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Macy's parade

I watched the parade after dinner (via Tivo) - better when you can fast forward through it...when you really just want to see the floats and balloons.

Highlights for me:

1) the Balloons: Buzz Lightyear, Kermit the Frog, Pikachu, Ronald McDonald (I know it's a shill, but it was humongous and on the plus side they did mention the Ronald McDonald House charity which is a great cause), the Smurf, Snoopy, Pikachu, Spongebob and Shrek

2) the performances: the Awesome Original Second Time Arounders were fantastic and better than some of the "celebrity guests". I also want to give props to the Special Needs Colorguard for showing their spirit! But as far as the "celebrities" go, I'll admit that the only one I watched in through their WHOLE song was Miley Cyrus. Cute song. I also very much enjoyed the cast of Hair (again the only cast I watched the WHOLE song of). I did think it strange when the Sesame Street characters were singing a song by the "Kids From Fame" and I already knew about the "Rick roll", so that wasn't anything great (though I'm sure that if I'd watched it live, I would have thought it adorable).

Lowlights for me:

1) the Balloons: Beethoven (the dog, not the composer - do kids even know who this was besides it being a dog?), the Energizer Bunny (yes, still a shill, but I'm unhappy with this one for not floating), and Dora the Explorer (annoying as hell cartoon character!)

2) floats: the Hirajaku Girls and the Princess Academy thing...

3) the performances: Who the hell are Charise, the Clique Girlz, Push Play? There was another boy band that performed whose names aren't even listed on the Macy's website...I've only been gone from the FYE for three months...I've NEVER heard of these people. NEVER did I make labels, shelve or sell any of these people to the best of my knowledge! Meanwhile...I nearly fell out of my chair when Andy Williams "sang", 'cause I didn't even know he was still ALIVE! The casts of Little Mermaid, South Pacific and especially White Christmas were WAY too saccharine for me (though it was nice that they featured bare hairy chested men singing for South Pacific). I didn't even BOTHER watching "in the heights" and was disappointed that though we had a Shrek balloon, there was no performance from that show! I even fast-forwarded through both Elphaba and Galinda...Idina's "new" album she was shilling came out WAY back in January and was a snooze-fest and I just wasn't feeling the Christmas song that Kristin_Chenoweth was singing (maybe because of the added treacle of the care bears being on her float). David Archuleta looked like he needed a tissue and a lozenge...luckily he was lip-synching!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
You forgot my two favorite moments of the whole parade: the Keith Haring balloon and Rick Astley!
Nov. 28th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
I didn't forget the Keith Haring balloon. While I'll grant it is nice that his family were the people who pulled the balloon...I've NEVER been a fan of his stuff...I always thought it was too repetitive...oh, look more stick figures! So, I thought it was better to just not mention it (ho-hum).

I DID mention Rick Astley, though...as I said, I would have enjoyed it if I had watched it live and hadn't seen it online already from about a gillion people (from LJ, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Digg)...otherwise, I might have thought it was "cute" and would have celebrated the official (hopefully) end of the whole "rick roll" crap...Hey! Maybe next year, they'll have a balloon of a LOLCAT!
Nov. 28th, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
Then you would think the art in my house is ho-hum, because I have Keith Haring pics (and other pop art) in several places.
Nov. 28th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
when I said ho hum...I meant that really, the balloon was neither a highlight nor a lowlight to me...

...If that's what you like, great! That's why God made chocolate and vanilla, right? We all have different taste!

You'd probably be bored by my art too, since I tend to lean towards the old masters and I'm sure you'd find my choices predictable: American Gothic by Grant Wood(mostly for me because of the RHPS connection), Sunflowers by Van Gogh, Blue Nude by Pablo Picasso, plus one of the water lilies by Monet(and I want to get Person at the Window by Salvador Dali and haven't decided yet on a Frida Kahlo).
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 28th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)

It would have been funnier if we SAW and not just HEARD the balloon attacking Meredith.
Nov. 28th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
I really liked Keith Harring's balloon and that his family were the ones pulling it.

I also loved "In the Heights"!

I did listen to the Heroes folks and the Office folks talking. heh The rest, I could care less about...especially Miley.

I loooved History Channel's float and they didn't mention half of the best parts of it.
Nov. 28th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
I didn't forget the Keith Haring balloon. While I'll grant it is nice that his family were the people who pulled the balloon...I've NEVER been a fan of his stuff...I always thought it was too repetitive...oh, look more stick figures! So, I thought it was better to just not mention it (ho-hum).

I fast forwarded through Ali Larter - were there OTHER people from Heroes? I didn't see any...

We don't watch the Office.

Miley is my guilty pleasure (I don't watch her show or anything, but I did enjoy her last album on our instore play).

