Introduction: ‘‘The Good Times Are Killing Me’’
1 In adopting and adapting the term ‘‘dance arena’’ from Hazzard-Gordon (1990), I
employ it to refer to the assemblage of sociocultural practices that constitute Cajun
dance and music representations. I will use the term ‘‘venue’’ to refer to the individ-
ual events in which Cajun dance and music are performed.
2 Jason Berry (2000) describes this ‘‘Louisiana spirit’’ in the Chronicle of Higher Educa-
tion ‘‘End Paper’’ excerpt from his and Philip Gould’s collection of photographs
(Gould and Berry 2000). Another source is Putumayo World Music’s Cajun collec-
tion, which the producers tout as follows: ‘‘Like its cousin, zydeco, Cajun music’s
motto is ‘laissez les bons temps roulez’ [sic] or ‘let the good times roll’ ’’ (2001, cd
cover quote). And perhaps no clearer evidence can be found of the complete and
unproblematic association of laissez les bons temps rouler with Louisiana than the
expression’s appearance in a clue on the quiz show Jeopardy (4 September 2000): ‘‘La
Salle said ‘laissez les bons temps rouler’ as he claimed this territory for France.’’
3 Notably, ‘‘the disenchantment of the world’’ has an important function in the works
of Max Weber. My thanks to Lawrence A. Sca√ for guidance on this term’s function in
4 A striking example of this juxtaposition of the promotion of tradition can be found in
the column in the weekly Times of Acadiana by Kelly Strenge, in which she promotes
the annual Festivals Acadiens as ‘‘more than a good time’’ under the heading ‘‘The
Travel Biz—News from the Tourism Industry’’ (2000, 32–33). This intersection of
industry and culture is highlighted at the end of the article with the description of the
author’s position as ‘‘public relations and special projects manager for the Lafayette
Convention and Visitors Commission.’’
5 From the perspective of the diverse practices of local and global musics and subcul-
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