Saturday, July 5, 2008

Watching Burgers and Perplexing Patriotism...

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?


Jeanne said...

"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?"
Lordy, it's spooky ;~D reading that. How sadly true!

BTW, Ken, I think some of my fellow authors *still* don't believe you're real! ;~D

Buck said...

Of course, I was a Brit when I did living history and even as a civilian was a Loyalist.

My cohorts on the opposite side used to get quite bent when I would point out that their bellyaching about taxes and other government "interference" sounded a lot like the 1760's. They quickly pointed out how right I was. Then I pointed out that they considered themselves the "true" patriots today because even though they disagree they don't want to overthrow the government, likewise the "loyalists" would have been the "true" patriots back then.

Alas, the more things change the more they stay the same. After all the day after the revolution, the revolutionary becomes the conservative. :)

Cullan Hudson said...

Was really chaps my hide: Congress packed it up this session, leaving a litany of extremely important bills tabled until next session, where they will undoubtedly be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

yes, I agree that the government and the way things are is disgusting and doesn't really see much different from back then (except I do feel the greed is much worse). But I will defend the theory behind fireworks, I do love them alot, including the ones you buy at the store and set off. Yes they are illegal but alot of fun!!

Wonder Man said...

that's a interesting thought, would things be any different...I have to think about that one