2.14 New Orleans
As a culture, America does not live well with death. By the very nature of our colonial Protestant roots, this country has an inherent denial of death ingrained in our collective psyche. Throw in the social and psychological effects of country's expansive size. Mix that with our compulsion to minimize, sanitize, romanticize, homogenize and capitalize – oh, yes – we don’t live well with death. There is, of course, an exception - New Orleans, Louisiana. From above-ground cemeteries to jazz funerals, to folklore and iconography, New Orleans has conspicuous relationship with death unlike any other in the U.S. And since Mardi Gras just so happens to coincide with the expiration of my six months of obligations and prohibitions I've decided to go south to uncover what it is about the culture that allows them to so overtly accept death as a part of life.