Friday, July 4, 2014

Let's Celebrate Our Baffling Contradictions!

Don't worry, we're not under attack. That sound you hear is just fireworks. It's Independence Day and for reasons beyond understanding we like to celebrate by setting off explosions.
Either it's Independence Day or the opening volleys of a super-festive invasion.
Which, incidentally, kind of happened.
You'd think after coming out of a long, bloody conflict, the last thing the newly-liberated Americans would want to do is simulate the sound of shelling, but according to this, the first use of fireworks to mark the occasion happened back in 1777. I realize that nobody had ever heard of PTSD in the 18th century, but the first couple of celebrations must have been full of freaked out Revolutionary War veterans half expecting the British army to show up and ruin the picnic.

Pictured: Any idiot.
Trauma aside, they're also kind of dangerous, especially in the hands of people who don't know what they're doing, are drunk or both which covers almost everyone who sets them off around this time of year. Yet for some reason we're ok with any idiot strolling into a fireworks store and loading up on high explosives. Usually. I'm originally from New York where fireworks are illegal, so most people who want them drive to Pennsylvania where they're totally legal, unless you're from Pennsylvania. With me?

No, of course you're not with me. It doesn't make any sense but here we are, 238 years after a bunch of rebel scum cast off an oppressive aristocracy and replaced it with an oppressive plutocracy, and celebrating it by blowing our thumbs off with the totally well-thought out combination of fireworks and alcohol.
Um, hurray?
She's got a nipple! Everybody down!
I suppose part of our charm as a nation is our baffling contradictions and weird double standards. Half of us want to kick a mother out of Chic fil-A for nursing in public, while the other half calls them a bunch of uptight hypocrites. Some of us like walking around with assault rifles, while the rest of us are ducking for cover. Marriage equality, abortion, whether or not dinosaur bones are the remains of long-extinct creatures or just an elaborate scheme concocted by the devil in order to trick us into believing in evolution-wait, how are we even a country?

Let's face it, we're kind of divided as a people, now more than ever, but the minute there's a terrorist attack or we get to the World Cup, we all band together in the spirit of 'merica. I mean, did anyone care about soccer until a few weeks ago? Anyway, Happy Birthday America, you're a confusing place to live.
What's...what's going on here?

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