For the last couple of nights there has been a story that has been a constant on the local news around Massachusetts. A gay rights group has been petitioning to enter the Saint Patrick’s Day parade and there has been a whole back and forth thing about it. At first they were in (and a bunch of Catholic floats pulled out) and then they were kicked out (and the mayor dropped out) and now, according to last night’s news (multiple outlets) it appears as if the decision will go down to the wire. Then, today, The Boston Athletic Association (the people who put on the Boston Marathon) announced that they won’t let military members march along side the marathon when it takes place because of security measures.
My question: When did parades get this picky? Has this always been a thing? Why can’t we just let the dumb-asses, who want to walk down the street holding flags, walk down the street (In no way do I think the military, the LGBT community, or any of the other fine organizations that participate in parades are dumb-asses. I just think parades are stupid). What’s the big deal?
I think the first obvious point goes back to organizations not wanting to participate with organizations they disagree with. If that’s the case, why the fuck are you marching in the street? If you’re organization is so high and mighty why do you need to advertise by walking around and holding a stick with cloth tied to the end.
Second, parades are the terrain equivalent of fireworks. People get to sit in one place, wave at poorly crafted floats and ooooo and ahhhh at shit as it happens. Where is the cultural significance to this? Can things where people sell cotton candy have grandiose meaning? No. They can’t.
Third, and this is just more of a business-related point, the more groups you discriminate against, the less marketability you have. Don’t you, parade owner, want to expand your demographics? Don’t you care how many churros and fried doughs you’ll be able to sell? (Do they have those at parades anymore?)
Lastly, parades are not a time-honored tradition. They’re not a sacred event. They’re a party in the street. Stop being all self-righteous parades. Let everybody walk.
One more thing, to the various groups who cannot walk in parades across the country: walk the next day. On sidewalks. In business districts. It’ll freak people the fuck out and you’ll get a grip of media attention. If people won’t let you play in theirs, create your own.