New Year's Fireworks: 'Like a Giant Christmas Tree on Fire'

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By Chason Gordon

Special to the The Daily Weekly

Before I remark on the travesty that was the New Year's fireworks, let me give you my qualifications as a critic. I studied the great art of pyrotechnics with the Zambellis in New Castle and the Gruccis in Brookhaven, where I learned all the techniques of the trade, like how to point fireworks away from your face, how to stuff the thing inside the other thing, and which colors are cool (blue), and not so cool (yellow).

So it was with great sadness that I watched Tuesday's display. The show opened strong enough with an array of rings and comets shooting out from the Space Needle in a rousing ascent of light and color. But as the fireworks continued with a splattering of peonies (I know the lingo), it felt more like a mundane tribute to the Space Needle than a celebration of the New Year. They lacked a certain immediacy and newness. A great fireworks show should create a dialog, not pander with safe constructs that reinforce prejudices.

How many times have we seen boom/boom/bang? Is it too much to ask for a boom/bang/boom, or a bang/bang/kapow, just to shake thing up a little? Even the colors were uninspired. Throw something in there besides red and green, so I don't have to vomit on my hotdog. The show had all the dignity of a box of Froot Loops. And besides, if you want to stay with tradition, at least do it properly. You follow a willow with a crossette, not with a spider! Everyone knows that.

I understand why the fireworks need to be set off by a computer, but were they choreographed by one as well? Where was the heart? The crowd kept waiting for a crescendo that never arrived. It's truly amazing that we got nothing but foreplay from something that inherently symbolizes ejaculation. Who knew that was possible?

The fireworks looked like a giant Christmas tree on fire, like an old Windows screensaver, like somebody pissed on a Lite-Brite box (too much?). If you glanced in the distance, you could just see the moon desperately trying to get out of the shot.

We go to a fireworks show expecting to celebrate the New Year, not to be reminded of the world's inevitable march towards self-destruction. Let me be hopeful for five goddamn minutes. Because with that kind of sendoff, the only resolution I'll be able to keep next year is to not watch the fucking fireworks. That I can accomplish.

Look, I'm sorry. I got into a big argument with a cab driver and it put me in a bad mood, so I may have been a little harsh. The fireworks were fine.

Happy New Year, I guess.

 
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