I might have given "In the Heights" half a chance if I spoke Spanish - I don't mean this in a xenophobic Ugly American way, but really, I wouldn't want to end up liking the one song and wanting the soundtrack and then not be able to understand half of it 'cause from the looks of the CD a LOT is in Spanish!

oh...and that Rhino float with the rock climbers was EXTREMELY weird...I didn't know what to make of it or what either thing had to do with the other...
Nov. 28th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
hah Pop Art is repetitive. That's part of the point.

Oh well.

I can't get behind bubblegum pop.

I have many albums in Hindi, Punjabi, French, and Spanish so I can listen to something and appreciate it when it's in another language, I guess.
Nov. 28th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
I would have no problem with watching a movie adaptation of "In the Heights" (with subtitles), but I couldn't listen to a broadway musical without knowing the storyline...I've tried that with some that didn't have at least a synopsis in their packaging and it's difficult. It would be doubly difficult if I couldn't also understand the language!

There is SOME modern art I've enjoyed, but some really gets under my skin (most of Andy Warhol for another example...I understand what he's doing, but I don't get the point).
Nov. 28th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
To each their own, I guess. I give a lot of leeway to other languages and enjoyment out of the sound of the words themselves combined with action is enough for me sometimes (think opera) so I don't need to understand ever single phrase to understand the point. Also, with lyrics, there are translators and with a lot of the Hindi stuff, I just look it up and then I know what they're talking about all the time after that.

The art thing confuses me because (and I'm not being mean or critical because I love the comic) but Paul's comic is sort of that way. The same picture just modified a bit and into a storyline but without changing much. I see his cartoon as a Modern Art cartoon with a Victorian theme and that's part of my enjoying it.

Modern art that repeats a lot, like Warhol, is often designed to showcase the shallowness and celebrity and obsessiveness of a culture. That's why Warhol used so many iconic celebs or advertising images to show how people are drawn to things. It also partly is to poke fun of the public because they will "buy anything" if they recognize the image and it was also a dig at the art world for not putting out anything original.

Basically, most of their art is meant to be more than just the image itself and the fact that it exists is part of the meaning. The repeating also represents that humans tend to be creatures of habit and do things over and over and over without questioning.

He wanted you to question why he had 40 soup cans on a silk screen and why people were compelled to buy it. Not to actually create pretty pictures. Modern art (especially Warhol) is meant to be a social commentary and political as well as what's on the canvas. It always means something more than what you see.

I think that is why I prefer it over all art because you have to know where it's coming from to understand, which means you have to learn about who made it. It's not just.. "Oh wow, that's a pretty lake and tree." or "Oh wow, that portrait of that person is accurate." kinda picture.

I am much more analytical than visual. It forces a person to take that extra step and not just see it at surface level and think about things.

That's how I see Haring's work. The same cartoon dude put in different situations. His character was a trademark of his that he honed for years before becoming famous.

Haring was a graffiti artist first. Warhol was his hero. They even worked together on a soda campaign before Warhol's death.

His "Stick Figure" is meant to represent all sorts of people and change and morph as it moves into different things. It's like a "Visual Vocabulary". He makes it look plain so you can put yourself into it or imagine some other people in it's place.

The image of the radiant baby (what you called stick figure) was his street logo and what he got known for on the street and how he got discovered so that's why you see it in his work. It's not just because he's lazy or tricking people but he was playing off of something that he became known for in the urban graffiti art circles.

Nov. 28th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
Some modern art really excites me and some just REALLY leaves me cold.

I understand the whole "people will buy anything" if you tell them is art as sort of Warhol and many of the other artists in that movement basically playing the Emperor's New Clothes with these people...

...one example I remember from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: "Blue Panel" by an artist I never managed to remember...it was just a blue canvas - a single solitary uniform shade of blue - it could have been done with a paint roller... and even the name "Blue Panel" to me said that this artist couldn't have been bothered to have ANY kind of imagination and was just knocking these things out like on a conveyor belt... and suckered the museum's then director into buying his gold-plated turd. As far as I'm concerned the guy/gal who did this piece was not an artist, but merely a painter...

Granted, I appreciate the chutzpah...I'm a fan of Duchamp and LOVE "fountain" (the "found art" piece that was really just a urinal), but his stuff was more about seeing things with completely different eyes when they are moved out of their regular situation/environment.

On the other hand, in Chicago, we saw a painting that was an entire canvas of the color black (with a single thin stripe of orange along the side)...it was the exact opposite, though, because there were varying shades of darkness, with even some sections of the canvas almost appearing like a topographical map because there were MOUNDS of paint in some sections where the artist took more care to create texture and color in different areas of the canvas so it was a feast for the eye and you saw different things from different angles. While, granted, if you photographed it or had a print, it would possibly appear to be a uniform shade of black as much as the blue panel was a uniform shade of blue, it was very moving, showed the dedication of the artist to truly creating something, showed effort placed into creating the piece as well as thought.

