Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Parade

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV today, I'd forgotten how boring it is. Balloons of cartoon characters I know only vaguely. their gigantism reduced to inches, one hopes for wind gusts of over 30 mph. Lip-synching pop singers mostly chosen for their appeal to pre-adolescent girls. Floats with waving "celebrities." The Oklahoma float had baseball players Johnny Bench & Bobby Mercer, & songwriter Jimmy Webb, but only Kristen Chenoweth mouthing And when we say Yeeow! Ayipioeeay! attracted any attention. She's becoming almost as ubiquitous & annoying as Bernadette Peters used to be, in the tradition I suppose of Ethel Merman, but sort of cuter. Oh look, there's LeAnn Rimes! The huge marching bands with 100 clarinets yet all one hears are the trumpets & snare drums playing a distorted, ominously martial arrangement of "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas." & through it all, two hosts reading copy supplied by the sponsors ("...supports the environment by donating a million pounds of wood chips annually to Sudanese refugees"), parade factoids ("the first band from Waco to appear since 1946"), or occasionally trying to improvise some snappy comments ("What would Christmas be without old Charlie Brown wearing the same shirt he wore when we were kids?" "That's right, & children of all ages, there's more to come." ).

(Orwellian occurance: NBC sticking to script, substituting tape of last year's M&M balloon + Al Roker's commentary while two people lay bleeding on the sidewalk next to a broken streetlight a few blocks up & this year's M&M balloon slowly deflated. Give those advertisers what they paid for.)

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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