Sunday, July 5, 2015

Macy's 4th of July Spectacular ... Fail

Been chatting about this on a friend's Wall today, and I figured I'd bring the convo here to open it up to y'all cuz the topic's been bugging me since last night.

What did you think of the Macy's 4th of July Spectacular programming last night? My immediate reaction was that it was a complete SNOOZEFEST. I tuned in late, so maybe there were some more exciting numbers earlier in the evening, but I'd have thought that they'd work to build *excitement* ahead of the fireworks rather than put people to sleep.

On a deeper level, assuming that the focus of the programming was intended to be "Look! This is America!"--you know, given that it was the 4th of July and all--the vision of the U.S. that it presented was, well, kinda sad.

The few reviews of the show that I've seen online so far have given the country performances the biggest thumbs up, cuz "what's more American than country music?" So let's start there. Coming to the show late, the most upbeat song I heard was from the country guy who performed immediately before the fireworks started. I found his message of "what's more American than hating your boss and hating your job and suffering through the shitty week just to get to the weekend parties?" deeply moving. [cough] Apparently a different country dude had opened the show with an all-American anthem we can all relate to: "Drunk on a Plane." U! S! A! U! S! A!

Immediately before the boss-hating guy--again, leading straight into the Big Show--were two quiet ballads in a row that seemed to go on for years. One from James Taylor (cue sweeping audience shots of old white people seated on a lawn, looking very civilized, at least most of whom appeared to be awake--a testament to the Great American Tenet of hard work?) and the other from Ed Sheeran (cue sweeping audience shots of young white girls, looking sweaty and moony-eyed). Interestingly, Sheeran performed solo acoustic, making his quiet song even more sedate than usual. I like Sheeran's song, I love solo acoustic performances, heck, I even like James Taylor, but the timing was weird.

Kelly Clarkson was there, too. I missed her. She's white, but she gets diversity points for rocking her beautiful Mama body without apology, which frankly takes balls of steel in her industry. And she sang a song that wasn't a ballad or about beer. So at least there's that.

What's whiter? These fireworks, or the Macy's 4th of July Spectacular itself?
Photo by Jason DeCrow for AP, original located at Spectators brave tight security for NYC fireworks show.

But...but...it wasn't ALL white! I know, I know...all the pre-show publicity made a big deal about Gloria Estefan performing during the fireworks itself, but somehow I actually missed that(!), and apparently Flo Rida performed at some point--with Robin "(white) Sexist Pig" Thicke. Somehow this still isn't saying "diversity" to me as much as it says "tokenism."

Is that honestly the best they could do? Holy crap.