Balloons of Doom: Three Reasons Why We're Afraid of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Superstorms. Financial collapse. Plague. As if we needed one more thing to perserverate on, here comes the annual Thanksgiving Day spectacular.
Oh, sure, everybody loves a parade, what with the marching bands, the Radio City Rockettes and Al Roker's deleriously happy mugging with newly-minted sitcom stars. But there's also a dark shadow over all that joyful autumn revelry - a dark shadow cast by gigantic character balloons.
It sounds silly, but as a pop-culture immersed fan-boy, I've been fed a steady diet of propaganda that positions festive, whimsical inflatables as the ultimate villian and suggests that our demise might only be a helium tank away. But, as Levar Burton once said, you don't have to take my word for it. See how the evidence stacks up and decide for yourself below:
Exhibit A: 99 Luftballons
You know the story. Nena's 1983 pop-hit/protest song tells a story of paranoia, nuclear holocaust and a stray balloon bouquet. The moral? The death of millions, when put to new-wave music is immensely dance-able.
Exhibit B: IT
As if clowns (and really, Tim Curry in general) weren't creepy enough, this Stephen King adaptation forever ruined celebratory balloon drops.
Exhibit C: Batman
The other muderous clown, as played by Jack Nicholson, planned to do his dirty work via massive inflatables filled with poison gas. Not only was his scheme immoral, but flying balloons that size at night had to be in violation of at least 6 Gotham City ordinances.
BONUS: Exhibit D: The Real Ghostbusters: The Revenge of Murray the Mantis
In this Thanksgiving themed episode, a giant character balloon in the holiday parade is possessed by spirits from a nearby morgue (naturally) and becomes a monstrous insect bent on destruction. Chaos, havoc and a montage set to Ray Parker Junior music soon followed.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.