July 4th Parade CANCELLED. Do you hate America?

June 30th, 2011 · 92 comments

Since moving to Austin, I’ve learned that local neighborhood newsletters and listservs are some of the best sources for homegrown passive-aggressive fireworks. Though this particular example might seem relatively mild, our anonymous submitter claims the president of her neighborhood association typically does not disappoint in that department.

In the latest newsletter, “She passive-aggressively scolds the neighborhood for not volunteering (‘numerous requests have been sent out’) and then lists all the (supposedly) awesome things we will be missing out on because no one would volunteer. The last paragraph is the written equivalent of giving the middle finger with a polite smile on your face.”

Dear residents: For numerous years past, the same small group of volunteers has rallied the troops to make SRCC's very popular parade and picnic happen. Their children who enjoyed the event while growing up are now grown, and these volunteers are tired. Numerous requests have been sent out for the past three years for new blood, but none has materialized. So, this year, SRCC will not in any way be associated with a July 4th celebration.  What this means to you is that there will be no official parade, no parade permit, no police escort, no event insurance in case someone is hurt, no park reservations, and no food, drink, vendors, shade structures, politicians or entertainment at the park.  I sincerely hope that all of you enjoy your July 4th, wherever you may be, and that the SRCC event is revived in the future. Even if it isn't though, so many enjoyed the event for so many years that the memory will live on for a long time. Thank all of you volunteers so very much for keeping the event going as long as you did. You deserve a big round of applause.

related: Do you hate America?

FILED UNDER: Austin · neighbors

92 responses so far ↓

  • #1   WhitneyD

    No event insurance? That was my favorite part of the shindig!

    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Who passed out the Haterade?

      N-n-no… no politicians?

      *cries a river*
      Won’t someone please think of the children politicians?
      (argh. next time maybe i should read the rest of the comments first.)

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Canthz_B bang

      No politicians in the neighborhood??

      By God, I’d say that’s a great reason to have a parade and celebration no matter the date!!

      Jul 5, 2011 at 2:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Ana

    this really really isnt that bad compared with a lot of the other things on here?

    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Ol' Pal Steve

      As someone who lives in a neighborhood with an “association”, this makes my skin crawl. No, it is not that bad, but it never stops. The writers of the news letter know they have to live near their readers, so the aggression is so passive one who has not been traumatized over the years in this particular way might miss it.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 5:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Who passed out the Haterade?

      ^ This. The true PA experts can drive someone half-batty by repetition of something that sounds completely innocent. Amusingly over-the-top notes are from people who have either completely lost it, or people who don’t think they’ll ever have to deal with the reader. The subtle ones, like this, usually require understanding the backstory.

      Case in point:
      “What do you think, should we get red or blue?”
      “For the last time, would you STOP EFFING PATRONIZING ME?”

      Sounds like #2 is a few bricks shy of a load… but what if the conversations that preceded it included these?
      * “Should we get black or white?” “I like black.” “Okay, we’ll take white then.”
      * “Should we get green or brown?” “I like brown.” “But green would look so much nicer!” “Like I said, I like brown.” “Okay, FINE, we’ll get brown since you won’t listen to anything I say.”
      * “What do you think, should we get yellow or orange?” “I’d rather not say.” “Aw, why not?” “Because you’re just going to ignore or patronize me if you disagree.” “Why are you being so defensive?” “Okay, fine, I like orange.” “But yellow is a lot cheaper, and it doesn’t look that much different. Excuse me, sir? We’ll take yellow.”

      Jul 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   looney

      Haterade’s excellent example makes a good point, and sounds like a very mild version of every conversation with my dear mother.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   beerwad


    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Jaime

    No parade permit *and* no insurance?! But, but, that was the best part! It’s not Independence Day without the parade permit and insurance!

    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Sean Sutton

      No parade permit = no parade. No insurance = likely can’t use the park for the picnic.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 9:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   lagne

    Dear Assface Residents,

    No new blood has materialized, and now, we’re all going to die from old blood and/or starvation. We hope you’re HAPPY.


