Parades.

I found out that the holiday parade in downtown Portsmouth is going to be on tomorrow night (Saturday). I didn’t have any plans but knew that I would also be almost broke this weekend. I was still debating whether or not I would go out for the evening. Receiving the news of the parade convinced me to stay home. In fact, aside from heading out for breakfast I won’t be going anywhere this weekend. I purposely decided to stay home. Tomorrow night I’m going to indulge in a series of podcasts. I want to catch up but recently subscribed to the podcast version of the radio show “BackStory.” I plan on downloading all of the previous episodes that I can. It seems like a good show for an evening in which I can’t go anywhere. It would be better if I was in a snowed-in cabin or something but I’ll have to make do. For Sunday night I intend on going through previous blog posts and take notes for new blog ideas. I know I’ve said once or twice something like “…but that’s a topic for another time.” It’s time to put this into practice. Usually on Sundays I try to read but I think this week that will be my reading.

The parade won’t be all night but I imagine that there will be enough people out that parking would be almost impossible for quite a while afterwards. I remember that during a previous year I couldn’t even get to the other side of town like I wanted to. There are a lot of one-way streets and it’s time-consuming enough as it is to get around, let alone when most of the area is closed down. I remember getting pretty pissed off at the parade because I couldn’t go where I wanted to.

I also remember that was the year that a kid fell of a float which then ran him over. He died as a result. I heard a lot of people react sadly, noting how much of a tragedy it was. I was getting bummed out about it as well. Then I told the story to my friend Dave, who responded with something like “What a stupid kid.” When I thought about it, Dave was right. That kid could have avoided falling over. Are we going to see guard rails now on floats so things like this don’t happen again? With our country’s constant need for catering to the stupid, I don’t doubt it.

The truth is that I don’t have a problem with parades in general. I think they’re an unnecessary shutting down of streets and waste of money in order to distract the public from all of the problems in the world, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I rather enjoy the Halloween parade that goes through Portsmouth every year. It’s when a parade celebrates things that I don’t have any interest in I see the annoyances that go along with it. The same problems with parking are there with the Halloween parade. In that case I’m willing to take part. I can put up with the inconvenience as long as my desires are fulfilled. Is it worth it, then, to get angry at the holiday parade in December?

I say yes. I’m not going to lobby to have the parade canceled or anything like that. But if my own desires and needs are obstructed I’m going to get frustrated. It’s my world that I live in, not yours. You know what? I expect that everybody else lives the same way. Truthfully, we all do but most people don’t realize it. I remember seeing an interview with the metal singer King Diamond once in which he talked about religion. His point was that everybody’s interpretation of their religion was their own, even though they think they’re following what was laid out for them. I completely agree. The same goes for parades. Your parade may not be my parade. My parade may not be your parade. We can share all of the streets, but not the parades on them.

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