Arguably, the biggest draw of Mardi Gras isn't the mistique associated with the pomp and circumstance of parades, krewes and tradition - it's the public spectacle of debachery and deviance which covers the city like a beer-soaked fishnet stocking. For two weeks, New Orleans is transformed into the premier voyeuristic nirvana.
There's something about Mardi Gras which seems to be an excuse for people to fulfill their exhibitionistic fantasies. Perhaps the sexual repression of traditional society creates a build-up of tension which leads one to go "hog-wild" during Carnival? There's probably some five-syllable psychological term for this condition (PLEASE don't e-mail me it!). Then again, it could be a purely physical response to a half-dozen Pat O'Brien hurricanes...
Mardi Gras Festivities in the French Quarter could be ideally characterized as a sequence of opportunities for each and every person regardless of their particular personal psychoses. For the connsumate voyeur, it is like being a kid in a candy store - one can passively roam and absorb the decadence, or emulate the age-old "snake-oil" salesman with the ever-popular commodity of long strands of beads, which can quite often be exchanged for a quick glimpse of those areas of the skin normally embraced by undergarments. Where else can you scream at the top of your lungs, "Show Your Tits!" and actually be politically correct?
SHOW ME MORE!!