Rethinking the 4th

July 3, 2009


It’s fair to say that I am somewhat fascinated with the 4th of July.  The all-day BBQs usually satisfy my carnivorous appetite, no matter how predictable or repetitive I am still a sucker for a sub-par fireworks show, and I become giddy with a genuine patriotic joy when I see those complimentary plastic American flag covering the majority of neighborhood lawns.

There is something quite marvelous and Rockwellian about the entire spectacle. (Note: I am currently sitting at a café and the barista just started to play Bruce Springsteen – Greatest Hits. I can’t tell if Mr. Barista’s selection is ironic or sincere but needless to say, his timely musical choice works pretty darn well with the weekends Americana-inspired ambiance.)

Yet, I would like to point out that this classic mid-summer production has a void; that is, the way most of us relate to its historical purpose. It’s not that the holiday doesn’t have a connection with the past. Indeed, far from it. The day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and our freedom from those big bad tyrannical Brits on the other side of the Atlantic.

I have beef with the fact that most of us don’t seriously acknowledge the historical narrative (booo taxes! booo king! yay freedom!) when celebrating Independence Day. Think about it for just a moment: the birth or our country in America is covered in a-historic, let’s just enjoy the here and the now, clothing. Read the rest of this entry »