American Snaps #9: Easter Parade

by awindram

“In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it
You’ll be the grandest fella in the Easter Parade
I’ll be all in clover and when they look us over
We’ll be the proudest couple in the Easter Parade.”

Due to my older sister having dictatorial control of the TV, I must have sat through Easter Parade a hundred times as a child. The Easter parade in that film is a technicolor dream;  a vision of Ann Miller shimmers pleasingly down its sound stage Fifth Avenue.

By contrast, the modern parade, despite congregating all of New York’s eccentrics and narcissists, is curiously drab in its desperate attention seeking. Middle-aged women swank around in Easter egg costumes while luckless pets forced into dignity-stripping outfits are dragged around the parade route; it’s as if people decided they were going to cosplay as Hallmark cards.

Voice of America in 1947, back when the parade was still a cultural event for wealthy Manhattanites to show off their finery, broadcast it to the Soviet Union to demonstrate America’s greater prosperity. Looking at the current state of the parade, contemporary enemies of America need not worry themselves about it.

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