Instead then shall the voice of liberty be mute?

As it’s Independence Day today, I wanted to talk about something uniquely American, or at least something patriotic. Because listen, I love my country. I know you might be thinking I don’t seem like the kind of person who would. I seem like one of those crazy liberals, right? Who hates America, and all it stands for?

Yeah, no. I love America. I love American history. It makes me tear up, actually, I love it so much. American history is like a real-life version of The Mighty Ducks, only instead of a rag-tag band of kids led by a young Joshua Jackson, you have our founding fathers, and instead of whoever the Ducks were fighting in whatever sequel you’re watching, you have the British. It’s like the ultimate underdog story. Who doesn’t love an underdog story? And we won. There was bravery and fighting and people being stubborn and refusing to pay taxes and rebelling against the man – this is good stuff. Of course I love America, you dolt.

(“Did she just compare the American Revolution to…” Yes, shut up, I love The Mighty Ducks. My taste in movies is sometimes a little questionable. Deal with it. I watch real movies sometimes, too, movies with artistic value and subtitles and such. But sometimes you – fine, ME – want{s}to watch a group of kids pull it together in time to win a championship, while quacking and performing the Flying “V”. Leave me alone.)

If I didn’t love America, wouldn’t I have moved somewhere else? I mean, Canada’s right there. I grew up literally minutes away from the border. I’m not saying I don’t say things like “I’m moving to Canada!” once and a while (there are two instances where I can imagine myself looking into Canadian citizenship – sadly enough, both involve something happening I’d love to see, a woman becoming president.  But the two seeming front-runners – and I think you all know who they are, and I certainly don’t want to drive any traffic here by naming them, it’s kind of like saying Bloody Mary three times into a mirror AND SHE APPEARS! – scare the bejeebers out of me. My spell check wants me to change that word to bedchambers. They also scare the bedchambers out of me) but honestly, I’m just venting. I wouldn’t go. Nothing against Canada. I like Canada a great deal. I just love my country too much to leave it, ever, no matter what happens.

There was a news story on last night where they’d done an informal poll and 58% of Americans under the age of 30 didn’t know why we celebrated Independence Day, and another weirdly high number which I have forgotten because I have the attention span of a child raised by wolves didn’t know who we had become independent from. The statistic was skewed in the favor of men (men got the answer right more often than women did.) This is frightening news. Were you not paying attention at all in school, or in life? Were the statistics wrong? I don’t understand this, really. Did you think America was just here, and people just showed up and it was just waiting for us, all industrialized, tables set for dinner, shiny new appliances waiting for their owners, a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage? Did you think that July 4th was just a random day off for you to get drunk, drive like assholes, and hold fireworks in your hand while lighting them, then blow off some fingers, then call the local ambulance-chasing lawyer to sue the fireworks manufacturer for not warning you harshly enough? And why were men more able to answer this question than women? I like to think because the women saw the pollster coming and thought he was about to hit on them, or spray them with cheap perfume, or something, so they just walked by briskly and with purpose as if they didn’t hear him calling and he marked them as “too stupid to answer the question” out of spite. Because it really makes me sad, otherwise. 

I’m mostly friends with intelligent people – I have very little time for stupidity, it takes too long, honestly, and I’m busy, so if I have to explain fourteen times what I want to you, then I’m going to probably not call on you again – so someone not understanding the history behind one of our major holidays confuses me. But then again, I never understood those “Jaywalking” bits that Jay Leno used to do (he might still do them, I don’t know, I don’t stay up late enough to watch him and wouldn’t, even if I did, because I don’t think he’s funny and I don’t approve of how NBC handled the Conan situation.)  You’ve seen these, right? He would ask people questions like, “Who invented the telephone,” or “What did Neil Armstrong say when he walked on the moon?” and the people say things like “Albert Einstein” or “I gotta pee.” Now, I’m not sure if these people are plants (as in, planted by the producers, not wisteria vines or beans or zucchini) or these are real answers. But I’m going to assume they are real answers, because I’ve seen people being interviewed on the local news, and some of the things people say when a camera is stuck in their face are very, very stupid.

I don’t know how you can’t know basic things about your country. I’m a little foggy on a few things, I’ll admit it. I have a mental block on the term limits of senators, representatives, judges, etc. at state and national levels (2? 4? 6? they serve for life? SO MANY OPTIONS) so often have to research that if I want the answer. And since I didn’t get ABC as a child, I was not able to watch Schoolhouse Rock so I’m not 100% on how a bill becomes a law. But here’s the thing – I can Google it. Anyone can. Google is for everyone! Even if you don’t have a computer or a fancy phone, you can get to a library, and use theirs! And you can research things that interest you! Or, if you are scared of technology, there are books, which came before technology, and they can tell you things, too! Interesting things! Sometimes with pretty pictures!

Crap. I’m way off topic, here. I wanted to talk about something uniquely American or patriotic or something for the 4th of July and instead we’ve discussed The Mighty Ducks, spellcheck, Jaywalking, and Google.  Which, if you think about it, are all kind of uniquely American, if not patriotic. Whoa. It is an Independence Day MIRACLE.

For those of you who didn’t know what we’re celebrating today, 235 years ago today, the Declaration of Independence was approved and signed. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Yeah, there aren’t any wizards or vampires or robots, so I can see how it slipped past you. There were just a group of men who were pretty sick of being told what to do and how to act and such so they did something about it, and because of them, you have the unalienable right to be as clueless as you’d like – and I have the right to call you out on it. 

Thanks, founding fathers.

Happy birthday, America.

(My title is from e.e. cumming’s lovely poem “next to of course god america i.” Happy 4th, all.)

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

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