Debriefer: February 25, 2015

Your Mardis Gras party sucks; Cosby show canceled


And now, a rant. Debriefer came here from New Orleans a little over a year ago, and needs to make an observation about the lameness of not-in-Nola Mardi Gras celebrations. We’ll hold out the possibility that there was a Carnival celebration somewhere up here that was worthy of the spirit of the holiday, but we’re doubtful.

Why? A Fat Tuesday sight of five skrunky Petalumans huddled downtown in purple-gold cliché costumes does not cut it, even at the most rudimentary, culture-humping, white-bread level. Debriefer also heard how an earlier Mardi Gras night at the [REDACTED] had been a total dud, despite some top-notch NOLA talent in the house. You can’t just throw some beads at suckers and call it Mardi Gras. And so a theme has emerged: North Bay Mardi Gras celebrations are lame.

But there’s such potential!

Here’s an idea: The North Bay should either (a) get a huge and wild, three-day parade going with cows and goats and tricked-out ag-wagons and yurts repurposed as floats, bring in the Gypsy marching bands and the high school marching bands, you’ve already got the tractors, everywhere, and lots of colorful people who like to organize and build beauty into their lives, or (b) stop it with these weak little gestures of joy and don’t do anything.


You’ve heard by now, perhaps, that the scheduled June 6 appearance of Bill Cosby at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa has been “postponed indefinitely,” which is a polite way of saying that the show’s been canceled.

As of two weeks ago, the show was on, despite persistent allegations about Cosby’s alleged habit of drugging starlets and then doing who knows what to them. At last count, more than 30 women had come forward with various tales of creepy toe-sucking activities by Cosby.

Yet according to the publicist for the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, the venue didn’t push promoter John Low to cancel the show.

“That’s really the case,” insists spokesperson Anne Abrams.

The center issued a press release on Feb. 20 to announce the cancellation, and to give the 500-odd ticketholders information on how to get their money back. Cosby has been met with protests wherever the show has gone on.

“Mr. Low is presenting this show, and Mr. Low said he was postponing it,” says Abrams. “We’re not part of the decision.”

Maybe not directly . . .

Abrams says the center fielded positive and negative comments from “the community,” and forwarded the comments to Low. That was as far as any contact with the promoter went, she says. The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts didn’t pressure Low to cancel the show.

Weird. Just a few weeks ago the center said it wouldn’t undermine a contract with Low by canceling the show out from under him. Instead, it sent complaints it had been receiving, along with correspondence supportive of Cosby’s appearance, to Mr. Low, and left it up to him and Cosby to make the call.

“We don’t know what went into the conversation or the discussion,” says Abrams. “I’m sure Mr. Low received everything we sent him, and I’m sure some of those things went into that decision.”