Dear Dirty America

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Sequester Squashes Somatic Celebration

July 04
22:31 2013
DAN RUDY

Happy Indeardirtypendence Day, fellow granfalloonlidings!This week we daresay join hearts in commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which two-hundred and thirty-seven years ago would have been approved a couple days ago and signed today. Normally a whopping big shindig of unbridled jingo and nation-love, due to budgetary sequestration those clowns in Congress have deprived the hardy red-bloods they represent of subsidised merriment.

 

This is an outrage. July 4 without air shows or pyrotechnics would be like expecting Americans to celebrate Christmas sans presents, Easter devoid of eggs, Thanksgiving simply tabled, or alternatively exist in the day-to-day with the rationing of consumable goods.
It makes one want to burn things.

As is my understanding of the things, stripped of their trimmings holidays become a time to gather together and remember in a very specific light the meaning for the day. Christmas has our national Lord and Saviour, Jesus called Christ. Thanksgiving is a day to commemorate an uneasy peace that presaged more than two centuries of broken treaties and aggressive genocide. Labor Day is celebrated in September to hide the unease Americans have long had with transnational class association and organised labourers.

In such a spartan vein though, what is Independence Day?

Really, the holiday isn’t about freedom: those political ends the revolution sought were a long way off, and afterwards a sort of unquantifiable vaguery, as Massachusetts Shaysites would learn in a hail of musketballs only ten years later. The day isn’t about honouring soldiers either, or policemen, or any of the figures crassly lumped together for hero-worship to dissuade objective public scrutiny (though one might well spare a thought to the families of those nineteen firefighters killed in Arizona Sunday combating wildfires).

It isn’t even a tradition for the sake of tradition. The day was first formally celebrated in Eastport, Maine, in 1820, at the height of the country’s Era of Good Feelings, when a sense of destiny manifested itself, channeling covetous imaginations westward. It was first made an unpaid federal holiday in 1870, when a war of extermination was being waged against aboriginal groups, and a smouldering and intransigent South was being prodded into modernity. In 1938, the day was finally recognised as a paid holiday, on the eve of giving global fascism a jolly good ass-kicking, targeting millions of civilians for destruction in the course of so doing and engineering a global hegemony that flexes its mighty metaphorical muscles under the auspices of stars and stripes to the present day.

No, when Americans around the world sear piles of meat and purchase inedibly coloured snack items this year, blowing off over $600 million worth of paper-encased gunpowder and dying drunk on the roadsides by the hundreds, they ostensibly will do so for the commemoration of a carefully considered and articulately written groupthought opinion as to why the society these hand-picked men lived in no longer worked for the colonies as a whole.

Not a legally-binding document like the 1789 Constitution, the document was more or less a formal letter drafted for the benefit of King George III, an apologetics piece for the revolution which had been steadily escalating for well over a year. A distillation of applicable Enlightenment-era philosophical opinions, the lofty wording of the Declaration breathed into being a rhetorical standard whose spirit would hector (yes, hector) successive thinkers on the progressive fringes of each era, an intangibly aerified cloud of bullshit when measured against the real social evils that persistently permeate each passing day.

Americans are upset that the Blue Angels are grounded, that the militaristic pageantry that annually dulls the senses and gives the nation a bit of an erection has been reduced in dosage. Perhaps there are apter complaints to be aired, but then perhaps there aren’t. I’m too busy not watching the fireworks I’d otherwise have to purchase myself to rightly care.

Dan Rudy is a blogger, a spieler, a rogerer, roarer and a puker, but perhaps most surprisingly, a proper newspaperman during the workweek. He occasionally does up an odd short story or two, which he sort  of makes available on the obscure sluffabout.com.

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