Thursday, July 4, 2013

How To Celebrate Independence Day

It's the 4th of July--a calendar day like any other for most of the world, but it's a particularly awesome day for Americans, who somehow manage to combine pride, gluttony, and sloth into one extraordinarily sweltering day.

So what is so great about Independence Day? Well, there's plenty of things to be proud of for our own national holiday:

We get to eat a massive amount of food: It's what we're good at, right? People are looking for any excuse to grill out during the summer, and there's no better time to do so than a random workweek that everyone gets off (unless you are part of the 80% of the population in the United States that works retail). Nothing is more relaxing than drinking beer, eating two or five more hamburgers than you should, or playing jarts on the lawn knowing full well you still have to be at work in fourteen hours and dammit I still have to write up that report.

We get to set stuff on fire: Somebody, somewhere--I assume Benjamin Franklin, because he always seemed sort of badass who was not above some panache and devilry--decided that the Fourth of July would be a great day to set off fireworks. Massively dangerous displays of wealth and destruction are another cornerstone of American democracy, so it's only fitting that people stare at the night sky and watch stuff blow up. Sadly, our canine brethren do not care for this tradition.

We All Get To Pretend We Still Like Baseball: Just for today.

We Muddle Through The Lyrics For A Whole Host Of Songs We Were Supposed To Learn Decades Ago: Let's face it: our national anthem kinda sucks, Yeah, yeah, patriotism is cool blah blah blah. Our anthem is hard to sing, it's difficult to learn, and even though we hear it fairly often people still screw up the lyrics. Sadly, the rest of the repertoire of American Patriotism isn't much better: No one knows any verse past the first of "My Country 'Tis Of Thee," "This Land Is Your Land" is just a list of crypto-commie platitudes, and "America the Beautiful" is just a fruited pain to sing. Amirite?

We get to engage in minor acts of civil disobedience. Everyone breaks the law on Independence day, whether it's carrying an open container in the park to not checking the fire codes before setting off bottle rockets to throwing the recyclables away with the regular trash. It's our own special way of just checking to make sure the Constitution is still intact. Isn't that right, officer?

We get to buy shoes and electronics slightly cheaper: Nothing says "God Bless America!" then purchasing consumer products made in China for slightly less than the normal price in a place slathered with patriotic signs and (most likely) a wacky handwaving Uncle Sam telling you to declare your independence from high prices, which to be fair is just as bad as those Brits. Ol' Ben Franklin wouldn't want it any other way.

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