First, I remember when the parade floats were mainly fairy tales. Companies would sponsor floats that had a tie their products, but without being overtly so. For example, a candy making company might do a float of Hansel and Gretel and the witch's candy cottage, or perhaps the witch being turned into chocolate in her oven. They invoked old stories, the ones we all knew, the ones that tied us all together in our memories of childhood. Almost all the floats this year are large moving billboards, featuring the company products in the most blatant, crass fashion possible. They shut down traffic and create chaos in the city for a bunch of mobile ads, the sole purpose of which is to get the kids in the crowd to turn to their parents and say "I want one! I want one!" They aren't telling stories, they aren't about Christmas, they aren't even about winter. Movies, toys, stuff. Just stuff.
Second, if I were a sniper, the guy with the vuvuzela would have a nice round dot in the middle of his forehead by now.