    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Kathleen

      Great Scott, the SRCC is headed up by a band of Jewish & Catholic mothers.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 1:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Shannon

    Call me crazy, but i actually sympathize more with the letter writer.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Canthz_B bang

      You’re crazy!, but then, so am I.

      Traditions stop being traditions when apathy becomes the norm.

      Is it really so hard to get to know your neighbors and form a real “neighborhood” rather than a collection of adjacent households these days?

      Jul 5, 2011 at 3:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Lisap

      I have to say as someone whose parents have always done their share to volunteer with school/extra-curricular activities of all my siblings growing up and who has learned the value of this myself (in high school I was doing more to volunteer with my younger siblings than many parents were) I completely understand the frustration of the same small group of people constantly being expected to take care of things year after year.

      People have a tendency to form a sense of entitlement when it comes to events like that and never bother to consider the amount of work required for them to enjoy such things. As the author notes, they didn’t just pack up and leave without warning; they did it for their kids, the kids have now grown up, they tried to find new blood for 3 years while the veterans were still willing to help so new people didn’t have to be completely overwhelmed with the job, and no one seemed to care about it. It says more about the neighbourhood than the author of the note that they would let a tradition that one can only assume they all enjoyed die because no one wanted to step up and help.

      Aug 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   mominmo

    I don’t think it’s that bad of a note either. And if you’ve ever been one of the few who busts your rear over and over for something because nobody else will get off their lazy butt, then you can understand her being a little p.o.’d.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   JonnyMack

    Sad state of affairs when the younger generations won’t chip in !

    Jun 30, 2011 at 9:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   George P

    I think the author is justified, too.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   carrie

    This isn’t passive-aggressive. This was an official explanation as to why the event is canceled. There is no scolding going on here at all.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   looney

      I dunno about that (no scolding). I see scolding dripping from every paragraph.

      Plus it just goes on and on… did anyone notice that the whole note didn’t quite make it into the picture? There was more harangue in that harangue.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Lisap

      I’m not sure it is scolding so much as (justifiable) frustration.

      Nothing says “thanks for all those years of hard work, we really appreciated it” like “yeah we showed up every year, but none of us actually enjoyed the event enough to lift a finger now that you have decided you’ve put enough years in”.

      Aug 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Platypus

    I sense a little paranoia in the interpretation of this note. If I had been planning to attend this event, I’d appreciate the notice. On its face, it’s a straightforward attempt to inform people about some possibly-important facts such as the lack of permits or insurance, along with a reasonably gracious expression of gratitude for the volunteers who had given time in the past. What’s wrong with that?

    The only thing passive-aggressive about this is the posting here.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Lisap

      I also sense that submitting the note and insisting on its PA-ness may be a way to justify not helping and avoid feeling guilty about it.

      “Look, look, it’s not ME who’s lazy; it’s the CRAZY LADY who pointed out we are losing a tradition because everyone is too self-involved to bother helping”

      Aug 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   lagne

    This is, like “high-brow” PA. It’s stealth. It’s ninja PA.

    “Our Very Popular Parade” – is now ruined because you people won’t step up. “Our volunteers are tired” of being martyrs.

    And the list of every single thing that people will NOT be getting? Note Writer cares about informing you that there will be no event insurance; Joe Schmo’s just there for funnel cake and doesn’t care.

    It’s certainly not as bad as some on this site, but a non-PA note would have been written more like, “Due to lack of volunteers, the event will be cancelled this year. Enjoy your celebrations with friends and family! Contact [name] with any questions or concerns.” Really, nothing else needs to be said.

    And believe me, I’m one of those people who’s part of the 10% who get things done while the other 90% enjoy it; I know the frustration. But I also know how to let people know I’m done without talking down to them. :-)

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   TippingCows

      This note is so stealthy, it is causing people to complain that’s not PA. But most of what is written does not even have to be said. It’s just there to try and make people feel bad. Tsk, tsk – and the old blood is wondering why the new blood didn’t want to volunteer with them!

