The 4th of July
The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. There’s no way to go wrong when you combine explosives, alcohol, and huge amounts of unhealthy food. What better way to celebrate the liberation of our nation from the oppressive bonds of economic servitude than by getting trashed on Budweiser and accidentally burning our houses down? It’s also the only time of year that my neighbors are nice to me (probably due to mysteriously unifying effects of a national holiday) and invite me over to nervously drink all their beer and make everyone ask “who’s that guy with?”
Here in Los Angeles, The 4th is always pretty dangerous. Granted, it’s the city in the US with the least amount of US Citizens, but everyone enjoys a party (I know I’d be celebrating Moroccan Independence Day if I was there), and people here enjoy a party by shooting their guns into the air. I’m sure this practice is relatively common in small towns of Texas and Montana as well, but there aren’t 14 million people per square foot in those towns like there are in LA. And while I have participated in this immature display of American celebration, I have to come down on the side of the “no shooters”, a bullet comes down with the same force it has when it’s fired, so essentially, it’s like firing into a random crowd. This might be cool for Communist Chinese Police and gang initiations, but as a means of expressing patriotic exuberance, it’s to be filed under “poor ideas.”
Another 4th of July tradition that sucks is parades. Get a bunch of people, line them up on either side of the street, and then drive huge semicontrollable vehicles in between them. To make things a bit sexier, prop the high school county sausage queen on a fire truck, and make her throw melted tootsie rolls at the cheering crowd. I suppose it’s designed to be an event that makes people forget their petty differences/ prejudices/ hatreds/ perverse sexual urges and brings them together as a unified subset of a unified nation, but parades still suck, and I refuse to participate. For me a parade is a time to reflect on the past, focus on the present, and go from backyard to backyard to see if anyone has tapped their kegs yet.
But I can see the good in a national holiday. I don’t subscribe to a boring “celebration of revolution by white upper class repressive Christian bully boys” philosophy, (even though it is slightly valid) because it ruins the fun of drinking and being nice to people whose shoes I normally wouldn’t cross the street to piss on (aka The Neighbors). So, our country is kinda screwed up. It’s always been screwed up, (people always long for the “good old days”. The “good old days” were a time when people were comfortable with the particular way things we’re screwed up at the time). It’s slightly reassuring to know our country isn’t quite as screwed as a lot of places, and that we can sometimes get along with each other. It just sucks we do only do it on calendar cues.