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Fireworks or a Job well done? What are we really worried about?

Why fireworks don't matter...

This should be filed under  the “people have nothing else better to complain about” category.

This morning after a day filled mostly with clouds, gloom and rain, I was mildly shocked to hear on the news that PBS – who did such a wonderful job at putting together a show and continuing despite the weather – had a faux pas at the fireworks footage.  The issue was, that PBS reused prior footage of a clear sky and fireworks as opposed to the cloudy and obscured fireworks that really happened.

Some people got mad and jumped on PBS’ case about reusing the footage.

Really, America?   We are going to worry about some fireworks?

There are some reasons why we really shouldn’t be that pressed about that portion of the show, and be grateful that the rest of the show went off without a hitch.

  • PBS could have cancelled the show entirely

Being some of the few who were honored to join people from Huffington Post, The Rogers Revue, WUSA9  Ask A Concierge and a few others, we saw these people do a lot of work on Sunday to put this entire thing together.  These hard workers built sets & stages, did sound checks, and rehearse with the stars who were part of the show.  If you live in this area as I do, the biggest fear was that the storms that were on their way were predicted to be heavy.  Plans were being made with the National Park Service in case we got heavy rains.  PBS still stated that, regardless of the weather, the show would go on and that plans were in place in case the rains were heavy on Monday, part of which was taping the dress rehearsal on Sunday night. The best part, was that the worst of the weather came through the afternoon of the 4th and cleared out by showtime.  There was no way it could have been any better on a day like this.

Sutton Foster and crew looks at the performance replay

  •  Maybe consider what could have happened

Janet Jackson’s Nipple-gate notwithstanding, let’s look at everything else that could have happened. This is pretty academic as the cameras could not have worked, the sound could have gone out, guests could have cancelled, someone could have been injured during their performance or, as mentioned above, PBS could have just not shown it at all.  This is one of their biggest shows of the year and with everything else that worked, harping on some fireworks is pretty minor as opposed to everything else that transpired.  The absolute worst that could have happened is that there was no show taped and we would have been treated to a rerun of a prior year show or no show at all, but PBS chose to give America a show.  Let’s be real people; we all have seen fireworks many times, but seeing some of the celebrities making these appearances can be rare.

  • Fireworks vs Performance

Speaking as someone in the area, there may have been a few reasons why some of the locals may be a bit miffed as well.  Some didn’t want to brave the crowds to come to the show, some may have had plans closer to home, some probably wanted the best seat in the house and that was via watching on TV.  Again, as someone who spent nearly 14 hours watching these people work, I have to say, for those who went, considering the fireworks show that they got considering the overcast conditions, one would be remiss to complain for something that they got for free.  Let’s think on this for a moment.  The public was treated to a show that had the likes of Smokey Robinson, Yolanda Adams, Amber Riley, Gavin DeGraw, Cassadee Pope and so many other at NO CHARGE.  FREE. ZERO DOLLARS.   If some of you went to Beyonce’s concert in Baltimore last month, please let us know how much you spent to see her and if she had an opening act. I know of a few people who actually spent their rent money to go.   I saw the regular rehearsal and hung around for the dress rehearsal and I came away with a one of a kind experience and I didn’t need to see fireworks when I had these headliners not 50 feet away from me.  This was an experience many of us that were there would never get again.

To echo what one of my colleagues said:  To any of the detractors reading this, you were not there watching the crew and staff putting this together.  Some of these people were there long before we arrived on scene and many were there long into the night as I was home asleep.  Many of you missed being out in the heat  and drizzle as they went about their work  to make sure this show went on and not charging a dime to the people who visited DC to come to this event.  It’s especially amazing that some of the local media who never bothered to come out to see what goes on behind the scenes, were among the critics. As I end this, it’s an excellent time to say thank you to everyone who gave up their weekend to put this event together.  It’s a good time to extend a thank you to the National Park Service, US Capitol police, the performers themselves, and everyone involved who would have rather been home barbecuing, gone to the beach, sharing a cold one, watching TV, or simply catching up on some sleep.  Thank you to all of you who sacrificed your time so that those of us who did the above could enjoy this show.

About Armand (1271 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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