      Jun 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   The Elf

      Lagne has it exactly right. The stealth PA is the subtle blame-laying on all the other neighborhood residents who don’t help out. Now the note writer is just going to take his toys and go home. We’ll all spend Independence Day in our respective houses, bored and sad, because SOME PEOPLE couldn’t be bothered to help out with the celebration!

      Yanno, if it was a “very popular” parade, I bet there would have been more volunteers……

      Jul 1, 2011 at 6:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   Chesire Cat

      Yeah I can see both sides too. I was willing to volunteer with a club I was a part of but at the same time, they wanted me to be the “help” but when it came to decision making or having an elected position or leadership role, they didn’t want that out of me. They just wanted my labor. So after awhile I got tired of volunteering since my opinions didn’t matter to them. I have always been under the impression that the more work you put in, the more your opinion should matter.No go in that club. They cared more about what the richy rich moms wanted even though they never worked at all than what the lower class but hardworking moms wanted. Go figure.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 7:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Who passed out the Haterade?

      I have two different positions with a volunteer organization, both involving a lot of coordination. There are a lot of frustrations inherent in getting people to do what needs doing instead of what’s fun, and there’s a lot of work that no one but you will ever know about.

      But I would be absolutely effing ashamed of my organization if we ever vented this kind of self-righteous spleen onto the people we help. If we ever can’t fulfill a function (like this one) and we have to cancel, I’ll explain simply and politely in the way lagne described. And if even that doesn’t spur volunteers, then I’ll be willing to admit that maybe that means the function was superfluous.

      It’s a team effort. If people want an event, they’ll support it. If they don’t, they won’t. And if they do but don’t want to do the work? That’s the same as saying they don’t.

      If people don’t want your event enough to support it, trying to guilt them into doing it anyway is pointless. And it concedes the point that the event wasn’t for their sake… it was for the sake of your own self-importance.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   Rattus

      I thumbed ya because that’s exactly why this note is passive aggressive. Yes, I can understand why the person who has been organizing these events is aggrieved, but that doesn’t give her licence to hammer in the guilt spikes.

      And maybe no one is stepping up to take care of things because maybe there aren’t as many “organized fun” lovers as she thinks there are.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.6   Chesire Cat

      I have to disagree about people volunteering if they cared or liked the event. Not true. I ran a consignment sale for a moms group and even though all the moms wanted to sell their stuff and shop, they didn’t want to actually step up and volunteer to work it. When we tried to reduce hours since we could not get enough volunteers, they all whined and bitched about it. So they liked the event all right, they just didn’t want to work it.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.7   Who passed out the Haterade?

      You’re absolutely right by your definition, Chesire. But that’s why I said if they don’t want it enough to support it.

      I want a world where people “get it” that hatred and selfishness only destroy (both the subject and the object), and only agape can create. I want to care about others and make their lives better, and have others feel the same way about me. I want a million dollars and a house to call my own. Heck, I want a lot of things. (^_^)

      But if I don’t want any of these things enough to work for them, then my “wanting” them has no meaning. Especially in the case where something is a team effort.

      People who “want” a community group to do something that benefits them (but refuse to support it) are like a sports player who “wants” his team to win the next game… while he lies around the house watching TV, drinking beer, and eating Cheetos. Do you “want” it? Then make it happen. If you sit by while others fail for lack of support and then b#%[email protected] about it, that’s no different than the sports player above b#%[email protected] about it when his team loses (as his out-of-shape arse sits on the bench eating Cheetos and drinking beer).

      But if you’re like the notewriter and sit around b#%[email protected] at people for not joining your team, causing them to lose game after game by forfeit… then maybe you should ask yourself whether no one really likes the games but you. Or whether the reason no one joins or shows up is because it’s “your” team, not theirs. Or for that matter, whether they would love to show up… if only the @55hole coach would step aside and let someone new take charge.

      Jul 2, 2011 at 8:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.8   matt

      @#12.7 I’m, thumbing you for using the high and mighty ‘agape’.

