Category Archives: Writing

2016: The Monkey Parade

Revisit this crazy monkey year!

2016: The Monkey Parade

Gather up everybody!
Crowd on in, grab a cushy chair
for your derriere
or stand, pitch an umbrella
or stay in the shade
Now… drum roll into 2016 please! (pa-ta-pa-ta-pa-ta…)
Year of the Fire Monkey!
Bring on the parade!

Up above, pilot monkeys criss-cross in the sky,
drawing out “2016” in white…
Reverberating below,
a spectacular primate show
on parade-lined streets-
Troops of monkeys march merrily and tight,
twirl and toss batons up high
in dapper threads and cleats…

Now, the parade crowd gets pumped, swaying
and dancing along with horses to the opening band
of primates upping the decibel levels, playing
memorable number one ’16 tunes:
DNCE‘s catchy inaugural anthem,
Cake By The Ocean” and
Justin Timberlake’s infectious, summer jam
Can’t Stop The Feeling!”…

(A side note: Later in the parade program,
other popular songs will be performed- from
fun chart-topping ’16 hits,
to classic tunes paying profound respect
to a variety of musical artists
lost in ’16, as well as some jingle bits,
parade instrumental and hymn
standards we have come to expect.)

But now marching… monkeys suited up
in red, white and blue that begin to unravel
a banner spelling out –
” U.S. President-elect
Donald J. Trump“…

Abruptly, half of the crowd cheers-
while the other half jeers.
The crowd clamor is, no doubt,
deafening to a ear swell.

Adding to the din is the gallop and neigh
of a highly decorated brigade saddled
with American flags. In a cadillac wagon
is a mold of the biz mogul turned President-elect
Trump (Yeah, “President-elect”! We have it correct…)
and family-
Melania, daughters Ivanka & Tiffany
sons
Donald Jr., Eric and young Barron,
who, despite all the noise, acts very well-adjusted.

Following down the parade route is towering
unabashedly patriotic float,
Make America Great Again
inspired by Trump’s much-echoed campaign
and post-election mantra. Through float tower windows
peek out dozens of
Howler monkeys resembling
Trump in finely tailored suit and red tie fashion
and with orange-colored toupées (who knows
how in the world those hairpieces stay on?)

Right behind the Trump showcase are other
troops of Howlers, donned in Prez candidate
Hillary Clinton themed “I’m With Her”
and “Love Trumps Hate” apparel.
This howler bunch stomps down parade route,
going all apesh-t over Trump’s electoral feat
Amongst, but in contrast to the stompers are primate
paraders, howling mad, but going forward in a glum gait.

Next up is Hillary’s float, not the dreamed up one she
would have adored — of Cinderella-like glass slipper
broken in or glass ceiling broken variety.
However, it’s a highly conceptualized two-face
display — on one side, a Hillary proud and chipper,
while the other revealing a weary-eyed, crushed face.
Also noteworthy — her sculpted back, sore
from the cling of monkeys.

Closely following Hillary, even more monkeys, marching
and sitting upon the rims of the float,
Wikileaks, a huge
fountain with continuous drip-drip— then a sudden deluge.
From that— monkeys, parade poster signs with various
excerpts from Secretary of State Clinton’s
scandalous
e-mails, part of the crowd, galloping horses,
and especially Hillary’s float rolling
just ahead— get drenched to its core.

Behind Trump’s and Clinton’s remarkable showcases
is an assortment of floating balloon caricatures
resembling Presidential Primary race runner-ups, led
by Sen.
Bernie Sanders, cheered on passionately by
crowd millennials yelling “Feel the Bern!” as a rally cry.
Following him are balloons of long-shot 3
rd party Prez
candidates: Gov.
Gary Johnson, loony Libertarian figurehead
and Dr.
Jill Stein, gov-control giddy Green Party head.

Digressing from the US ’16 Prez election,
we turn attention to the red, white & blue of Britain,
whose citizens decided in a 52% majority vote
to leave the European Union. On the float,
titled
Brexit, flows a large Union Jack flag made
impressively of replica 10, 20 and 50 quid.
Following the flag are stallions leading a splendid
carriage with new prime minister,
Theresa May.

