The New York Football Giants are having a ticker-tape parade today to celebrate their Super Bowl XLII win. I hate a parade. Always have. Ever will.


My grandfather used to take a lawn chair to any parade and sit on the
sideline and watch the spectacle march by and silently weep while he
watched. Why?

What emotional release did my grandfather find in a
parade that I do not?
Parades are Fascist expressions of superiority.
Parades don’t even need an audience.
Parades are all about spectacle over substance.

Parades don’t need sideline reaction.
Parades require fanatics.
Parades are used to demonstrate political suffrage, sexual independence and the want for war profiteering.

Is there any difference between marching and parading?
Does it matter if a convoy of trucks holds soldiers instead of beauty queens?

Is the cheering any less for a military missile than a sash made of roses?

Parades
are all about showing and not telling.
As a participant in a parade, you are required to be strong, and you
must wave at the onlookers while conveying a feeling of power and moral
superiority.

As an onlooker, you are to applaud as the parade passes by and,
perhaps, weep a little — but you are not supposed to think or judge or
survey.
Your role is to admire and look up to those who pass before you.

Then there are the parades of the Modern Grotesque
where war mongers and liars get a parade upon their forced retirement
from duty in dis-service against the best interests of the American
People.

Then
we have the post-modern parade of immorality posing as celebrity where
know-nothings — note the following link is Not Safe For Work and make
sure you have “Safe Search” turned “Off” to get the full Google effect
— like the slutty Kim Kardashian can start a parade just by shaking their bubble bums in public and the masses will line up and follow:

Do you love or hate a parade?

Are parades merely forced celebrations of surface beauty and death
impending and unequaled suffering; or do parades serve a more innocent
mission in creating civic pride and celebrating community achievement?

21 Comments

  1. One of the special things some people like to do when visiting Disney parks is to see the various parades that are held throughout the day – particularly the ones at night, and particularly the one held in the winter time to celebrate some fat man in a suit holiday.
    I am not one of those people. I find parades to be astonishingly dull – just a line of sometimes interesting things to look at slowly moving past me. I’d rather choose the things to look at. If every time we went to the Louvre the only way to see the Mona Lisa was to attend the ‘Great Paintings’ parade I’d never see it because I’d hate to have to wait so long to see the one thing I came to see. 🙂

  2. Gordon —
    Yes, the Disney example is interesting. They are the form, factor, and foundation of that magical land and there is a certain conformity required when you visit because you’re expected to stand at attention and “participate” by non-actively “viewing” the procession set before you. If you don’t stand and at least pretend to pay attention, you’re either run over or run out of town! 😀
    Parades are intended to be celebrations of power, specialness, wealth, death or even unbridled sexuality. Like you, I prefer to “pick my own parades,” and link them in my mind for total, private, enjoyment.
    The fact that some special totems of our human life require a parade as part of their being — the Mona Lisa is a grand example — brings a sadness to the strength of individuality her creation confirms.

  3. Excellent advice, Gordon!
    After Rudy “cleaned up” Times Square, and Disney bought all the theatres, there was a “blackout” Disney parade on 42nd Street “for the city.” You could only see the floats by their lighting — an interesting and eerie effect — and the entire length of the parade route, the street was painted a flat black to make sure all the reality around the parade disappeared.

  4. Now this is an interesting one – particularly this comment -“Parades are Fascist expressions of superiority” – which I will come to in a moment.
    Every Founders Day our boarding school used to parade us around the city of Bristol from the docks to the cathedral. The school was founded by merchant venturers. The occasion marked the anniversary of the schools’ founding by one of the rich merchants of the time. It was I believe a kind of badge of honour to start a school – and increased your social standing considerably.
    Founding the school in the first place was a show of *superiority* which was then perpetuated every year by this parade.
    We off course were told it was to celebrate and give thanks for the establishment of the school and to preserve and understand our history. It also meant we got the best meals of the year as all the governors joined us for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
    My parents both used to take part in the Royal British Legion Rememberance Day Parades in the UK – my mother carried the flag for the area branch in London on several occasions. These were a very different type of parade – reflective and sombre occasions, where lost friends and relatives were remembered along with the millions of others who lost their lives in the two great wars.
    They were not celebration – or glorification .
    Fast forward 40 years and the nature of these parades is starting to change – less and less of the past generations attend and less and less respect and more glorification of war and our *superiority*. More about warmongering and profiteering.
    I think in the UK there is still a difference between community parades ( local carnivals which are inclusive ) and the larger ticker tape examples in the USA – although there is a disturbing trend for *open top bus* parades around home cities for winning football and rugby teams.
    I will join in a community event – where it is all for fun or a good cause . I loathe Disney and would not be seen dead there – so most of the big ones I will hopefully miss.
    I object that we have to pay to police them, tidy up after them and suffer the disruption of them.
    I guess it is a case of being included – rather than being imposed upon.
    Now to the “Parades are Fascist expressions of superiority” comment.
    So true – it is like bullies posturing in the playground, fighters posing in the ring – and ultimately a copy of the huge Hitler Rallies. I can remember seeing television pictures from Russia with miles and miles of tanks, missiles and troops – which were irrevocably burned in my memory.
    So do I do parades ? Yes if they are local, community based, fun. Yes if they are the old style Remembrance Parades .
    No – if they are commercial ( Disney et al) and NO if they glorify war.