      Jul 4, 2011 at 12:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.9   Lisap

      I agree Chesire Cat. If people didn’t care there would have been low enough attendance to an event that clearly has a lot involved to have killed it long ago.

      People are often self-involved and feel entitled to just have stuff done for them. I have worked an event for University orientations for 3 years that involved shirts being given out to a certain group of students; divided into 8 sub-groups. As a gift for the students, we provided each member a t-shirt (colour determined by sub-group). We go to great lengths to obtain external funding for the shirts so they are provided to students absolutely free of charge. The amount of moaning and b*tching we hear about something being given out to people is astounding. Students have complained about colour, tried to lie their way into a different colour, or (my personal favourite) decided they absolutely needed one of each colour thereby depriving 7 other students of their shirts.

      Aug 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   aaa bang

    Dude, I don’t even give a fuck about my own birthday, much less America’s. NO AMOUNT OF GUILT TRIPPING WILL MAKE ME GIVE A SHIT.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Blarg

    I think it’s sad that nobody can be bothered to volunteer. This is how traditions die out all the time.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   aaa bang

      Does this mean if I stop volunteering to do shit on my birthday, my parents will finally leave me the fuck alone about it? Because that would be fucking great.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 10:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   The Elf

      No, this is how traditions *change*.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 6:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Rattus

      Some things need to die in order for new things to grow.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Canthz_B bang

      True, Elf and Rattus. But the note doesn’t mention anything about any changes to or anything new growing in place of the traditional celebration. Just a cancellation of an organized celebration due to lack of participation by the community at large.

      Sure, these old folks are probably living in a nostalgic fantasy land, but they clearly had something, and now there’s nothing. Nothing community-oriented and sponsored at least. Probably just a bunch of individual backyard cook-outs.
      Not quite what they’re looking to encourage. That being the sense of a shared community.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 3:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   The Elf

      According to another poster here, this community manages other sorts of things and that the Independence Day celebrations weren’t very popular. So, let the tradition change to backyard cook-outs or whatever. If they really want to do something community oriented but less labor intensive, change it to a block party.

      Having recently moved to a neighborhood where people actually do watch out for each other, I do appreciate this community spirit. But there are other ways to foster it besides an unpopular parade.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 7:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.6   Canthz_B bang

      I’m not saying they should not change, Elf, and I agree with you on the block party as a great vehicle to foster a sense of community.
      Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Just the loss of a community event with nothing to fill the void.
      I think that’s what prompted this note.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 9:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   TX

    So what? Many of the 4th of July celebrations in Texas have been canceled due to the ongoing drought. This is hardly P.A. imo.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   Sensible Madness bang

    Almost every neighborhood association in the Austin area has its own 4th of July parade and celebration. For many of them, it’s pretty much the only thing they do all year. If they cancelled the 4th celebration, it basically means none of the residents in the neighborhood except for the old people even care about the association at all, and it will probably die out or become dormant in the near future.

    Of course, that particular area is primarily older people and college students, so it’s not entirely surprising that they’d have a hard time recruiting new blood.

    Jun 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   wonderman

    Good luck getting those a-holes with McMansions built all the way to the sidewalk to volunteer.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 12:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   JetJackson

    Are you sure this wasn’t written by Leslie Knope of the Pawnee parks department?

    Jul 1, 2011 at 12:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   Iris


      Jul 5, 2011 at 10:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Valerie

    I just can’t get over “but none has materialized.” Oh, and the mention of insurance, rofl.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 1:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   The Elf

      Yes, like help was supposed to just appear with the wave of a wand instead of come from people who just have other stuff they’d rather be doing.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 8:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Marty J. Christopher

    Out of all the PA note writers, I sympathize with this one. Yes, she’s being PA, but I’ve also been one of those people who goes above and beyond and it’s frustrating when people show up to have a good time, but don’t want to help out. Still, totally PA. And the list of all the perks the neighborhood will be missing out on is pretty hilarious! No shade structures??!!?? Damn!

    Jul 1, 2011 at 2:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   James L.