Next up— a drastically different parade display.
A giant mosquito with the word “
Zika“ looms
over the crowd. The wide-eyed crowd zooms
in on this creepy brownish flyer, representing
the viral ’16 disease that created much dismay
and swept all over the Americas,
especially deep in Rio neighborhoods of
cariocas
but notably too in Miami. Disturbing!

A float showcase dedicated to the world that was
in 2016 rolls down next, Stretching a block is
Pulses
a two-part achievement. The first part – a creation
à la Rose Parade, made of all natural materials
conveying a strong worldly message that addresses
world cooperation. Perched up is a basket melange
of “pulses”— made of organic beans, chickpeas & lentils.
It represents
2016: International Year of Pulses, by the UN.

Focusing on the showcase’s latter part ,
an anatomically-correct built pulsating heart
draws everyone’s eye balls and resonates.
With us all. Surrounding it— names of places that pulsate
bright. Sadly, these places are notable
’16 sites of terror:
Nice, France; Brussels, Belgium; Aleppo, Syria
Dhaka, Bangldesh; Istanbul,Turkey; Berlin, Germany;Lahore
Pakistan; Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria

Next float: lily adorned Orlando, FL, dedicated
to not just 49 lives lost and dozens more devastated
from the unprecidented domestic terror incident
at
Orlando‘s Pulse nightclub— but to ex-contestant
of “The Voice”,
Christina Grimmie, whose star was
growing until it succumbed to homicide in the city;
and to lil’
Lane Graves, lost in a vast gator morass
by Disneyworld. What woe felt beyond the Orlando vicinity…

The parade continues to proceed in a solemn tone,
recognizing an alarming number of innocent lives gone
throughout America. As the Fallen in Blue float goes
by, we honor a devastatingly high count of police officers
assassinated while on duty. The U.S.A. flag flows
at half staff over fallen officer portraits,
and posters with elegantly written prayers.
Monkeys on bagpipe beautifully commemorate…

We mourn on reflecting upon the float, Black and Blue,
built in memory of American lives, notably
high from the black community, killed by
officer gunfire. Despite the float conjuring up a racially
charged divide, the crowd— composed of every skin hue,
and of various races— remains united showing respectful
remembrance. Many folks pray in silence, pray vocally
and embrace, not giving into actions regrettable.

Next on parade route is the water powered float, Deluge
focusing on harrowing Hurricane Matthew, a ’16 disaster
that hit harshest and most fatal in Haiti but was a huge
deal for other parts of the Caribbean and for a slew
of southeast sections in the U.S.- from towns up and down
the FL peninsula to those in coastal Carolina. Also, monster
floods that wrecked havoc especially in
Baton Rouge
are not left unmentioned on Deluge.

We now turn our attention to the float, Fire, a moving memorial
for two horrific fire outbreaks in late ’16. First, we remember
the Chimney Tops 2 wildfires that roared in mid-November
in the majestic Great Smoky Mountain region of east Tennessee,
taking 14 lives— from grade schoolers to grandparents. Secondly,
we remember the East Oakland warehouse blaze in Fruitvale,
a tragedy from early December that claimed 36— many of whom
were party goers out to rev it up before meeting a fiery doom.

Next: we recall ’16’s firestorm of protest and rally in the U.S.
and globally on urban streets and rural lands. Holler monkeys yell
for social justice, for and in defiance of politicians, as well
as scream in support of various political matters. Unabashed passion
burns over Trump & Clinton, immigration/ wall at U.S. Mexico border,
Dakota Pipeline, HB 2 legislation battle, Korean President action,
gun control, climate change, #Blacklivesmatter, #Bluelivesmatter,
Venezuelean Political and Food Shortage crisis, Flint Water Crisis

Well…back to less heavy parade pomp. We now set our eyes
and ears to Fire Monkeys, the official parade marshals
who appear in various distinguished disguises.
They, instead of just smiling and waving to the crowd
in a grand classic convertible, present a full recital
of dance, drum, incense and blistering firecracker loud
effects to traditionally mark the 2016 Lunar
New Year.
This is the height of cultural pageantry and cheer.

