I know a lot of people like Holidazzle. It's popular with Minnesotans because it's a big-ass parade that happens around the end of the year. It's popular with parents because their kids love it and it's free to watch. Traffic might not love it so much since it closes down Nicollet Ave for a few hours, redirects Metro Transit buses every Thursday through Sunday, and clogs the perpendicular streets. Many of my friends work related to it, either with costumes or organizing it, so for their sake I'm reluctant to express my opinion of it... but I do anyway.
Oh my gods, I think Holidazzle is just a bunch of insipid nonsense. I think PC has its place, but the parade strikes me as so afraid of offending anyone that its iconography is muted and arbitrary. It wants to play up the "holiday" part of its name but avoids dwelling too heavily on Christmas imagery--someone will have to inform me whether Hanukkah or Kwanzaa are represented--and brings in a bunch of stuff that doesn't make any sense, like the storybook characters. What holiday does Pinocchio belong to? What end-of-year holiday does a big blue fish belong to, in any culture?
Earlier this week I was walking through the Skyway, probably about to drop off some mail at my favorite post office, the Central Loop Station, and I was approaching the IDS Tower when a cacophony assaulted my sensibilities. Closing in, I identified a to-do in the Crystal Court: Holidazzle figures swaying blindly back and forth in place while someone with a megaphone screamed bloody murder at them and everyone watching. Between the echo chamber of the Crystal Court and the heavy distort of the megaphone turned all the way up to amplify this merry-maker shrieking at the top of his/her lungs, any words or communication were completely unintelligible.
Oh, and yoga mats, which suggested to me that the parade figures were "warming up" for their month-long festivities. We hadn't yet surpassed Hallowe'en, and Thanksgiving was still a few weeks away, but here begins the preponderant Christmas-ish indoctrination. That's not "merry" to me. It's tedious, nonsensical, and arbitrary. "Oh good, it's the traditional Christmas White Cat! I hope he'll be strong enough to keep the Christmas Witch and her pet Christmas Alligator at bay this year!"
I'm capable of happiness. I'm capable of appreciating simple pleasures. But not like this.