This will not be a long post. I just wanted to add my two cents into the conversation surrounding Independence Day in the United States, or simply “the 4th” if you live in my neck of the woods.
I hate everything about this holiday. I hate that it falls in the “Satan’s hind parts” part of the summer. I hate the particular brand of redneck culture bolstered by its celebration. I hate the flies buzzing around the hastily prepared and flavorless provisions. I hate the swell of bodies glistening in the summer sun, reeking of bug spray, sweat, and barbecue sauce.
I hate its racist overtones. I hate that we live in a country where the ruling class is obsessed with the idea of freedom but wholly opposed to the Others taking part in it. Hypocrites, every last one of them.
But do you want to know which part of this holiday I hate the most? Just guess. Fireworks. I hate the unexpected booms that ricochet through the night. I hate the hissing and the popping and the whooshing sound they make when ascending.
I hate the trucks emblazoned with dollar store Americana. I hate the wife-beaters wearing wife-beaters and their yee-haw swagger. I hate that the idea of America is better than the reality of America. I hate the way the sky looks after being graffitied with our revisionist bluster. I hate that all that pomp and circumstance isn’t backed up by anything of substance.
How does it make sense to fly the Stars and Stripes with pride at the same time we plunder the land out of greed and deny our fellow citizens their equal rights?
I’m not opposed to celebration. I just want everyone invited to the table.
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