Coming down next are, arguably, the most beautiful
floats, featuring different artist renditions of ’16 sensation,
the
Supermoon, which appeared back in November.
The “perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system” made
such a fuss! White, yellow and orange moons in full,
resplendent glory with dazzling shimmer
produce elongated oohs and aahs from parade
attendees of both the young and old generation.

Coming up next in the parade are ever so curious
monkey floats… First up: Challenges, with chimpanzees
performing two ’16 trends — one with a great pause,
the Mannequin Challenge, and Water Bottle Challenge, fun
especially to gullible grade schoolers kiddies—
but to those who thrive in thrill-seeking stimulus,
the latter “challenge” was more boring than reciting laws
from a manual of administrative legislation!

Next: The Great Mad Circus float. In ’16 society
came an out of nowhere an overly hyped and hysterical
fear of clowns, plaguing otherwise normal mindsets of rationality.
Now presented: a 2-ring circus with clowns and monkeys.
The first ring depicts the crazed hype with a trapeze
act of panicked Howler monkeys versus diabolical clowns.
The second ring features a mad chase of capuchins
by Joker face clowns on walking globes and unicycle.

To lighten the mood of the parade
is the float,
Tech Culture ’16, featuring
loony looking, lackadasical baboons laid
up on cloud 9 balloons while glued to digital vices
like headphone jackless
Iphone 7s
and bulky
virtual reality smart devices
which redefined surreal dimensional touring.
Oh my heavens!

Next up is a special monkey performance
that is absolutely off the chain!
Primates of all breeds are having a ball
doing the similian Samsung smash dance
on
Galaxy Note 7 phones down to the sim card
Millions of the cell phones were on recall
due to high explosion potential and were barred
on the airplane and even on the train.

On the next float, Live with Monkeys, has several
scenes of chimps live streaming themselves on
Facebook Live,
Instagram Stories and yes, ‘course
Snapchat, via their smart phone and tablet.
Following suit, many human parade goers get
on their devices and stream themselves- passing on
the moment of enjoying reality au naturel…
Quite a twist on “Monkey see, monkey do”… and a farce!

And now— monkeys marching with head up, then
wandering off formation a bit while playing Pokemon Go
and afterward marching properly once again…
Yes, Poke-monkey mania! I know, it’s insane!
They look as if they got vertigo.
bumping into sidewalk fire engines,
street meters and poles, and yes, even
parade watchers, including kids in lil’ wagons…

Joyous parade thumpin’ gives way to near quiet
during the (long) ’16 Dearly Departed procession.
A distinguished band of monkeys now begin
to play a very moving and patriotic set
for former first lady and philanthropist,
Nancy Reagan
reunited gladly with her Ronnie in heaven,
after being apart from him for over a dozen
years. Such a remarkable test of
love and devotion

Following the former First Lady, we honor
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with The Gavel,
represented by a gigantic, well-polished wooden
gravel deliberately tilted to the right.
Next up: monkeys dressed up as astronauts unveil
the float saluting
John Glenn, former U.S. Senator
but better known as an astronaut and first American
to orbit the earth, a feat that is truly out of sight!

From almost quiet to the sudden beat of bongos
and bata drums, the rhythm of the parade
is altered with the entry of the float,
Adios!,
for Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, dead
in late ’16. There is no effigy of him made
unkind nor comely for him displayed– instead,
the float’s main feature is the pulsating
musica
symbolizing renewed hope for Cuba Libre! Dale!

Rolling down next on parade route…
a giant floating butterfly and a bumble bee-
dedicated to “The Greatest”,
Muhammad Ali.
His tribute float is staged as two pro boxing rings—
one with a young Cassius Clay and the other
with a mature Ali. Also displayed is the full quote
of “Float like a Butterfly…”, other poignant sayings
and from his beloved Kentucky, fresh goldenrod flower.

