I suppose I’m something of a opponent of the calamity, hubris and stupidity of the effete east coast “culture”; but I find I’m both amused and disgusted by the Mummers controversy that’s erupted in Philadelphia lately. The notoriously ill mannered, even by east coast standards, city of Philadelphia has changed forever from what the remaining blue haired residence of the city nostalgically recall from bygone days.
Philadelphians have been content to sit on their buts, obnoxiously and boorishly, booing the opposition at sporting events and supporting any corrupt dirtbag for public office based on what the dirtbag promised to “do” for his voters. Philly is a union town destined to go the way of Detroit in the new global economy. The result is that some area’s of Philadelphia are like Beirut during the height of the civil war: it’s a classically destroyed urban zone whose reliance on big government for sustenance, has spread misery and despair among its reluctant residents. The Philadelphia that had the Mummers Parade is long since gone and its actual cancelation might go a long way in illustrating that a new, grey, urbanized ,dead zone has overtaken too many eastern cities in general and Philadelphia in particular.
The apply named Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia has stiffed the Mummers a few weeks before the culturally iconic Mummers Parade on New Years Day; supposedly because of Budget constraints. It’s suggested at the end of the article that perhaps the Mummers parade is really a south Philly, all white event that Black Mayor Nutter and his Black constituents don’t feel like paying for.
Let’s look at both the budget argument and the “racist” argument and see what the deal is.
First if the Mayor says that money is tight this year and funding a parade is not high on his list of things to do then good for him! As far as I’m concerned, all parades should be entirely privately funded from the Thanksgiving Parade to the Mummers and let’s not forget the homosexual parades. You don’t need a global financial crisis to object to the city subsidizing parades for turkey day or homosexual practices or for something called “mummers”. When you have a global financial crisis and someone says no to funding a ridiculous parade then I say good for him! The Mayor is probably just doing his job.
But the Mummers are a Philadelphia tradition! The Mummers bring in revenue for the city!
The Mummers personify the arrogance, stupidity and ability to hide your head in the sand that characterizes an east coast “working man’s value system”. The same industrial age values system that’s killing the urban east and the big three carmakers to boot. If people want to celebrate the culture of Philadelphia let them clean up the corruption, the crime and the graft. Let them build schools that work and that educate the kids rather than using kids for ill advised social engineering experiments and let the gangs, drugs and poverty pimps be rooted out once and for all. Now that’s worth having a parade! That would be a tradition worth commemorating.
The Philadelphia that started this tradition is long gone and will never return. If the people in and around Philly want this parade let them stop complaining, get off their ass, clean up their neighborhoods, insist on decent standards of private and public conduct and generally act like people who have a tradition worth preserving.
You can’t have a tradition that commemorates unions from the industrial age in the information age amid the stark facts of life reflected in a global economy. Workers don’t compete against stone hearted managers and evil corporations any more. Workers in America are in competition with workers in China, India, Singapore, Japan, and South America. Unions don’t work anymore.
As far as the idea that it’s a white parade that a predominatly black population is canceling, even if it were true, what would be wrong with that? Would a parade designed to celebrate the black experience or values systems be best held in a lilly white town? Would black people have a right to complain and not host a parade about a people and values systems they don’t have?
Philadelphia is a black town. Why should they hold white parades? If they like the parade I’m sure they’ll keep it but if they don’t than its time has come. Its not racism: its just reality.
As they say in Philadelphia: GET OVER IT!
Here’s the article from About . Com for Philadelphia and New Jersey and the URL: http://philadelphia.about.com/b/2008/12/15/why-threaten-the-mummers-parade.htm?p=1
Philadelphia / S. Jersey Blog
From John Fischer, for About.com
Why Threaten the Mummers Parade?
Monday December 15, 2008
Last New Year’s Day Philadelphia’s newly elected mayor, Michael Nutter, walked up Broad Street in the annual Mummers Parade right before the first of the String Bands. He was warmly received by the large crowds. I remember speaking to the mayor briefly. I congratulated him and told him that we all expected big things from him.
I would not suggest that Mayor Nutter walk up Broad Street in the 2009 parade… if the parade even takes place. As part of the mayor’s budget cutting, the City has eliminated all prize money and cut back the amount that it will pay for city services to about a third of what they normally pay. With less than three weeks till the 2009 parade, the City is looking to the Mummers to pay the additional 600,000 or so that it will cost to support the parade.
None of the options available to the Mummers are attractive including the possibility of shortening or changing the parade route or even canceling the parade entirely.
It galls me that just a month ago, the City fully supported the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. For the city to expect the Mummers to come up with a large amount of money in such a short time is unreasonable. If the mayor wants to cut back support of the parade, the cut should be effective for the 2010 parade.
The bigger question is why the cutback. A study has been done which shows that the City actually benefits in real dollars from the parade. Tax dollars are earned from hotel and restaurant taxes, parking and several other sources. The Mayor’s office seems to be turning a blind eye to the positive benefits of the parade. The Mummers are a Philadelphia tradition and one that is well known across the country.
Mysteriously silent has been City Counsel President Ana Verna whose South Philadelphia constituents make up the bulk of the parade’s most ardent supporters.
Could it be that the unspoken belief by many of the mayor’s economic advisers is that the Mummers Parade is primarily a South Philadelphia all-white institution in a city that has become primarily black? It is hard to believe that any consideration would have been given to cutting City support of the Mummers in the days when South Philadelphia politicians controlled City Hall. Those days are long past.