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Don't Blame the Dwarf!

Sweet Juniper:

There's an old legend around these parts about a red dwarf who is seen before or during disasters that have befallen the city of Detroit. He's called the Nain Rouge, a child-sized creature in furry boots with "blazing red eyes and rotten teeth." ... Whenever I suggest [to my daughter] that he might have something to do with the fire that burned down the city in 1805 or some other calamity, she insists he's innocent. "He's just misunderstood," she tells me, a phrase that has become sort of a catch-all defense of any monster who might ordinarily scare her. Frankenstein, vampires, zombies, hobgoblins, mummies: they're all just "misunderstood." I sense a bleeding-heart liberal in the works here, folks.

Last weekend some 200 local goofballs and hooligans participated in a march to drive the Nain Rouge from the city. There was the promise of a marching band, costumes, dogs, and a good old-fashioned effigy burning. When I told the kid about La Marche du Nain Rouge, she insisted that we not participate in any banishment parade. In this household, we are pretty serious about not crossing the wee folk. Also, I feel fairly strongly that when you're a city hemorrhaging population as quickly as Detroit, you shouldn't be exiling anyone (even impish doom harbingers). So we decided it was the perfect occasion for a protest and busted out the placards.

Check the link for the placards.

This episode brings (Franchophone) NOLA to mind, for me, but every day, and also the Mummer's Parade in Philly.

I'm wondering if one of the features of cities under great economic stress is impromptu protests, celebrations, and japes like La Marche du Nain Rouge, which reminds me of the parade for J.D. Shapely in William Gibson's Virtual Light.

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