jan 12 / 2010
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Fan Me on Facebook!

This is your official invitation to become a Politickles Fan on Facebook.

When I launched my career as a social satirist back in 1978, there was no such thing as the internet, much less Facebook and Youtube. Making your own videos was prohibitively expensive, and buying airtime to broadcast them was out of the question. The only solution — the only one I could come up with, anyway — was to trick the radio and TV stations in New Orleans (my hometown) into recording my antics and broadcasting them free of charge. Believe it or not, it worked.

As a vehicle for my “performance art” (a term not yet coined), I started my own Mardi Gras group, the Spontaneous Krewe of Platefaces, and during carnival season sent press releases to the hometown media promoting my latest satirical thrust. Every year I was interviewed, plate on face, by at least one radio and one TV station and soon became, on the local level, an anonymous phenomenon. On Mardi Gras day I’d jump out ahead of the Rex parade on St. Charles Avenue and lead a small band of spontaneously recruited krewe members (a proto-flash mob) down to Canal Street, where we dispersed and went our merry ways without ever bothering to make each other’s acquaintance.

That went on for several years, but, eventually, life intervened and I had to be serious for a while. Then, in 1997, I launched my weekly Politickle via email and internet and was back in business. Now, here it is 2010 and I’m still at it — flailing away at impostors, poseurs, and flimflammers.

What I’d like to do on the Politickles fan page is post my weekly politickles and have you join in the fun. You can comment on them or write your own. (Keep it clean. No Nantucket stuff.) You can invite your friends to get in on the action.

We’re just getting started, so check back often, and let’s have some fun.

  • Apr 07 / 2009
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Shop ThankEvann!

difference-thomeschool-bagplate-pillow

Pro-life apparel, homeschool accessories, Plateface regalia — you’ll find it all at ThankEvann! Here’s a shopping tip: buy multiple copies of the items you like so you’ll have plenty to give away! (Your friends will be amazed at your generosity.) And how about this great idea: buy 365 t-shirts and you won’t have to wash clothes until the end of the year! (Pants not included.)

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