mnvnjnsn's Diary

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Apple Pie and Chevrolet

Everyone is taking off early today to start their holiday weekend, and I thought I'd take the time to mention how much I loathe the Fourth of July phenomenon.

Not that I don't like the day off. I will take every day they give me. But all the stuff surrounding the holiday just irks me. The red, white and blue everywhere; the drunken "patriots" lighting mexican fireworks and burning down abandoned sheds; the heat and the crowds; the flag-waving. It's all just so tiresome to me.

I don't consider myself a patriot by the definition of the current administration. I am grateful that I was born in the United States-- I don't think the US can do no wrong. I respect and admire the thoughtfulness and foresight the founders of this country put into its creation-- I do not think elected officials deserve respect and admiration just because they are there.

Patriotism is not flag-waving and pumping fists and singing the national anthem off key. Patriotism is not telling citizens of foreign lands we happen to be occupying to "Bring it on." Patriotism is not drunkenly insisting "These colors don't run."

Red, white, blue. Allow me to list for you some (but not all) the countries that use red, white and blue in their flags: Australia, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Iceland, North Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Thailand and United Kingdom.

So, you know what? Don't give me that bullshit. You want to be proud of the US forces? Great. But don't champion your idiocy in my face by parrotting slogans that don't make sense. And try washing a red sock, a white sock and a blue sock together and see what color that white sock turns. These colors don't run, indeed.

I was fortunate enough to be in Oslo, Norway on Syttende Mai, the 17th of May, Norway's Constitution Day. It is the biggest holiday in Norway, and there are big celebrations every year. In some ways, it is like the 4th of July, with the flag waving and the partying. But they celebrate by dressing up in the historical costumes of their region (the Bunde), eat licorice and ice cream and watch the children's parades. Everyone is smiling. People get buzzed and mill around the city, but they do not get belligerently drunk and then try to drive home.

And they do not set things on fire, belittle other nations and celebrate war.

I wish we had a constitution day, to celebrate the document that guarantees us the freedoms we have, despite the current administration. I wish we could have a peaceful, happy day off.

I wish they would stop playing that damn Lee Greenwood song.

4:37 p.m. - 2003-07-03


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