Happy Fourth of July Present-Day Americans!

Cue the hot dog eating contest.

Cue the excessive beer-drinking.

Cue the fireworks.

The Fourth of July is here, everybody. It’s time to celebrate America!

The weather is hot and uncomfortable and everybody is wearing tacky red, white, and blue patterns, but I don’t care. Believe it or not, Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m partial to any holiday that isn’t somber or forces you to buy gifts and instead only requires you to ‘party’ a little. Or a lot.

So basically today, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. I should like Halloween but my small fear of human beings in costumes kind of ruins that one for me.

The Fourth of July is the antithesis of 9-11. They’re both days we refer to solely by their date. 9-11 is the day we’re supposed to feel sad for being Americans, for suffering the blow of that day, and the Fourth is the day we’re supposed to feel happy to be American, for being born in a country so blessed and special as this one. They balance each other out in a way.

When we get to the Fourth, it’s inevitable you think about what it means to you. And lately it’s been easy to dwell on the negative. The wars. The sinking economy. The chatter of media.

I don’t know why we always talk about the founding fathers or world war two or some other irrelevant topic of yesteryear. That’s just propaganda to reinforce your brainwashing. You know, wash your brain, rinse, repeat.  

But there are things about present-day America that are so goddamn amazing that I feel like taking a flag pin and stabbing it right into my flesh. (‘These colors don’t bleed! I’ll scream while, actually, bleeding to death.)

For Fourth of July, 2008, this what I’m celebrating…

  • San Francisco. The city.
  • Sierra Nevada. The beer.
  • Big Sur. The heartache.
  • Bright Eyes. The band.
  • Barack Obama. The man.
  • The Cohen Brothers. The filmmakers.
  • George Saunders. The writer.
  • My wife. The Brazilian, now a U.S Citizen.
  • Our Colleges. The great institutions of personal growth and Education.
  • Italian Restaurants. The ability to co-opt the World’s treasures.
  • Roadside Attractions. The compelling weirdness of America.

And last but not least, the Liberal Blogosphere. The million bloggers taking on Rush Limbaugh daily. Hey, it’s a fair fight, that guy is, like, a-pizza-a-day  large!

There’s a whole lot more to be proud of. I just wanted to start the list.

If anyone wants to jump in, then heck, jump in! The water is perfect.

My behoved Big Sur…



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