Sunday, August 30, 2009

One Park-Two Celebrations

My beloved Prospect Park was the scene of two unique publicly-attended events on Saturday.

The first event celebrated the life of a singer that sold millions of records. The second event commemorated the lives of hundreds of men who sacrificed their lives in the first battle of the Revolutionary War which took place on Prospect Park's soil.

Guess which event was more popular? Guess which one the media covered?

Thousands upon thousands attended the Michael Jackson birthday party. I could hear Vincent Price's demonic laugh from Coney Island Avenue.

Later on, as a got to the park side, I saw a lot of the MJ party-goers as they left. What an unusual spectacle. You had people from all different backgrounds, and all shapes and sizes, but they all seemed to have some common traits: the nerdiness of a Star Trek convention attendee combined with the whacked-out wide-eyed hippie devotion of a Grateful Dead-Head.

And so many of them were Michael Jackson impersonators. Now let me say something here. Admittedly, I have no background in studying mental illness. But if you are a grown- ass man, in your 30's and 40's, and you walk, talk, and dress like Michael Jackson, you may have to, you know, talk to someone about it.

There were so many Michael Jackson impersonators in the park, the amber alert system went haywire.

I saw a tape on you tube where the Reverend Al Sharpton got things started at the MJ celebration saying that we must not forget Teddy, who was being buried that day, or the Hurricane Katrina victims, because this was the 4th anniversary of the hurricane.

Which is all well and good. But Al forgot to mention some other people that have a connection with August 29th. Not only are these brave men connected with the date of Michael's birth, Teddy's funeral and Katrina's arrival, but what they did took place on the very soil the Reverend Al was standing on.

I'm talking about the Maryland Militia. And while the Reverend Al was bloviating on one side of the park, on the other side, a small ceremony took place rededicating the Maryland Monument.

Its been 233 years since these brave men saved an infant nation-and our debt to them is eternal.

What did they do? They found themselves surrounded by British troops that vastly out-numbered them. And they fought. They fought valiantly. Hundreds of them died, many perhaps on the same ground where on Saturday one -gloved worshipers were playing air guitar to "Beat It."

These men were indispensable to the American Revolution. Why? By engaging the British as bravely as they did, they allowed George Washington and his troops to make a getaway across the East River.

If Washington was captured he would have been hanged, and the Revolution never would have happened.
(Plus, upon capture by the British, Washington would have been -liberals please close your eyes for a second-WATERBOARDED!)

If Washington was captured here are some other ramifications:

1. The day Princess Diana died would be a national holiday;

2. Eddie Murphy would have been member of Monty Python instead of Saturday Night Live;

3. America would suck at basketball & boxing.

By the way, if the Revolution were attempted today, Washington would have never been able to escape Park Slope. Why? The baby strollers. There are so many in Park Slope, it would have impeded Washington's retreat. Plus, many of Washington's officers may have had to put in hrs. at the food co-op.

I'm going to try to finish on a serious point.

Without the Maryland Militia ,there is no MJ celebration planned by Spike Lee nor any spiritual reminders from Reverend Al. Hell, there would be no Shouts From The Stoop, only tea and crumpets on the patio.

So thank you Maryland Militia. 233 years later, your lives, deeds and sacrifices are not forgotten.

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