Drunk on truth to stupid baby power.

2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Recap


I don’t know about you, but I haven’t exactly been in the mood to eat, drink, and be merry. I feel like we’re living in a Twilight Zone episode where half of the world is living in some cruel nightmare reality but, for the other half of the world, everything is normal and pleasant and aliens brainwashed them so they’re unable to believe in things they haven’t personally experienced, and I’m stuck somewhere in between feeling angry and sad and impotent.

I look forward to watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year. I moved to New York in March and seriously considered staying in town for Thanksgiving just so I could see it in person, but trying to get home after the much-smaller Village Halloween Parade cured me of that itch. But on account of the tragic reality that is 2014, I feel wrong celebrating anything. I read about protesters attempting to stop the parade, and part of me hoped to see them succeed, at least in interrupting it. But I’m home, I’m happy to see my family and they’re happy to see me, and I’m going to watch the parade dammit.

I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade so much because it’s this kind of bizarre shit-show that I watch while screaming “DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THIS? IS THIS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION OR AM I HAVING A FEVER DREAM?” I can only assume this NBC legacy served as the inspiration for the kind of productions Jack Donaghy would dream up on 30 Rock, like the Rockefeller Center Salute to Fireworks or Kidney Now! I love Broadway musicals, marching bands, I love seeing the poor man’s One Direction for the first and probably last time as they shiver in the freezing rain while lip syncing next to an arrhythmically dancing 10-year-old boy dressed as a traffic sign or an ear of corn. I drink an unsafe amount of coffee, shout mean things at the screen with my potty-mouth family, and unironically cry every twenty minutes.

I almost slept through the opening because I was up late reveling in the plethora of catalogs and magazines at my mom’s house (the most underrated perk of visiting home). The parade opened strong with the cast of On the Town performing “New York, New York”, skipping past balloon handlers and through marching bands. Then it went straight to the mega weird and suddenly there’s Tony Danza on television, fucking SINGING while Las Vegas showgirls and Elvis impersonators dance around him, and Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie are there acting like you’re just supposed to accept this is a normal thing to see on television at 9 a.m.

I would give the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a 6.5 out of 10. I was, in general, entertained. The Broadway musical numbers were a let down, but the dance teams and marching bands delivered. KISS was, without irony, probably the highlight of this year’s parade. The parade usually features a musician or two to appeal to baby boomers, like James Taylor. While KISS seems like an odd choice for that spot, and I saw online that some people thought it was bad or stupid, that was the only part of the parade that delighted my mom, my sister, and myself equally.

The low point was a dog show commercial they played several times where a trainer tongue kisses his terrier. Jimmy Fallon and The Roots were absent this year and I missed them. Yes, I know Jimmy Fallon is totally square now, fuck you. They put on a hell of a float.

Times I Cried:

9:06: Little-league champ and youngest female to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Monet Davis, led the opening of the parade

9:18: Ken Marino talked about his family

9:40: A cast member of that musical Sting is in held up a handmade sign reading “Happy 90th Birthday, Grandma,” which I am guessing he hid in his costume and did not get permission to display

10:00: A little kid dancing on The Sesame Street float

11:06: It started to snow

11:27: St. Jude’s commercial

11:29: Quvenzhané Wallis and the cast of “Annie” got really excited for each other after their performance of “Hard Knock Life”

11:58: Santa Claus

I wonder if the reason the parade is such a joy to watch is precisely because it offers a glimpse into this post-racial Neverland the brainwashed half of my Twilight Zone analogy insists they inhabit. A three-hour chance to see through “colorblind” eyes, to feel the warm, blissful embrace of ignorance and an unburdened conscience, to forget that anything is going on in the world besides J.C. Penney doorbusters and Peter Pan Live!, to vacation in a world where a country band from the deep south lip syncing on a Smurfs float is seamlessly followed by the Harlem Globetrotters just as the snow starts to fall on 34th Street. A world where hard work is rewarded and girls in smart wool coats smile and wave, and Santa Claus is real.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: