Just what pleasure do people get from setting off obnoxiously loud fireworks for hours on end? I’ve never understood it. I am sitting here at just after midnight, and every few seconds comes another loud BOOM! This is an apartment complex of 180 townhouses, most occupied by working class families with children and pets. Some actually go to bed and sleep at night, but obviously not tonight. My own cats are cowering under the sofa. There are a number of fireworks shows in and around this city with fireworks that are actually pretty, that light up the night sky with colour, so why don’t these fools attend one of those? No, they would rather set off fireworks that only make loud noise and cause my heart to literally jump with every single one. I am too old for this crap.
The reason for the fireworks? Today is the 4th of July 2021. Here in the United States it is a federal holiday commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. There was a time when this day meant something to me. Today, I find it difficult to feel any particular loyalty to a nation that is so divided we seem to be two distinctly separate countries, only without geographic boundaries. There is no middle ground anymore … you are either a liberal or conservative, Democrat of Republican, human or racist, thinker or follower. There have, of course, always been such divisions, but until about a decade ago, there was a middle ground, some things that we could all agree on. Today, that middle ground is gone, replaced by a wide chasm, a desolate wasteland where neither side will venture. Worse yet, civility and respect have also flown the coop such that if one person disagrees with another, they will call each other vulgar names and hurl accusations, maybe even threats.
We are on a path that is taking us far from the ideology that this nation was once based on, that of “all ‘men’ being created equal.” Racism is on the rise around the nation, promoted by many of our elected officials. Our right to participate in our government via our vote is on the chopping block and was dealt what may turn out to be a death blow last Thursday by none other than the U.S. Supreme Court.
Inflation is >5% just in the past year, and many families who lost income during the pandemic are struggling to survive while state governments are cutting unemployment benefits.
Gun violence is beyond words … anybody can buy and own a gun … as many of them as they want. They can buy automatic weapons that can kill everyone in the room within a minute or two. Shootings at grocery stores, mosques, on the streets, in theaters and bars have become commonplace and one half of the nation would protect their right to own a gun before they would protect their own children.
The U.S. is the #1 per capita emitter of the carbon that is literally killing us all with melting icecaps, rising sea levels, deadly heat, water shortages, ruined crops and more and the people of this nation rebel at any suggestion that they make certain lifestyle changes to try to turn things around.
No, I’m afraid there really isn’t a whole lot to celebrate this holiday. The one bright spot is that we do, after four long years, finally have a president who is intelligent and compassionate, who cares about the needs of the people, but even that bright light is dimmed by those who would put up obstacles at every turn to slow or halt any progress he might make.
So no, I’m not celebrating this holiday … this is just another Sunday to me and frankly I’ll be glad when this long weekend is over and the fireworks stop so the kitties can come out from under the sofa, we can stop worrying about a fire here in da hood, and my heart can settle back into my chest.