Miracle on 34th Street! Macy’s in Philadelphia (not New York, so that’s where the cultural reference to the ’40s movie falls flat) was the scene of a RANDOM ACT OF CULTURE at noon on October 31, when members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and local choirs broke into an enthusiastic rendition of “Handel’s Messiah.” Merry Christmas– and who cares about Halloween, anyway?
This effervescent hubbub prompted me to think about antonyms: What, exactly, is the opposite of crass commercialism? Here we see a sea of shoppers– strangers to one another– transformed into a chorale and an enthusiastic audience, as the strains of “Handel’s Messiah” break into the midday bustle. But is “culture” the opposite of “commercialism”? I think not. I think the opposite of “commercialism” is “love.”
More on that as the holiday season approaches. And Merry Christmas, a little early!