    If there is no “event,” why should we care that there will be no “event insurance” this year? It’s not as if the insurance company for the parade or picnic would have covered me anyway if I had set myself on fire trying to light the barbecue.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 2:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   Clumber

      I can explain this one, I speak martyr.

      LW listed event insurance et al to show how much work the previous volunteers had to do in order for everyone else to have fun. Worked their fingers to the bone, and this is the thanks they get!

      Really, it sort of backhands their previous goal of finding new mart… err.. volunteers.

      Parades suck. I have despised them like a dentist appt since I was old enough to walk away from the creepy clowns in mini-cars.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 8:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Anon

    Oh woe is me! You mean instead of spending my 4th of July sucking on a snow cone at a god damned picnic & parade designed and orchestrated by an anal retentive PTA Mom in desperate need of a Xanax prescription, I now have to throw a huge BBQ and get sh*tfaced off a wide assortment of delicious ice cold drinks whilst relaxing and watching fireworks from my hot tub? How WILL I ever cope without mother-effing shade structures and politicians???? This. will. RUIN. me.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 3:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Buck

    What!?! I can’t spend my Independence Day listening to politicians pander to me and watching my neighbors parade around while buying cheap red, white and blue crap made in China from “vendors”? No crappy music from the local Foreigner cover band or elementary school chorus singing off key? Woe unto us all! The Founding Fathers will be rolling in their graves that we have lost the true meaning of the day! The right to get event insurance, dribble mustard down our American Flag T-Shirts and listen to bad music is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence (isn’t it?)

    Jul 1, 2011 at 3:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Beth

    The whole thing sounds expensive, who pays for this parade and picnic? Maybe no one was volunteering because they are all too busy working because of the crappy economy. Or they want to spend their off time with their families. The note writer states that all the ‘old blood’ are elderly with their kids all grown and living on their own..maybe that’s why those people ever volunteered in the first place.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 6:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   LB

      I was thinking the same thing as you… this sounds expensive. Maybe it’s actually a big money maker since there are vendors. Why didn’t they just hire someone to help with logistics? With how bad the economy is, there was probably someone in their community who could have used the job and who would be thrilled to make a thousand dollars for a month of part-time work planning the event. Even an unpaid college intern might have been an option.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   Chesire Cat

    I see this is fairly mild and really don’t have a problem with it. I am one of the people who are wiling to volunteer and help out and it gets old when the same people are the ones always doing the work and no one else ever helps out. Especially when they give lame excuses why they can’t.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 7:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   The Elf

      Does “I don’t wanna” count as a lame excuse? What about “I’d rather be smothered in the fetid rotting carcasses of a hundred dead bald eagles than volunteer for the neighborhood Independence Day celebration?” Really, when you think about it “Um, I’m sorry but I’m just really busy right now and can’t take on another commitment” is downright soothing in comparison to what they were really thinking.

      I’m just not much of a joiner.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 8:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   Rattus

      I would join you in that opinion, The Elf, but, well, you know…

      Jul 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.3   Chesire Cat

      No see I would respect you just fine if you were honest and said you didn’t want to or just didn’t have the energy or were too busy. That is not what I was talking about. I get way more random excuses and they will say they don’t have time yet they have time to nap all day. I would rather they just be honest and say they don’t want to do it.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.4   The Elf

      What you are missing is that “don’t have time” is polite code word for “under no circumstances will I ever do this thing”. You’d rather they say that they don’t want to, but it is generally not considered polite.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 6:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.5   Chesire Cat

      Well I don’t consider it polite when someone lies to me.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 9:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.6   lagne

      It’s really never a lie to say “I don’t have time, sorry.” When I tell someone that, I’m saying, “I plan to spend my time in other ways, and I don’t have time to spare for this.” Even if I plan to spend a week lying on my couch in my underwear eating cheese, those are my plans; if someone’s request doesn’t fit with that, then I don’t have time to honor their request.