Next, on the float, 2016 Hall of Fame: In Memoriam
is a giant trophy with not just Ali’s name
but the names of two other “best-of-sport” pros
of their respective sport: ice hockey’s,
Gordie Howe
aka Mr. Hockey. He dominated the NHL rink
Also, we salute golf’s,
Arnold Palmer (let’s do cheers now
with a complimentary cup of classic Palmer drink
the refreshing half tea, half-lemonade combo.

Scores of sports personalities are also saluted
with a farewell on other floats, including:
legendary basketball coach,
Pat Summitt who’s said
often to be the greatest of all coaches female or male;
famous and fiery NFL coaches,
Buddy Ryan & Dennis Green;
pro fighter
Chyna who showed brawn previously unseen
from a female in the wrestling ring;
pro fighter
Kimbo Slice, a killa of the MMA‘s early days;

young ace Miami Marlins pitcher, Jose Fernandez
whose life tragically came to an end after a dangerous sail;
ex NFL players
Will Smith & Joe McKnight lost to senseless
gun violence as well as
1994 Heisman Trophy winner,
Raashan Salaam
; 4 ex New York Jets players: Winston Hill,
Curley Johnson, Dennis Byrd and Konrad Reuland;
NBA HOF er of the Seattle SupersonicsNate Thurmond
2-time Olympian diver/trailblazer, Sammy Lee;

several members of ’16’s Brazilian Chapeonense
futebol team whose career and lives came to an end
in a
plane crash; on the field and broadcast legend
of the venerable New York Yankee organization
Joe Garagiola
; sharp ESPN The Sports Reporters anchor,
John Saunders; standout tennis commentator and historian,
Bud Collins and life-affirming NBA sideline reporter
known for his great bad fashion style and humor;
Craig Sager

On the Hollywood memorial procession
are seasoned thespians of whom we’re so fond:
Abe Vigoda, aka Salvatore Tessio in
The Godfather; George Kennedy, funny
Airplane! co-anchor; fave ’70s TV mom
Florence Henderson, aka Carol Brady from
The Brady Bunch and Doris Roberts, who we
know as Marie Barone from
Everybody Loves Raymond;

Additionally, on memorial floats we honor
late greats, among them:
Gene Wilder of Willy Wonka glory;
dry humor comedian and TV host,
Garry Shandling;
character actor extraordinaire with that outstanding,
chilling voice,
Alan Rickman; young Oscar winner
turned senior actress,
Patty Duke; Barney Miller
and Firefly scene stealer, Ron Glass; influential
TV and feature film director,
Garry Marshall;

witty actor of Growing Pains fame and jingleman
for many TV shows and bits,
Alan Thicke; young thespian
who appeared in Star Trek sequels, Anton Yelchin;
Sassy Hungarian born Hollywood socialite turned
glam queen actress, Zsa Zsa Gabor and TV veteran
journalists: one of a very few who earned
a coveted
60 Minutes spot, Morley Safer, and successful
pioneering PBS News Hour journalist,
Gwen Ifill .

Embraced shoulder to shoulder and separately
on a R.I.P. float is a mold of one of most lovely
and talented showbiz mother-daughter combos:
Debbie Reynolds, old Hollywood screen darling
in
Singin’ in the Rain and daughter Carrie Fisher,
widely known as Princess Leia and a witty writer
of soul revealing novels and auto-bios.
Their hours apart passings were truly heart-rending.

Dedicated to late writers from ’16 is a float, with a scholarly
looking monkey anchoring a giant feather pen
with an inkblot trail. Written on the bed of the float is
a group of legendary names associated with 20
th century
standouts in the written word:
In the Name of the Rose‘s
Umberto Eco; To Kill a Mockingbird‘s, Harper Lee
Night’s Elie Wiesel, and also written
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf playwright, Edward Albee.

Next up… a major music float showcase
dedicated to legends who left this place
for a perm gig in rock ‘n roll heaven
Paying tribute are over ten dozen
marching monkeys banging on cymbals
and drums, tooting trombones and trumpets,
blowing on saxophones and clarinets,
killing it on guitar, bass and all.

