It’s rather fitting that explosions mark America’s annual celebration of freedom. Adorned with signs of ‘Murica — including beefy men flipping burgers while wearing unflattering Hawaiian t-shirts, as well as the obligatory obsession with the nation’s trifecta of colors that litter the floors and walls of proud citizens — we have no problem in letting the world know that we are free people who don’t take shit from anyone. But there are plenty of things you should note about Independence Day … you know, before you dye your pubic hair in skunk-like stripes of ruby red and ocean blue.
It happened over 200 years ago! By the way most people celebrate it, you’d think that Paul Revere just rode through warning of the redcoats’ impending arrival. Even the world’s oldest man — who recently passed at the tender age of 116 — was over a century late. Imagine if Taylor Swift were still writing breakup songs about the charming Harry Styles (or any of the other 100 boyfriends she’ll have had by then) for the next few decades.
The date isn’t even accurate! You’d think they would choose a symbolic date for our independence, like (remember, remember) the fifth of November. Barring that, they could have at least gotten it right, but we all know that Congress isn’t necessarily the best at doing stuff that makes sense. The fourth is when the Declaration of Independence was stolen by Nicolas Cage … er, we mean the day its wording was approved. The day all those fancy signatures were put onto it was Aug. 2, 1776, though that date doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue anyway. You’d think the year is difficult to mess up, but the colonies didn’t win the war until 1783. That’s like you celebrating your independence from your parents when you’re 12 and promptly getting your ass in bed when your mom tells you to.
Not everyone has independence. It must piss off every country that’s desperately fighting for freedom and rights to see us flaunting ours in such expensive fashion. Even countries that are independent don’t show off nearly as much as the United States does — because we take everything as a pissing contest. We’ve even influenced Norway to celebrate their independence on the same day we do because we were the country that liberated them from the Nazis.
The British aren’t as strong now. Sure, it was cool to throw the occasional diss at the British when they were so high and mighty, sitting on their thrones and spreading their control over the entire world. But now that they’ve been pushed back onto their small lonely island, it feels like we’re the big guy on the playground pushing the small dude around. And the British are sporting about it. They acknowledge our glee and stay our allies — but you can imagine they’ve got to be pissed about how we turned the “Yankee” insult into one of the main icons of our country.
Real life is not an excellent movie. The special effects may have been atrocious, but you have to long for a reality in which Will Smith destroys an alien mothership on the all-too-convenient day of July 4. But alas, the fates will not allow us such a privilege — the man who passed up “Django Unchained” will not be returning for the sequel in 2015.
Maybe we’ll get bored of it soon enough. Maybe we’re only celebrating it because our friends and family celebrate it. And maybe one day, we’ll be taken over by the aliens and barred from ever speaking of it again.
Image source: IMLS DCC, under Creative Commons
Contact Uday Mehta at [email protected]