Parades, And Chair Fights: Get Over It, Portland

As I’ve mentioned here before, I despise parades. Every damn single one of them, including the Grand Floral Parade.

Now, seeing this silly spectacle of the fight over chairs some folks want to strip down to see this silly strutiness makes me even more contemptuous of the whole thing.

Parades are evolutionary throwbacks. Our human, and pre-human ancestors often used bright colors to display and show off. Sometimes to establish group identity, sometimes for reproductive advantage, sometimes to connote individual or organizational prominence.

All that parades are, is glorified display behavior. I mean, your charitable organization, your school, your bank might do great things but there are better ways to communicate these attributes than working for several weeks on a float and then parading it past people on a Saturday when there are far more life-affirming things to do. Things like watching a real parade- of the waves at the Coast, for instance.

Or if you are that much into roses, go to Washington Park or the Oregon Garden. That last institution-where roses appear in the awesome tranquility they were intended for rather than on the garish costumes of 17 year-old “Festival Queens”- needs your help.

And this fight over chairs and strips? All’s that is is staking out territory to watch the tribe, the herd, the displayers.

And the folks who want to rip up the strips? Believe me, Dude, there are more profound public access issues that deserve deliberation or direct action.

7 Comments so far

  1. Himself (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    Okay, so what is so wrong with taking part in or observing a primitive display ritual? There’s no reason it can’t be a relaxing, entertaining affair. If you’re not into it, don’t go. Who cares.

    But to fight over spectator real estate is beyond the pale. I’ll never ever go to a Rose Festival parade because of this. But I have very fond memories of parades from when I was a kid. To bad Portland can’t put one on without all the attendant nonsense.


  2. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

    We get it, you don’t like parades.


  3. Long Time Reader (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    You spend an awful lot of time complaining about stuff other people seem to enjoy. Why don’t you tell us about your latest trip to the store instead?


  4. brian (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

    I doubt you would argue the fact that our natural reaction and fascination with bodies of water, the ocean in particular, is also an “evolutionary throwback.” By what criteria should we pick and choose the behaviors and phenomena that we are predisposed to enjoy?

    It seems to me that display behavior might be pretty important to those with something to display.

    Have fun at the beach!


  5. Matt Davis (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    “And the folks who want to rip up the strips? Believe me, Dude, there are more profound public access issues that deserve deliberation or direct action.”

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s why Randy Leonard is also proposing the cops delay enforcement of the controversial Sit/Lie law, which is big business trying to tape off its own section of downtown sidewalks.

    The mayor’s office promised restrooms, a day access center and benches for the homeless. So far it’s delivered no new restrooms, a day access center with capacity for 50 people (originally, they were shooting for 150) and 6 of a planned 25 benches.

    So yes, I agree that there are more important issues. So people should FUCKING-WELL BLOG ABOUT THEM OCCASSIONALLY, instead of waiting for a pissing match over side walk tape. The TV media, too, has paid ZERO attention to the sit/lie debate.

    Yet when a bunch of kids propose ripping up some tape, everybody goes ga-ga. Well woop-dee-doo.


  6. Rod (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

    anyone that would waste their time taping off sidewalks for parades has a serious mental problem. no offense to those with mental problems.


  7. Matt Davis (unregistered) on June 8th, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

    None taken, Rod. None taken.



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