First up: a spectacular band of marmosets play a medley
of classics from awesomely odd, innovative icon,
David Bowie
on the float,
Ziggy Stardust The band rocks it super electric
with magnificent opening riffs of the float-titled
song and “The Man Who Sold The World”,
follows with brassy takes on “
Fame” and “Life on Mars?”,
plays a brooding woodwind on Bowie’s brilliantly tragic
Heroes” & “Space Oddity” and drums it up with “Let’s Dance.

Next on the music memorial ride: Prince
The float is decked out in marvelous purple ,
displays a cute little red Corvette, plays
a medley of
Prince‘s “Let’s Go Crazy” and stand-alone
anthem “
Purple Rain”, which unites the crowd as one…
Mournful, cracking voices then break out at once
How can you just leave me standing alone
in a world so cold? ”(from “
When Doves Cry”) …

Now, we remember rebel musician Merle Haggard
immortalized on the
Outlaw float. A band of monkeys
dressed in rugged brown and black western outfits
play a mix of Merle’s number one greatest hits:
Mama Tried” and “Okie From Muskogee”,
as well as “
Silver Wings”, a mournful standard
that serves as inspiration behind a sculpted
likeness of him dominating his float bed.

Next float: Heartache, a rockin’ parade tribute to Glenn Frey
Monkeys break out into
Eagles hits with him singing
lead and his solo songs— from “
Take It Easy”,
to “
Heartache Tonight”, “We Belong to the City
to “
The Heat is On” and “Ol’ 55”, especially playing
hauntingly now…“We’ll, my time went so quickly,
I went Lickety-splickly…
Oh, those classic songs, they’ll never die…

Featured now: A Dedication to George Michael, tremendous
Brit talent with a worldwide reach to hearts and souls.
Taken from Earth on ’16 Christmas, he’s saluted fittingly
by chimps with his funky hit, “Monkey“, followed by Wham’s sultry,
sax-heavy, “
Careless Whisper” & ironic to G.M.’s life, “Last Christmas”;
ultra sexy “
Father Figure” and, ahem, “I Want Your Sex“; ’90s singles
Praying For Time & Freedom; smooth ballad hit, “
One More Try”;
and “
Faith“, with chimps gyrating like George did in his iconic vid. Funny!

Up next: Shining Star, a moment to honor Maurice White
main singer of
Earth, Wind & Fire, and the mastermind
of the band who left us behind
with jammin’ number one
after another- from “
Shining Star” to “September”,
Fantasy” to “Boogie Wonderland
and stirring ballad, “
After The Love Has Gone
with that sultry sax solo to remember.

Also honored separately is lovely Natalie Cole, gone
just before the crack of midnight of NYD, January 1
A jazzy primate quartet does a fine medley of her
classics, from “This Will Be” to “Inseperable”,
Pink Cadillac” to “Miss You Like Crazy
and finally to the incomparable, “Unforgettable”,
which one would believe she is gracefully
singing in a celestial space with her father

On a long music memorial float plays a variety
of beloved songs: Beatles’ “
In My Life”, in honor
Fab Four producer/ “Fifth Beatle”,
Sir George Martin;
Celine Dion‘s “Because You Love Me”, for Rene Angelil
Celine’s manager, main man and her
coeur;
an Emerson, Lake and Palmer medley, for Keith Emerson
and
Greg Lake; Vanity‘s “Nasty Girl” for the Prince protegée
Billy Paul‘s “Me and Mrs. Jones”, for R&B man, Paul;

Querida”, for romantic and flamboyant, Juan Gabriel
Joey and Rory‘s “When I’m Gone”, for graceful
Joey Feek, country and bluegrass songstress;
A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Scenario”, for rapper
Phife Dawg, founding Quest member;
Leon Russell‘s “A Song For You” for multi-genre
artist, Russell and
Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah”,
for singer/songwriter and poet Cohen…

Back to lighter parade fare- ’16 sports moments.
The float, “
Super Bowl 50 features a football mold
surrounded by
Denver Broncos figurines, featuring
Peyton Manning who, in his second stint
as QB was dogged for being too old and leaden
but labored enough with a mighty defensive outfit.
The Broncos, reached the NFL summit beating
the
Carolina Panthers, led by cunning QB Cam Newton.

