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03 January 2006 @ 12:08 am
Trojans to the toilet bowl!  
The Rose Parade was nice this year despite the rain. Every year it seems like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade gets lamer and lamer, but the Rose Parade is consistently great. The Macy's parade is basically just a bunch of corporate logos floating down the street. It really seemed to hit the skids when they added a balloon for Jeeves, a character that was nothing but a symbol of a company, with no established personality or other qualities. It seems legitimate that someone would feel some excitement when seeing Clifford the Big Red Dog or even, god forbid, Garfield, having grown attached to them as children. But not Jeeves, a character that has never done anything but stand, immobile, next to the text field on a search engine; at least Garfield likes lasagna and hates Mondays, for crying out loud. Meanwhile, the Rose Parade, although several of its floats are built by large corporations, and it was founded for an explicitly commerical purpose*, seems homey. Authentic.

I think there are a few reasons for this. One, not all of the floats are corporate—some are by groups like Kiwanis and the Rotary Club. Two, corporations must temper their advertising tendencies to conform to the year's theme. The most corporate it usually gets is the Disney float surrounded by people dressed up as characters, and even that's not that bad—it's usually some variation on Snow White's Castle rather than a plug for their latest film product. Three, the requirement to decorate entirely with flowers and other plant materials makes the floats look more organic, as opposed to the shiny plastic floats in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. And finally, they still incorporate things like equestrian groups, and the old-style decorated carriages and old cars.

Part of it could also be the presentation. The Rose Parade gets shown live, straight through with no interruption on one of the channels here, hosted by folks from the area, one of whom is quite knowledgeable about the horses in the various equestrian groups. They've built up a good rapport over the years and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. All Macy's parade coverage, on the other hand, seems to break for commercial right when a float that actually looks kind of interesting comes into view, and when not going to commercial is showing some excerpted number from a Broadway show or a forgettable pop singer du jour. The hosts are chosen more for being recognizable network stars (never failing to plug their own shows), don't seem to know each other that well, are are obviously reading from scripts. Their smiles seem to be pasted on.

Moving on.

The Rose Bowl is on Wednesday. Whose bright idea was that? Not that I usually watch it (not being much of a football fan—or a sports fan in general, for that matter), but I doubt a lot of other people will be this year either. I mean, people are going to be working. Did the NCAA forget about that little fact?

Anyway, I'm rooting more against Texas than for USC. Because it's Texas. I really didn't like SC when I was there. Except for the friends I made there. I knew some cool people.

That reminds me, I should call Evan sometime and chat. Wish him a happy new year, at least. I haven't talked to that dude in ages...not since the first time I went to Comic-Con, I think! Yikes, that's been years. Now I feel guilty. He was my best friend in college. Falling out of contact with him like this is just wrong.


*The Tournament of Roses was originally more or less an ad for Southern California real estate. It was meant to show people freezing back East that Califonia was sunny and warm enough to have roses in winter. The "sunny" part was a bit lacking
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Sartan: nutssartan0 on January 3rd, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
The Rose Parade vs. the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade = Rose parade wins! For all the reasons you set out.