Thursday, July 10, 2008

While I'm complaining...

Did I mention that last week's Canada Day Fireworks at Mel Lastman Square were absolutely the biggest letdown activity I have done with the kids in years?!?
 
Short, brutish, nasty... all those things and more.  So naturally, crackpot that I am turning into, I sent a comment to the city the next day about that and the incident of an elderly lady who was apparently crackpottier than even ME taking over the microphone from the headline act (some group I didn't catch the name of):
I felt I had to write and let you know how disappointed I was by tonight's fireworks show at Mel Lastman Square.  We decided to go there due to the lack of parking at Downsview Park last year (plus, although Downsview Park is always promoted as being "close to TTC" it is a very long walk from the subway to where the action takes place).  In any event, I didn't mind how crowded Mel Lastman Square was, though it might have been nice to set up speakers near the back. 
 
What I did mind is that the fireworks started 15 minutes late (the City website indicated that they'd start at 10pm) and lasted a VERY short time.  I didn't wear a watch, but have been going to fireworks shows in Toronto and elsewhere my whole life and this was easily the shortest, least impressive show I have ever seen.  There was no "grand finale" - it was just over and a barely-heard voice thanked us for coming.  I thought it was a joke and actually suggested that my kids stay sitting down... but no, that really was all there was.
 
In any event, I suppose next year we'll be going back to Downsview, both for the ease of finding a place to sit (no shortage of grass!) and the fact that the show was far more impressive there.  Perhaps the City will have worked out the parking / TTC kinks by then.
 
By the way, it should probably be policy in future that the microphone only be given to pre-authorized speakers, because I did manage to hear one impromptu speaker, an elderly lady (though I couldn't see her, being so far back), stand up at tonight's concert and announce that the concert "reminded her of the Jewish people" who "put on a show" every Saturday and that Jesus Christ was killed by the Romans "because of the Jews," clearly inappropriate comments for a public gathering which included people of many faiths.  After those remarks, the scheduled entertainer took the mic away from her and continued with the show... :-)
 
Thanks for listening!
 
What reminded me of this is that I actually received a response, just a few days later!
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: Mel Lastman Fireworks tonight

I'm with the City's Special Events Department and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write to us about Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square.
 
Our website indicated that the fireworks were to start at 10:15 pm, which they did.  Perhaps you read something on toronto.com or another website that was incorrect.  [Your humble blogger here:  Just checked the City website... and she's right, dammit!]
 
I was sorry to hear that you and your family were disappointed with the fireworks.  It was a 6-minute show choreographed to all-Canadian music.  Both budget and safety play a role in the type of pyrotechnics that we are able to use.  For this venue we are restricted as to the height of the fireworks due to the large number of patrons and smaller fall-out zone available.  [HBH:  Never knew that!  So it wasn't just my imagination that they were awful fireworks]
 
It was unfortunate that one of the band members gave the microphone to an audience member.  The audience member indicated that she wanted to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day, so the band member let her give a 'shout out' to the crowd.  I can only imagine his shock - and that of the audience - when the audience member issued the inappropriate comments.  It is not our policy to give the microphone to the audience, and I will reiterate this to other bands when they perform for us. 
 
I hope that you did enjoy the music and had a Happy Canada Day, despite your disappointment in the fireworks.
 
 
Best,
 
So there you go. 
 
I really am turning into a loopy old lady.  Walking in Cedarvale Park with Judy tonight, a big hairy dog ran right up to us and the woman tried to comfort us by shouting, "it's just a puppy!" despite Judy fearfully asking her to control the dog.  Having told Judy I'd protect her (she hadn't wanted to walk through the park - probably because of the stupid people walking dogs), I told the woman (redundantly, because everybody know!) she's supposed to have her dog on a leash. 
 
Well, the woman actually told me that's why the dog was running at us!  "See, he can tell you don't like dogs!"  Ha ha ha.  Was that supposed to be a moment of great levity that lightens Judy's feeling of being attacked by a big dog, and my feeling of annoyance at yet another big dog out of control and not on a leash in the park?
 
Anyway, I couldn't help myself... I told her "I actually like dogs a lot... it's dog OWNERS I have a problem with!"  Which, okay, is a sentiment I have expressed privately to those I love often enough (usually I say irresponsible dog owners), but okay, it came out sounding a tad misanthropic.  She did a double-take, like she couldn't believe anyone had actually said that... but I had, and I think I even repeated it before we parted company luckily without coming to blows.
 
Am I going completely bats?  Or just not caring... or caring too much about dumb stuff?  Is this going to eat me alive and give me a heart attack before my time???
 
Your guess is as good as mine, but if your guess offends me, I will definitely be the first to let you know - most vocally.  In print form.
 
Speaking of which, as I tell the kids every Canada Day, "I bet Now Magazine runs a letter next week condemning fireworks impact on the environment."  This year, it was more than a letter.. . it was a whole eco-holic special edition.  Read it here.  Or just click the link the first time.  Either spot is fine with me.
 
<3 J

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