Following next are monkeys banging the drum
with the image of
Tom Brady, forced on suspension
over
Deflategate and put back in his familiar position
as QB starter for the
New England Patriots.
Boy, did he ever comeback and impress!
Drumming monkeys also pound on the likeness
of NFL ’16 stars, including
Dallas Cowboys twosome
rookies QB
Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott.

More monkeys bang the drum with the NFL Rams logo
The Blue and Gold made a triumphant return back
to Los Angeles, thus ending one kind of drought in L.A—
the pro football one… Lastly in ’16 NFL: We can’t forgo
mention of
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kapernick and flack
over his kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner.
12 Monkeys make their stance known on the C. K. controversy
as U.S.A’s anthem begins to play:

11 monkeys stand with ball caps off and palm on heart
and sing the opening line “Oh, say, can you see …
’til “ land of the free and the home of the brave” proudly
all to honor America for her good (and quite possibly they
also stand and sing as a subtle “ F.U. to C.K.”). But one monkey
kneels in protest, taking to one knee and taking to heart
C.K’s feelings over not standing— over repeated injustices
suffered by people of color by America and other grievances.

We move on from ’16 gridiron to the year in hockey
as monkeys salute the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins
’16 Stanley Cup winners, managing to pull off 4 wins
out of 6 games with series MVP, Sidney Crosby.
Chimps, all dressed in the Penguins jerseys
black and yellow and even girly pink,
skate on a long made for parade ice rink.
(Mind you, not all skate successfully!)

Next float: a large balloon of Lebron James
lifting his
Cleveland Cavalier brigade
and pouring rain directly on the parade,
that is, the parade with the
Golden State Warriors
balloons bunch up below. Despite being victors
of a record number of regular season games,
the Warriors suffered
championship defeat
led by Lebron’s sheer will and dominance.

The long “Believeland” cavalcade of chimps on
horseback, follows underneath Lebron’s large shadow.
They represent loyal, long-suffering Cleveland sports fans
who waited several decades, but seemingly an eon
to celebrate a championship. The chimps scream not
just for their ballin’ NBA East beast Cavs, but for the
Cle Indians
who would have been ’16 MLB champs were it not
for the
Cubs beating them in a World Series Game 7— doh!

Holy Cow— did that happen? Did it really happen?
Nah…has to be a dream, a figment of folly-filled imagination?
Wow… no foolin’! The Chicago Cubs, longtime lovable losers
won the World Series! Cubs win! North side Chi-crew wins!
The 108 year run of being bruisers,
of being
cursed by the Billy Goat, black cat and Steve Bartman
ceased after a 3 game comeback over the Indians,
who fought hard and frankly could have just as well won!

The Cubbie float, a replica of Wrigley Field, makes its way
down the parade. Of course, a big Cubbie contingency
of monkeys surrounds it. Their hollering is a far cry
from that of the estimated 5 million turnout of the actual
Cubs Victory parade— but monkeys are losing their minds!
They jump up and down, mosh about… even some do a trust fall
a peculiar ’16 trend, high atop the Wrigley float roof edge

Up next: reminders of Rio 2016 on the Olympics float
with monkeys singing classic bossa nova
anthem of Brazil, “
The Girl From Ipanema”,
dancing the samba super, super sexy,
and doing flashy moves of
capoeira,
striking the
Usain Bolt victory pose, flipping
on the floor and beam like
Simone Biles, dipping
and stroking like
Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky

Behind the honorable Olympics float is the one
dishonorable, featuring a troop of primates
having fun flinging gooey ripened bananas
at cut-outs of Ryan Lochte and a few of his swim teammates
for being idiot, vandalizing ugly Americans of Rio ’16
Also, monkeys pitch the potassium rich fruits at some 119
“shadowed” Russian athlete cut-outs banned for doping.

Coming next: L.A. Vets, a float for two legendary
sports figureheads- the venerable
Vin Scully,
beloved
Dodger game announcer/storyteller
who called it a career with a mega retirement send-off
and
Kobe Bryant, master Laker baller who went off
like a mad man in his swan song game before
hanging up his cleats, running up the score
with 60 points on 22-50 shooting. Shocker!

