The Whole Idea Of “Mummery With A Message” Still Makes Us Wanna Puke, But We Have To Say: We Loved The Little Robot Fracker

Look: We don’t wanna harp on it, because it’s already been two years going, but suffice it to say: Our feelings about Hipster Mummery have not changed. But for the second year running, Space 1026‘s Vaudevillains NYB totally charmed us again with their whole “Phantasy Phorest” concept (see clip above). And with more Hipster Mummer groups involved, and in some cases, placing in competition, it doesn’t look like this mini-phenom is going away anytime soon. It’s just like ear spacers and microbrews and Animal Collective: We’re just going to have to live with it. Not for nothing, though, quotes like this aren’t helping you people much:

“Our friends have this motto that we’ve lived by for a while,” Engaard said. “It’s ‘Adventure, togetherness and mayhem.’ And that pretty much is exactly what the Mummers Parade is all about.”

Actually, it’s about racism, pissing in the street and, increasingly, cultural slumming for transplants. But whatever. Happy New Year. Next year, we’re celebrating in Russia.

22 Responses to “The Whole Idea Of “Mummery With A Message” Still Makes Us Wanna Puke, But We Have To Say: We Loved The Little Robot Fracker”

  1. jrpettit Says:

    Is there more than one gentrifier mummers group now?

  2. BradyDale Says:

    Good God. Relax. If new people didn’t take part in traditions they would just whither and die. I saw the parade twice and never cared to see it again, but maybe I’ll go next year. If Space1026 is getting in there, that’s kind of cool. they did an awesome job and really stepped up the Comics, which are typically terrible.

    Yes, the Mummers has a shady history, but so does pretty much everything. I mean, for Heaven’s sake: the constitution has the 3/5s clause. You want to throw that whole thing out, too?

    Chill out. Culture shifts. It’s great.

  3. schmapty Says:

    hating on the old and the new at the same time! a bang up start to the year.

  4. Rob N Says:

    Cultural slumming for transplants? Is that type of thing frowned upon? It’s pretty much how I behaved everywhere I have ever lived.

  5. tips Says:

    @jrpettit: Yes. The Vaudevillains, Nerd Island, and Rabble Rousers, who actually fared pretty well this year.

  6. rascal b. schuylkillian Says:

    …apparently the hipster hegemony of philebrity does not abide. It seems awfully elitist to only acknowledge the bad parts of a tradition and consider it slumming when people not necessarily from Philadelphia try and take part.

    It wasn’t all that long ago when the populations now steeped in mummery were not “from” here either.

    Get off your high horse of false authenticity.

  7. tips Says:

    I think the elitism presented by this site has never been a secret, Rascal. We fly the flag proudly.

  8. BradyDale Says:

    I am 100% pro-elitism if it makes sense. This dig doesn’t make any sense.

  9. CityMaps Says:

    At least they said something that had to be said with their theme and performance, not to mention the elevation of the artistic bar within what is generally a plain stupid event. It’s better to change something from within than to just wish it would go away.

  10. CityMaps Says:

    Clarification: I’m happy they jumped in and said something about fracking instead of how awesome it is to be Irish or whatever every other group theme was. Let the weak racism argument go unless you want to give up on rock n roll, too.

  11. philatrash Says:

    Is it any wonder that the new (“hipster”) transplant Philly generation is finally taking part? We’ve all been going to 2 Street since we moved to South Philly, so it seems to be a natural progression. In fact, it’s emblematic of how the entire city is changing.

    And that’s why I’m gonna have to agree the dig is a little pathetic. The tradition has never been perfect politically, but it’s still uniquely ours, and brings everyone together for a day of public drinking and euphoria not unlike important Philly sports playoff game victories. It’s stupid, small-townish traditions like this that have made me fall in love, and ultimately stick with living and working in Philly.

  12. Timo Says:

    I still defer to the majority of Philadelphians (i.e. the African-Americans) who are can’t stand Mummers. Win them over, and then I’ll give it a shot.

  13. Aryon Says:

    Actually Joey its about community and collaboration. Rabble Rousers, VNYB and NERD Island supported each other all year long, put on incredible performances during the parade and then combined our community on 2 Street for the best party of the year.

    NERD Island raised money for Heads Together Haiti, involved Philadelphians of all ages, sex and race. We even had members of the Harris Steppers doing the windmill during our tornado sequence.

    I thought we were all pals a couple of weeks ago ( and you had finally stopped trashing the hard work we put into these performance.

    “Adventure, togetherness and mayhem.” is a motto that I fully support. Instead of celebrating Rabble Rouser’s incredible second place finish their first year marching you choose to snicker from the sidelines.

    You’re just a bully with a website whose only goal is to discourage anyone who tries something new in Philadelphia.

  14. tips Says:

    @Aryon: Can we just agree that we both bore the fuck out of one another?

    That said, the Louie Louie Parade: Will you at least consider it?

  15. tips Says:

    @Aryon: Also, you are still getting mail at 13th and Dickinson.

  16. Aryon Says:

    @Tips Neither of us were boring! VNYB was weirder than ever! And yes I will consider making an ENTIRELY NEW PERFORMANCE PARADE in the summer months. Club Lyfestile! NERD Island! Vaudevillains! Rabble Rousers! Lets do this!
    Also: thanks for the mail update.

  17. Tim Says:

    It is still a minstral show:

  18. schmapty Says:

    wait, african americans don’t attend or participate in the mummer’s parade? have you ever seen any of the bands on the trucks? Also if not having africans americans at an event is a reason to not get behind it then shut down gastropubs, makingtime, the flyers, the phillies and so on.

  19. Blue Light J Says:

    Also: enlist Michael Vick to chair the Louie Louie parade.

  20. Timo Says:

    Making Time, Gastropubs and Flyers games require people to spend their own money to attend, so people vote with their hard earned dollars whether they want to attend. The Mummers are inflicted upon the city each New Year’s Day, and their behavior would have them arrested any other time of year. Their demographics are completely disproportionate to the city’s population of people with actual black faces, actual brown faces and people who actually wear dresses (both male and female.) Why is that?

  21. chuck63 Says:

    @Timo…go to the parade and you’ll see plenty of people of all colors watching and enjoying the spectacle…go to the parade and you’ll see more and more people of all colors (male & female) participating every year…like what you like, don’t like what you don’t like, but the mummers are changing for the better.

  22. JIMBO2238 Says:

    Their demographics are completely disproportionate to the city’s population of people with actual black faces, actual brown faces and people who actually wear dresses (both male and female.) Why is that?

    Hey Timo, maybe it’s because it’s a unique tradition primarily based in the experiences of working class Irish and Polish immigrants, and thus shouldn’t be expected to be 13% African American to be exactly in line with the population of the country. Do you also wonder why the marchers in the Puerto Rican day parade are primarily hispanic?

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