12/06/2020

When I watched the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving parade this year, I teared up a little. Was it the slightly off-color jokes that you’d catch Al Roker make at butter if you caught them, or the nostalgia I feel now more than ever for tradition in a time when we are abandoning them for the sake of our own lives? Understanding my enjoyment is still complicated, but I embrace it.

This is not the parade we deserve, but it’s the parade we need.

Al Roker

If I had told you this time last year that I would be actually crying at that idea, I would not have believed you. There was a wonderful blooper that happened on the first float. It was not necessarily a blooper but rather something the camera caught after the float singer finished the song. The camera panned away just before commercial and the wind blew this sizable confetti chunk which completely occluded the singer. You saw a large black rectangle in place of where she was standing. This made me so happy. At the time I did not know why, but I do love blooper reels of my favorite TV shows, I love watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. Was that why I enjoyed this bit of unscripted TV so much? There were no words, but I still laughed.

As the parade wore on I enjoyed the floats that I would otherwise have had no opinion on: Blues Clues, Wimpy Kid, Paw Patrol. These are not part of my childhood canon of memories. There was video footage showing the parade in decades gone, and an explanation of what they used to do with the floats. They would untie the balloons and if you were lucky enough to retrieve one of them after they landed to Earth, you could return it back to Macy’s and get a prize. A year ago today I would have shamed old bygone days for their backwards ways, but this time I was so happy for them.

Of the things I do not miss but probably should are scheduled TV events. Last night, I watched the Alabama vs. LSU game, which decided who would play Florida in the December 19th SEC title game. The first Nor’easter hit New England last night, and my dad let our family group text know 10 minutes before game time that since his house had lost power for 30 minutes, they would likely miss watching the game. Our watch parties are by text and involve some kind of frustration when there is a delay. Don’t spill the beans! I haven’t seen that play yet. Last night it was me saying: Oh neat! The announcers’ audio cut out and someone else cut in with an explanation and feeble attempt at narrating the plays! My aunt explained that they had already come back from the drop out, so I refreshed the feed. Earlier on in the game we had rewound the footage which was poking fun of a college football player’s name and why he was called Mac, not James McKorkle. That Irish Urkle was splendor for them.

Gesamtkunstwerk

Gesamtkunstwerk (German: [gəˈzamtˌkʊnstvɛʁk], literally “total artwork”, frequently translated as “total work of art”, “ideal work of art”, “universal artwork”, “synthesis of the arts”, “comprehensive artwork”, or “all-embracing art form”) is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so.

What composer used the term Gesamtkunstwerk?

composer Richard Wagner

The idea was popularized by the composer Richard Wagner who argued for the “consummate artwork of the future,” where “No one rich faculty of the separate arts will remain unused in the Gesamtkunstwerk of the Future”.