Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence Day

I have real mixed feelings about the Fourth of July. On the one hand, it is the celebration of our nation, and that certainly has its good points. On the other hand, it seems to show us at our worst. The festivities I saw today celebrated violence, and our violent history. They celebrated our excess, and our conspicuous consumption. At the parade, almost everything was a commercial. People wished each other a happy fourth of July, but I hardly heard anyone wishing a happy Independence Day. And the fourth also celebrates our drunkeness. There were certainly things about the day that I really enjoyed. But I'm not sure how proud I am of the America that we are when we celebrate this day.


Anonymous Brian said...

I have a lot of the same ambivalence about the fourth of july. I have a theory about the spectacle that the fourth is becoming. As a country we're getting more and more tightly wound. There's more pressure on everyone and fewer "legitimate" opportunities for relaxation. So when a holiday like the fourth comes along, people are letting loose all of their pent up stress.

Not that that makes a lot of right, but I think it might help explain it. We're getting too overscheduled and overburdened with everything.

I hope your trip was enjoyable otherwise!

10:02 PM  

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