My 2019 4th of July Parade

For three years running, I marched in our local Bloomington Indiana parade with my corporate flag. Our position was secure, right behind the Reverse Citizens United corporate octopus.

Weird. Couldn’t find the flag for this year’s parade. So when the Octi folks asked me if I would hold one of the tentacles this year, I readily agreed.

I noticed, while carrying the flag, and when holding one of the tentacles, that probably only about 10-15% of the people lining the streets five or six thick recognize the ideas behind either one. Most looked, frankly, bewildered. (And remember, the phrase “Citizens United” is deliberately Orwellian, to confuse the populace into thinking “corporations are people” is good!) But those that did recognize our very pointed behavior (which transcends politics, implicating both Republicans and Democrats, despite that most people in this academic town are democrats, hate Trump, etc. and I don’t), nodded their heads vigorously, or clapped wildly, as we marched down the street, grinning, and slinging slogans, all pointing to our main theme:

Reverse Citizens United

I was holding the tentacle and carrying the sign that signified Health Care (the corporate control of health care). Joe LaMantia, behind me on another tentacle, was the local artist who built the Octi many years ago; half way through our march, he said he wanted to hold my water bottle (since I was carrying both sign and tentacle). Much appreciated. Here’s Joe:


Check out all of Jeremy Hogan’s photos of the parade. He really knows how to feel the mood of this town.

Bloomington 4th of July Parade

When the local Herald-Times changed owners a year or so ago, they fired Hogan. Fools! He’s now running his own on-line newspaper, The Bloomingtonian, not only as photographer, but as writer as well.

Joe pointed out the Beanpole, God of Pointless Behavior float,  way ahead of us in line. Unfortunately, I only captured a glimpse of this float, each time original, for the past 24 years. It’s creator, Nathan Cambridge, has since moved to Los Angeles, but, Joe says, comes back every year for this parade. Here’s his 2016 float:

And if you’re on facebook, see:

I must say: participating in this parade makes my heart feel good. As another woman who carried one of the Octi tentacles pointed out, “There were times when my eyes would fill with tears. To see the wide-eyed children. And some of the adults who ‘got’ what we are doing, and either clapped, cheered, or pumped their fists. YES!

Here’s how the Indiana Daily Student wrote it up, with pics.

Bloomington Citizens Brave the Heat for Annual Fourth of July Parade

Actually, the heat wasn’t that bad, because not humid. Only about 85° at its worst. Could have been a LOT worse! Or it could have been raining, both ubiquitous in this strange, wild year of 2019.



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3 Responses to My 2019 4th of July Parade

  1. Worked all morning outside on the 4th. First time in many 4th of July holidays, Jan and I stayed home, avoiding the California freeway holiday traffic jambs. We took in the 4:15 showing “Yesterday” —- a great movie with a wonderful plot and lots of Beatles music. —- reminded me of your flag. Then watched fireworks from our bedroom.

  2. Joy Shayne Laughter says:

    If the Reverse Citizens United group ever needs a new octopus, here’s a tip from a Fremont Solstice Parade (Seattle) in the 1990s, where I carried a tentacle:

    Sew a central body of net mesh, tentacles are long tubes of the same mesh.

    Fill with balloons.

    Central body is fixed to a pole, 1 person per tentacle. Both central body and tentacles are slowly waved up & down, for swimming motion.

    There was no political branding of the Fremont octopus, since that – and all WORDS, frankly – is forbidden. It was just this cool, fun, simple spectacle.

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