Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Does Everybody Really Love a Parade?

I've never understood parades. I mean, apart from small children and Donald Rumsfeld, who really enjoys them? If you think I'm being too harsh, let's analyze the elements of a typical parade together, and then you can make your own verdict.

Elements of a Typical Parade (in no particular order of noxiousness)
1. Noise (like we need more noise on Blvd Magenta, land of ceaseless traffic and whistles and sirens!)
2. Straggling (unless it's an army marching, and then it's not a parade, it's an invasion)
3. Sloppiness, uneven-ness. This goes along with straggling; not every "group" involved in the parade has their act together and it shows. Kind of like an amateur night walking tour.
4. If there are speeches, they are incoherant (has anyone ever been able to understand a speech made at a parade?) - and if there is music, bad sound system with overloaded speakers, making you want to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction.
5. Trash.
6. Traffic snarls.
7. Police everywhere.
8. Melted ice cream cones and kids having meltdowns.
9. All those political people again, shouting slogans like so many bleating sheep.
10. An overall feeling of disappointment. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, but to me parades are a bit like birthday parties - all this build-up beforehand and then a feeling of, "is that all there is?" But then again, I am someone who tends to feel this way often (the "eternal dissatisfaction" of the artist, I suppose, if we want to put a pretentious label to it).

This was May Day, by the way. And in all other respects it was a beautiful day - sunny and warm and, well, perfect for a parade.


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