Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Love a Parade

Every year, for as long as I can remember, the annual telecast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of those non-negotiable, must stick with traditions for me. I always got up extra early on Thanksgiving day so I could park myself in front of the TV and stay frozen for the next three hours. I loved everything about it--the floats, the balloons, the Rockettes, even the commercials.

I still watch the parade every year, but now that I am an adult, I can no longer park myself in front of the TV for a three-hour period of time. This morning I had the parade on in the background as I got ready to go to my parents' house. I slept until 8:30, but didn't get up or bother to turn on the TV until 9:15, so I missed the ribbon cutting and the president of Macy's exclaiming, "Let's have a parade!" I also missed the moment when the Rockettes form a kickline in front of New York's finest, then part in the middle to reveal the parade's arrival at Herald Square.

I did, however, see a couple of things that made me realize that yes, I am a jaded adult in a lot of respects. Al Roker, during the 9:00 hour, interviewed a handful of stars of NBC shows, asking them, "So what are you doing this Thanksgiving?"

No, he wasn't getting personable; he was helping them plug their shows! I hate that kind of publicity! But hey, the parade is on NBC...

I've also noticed a lot of commercialism over the past few years, or maybe I didn't notice it as a kid. It seemed as if a lot of businesses were pushing their products, like the Harajuku Girls float, sponsored by Coty. (Man, I wish Gwen Stefani was there!)

I was very happy to see that Sesame Street still had a float, and was amazed to see that many of the same actors who were on the show during my childhood are still on the show, mainly, Bob, Gordon, Susan, Luis, and Maria. How old could they possibly be now? (I must say that I am rather disappointed that the show has shifted more towards its Muppets to get the storyline across and has relied less and less on its humans. Le sigh).

There was one float, however, that really bothered me. I looked up at the TV screen and saw this pink castle coming down 34th street. At first, I thought it was another Barbie princess float, but no! It was a princess float, but not just any princess float! It was a float from the good people at "My Princess Academy." Here's a description of My Princess Academy, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"My Princess Academy is based around a virtual princess world that empowers girls to be a “new kind of Princess” by teaching the “4 Pillars” of being a real princess -- generosity, intelligence, beauty and confidence. Created for girls ages three to seven, My Princess Academy lets girls create their own princess avatar, princess room, and play games and activities. The brand also teaches girls how to become their own kind of princesses - their best selves, defined not only by physical beauty but by inner beauty."

Dear God. Who is responsible for creating a minature Second Life for three-year-old girls? I am embarrassed by this! Yes, it is good that it aims to teach girls about their inner beauty and self-confidence, but we don't need a web site to teach this! Aaaaaannnddd...we're encouraging these little girls to use the Internet at too early of an age!

But I digress. The float was embarrassing. And I won't even get into the new teenybopper group that appeared on the float, The Clique's the link from Wikipedia to find out more, if you're so inclined.'s what I feel was the most interesting, bizarre moment of the parade. I was up in the loft when I heard the strains of "Never Gonna Give You Up," Rick Astley's biggest hit. You remember Rick Astley, don't you, Kittens? The man who was just proclaimed the Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Awards? I thought, "Why is this song on right now?"

I looked down from the loft at my TV screen.

And there was Rick Astley himself, all bundled up, lip-synching to his first hit.

Why was he there?

I still can't believe that he was there.

I had to leave for my parents' house after that. I missed the rest of the parade. In spite of its shortcomings, however, I still enjoy watching it. It's a nice tradition to have.

Up next: the Tournament of Roses Parade, January 1st!

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