Volume 94, Issue 97

Friday, March 23, 2001


Letters to the Editor

Columnist's prescription for city-wide unity - The first annual Forest City 'Just Cuz' parade

Columnist's prescription for city-wide unity - The first annual Forest City 'Just Cuz' parade

By Chad Finkelstein
Opinions Intern

Having just returned from my first trip ever to New York City, it seems quite obvious why it has been dubbed "The City That Never Sleeps."

Horns blaring, music blasting, sirens wailing, pimps jive-talking; the chaos never stops. There's no way anybody can get a little shut-eye with all the commotion.

A fraction of the clamour that I witnessed came in the form of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Its jubilance and happy irreverence got me thinking that if New York can juggle so many parades and still keep its population tolerant of them despite the inconveniences they create, why can't London do the same?

Yes, there's Homecoming. But that's only campus-wide, and this novelty needs to involve every demographic. I challenge anybody to come up with more than, let's say, three substantial reasons why a parade would not be a realistic and beneficial possibility.

It can't be any old parade though. London is certainly not New York, so the Forest City's budget for these types of blowouts is more limited. That's why it must be an annual event so special it keeps residents of all ages salivating with unrelenting anticipation for the next one. Thus, there can only be one.

First, it will need a name. Since we are limited to only one parade a year, nobody should be excluded from it or feel discriminated by it. To be completely non-denominational, London's parade must be totally ambiguous. I propose the 'Just Cuz' Parade.

Why that name you ask? Just cuz. This nomenclature will serve the dual purpose of defending its existence, as well as entertaining. For instance, some naysayer may ask, "Why are you celebrating?", to which you could answer, "Just cuz." It's a parade. It should require no more justification.

Second, we need a place and time. I think Richmond Street is a pretty sharp idea because it's big and people know where it is. Also, you know, just cuz. A fun place to start would be Masonville Place because I think civilization might actually end past Loblaws.

The J.C. parade should then make its way down Richmond until it hits Stobie's Pizza. No real reason here except that seems like a long enough route and maybe the Stobie's people, in the spirit of the parade, would give out some free pizza and garlic bread. They will have to be notified in advance, but I can't envision a problem.

Obviously, the weather will need to be nice, but not summer-nice since all the students will be gone. We also do not want it too early in the year because students are still getting accustomed to the school, and such an explosive extravaganza might disorient them a bit.

I think the last weekend in March would be appropriate. School is ending, nobody is too deep into exams, and if this weekend's forecast is a reliable indication, the weather will always be light and sunny.

Third, the city needs a concrete concept to celebrate. I envision the entire community pouring into the streets promoting whatever makes them happy. Homemade and corporate floats are welcome, but so are vagrants wandering the streets, just looking for a good time. If you play an instrument, bring that too. A parade shouldn't be limited by a specific theme or moral code.

This could be a great experience to unite a disillusioned populace. And though I feel confident that I could pitch this Just Cuz idea to the legislature and have Western's support behind me, I'm just not sure it will be enough to convince those City Hall fat cats of its necessity.

So this is all the planning I'm going to do. It's your parade Western, I hand the responsibility over to you. Why won't I finish what I started? Just cuz.

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