      And besides, this isn’t an issue of “lie” versus “truth;” it’s just social convention. Not worth the potential offense in thinking about it in such black-and-white, idealistic terms. Frankly, that really puts people on the defensive, no matter how they answer you. They don’t owe you answers, nor do their answers have to fit your definition of “acceptable” or not.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.7   Chesire Cat

      Then they can just say “No”. I do it all the time. I have no problem saying “No”. Just “No” without excuses. I don’t have to say it often because I have my shit together and have no problem showing up for other people’s functions or volunteering, but if I can’t or won’t do something than I just say “no” and be done with it.

      I have had one friend who always goes out of her way to say she will attend one of my kids’ parties when she could have just RSVPed “no” from the get go and I would have had zero problem with that. Not mad or hurt at all. But she said she was totally coming only to not show up the day off with no call or message to me whatsoever. Then when I check on her because I was worried something bad happened to her, all I get are some lame excuses. This is the kinda behavior I am bitching about.

      Jul 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   K.

    HA, I live int his ‘hood and got this notice.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 8:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Denise

    I can sympathize, but it really is over the top. In this day and age people just don’t want to participate especially when they don’t depend on their neighbors to be their only source of community.
    People don’t want to deal with drama. I’m sure there are people who live in this neighborhood who possibly would be interested in participating if they didn’t have to deal with drama queens like this lady. Our association is the same way. Everyone wants the neighborhood do goody feeling….but not all the BS that goes with it. It gets frustrating yes, but this note doesn’t do any good.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 10:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   martyev1 bang

    That’s so unusual that nobody would volunteer their free time after work and their opportunity to relax with family during a July 4th weekend in order to plan an event that goes unappreciated.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   Brooke

    Longest, most severe drought in the history of weather monitoring of Texas.

    But by all means, let’s stand in the 107 degree weather and listen to queens like this parade themselves around a dead Zilker park.

    And oh hey, by the way, part of the reason the parade can’t be sanctioned is because the route went under the W hotel. You know, the one with huge sheets of glass shattering and falling from the sky because of the record dry heat.

    All my love, an Austin Carriage Driver

    Jul 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   scrapgirl bang

    Will there still be “unofficial” parades?

    Jul 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   sally

    I wish this would happen in my neighborhood.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #32   ShellyB

    I figured out the PA. All her relatives run food vendor stalls, sell insurance and provide shade pop-up rentals. It’s her family’s big money-maker of the year.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   Knocked Up Cat Lady

    If you really think about it, all parades should be stopped anyway. They hold up traffic. And they generally suck. Politicians should be busy upholding their elected positions and posting pictures of their junk to their online communities. And while I’m on the topic, fireworks are stupid too. They’re loud. And dangerous. And usually involve standing in a crowd, which also sucks.
    I’m glad the parade is canceled and that the tired old people slaving over it can just stay home and have a beer and hotdog.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   Lola Pistola

    I live in Travis Heights, which is the neighborhood mentioned above. Seeing this in the newsletter made me laugh. The neighborhood association has been active and successful at coordinating issues with the city council, trying to negotiate street repairs, coordinating the neighborhood watch, etc. That being said, no one wanted to participate in the crappy parade other than the two people who organized it and the two or three people who were actually in the parade. If we’d felt strongly about it, we would have volunteered. The rest of us are happy to see it gone, and happy not to hear about it any more. And the writer? She really needs to get over herself.

    I have volunteered for numerous organizations over the years, and served as a volunteer coordinator for several groups. I have no trouble donating my time and energy for causes that I believe in. The bottom line–there’s usually a reason when “traditions” die a natural death.

    Jul 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #34.1   lagne

      Exactly. In a community organization I worked for, we had a yearly children’s holiday program – just some goofy little skit so the parents could snap a few pics of their kids on stage in costumes. After a few years, the parents stopped bringing their kids, so we finally just bit the bullet and cancelled it. Sure, we were sad, because we had lots of fun with the programs (even if they were tons of work), but it wasn’t a personal thing – we were doing it mostly for the parents and kids anyway, and if they weren’t interested, there wasn’t any point in forcing them.

