It was an interesting yet slightly subdued Fourth of July. I spent some time at Bill's house with a few friends, enjoying a cookout while drunken neighbors did their best to prove their patriotism with horrible music and Chinese fireworks.
That's one thing I've never quite comprehended. Why are fireworks such a patriotic element of Independence Day festivities when gunpowder and fireworks were first invented by the Chinese? And let's not even mention the fact that setting off fireworks privately in Ohio is illegal anyway...
We had plenty of laughs ("watch out for the burger!") and I managed to get some color on my arms from the sun. Later, Chris arrived and we headed off to Lakewood to climb to the fifth floor balcony of a condominium to watch the fireworks from several locations around greater Cleveland. I'm not quite sure which was more amusing: the brilliant colors illuminating the sky or the intoxicated gay crowd wandering the streets, heading to and from the various bars in the area.
We stopped at Truffles, a small café, to grab a small bite to eat and unwind before heading back. The air in the streets of northeast Ohio was filled with hazy smoke from thousands of explosives. the scent of gunpowder and sulfur filled the air. I arrived home shortly after midnight, in time to quickly check email and crash.
As you might expect, July 4th isn't what I would consider a major holiday. Sure, it's the day when the United States celebrates it's independence from Britain, yet what has it become? A day of drunken insanity for a country who seemingly cares very little about the rights, freedoms, and liberties fought for over two centuries ago. We bare no resemblance to the American Patriot of yore. We fiercely bicker over American Idol while apathetically grumbling about politicians. The economy is tanking at a staggering rate, fuel prices are soaring, and countless homes have fallen victim to foreclosure.
Sometimes, I wonder how things would have been different if England had won the Revolutionary War. Would it really have been so bad? Back in 1776, we argued about ridiculously high taxes, misrepresentation in government, and personal freedoms being taken from us.
In 2008, has any of that changed?