Letter From New Orleans: Nix On Nyx

I’ve been rewatching the Klugman-Randall Odd Couple teevee series. I even threw in a picture of Oscar’s bedroom in yesterday’s The Iceman Melteth post. It was almost as scary as the Putin-Stalin images.

A hyper-local New Orleans Carnival controversy inspired me to spend too much time taking and editing the above screenshots from The Odd Couple’s opening credits. It was a sequence in which Felix Unger tries to help an old lady cross the street only to be hit with her purse. It’s hard being Felix.

You’re probably wondering what I’m on about. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Decorated purses are the signature throw of the Krewe of Nyx who are rolling tonight on the truncated Uptown parade route I wrote about in my last letter from New Orleans. Crowds may be lighter than usual because of a series of scandals involving the Krewe and its grifter Captain, Julie Lea.

There were rumblings for years about shady financial doings in the Krewe of Nyx. As a connoisseur of gossip, I ate it up. Does that make me a gossip gourmet or gourmand?

Nyx started in 2011 and exploded to some 3,500 riders and 82 floats by 2020. The numbers are inexact because of the sketchiness of krewe leadership, which claims to have 240 riders on 17 floats this year. The minimums to get a permit are 200 riders and 14 floats. Unfortunately, the City of NO said yes, yes. yes to Nyx this year.

A social media post started the decline and fall of the Nyx empire:

The mass exodus of riders was initially sparked when the krewe’s founder and captain, former New Orleans police officer Julie Lea, sent out an Instagram post after the police murder of George Floyd stating “All Lives Matter.”

Many members of the racially diverse all-female krewes were outraged and blasted Lea for being insensitive. Lea tried to apologize, but she refused to embrace the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”

Despite the best efforts of gentrifying developers, New Orleans is still a majority Black city. The “all lives matter” thing did not play well here.

Things got worse for the Noxious Krewe of Nyx. A series of civil lawsuits were filed against Captain Lea and her krewe including:

The Nyx bylaws also contain language that’s transphobic:

Former members are circulating a copy of a 2015 amendment to the krewe’s bylaws which state “membership shall be restricted to those persons whose original birth certificate reflect them to be female.”

Former member Vee George, who decided not to renew after the racial rift, said many of the dissenting ex-members were unaware of the language in the bylaws.

“The tone at the top is exclusionary. It’s not inclusive,” she said. “And to be completely honest with you, there’s no place for that in 2020 when you have a platform of inclusion and diversity.”

Repeat after me: Always read the bylaws.

I used to have many friends who rode in Nyx. They’ve all said Nix to Nyx and quit. I was never a fan of the krewe’s themes or floats, but the riders had spirit and the purses were a cool idea. They were a knock-off of the Muses shoes but a clever one.

In 2022, Nyx is reduced to being supported by wingnuts who scream cancel culture and censorship:

I wrote about the beads in question in two 2018 pieces, Lost Cause Festers Do Carnival at First Draft followed by The State Of Carnival at Bayou Brief.

Here’s a better look at the offending and offensive beads:

Guess what Lost Causers: you lost, and we won. The statue is down and never returning to its place of honor at St. Charles Avenue. You can take the Lee Statue and stick it where the moon don’t shine.

Back to the so-called Mystic Krewe of Nyx.

In Greek mythology, Nyx is the goddess of or personification of night. She was such a badass that even Zeus feared her. I, of course, bitterly resent the appropriation of Greek mythology by the racist grifter Captain and her vestigial krewe. Instead, they should use the Roman equivalent Nox since they’re a noxious group who will be polluting the streets of my city tonight.

Back to the featured image. I see Nyx as the woman handbagging Felix who stands-in for the citizens of New Orleans. It’s an inexact analogy as Felix was a clean freak but Oscar was a lovable mess much like my city.

Some plan to protest the Krewe of Nox Nyx tonight, Dr. A and I plan to sit on the sofa and watch Billions and The Gilded Age on DVR. That means we’ll get our share of grifters without watching Nox Nyx roll by for hopefully the last time. It’s time for the City of New Orleans to Nix Nyx.

The last word goes to Neil Hefti with The Odd Couple (Movie) Soundtrack Suite:

I just realized that I got through this post without a single Nixon pun. I must be slipping.

2 thoughts on “Letter From New Orleans: Nix On Nyx

  1. I agreed I feel like Mardi Gras has a ugly past and we need to be swift and remove NYX to show New Orleans can and has progressed somewhat

  2. I completely agree. I am not sure what is taking the city so long to take her permit, but this has got to be put to an end! Julie has capitalized off the backs of women long enough!

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