      I think the first paragraph of this note is very telling: “The same small group of volunteers has worked hard.. and now their children, who enjoyed the event, are all grown up”….. meaning “We’ve been carrying this thing for YEARS, using our children as excuses to martyr ourselves and simmer with resentment toward you people, but now we don’t have to martyr ourselves for our children anymore, and none of you people seem to be paying attention to us or appreciating our many sacrifices, so eff off.” Kids just like FUN; chances are good they’d've been just as happy with sparklers, s’mores, and a sprinkler and slip ‘n ‘slide in the backyard (wow, alliteration much? heh).

      I look at this kind of thing in the same light as lending money. If you’re gonna lend money, you should probably expect to never see that money again; don’t give it if you can’t afford to. Likewise, volunteering your time doesn’t guarantee any kind of emotional payout, recognition, or collaboration from other people. If you cannot emotionally afford to give without receiving, then stop. And if you choose to continue, don’t blame other people because you’re broke.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #34.2   farcical aquatic ceremony

      @ lagne
      I’ve been ‘thumbing’ all your posts on this & just had to say that the comparison to lending money is perfect: the notewriter clearly wants everyone to believe that she organized kiddie parades in which HER kids could star, set up “shade structures” where SHE wanted them, and invited the politicians SHE favored for the sake of the entire community. If she could just acknowledge the fact that her own selfish interests guided her work planning those past 4th-o’-July celebrations, she could — I think — have easily recruited a younger generation of parents to take over the reins because she’d have understood that the key to a ‘living tradition’ is letting go: allowing the new group of folks to decide on a celebration that met THEIR standards/needs, not hers, whether that meant no politicians invited (!), a GLBT celebration and a doggie parade as well as an elementary schooler parade, etc., etc.

      In short, we’re all selfis when it comes to our time; letter writer shouldn’t expect OTHERS to be eager to keep HER ideas of The Perfect 4th Celebration alive.

      Jul 2, 2011 at 12:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #34.3   lagne

      Thanks, FAC. I agree with you; this notewriter just seems waaaaay the heck too personally invested in this event and wallowing in all the “self-sacrifice” that goes into it.

      unrelated: Is it bad of me that when i read “thumbing,” I think of a) thumbing one’s nose, or b) when Morgan Freeman, in “The Shawshank Redemption,” says, “Well, you gonna open that letter or sit there with your thumb up your butt?” :-)

      Jul 2, 2011 at 3:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #34.4   Canthz_B bang

      I can see your points, but I respectfully disagree on some visceral level.

      When I was a child my town had some of the most spectacular Memorial Day parades you could ever expect to see.
      Army tanks from the local armory, horses, elephants, marching bands, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, VFW members…the works. Vendors of all sorts, all in the inner city that one day each year.
      The parade was a skeleton of its former self by the time my own children were young, and I really wish they’d have had the chance to experience as grand a spectacle as I was able to see when I was their age.

      We die a little as a people when we fail to appreciate and uphold some traditions, because tradition is one of the ties that bind us together as a society.
      Lose too much tradition, and we lose our identity as a people.
      If you just happen to be against fireworks displays on the Fourth of July as “dangerous”, maybe you need to review the words of The Star-Spangled Banner to refresh your memory as to just why we display fireworks. I think it has something to do with the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 when our troops fought all night to defend that 7/4/1776 declaration.
      For some reason, I always think the fireworks we view are a lot less dangerous than the ones those soldiers faced that night.
      In the dawn’s early light, the star-spangled banner waved…not the white flag of surrender.
      Patriotism? No. Just a sense of pride and appreciation of sacrifice.
      I’m proud to say that star-spangled banner yet waves o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      As a country woven together by peoples from all over the globe, tradition is much more important to the American identity than it is to some other countries where shared heritage may be a more important factor. We don’t have a shared heritage as Americans. We have shared ideals, so our traditions become that much more important to us.
      Lose that, and lose the idea of America. America is all about keeping your heritage, sharing it with others, and embracing the heritages of others as your own. Put simply, America is indeed a melting pot when it works best.