Digressing from sports, we celebrate ’16 diversion
in music and media arts of movies & television.
First, we highlight the float,
25, an ode to Adele‘s
album of the same name. Vinyl cuts from the Brit belle’s
third studio masterpiece plays…
How marvelously she slays
on every track- from top ’16 hit “
Hello” to “ River Lea”,
Million Years Ago” to “Remedy” …

Pulsating things up a bit- the next float plays loud
’16 EDM & hip hop-
Calvin Harris, Chainsmokers
Drake and Kanye songs dominate. Monkeys go wild
dancin’, so do millennials in the parade crowd
to bangin’ beats. More on the ’16 rap radar
it’s a lot of
Desiigner, Kendrick Lamar
Chance the Rapper and Rae Sremmurd
hey, that’s drummerS eaR backward!

Lemons overwhelm the next parade float honoring
Beyoncé and her mega visual-audio feat,
Lemonade. Monkeys march strong to the beat
of the opening track, “
Formation” and twerk it out
to “
Sorry”, which contains one of the most talked about
lyrics in all of ’16, “better call Becky with the good hair”
and had Bey’s “Beehive” fans and others wondering,
just who
is Becky? Yeah, many really did care…

After Bey’s “Sorry” ends, Justin Bieber‘s hypnotic
dance track of the
same name starts to play…
Next, two songs that make you wanna twerk, twerk
twerk, twerk, twerk: Rihanna’s dancehall-y “
Work
with Drake & Fifth Harmony‘s “
Work From Home”…
Switching things up now, some country music:
Tim McGraw‘s “Humble and Kind”, a dear ’16 anthem
that makes monkeys and everyone else sway.

Rockin’ down parade route next- simian impersonators
of Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N Roses, who made a major
comeback in ’16. Two baboons nail classic GnR signatures-
Axl’s bandana look and stage moves, Slash’s big mane sway
and guitar slay… And now crankin’ in country again for
the crowd is a solo baboon doing Garth Brooks—from cowboy hat
top to boots bottom plus down home ”aah shucks” charm and that
uncanny stage swagger. Brooks returned gloriously from 90s glory.

Next up, monkeys on a float watching a giant 4K TV
displaying a clip reel of popular & acclaimed ’16 shows—
Top Emmy & pop culture winner,
Game of Thrones; charmer
’80s ode
, Stranger Things; hardcore drug drama, Narcos;
western sci-fi wonder,
Westworld ; endearing and family-friendly
reboots, web series
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
and
Fuller House, tear jerker drama, This is Us and based on real-life
crime series,
The People vs OJ Simpson and Making a Murderer .

Rolling down next is the gigantic float of ’16 TV
with makeshift gravestones of shows once full of life
but suddenly became kaput in ’16:
Mike and Molly
Person of Interest, Rizzoli and Isles, The Good Wife
and maybe most notably, beloved crime drama,Castle
with a very alive Beckett and Castle in marital bliss,
and the formerly high rated, not-to-miss
reality singing competition show,
American Idol.

Next is the float, Monkeys and the Movies
Littered with ticket stubs and popcorn wrappers,
the display pays homage to leading ’16 screen characters
One monkey resembles
Deadpool, maniacal no holds
barred anti-hero from the flick of the same name, starring
redeemed action movie sensation,
Ryan Reynolds.
Another monkey nails the look of
Harley Quinn, alluring
sexpot villain from
Suicide Squad, played by Margot Robbie.

Also featured on the ’16 movie float is a simian
version of the dueling superhero pair from semi-flop flick,
Batman vs Superman, plus a fierce and funny female foursome
rendition from another so-so box office performer,
Ghostbusters.
Probably most entertaining is a bunch of stormtrooper monkeys
with uber impressive outfits and weaponry from fantastic
Star Wars additions,
The Force Awakens and Rogue One
which were, of course, top ’16 blockbusters.

