^^I NOW KNOW THINGS I DID NOT KNOW BEFORE!^^
Mardi Gras was a short story, yet a very gratifying one. The book offers a very strong political theme, yet it also manages to put a little self-exploration in there. The book brought up many questions; questions that I had to find the answers to and gain complete understanding of what the author was trying to say. While it might be a very short story, it is a fulfilling story and had me turning the pages lightning speed.
Damien is a journalist for a gay newspaper, and recently wrote an article about the importance of Sydney’s Mardi Gras. He expresses that the Mardi Gras does not uphold to what it was 25 years ago. In the 80’s it was seen as a movement a way for homosexuals to express themselves and show the world that they existed. While reflecting on the fact that the journey was not easy, and it was a time of true celebration. Damien no longer feels that way, he feels the Mardi Gras is not what it used to be, he condemns the idea of it, its no longer a celebration of good over bad, but a form of self gratification for those who partake in the Mardi Gras of now. It no longer celebrates traditions and honours the heroes that made it possible. A blogger disagrees with Damien’s ideas and lets him have it, said blogger inspires Damien to take a trip to Australia, and to see if his ideas stand true.
At the Sydney airport Damien is met by Simon, a young man hired to show him around. The meeting with Simon annoys Damien a little, with Simon pushing the word “mate” around a lot. Damien gets the feeling he is trying too hard, but he finds himself attracted to the young man. A day spent together leads to some hot motel room time, when things look like they are about to heat up Simon takes off. This little road block provides a wonderful twist to the story, because from the very beginning of the book you can tell that Simon is uncomfortable with something.
After a little stewing Damien makes his way to the parade and eventually runs into Simon again. With a little anger to get over, Simon reintroduces the Mardi Gras to Damien, and it becomes a wonderful time of discovery for Damien, because he was hiding behind cynicism and the trip becomes a eye opener for a man who thought he had seen and knew it all.
I really enjoyed this short read, it was packed with information but wasn’t a history book. I think of this book as a celebration and beauty of what it takes to go out and declare yourself a homosexual. It brings the joy of the strong individuals who get one day to celebrate and be themselves while realizing that there are so many who appreciate them for who they are. So many who join to celebrate with them, from the old, young, men, women and children. I highly recommend this short read.