July-the-Fourth Blues

We’ve reached another fine, patriotic holiday, and most of the country is out celebrating with red-white-and-blue whatever and blowing things up.

But I’m a writer, and somewhere deep inside, I feel like the way to celebrate your freedoms is to use them.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the freedom of assembly. It’s just that the kind of assembly where you eat burgers, wave flags, and talk about how great your country is might not be exactly what the founding fathers had in mind.

The explosions this week are like something out of Harrison Bergeron. If you did want to think, it would be tough to keep it together.

We have a lot of  flags flying, and a lot of patriotic holidays. I lost count somewhere around sixteen patriotic holidays. They range from a note on the calendar, to the 4th of July–the high holy day of Americana.

The really great thing about this song is that it’s as appropriate for

  • Gold Star Mothers Day <—Just look them in the eye, and say you believe their children died for a worthwhile reason. That should be easy enough… right?
  • POW/MIA Recognition Day <—Neighbor across the street.
  • Pearl Harbor Day <—(A rule now exists that you MUST call your mother before showing up in her kitchen if you have been in a hospital or a war zone.)
  • Armed Forces Day <–because all five branches are a TEAM, dammit.
  • Marine Birthday<–Weird point of interest? Marines make excellent critique partners.
  • Coast Guard Birthday <—Yes, I can find the coast on a map! Yes, even though I’m from a landlocked state.
  • Army Birthday <—Family draftees wind up here.
  • Navy Day <—the only branch of the military the American side of my family actually volunteers for.
  • Air Force Birthday <—Highest average ASVAB ratings in the Armed Services. (An actual airman told me that, so you know it’s true.)
  • Memorial Day<—Fallen soldiers
  • Veterans’ Day <—Also living soldiers.
  • Columbus Day <—Really beautiful city in Ohio.
  • Presidents’ Day <—**wink** We all know it’s really Head of the Shadow Government’s Day.
  • Flag Day<—Helpful hint: The American Flag is preferred. My other neighbor is all set for this one. Never seen one man cram so many flags into one front yard in all my life.
  • Constitution Day <–a strong constitution is vital to health and well being. Remember your Fiber.
  • Bill of Rights Day<—First ten amendments.  (No holiday noted for the next 17, and No holiday for Rejected Amendments, which would also seem to be in order.)
  • Patriots Day <—(That’s Patriotic for September Eleventh Victims.)
  • Loyalty (No, Not Kidding) Day<— holdover from 1921

As it is for Independence Day. You might want to kick up the tempo and add some drums and fifes for the holidays celebrating the Armed Services.

And here’s where I mention–in all honesty–that Columbus Day does wind up as Indigenous People’s Day, if you dig really deep into your Cat Lovers Against The Bomb Calendar. And Loyalty Day is pretty much obsolete, at this point.

Still, that’s a hell of a lot of holidays. And not one of them is–officially or traditionally–celebrated by writing a book. (Despite this being one of those freedoms people constantly insist are important to them.) You never see extensive news coverage of a politician writing an epic poem.

Quite a few of these holidays are celebrated with flags, fireworks, and beer.

I’ll be going out later, to see other people blow things up (Because I’m too cheap to blow up my own stuff.) and I might catch some fine grilled cuisine.

But at the heart of it all–under the stars and stripes, trumpets and explosions–this is Writers’ Day.

So, put in your ear plugs, grab a pen, and seize those rights.

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