Following the float is a chimp troop holding a banner
revealing the name of Best Picture Oscar winner,
Spotlight. A huge spotlight shines over the monkeys
and a replica of
Leonardo Dicaprio, who finally won,
an Oscar trophy— thus, getting the proverbial monkey-like
off his back of losing. He won as a little less handsome
lead battling man, the elements and a very big bear
in Oscar nominee,
The Revenant.

The ’16 movie salute goes on with baby chimps dancing
along to songs from a big bunch of entertaining animated
films and such as
Zootopia, of course, plus Disney hits,
Finding Dory and Moana ; Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets,
and ’16 latecomer 3-D animated contemporary musical
Sing
Dreamworks’
Trolls, Focus Features’ stop-motion fantasy,
Kubo and the Two Strings — but not the very naughty, R-rated
Sausage Party . Yes, that movie featuring a real food orgy!

For the next floats we showcase ’16 gossip

First we have two monkeys playing violins right

by a broken up bust of “Brangelina”-

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie,

while two other monkeys blowing the trumpet

for HGTV mega couple/hosts Chip & Joanna

as well as music’s Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani

the latter two couples are molded together by the hip.

Next rolling down, a float of paparazzi marmosets

surrounding a very interpretive mold display

of Kim Kardashian & Kanye West, aka Kimye.

Portrayed not in their fashionable best

rather as sad gray clay figures under a bright limelight,

this rendering depicts Kimye’s ’16 year—not of bliss

but of her trauma from being robbed at gunpoint in Paris
and of his suffering from major mental unrest.

Veering off the gossip trail of the famed and frivolous
we return to considerably more meaningful, traditional
demonstration and ceremony for the Year of The Monkey.
Rolling down is a float decorated beautifully
with lucky Monkey chrysanthemums and alliums
Performing on the float are cute Red Colobus
monkeys clapping with chimes, banging on drums

and dancing gleefully. Quite a reverberating spectacle!

On the last float, Presidential Peace Out, an extraordinary
display with wax figures of President Obama and first family
waving and giving the peace sign off an Air Force One model
Each Obama is depicted proud and happy
but the Prez’s face looks weary as hell
stemming from his often trying presidency
of bitter conflict both domestic and global
Michelle O. and daughters look ultra glam and youthful.

We end this parade with great cheer
reflecting not on agonizing fear
about the outcome of presidential
elections, insane politics, global terror spike
nor about creepy clowns that strike
out of nowhere to scare us—
Rather, we set our principal focus
on a world of great potential…

And now… an “arresting” band of fire cmonkeys,
instrumental and non-so make their way
and begin ridiculous posing for a wacky
rendition of the
Mannequin Challenge,
which thrived and faded in its best days
Human parade crashers near and from the fringe
join in on the frozen in time craze
with that , we cap this monkey crazy parade day!

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2015 Poem Preview

The following is the Hollywood-inspired part of the memoriam section in “Gallery of  2015”.
Full prose poem to come!

…And now we go outside in the exhibit gardens
to remember 15’s famously lost souls
honored with elegant statues, walls and fountains
of porcelain marble bowls.
Garnering much attention is the statue
of actor/poet Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock,
to which Trekkies especially flock
and get out a tissue.

All hail and farewell to Wes Craven,
innovative creator of a plethora
of horror flicks, notably
A Nightmare on Elm Street
and Scream; and to the prominent Sir Christopher Lee,
accomplished actor of amazing cinematic feats
so beloved in the title role of
Count Dracula
and an incredible presence in dozens
of films, like
Star Wars II & III and The Lord of The Rings trilogy.

On The Fountain of Old Hollywood
are figurines of legends who withstood
in their silver screen showbiz run:
fiery red-head Maureen O’Hara,
funny and adorable Anne Meara,
blonde bombshell Anita Ekberg and
the dashing, dark & handsome one
of the bunch, Omar Sharif….

My End of Month Assessment- January

– Conceived and written during the evening of January 31, 2015. Here’s my “end of month assessment”, a combination of  EOM accounting principals and EOM counseling concepts from the military, particularly from the standards of the US Army. –

endofmonth

Continue reading My End of Month Assessment- January