Reflections On Independence Day

July 5, 2011


Here’s the thing about Independence Day that I love:  I love the actual day it commemorates, and its relationship to the very idea of independence and autonomy.  Here’s what I mean by that: Our independence day doesn’t celebrate the end of a war, or the day we were “granted” liberty.  It reflects instead the moment a group of people simply declared that they were now autonomous.  One becomes free by deciding that one is.  There may be consequences – it may bring war, or even your own death – but we celebrate

Mohandas Gandhi, circa 1941.

the declaration, not the war.  Most Americans don’t even know when the Revolutionary War ended, which is perhaps a little sad.  It’s like Toby Keith once said: “The moment a slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall.” No, wait, that was Gandhi.  Keith said, “We’ll put a boot in your ass, that’s the American way.”  Sorry.  I’m always getting those two confused.  I think it’s because Gandhi led the Salt March, and Keith looks like he eats too much salt.

It ended in September of 1783.  You’re welcome.

Sir, I do not believe that you genuinely and naturally felt compelled to scream “WOOOOOOOOO!!” in exactly the same pitch, volume and duration to every single firework.  I boldly submit that you forced your reaction in order to heighten your sense of celebration and wildness.  I await your retort.

Little kids with sparklers are very cute.  I stand by this statement.  Yes, yes, yes, I know it’s more dangerous than a bear with a machete, or whatever.  It’s pretty cute, though.

I know it's controversial, but I assert that this is adorable.

So, your party was quite fun.  I had a very good time, and I know I was only there because I was invited by someone who was invited, so I don’t wish to appear ungrateful… but, seriously… asking people to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?  That was weird.  Really.  Thank you, though, for repeating “Under.  God.” with such emphasis afterword.  It really cleared things up for me.

So much meat.  So… much… meat.

M and I are, admittedly, total buzzkills on the 4th.  We lost over half of our house to a fire a couple years ago and when we first moved in to our house some neighbors got drunk and shot bottle rockets at cars while patriotically shouting, “Fuck you!” and starting several small fires, and of course the whole town is always explosions all day.  Since then we’re a tad grumpy about a holiday that encourages people to booze up all day and then play with cheaply made explosives.  We stomp around, calming the dogs down, muttering “ridiculous” as people blow things up, having their ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyment’.  I figure in about 20 more years I’ll be wandering the neighborhood, dousing people’s picnics with a fire extinguisher, lecturing them on safety and reminding them that more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year.

Freedom: Let That Shit Ring

When that happened with those neighbors I went over to confront them, letting them know they’d started fires in the neighbors lawn and on our deck.  Naturally, they claimed no knowledge of any fires, yelling, bottle rockets, or national holidays, but – regarding the fires – one young woman slurred that I should “put that shit out.”  Thank you.  That is, in fact, why I was here – to get counsel on the best course of action.  And thank you for not leaping to the conclusion that I was there to ask you to stop.  They’ve long since moved away in the middle of the night.  It was not the best first impression of the neighborhood.

Parades = meh.  Pet parades = awesome.  That flying dog who’s in the parade every year here = super awesome.

Apparently the dog digs it. People have checked.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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6 Comments on “Reflections On Independence Day”

  1. stevebetz Says:

    Living in southern california, our area has done its normal turn from lush green to a tinderbox over the last couple of months. We’ve had fires in the canyon near our house and been evacuated. When I see morons with fireworks around here, I go nuts.


  2. madtante Says:

    As a Bad American, I like to be downer whenever I can. Truth is, I get inspired when I think about why we celebrate the Fourth…well, why we’re supposed to be doing. That’s why I posted the video for that day.

    It’s about the DREAM. It’s about the PROMISE of this land.

    It being an excuse to drink is a plus, too.


  3. Blogdramedy Says:

    I fall back on the sage words of Forrest Gump: stupid is as stupid does.


  4. ennospace Says:

    The dog is brave enough, and the baby is really lovely!!


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