BARBARIANS AT THE GATE

serveimageThe New Yorker waxes emotional—and rather sappy—about the Philadelphia Eagles parade. The article doesn’t describe the suburban Golden Horde that descended on the center of the city. Hardly two to three million as was cheerfully forecast, but still a very large crowd. Or, rather, a mob. Somehow being part of a large group releases inhibitions. We won, we can do what we like! Throw our bottles and beer cans where we like, go where we like, piss where we like. And for some reason, climb up whatever we like. Slate monitored a police scanner: “On the southeast corner the pole is about to collapse. There are about 40 of them on there . . . We have a light pole down. On the east side of Macy’s corner. We have live wires . . . A man jumped off the light pole and landed on his head.” Late in the afternoon I saw the crowd returning to catch trains at Thirtieth Street Station. Some were carrying street signs and Stop signs, booty to decorate a basement rec room. The next day the city was almost back to normal—the clean-up will take a bit longer.

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