  5. Nicola!
    What a fantastic response! Loved every word.
    For others who are reading this, I’m using this definition of “Fascism” from Oxford:

    Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

    Are parades Fascist training grounds for the indoctrination of children? I lean to, “Yes,” merely because parades are exclusionary. “I am more special than you, because I walk, I show off, I get attention while you there, sit on the ground beneath and beside me and wish for what I have.” Am I being provocative? Yes!
    Parades are certainly not democratic. They are dictatorial even when they are celebrating gardens, animals or sexual pride. The fact that you can have a parade without onlookers goes to the core of the matter for me: Parades are about those parading, not about those that watch.
    Parades are power structures that congeal in the majority deciding what is and what is not in need of celebration and self-congratulation.
    I make all these claims as a former Fascist child clown in the Popcorn Days parade in small-town Nebraska. I led the parade wearing a red nose and a white and green polka-dotted jumpsuit. My orange yarn hair flapped in the breeze as I strutted down the dusty streets in the morning sunshine with a giant pail of candy in one hand and a plastic scoop in the other.
    It was my job to “throw candy” to the adoring masses as we paraded by and I did — but only if they waved at me. If they only applauded or smiled — NO CANDY FOR YOU! — I decided to require the wave and if my throw was off and a non-waver got the candy, I’d stop the parade, approach the undeserving and say, “Not for you. For her. Give it.” When the candy was provided to the rightful waver, I got back in line and started up the parade again. I was eight years old.

  6. Here’s a “Dissenting Opinion” emailed to me from SuperAgent Matt Wagner:

    Small town parades can differ from the spectacle in NY and from fascist parades in general.
    Here’s pic from the butterfly parade, my hometown parade in which kindergartners from every school dress up as monarch butterflies to welcome the monarchs back each October:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phadams/265234057/
    I was a monarch in 1969 or so 😀
    And you might really appreciate the burning man parades such as the million bunny march:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/leobard/244607687/

    Excellent point, Matt! Such cuteness all around!
    I should’ve excluded butterflies and bunnies from my argument! :mrgreen:

  7. I would love to know how the other child leaders of the parade acted – if they acted in the same way as you did .
    Is it your turn to vote today – have you managed to get out and do so ……….. If it is your turn to vote – whose idea was it to hold the parade the same day as voting?

  8. Nicola!
    I was the only kid in the parade. It was the fire chief of the all-volunteer fire department who told me we didn’t have a lot of candy and that I shouldn’t hand it out to “just anybody.”
    There were some farm animals, a current and past Popcorn Queen floats, and a couple of church choirs and maybe a small marching band. The entire parade took 20 minutes.
    Yes, it’s Super Tuesday! It’s raining and cold. Those are bad omens for a big Barack turnout. I voted for Barack!
    Some feel that silly parade will depress the vote in NJ and NY and it will also depress those who live in MA and CT because they lost and won’t feel like voting! 😀 We do have a republican mayor in NYC…
    The key will be the absentee ballots in CA. The Clintons have been whacking that vote for a year now and over a million were cast today and 3 million have yet to be counted. Most of them were cast a month ago — so there’s heavy suspicion these will be Clinton votes by a wide margin since she was so out in front in all the polls a month ago and they control the political machinery that “gets out” the absentee vote.

  9. So your behaviour in the parade was dictated by above ……….. following orders ?
    I am glad you managed to get out and to cast your vote – and to my mind the right way . When do the polling booths close – and how long does the count usually take ?

  10. Just had to quote this …………. I went to the BBC to check up on their *latest* stories for the USA elections – this was the first one :-
    “23:45 GMT : Arkansas : A tordado is heading towards the town of Clinton, Arkansas, CNN reports.”
    The perils of having the same name as them !

  11. Hi Nicola!
    Yes, when you’re an 8-year-old Fascist clown, you take orders from your tormentors, and then you punish those beneath and beside you. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION??!! :mrgreen:
    I’m lucky my voting station is a block away. It was cold and dreary, though. Polls close at 8pm — about 20 minutes from now — and my sense is we’ll know generally who is ahead by 8:10pm and by 9pm the thing should be called in NJ and NY, methinks.
    Exit polling is a science they work to perfect and that’s why they’re able to statistically call the trends into hard predictors quickly after the polls close. I believe it is against the law for the media to “call a winner” before the polls officially close.
    Georgia polls closed at 7pm and Barack won that state.

  12. Nicola —
    On Behalf of SuperAgent Wagner who is “Too Busy/Lazy/Fascist” to register to comment: “Thank you.”
    I, too, love those images! Would’ve loved to have a chat with Matt about those fun events and the childhood that formed him from monarch butterfly into a SuperAgent vulture/bunny/Fascist. 😉

  13. So when did you loose the fascist clown ? – or is he still lingering there? Where did you loose him – the minute the parade finished – or somewhere else?
    I did too ( laugh out loud) – has cat fully recovered from his brush with the vets ?

  14. Hi Nicola —
    The Fascist clown lasted until the end of the parade. I was never in another one.
    Jack is doing much better. He had his upper lip shaved for surgery and his fur and whiskers are finally growing back a bit so he’s regaining his equilibrium and feeling silly again.