      Just my take on it. Not making an argument, just stating an opinion.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 3:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #34.5   lagne

      Nicely said. We may disagree on the specifics of the notewriter’s motives, and none of us except those who live in the neighborhood know the specifics of the “parade situation,” but multiple thumbs for ^.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   Charlie

    fuck ‘em

    Jul 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #36   Linda

    We don’t have a neighborhood association, thank goodness.

    I would take the bit about the permits and insurance as a warning, more than a PA. I’m one of those idiots who would probably try to get up a parade or some such after having ignored previous requests for help.

    Jul 2, 2011 at 6:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #37   emily

    yeah this doesn’t seem that bad. it makes sense that she tells people what isn’t going to be there – the neighborhood needs to know that they could get in trouble if they try to have a party anyway, because a lot of things aren’t in place, including a permit and a police presence.

    Jul 2, 2011 at 11:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #38   Nunavut Guy

    Dam…..now I want a frickin’ hot dog.

    Jul 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #39   Jenny

    “Canceled” is spelled wrong.

    Jul 3, 2011 at 10:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #39.1   Mountain Road

      Depends what dialect of English she’s using. It’s correct spelling in Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand and South African English, for example. It’s incorrect in US English.

      Jul 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #39.2   Jenny

      Yes, but the note is from Austin, and it’s spelled wrong in the headline on this page. Just sayin’.

      Jul 4, 2011 at 8:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #39.3   The Elf

      Is it correct in Texas English?

      Jul 5, 2011 at 6:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #40   anonymouse

    I used to live on a parade route. I absolutely hated the parade. It screwed up traffic all day. It was noisy and obnoxious. My friend lives near the Rose Parade route. She hates it too. She is basically house-bound for 3 days.

    It my contention that most people over the age of 19 hate parades. They don’t mind watching the Rose Parade on TV, but, like blacks, don’t want one in their neighborhood.

    I ask you–would you want a parade in front of your home every year?

    Jul 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.1   farcical aquatic ceremony

      Jeez, where the hell do you live that “most” adults (still!) have a ‘not in my neighborhood’ attitude towards blacks? I mean, it’s 2011, I can’t even venture a guess that you’re writing from South Africa anymore…

      Jul 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.2   Rattus

      Don’t want blacks in their neighbourhood? What the fuck? In all honesty, what sort of moron would venture that opinion out loud, no matter if they were revolting enough to feel it.

      Jul 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.3   bookworm

      Oh hi. You must have wandered over from Fark.

      Jul 4, 2011 at 11:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.4   Nunavut Guy

      I suppose that you would rather have the black guy in your front yard,you know,so you could keep an eye on him.

      Jul 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.5   Canthz_B bang

      DAMN!! I take a week off and the racists slip right in!! 8-O

      I’m a black guy and I agree, I don’t want the Rose Bowl Parade on TV in my backyard either!! (changed to backyard from neighborhood because, as we all know, there are laws against prohibiting home ownership based upon race, but not to worry, we don’t wish to live anywhere near ignorant people like you anyway. So stay ignorant, and stay free of us. It’s just that simple…as simple as your mind, because you are obviously simple-minded, or would you prefer to be called a simpleton? I don’t want to be politically incorrect.)

      I also don’t want any anonymice back there. ;-)

      anonymouse, I once had a friend whose house was situated right where the St. Patrick’s Day Parade assembly area was. The parade began in the center of the street right in front of his house. Not only did no one complain, but we looked forward to the occasion each year. His mom prepared mountains of corned beef and cabbage and other fare, opened her home (and most importantly her bathroom) to marchers, and we had a great time every year.
      I suppose one can either bitch about or embrace such a circumstance, but I don’t think I ever heard her say that those damned Irish should piss down their legs rather than use her facilities, you racist SOB.
      Don’t worry. You’ll never find me in your back yard…these days we come right up to the front door. :-P

      Jul 5, 2011 at 3:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #41   Nunavut Guy

    Okay,okay.I’ll take the black guy.

    Jul 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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