There are some Warhols that I've loved. In that same museum (Metropolitan Museum of Art), there was a wonderful self-portrait that was pretty much a HUGE pointillist painting and you couldn't make out what it was until you were about three rooms away down the hall...marvelous. But those silk-screened portraits of celebrities like Marilyn? Not my cup of tea. Again, I understand why they are "ART", but they're not something that really excites me. I'm sure if I were in Pittsburgh and went to the Warhol museum, I'd see a few things that I'd love...but I'd also see stuff that would just make me role my eyes.

The same for Haring...it just never really grabbed me in the gut. I understand that you like him and that's fine, but it's more of a different strokes for different folks thing...I just don't see myself running to an exhibit of his stuff...Yes, his stuff is certainly iconic. There's no mistaking his work. But I'd like to see something by him OTHER than those same figures over and over.

At the risk of being extremely un-PC, in the same way I wonder if our culture would still revere Kurt Cobain if he hadn't killed himself (or would he simply be a nostalgic joke in much the same way that Eddie Vedder is?), I wonder if Keith Haring HADN'T died young, would he still be revered now, or would the art world have grown bored and moved on?
Nov. 28th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)

Meanwhile, there was one piece that we saw in Chicago that absolutely sent me over the moon because it was so wonderful...it was a "sculpture" piece made from found art...

It was called "transubstantiation" and looked to basically be just a big pile of candy on the floor (hard candies like butterscotch and peppermints). Basically, the artist dedicated it to a friend of his who had passed from AIDS and the candy weighed the same as his friend did (or at least was his friend's "ideal weight"). You were encouraged to take the candies and allow that person's spirit to live on (as if you were taking holy communion). Apparently, the candy is weighed periodically and replenished by the museum with private donors paying for the candy budget. Yes, it was very simple, but very moving to me. I can't explain it.

It's always been a love/hate relationsip with me and modern art...part of it for me needs to be creativity, part of it needs to be that it took some kind of work or thought. Yes, the candy thing doesn't take much work, but it certainly took some thought. There was one amazing piece I saw in, I think, Toronto, where it was a giant map covered with pins connected by thread and there were so many colors that it ended up almost looking like a 3D Jackson Pollack - even if I didn't particularly care for the look of it, I certainly appreciated that it took a LOT of work to create it. I just don't see that same effort put into Haring's work.
Nov. 28th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Oh I can totally agree about some of it being stupid and just almost seeming like a farce. I don't like ALL Modern Art but I think some of the artists don't really want all people to get it or like it. I don't get paintings like you said where there is just a line on a canvas. Those paintings remind me of stuff I see them make on HGTV in 5 minutes.

I do see it as almost the artist getting one over on people. But then I see stuff like "Dirty White Trash" and it excites me at the play on the subject with the politics.

I am not a big fan of some of the art but certain artists like Haring and Warhol and Basquait and Yoko Ono and the whole Dada movement (which started it) really grabs me. Pop Art and Graffiti art is exciting to me.

I'd say that some would argue that Warhol wanted people to roll their eyes at some of his artwork. He was playful and was making fun of the whole pop art movement after a while because he had a hard time being taken seriously and a lot of his pop art/modern art heroes rejected him harshly when he first moved to NYC.

So art isn't always meant to be pleasing to a lot of Modern Artists. It's also meant to sometimes get a violently angry reaction or even one of being dismissive towards it. That is part of what they sometimes want to convey which I find pretty interesting that someone would open themselves up to someone criticizing their work on purpose.

I think Haring most likely would have evolved and moved on to other figures but he did DIE so he really didn't have a chance to go there. He wasn't really "famous" for that long and died before he had a chance to move into anything else. Look at many artists start of doing the same things over and over and eventually evolve. Banksy started off doing things the same but eventually found a voice.

Haring is just one of those times that Graffiti met the Art World so I think that's where the feeling of him doing the same thing over and over. And Graffiti artists tags are WHO THEY ARE in their world so I see his figures as that more than anything. Like his "tag" or "signature".

I do think that nostalgia has a lot to do with people like Haring and Cobain and even Warhol being famous too. But, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. People are nostalgic about Disco and Bad 80s pop in the same way. LOL I know I am.

The candy exhibit sounds amazing. I can see why it moved you.

I had that feeling about seeing Yoko Ono's Wish Tree where you tie a wish to the tree and leave it in hopes of it coming true. It really moved me seeing hundreds of strangers dreams hanging off the tree with bits of paper. Like little hopes and dreams fluttering on the branches. Then she had another where it was a scale...and on one side was a portrait of a family with kids and the other a gun and the gun outweighed the family. It really hit me in the gut.

Edited at 2008-11-28 05:51 pm (UTC)
Nov. 28th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
That Dirty White Trash one is awesome...it so multi-layered. Can you imagine how LONG that one took to put together? I mean, even if you have the idea to do that, it must have taken the artist a great deal of effort to stack everything JUST right...

...seriously, we simply have to plan a road trip to the MoMA or something (or even just a few hours in the PMA soon...).

Edited at 2008-11-28 06:22 pm (UTC)
Nov. 28th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
a big highlight for me was watching the parade get rickrolled by CN
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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