A big, rainy, wet kiss of a birthday celebration for our nation this evening here on the east coast. Thankfully, we didn't have to go anywhere far to see any kind of fireworks display - we spent the afternoon and evening at the Yacopino's, and then at around 9 PM, a neighbor of theirs set off a pretty impressive - if intermittent - display. Apparently, the launcher is a NYC policeman who annually brings his haul of confiscated fireworks (they're illegal in New York for private use) and lights them off from his home without any hassle from the local police. One of those benefits of the fraternal order of the blue, but who am I to complain? Free fireworks from a friend's porch? Not bad.
I'd like to take this moment - as all bloggers in the whole damn sphere who happen to have an Earth address in America have no doubt done - just to praise this great, resilient nation and the framers who gave us enough rope to hang ourselves with and enough leeway to come down from the gallows with renewed purpose. The drawback to this is every four years, listening to yet another group of hopefuls mumbling some vague bumper-sticker about 'America finding a bright new day in the sun.' The advantage should be obvious: witness how fragile and faltering civil democracy is all over our world, and then turn around and take a look at the miracle we've preserved for over two and a quarter centuries.
Sure, at times it seems like a wash. Certainly, the system is too limited in choice, too easily corrupted by money. Yes, image always seems to trump content. Too often, those who govern forget that we are the rulers and they merely the executor of our wishes. And, Lord Knows, the poison of prejudice and discrimination in any form will always be the shadow of our national soul.
But we've gotten this far with nothing more than a few words on a piece of paper and some contraband fireworks, so hand me a beer, slap me on the ass and point me towards the future. Maybe the American Way gets a good, solid ass-fucking every once in awhile, but the American Dream is still unsullied - a shining city on a hill that's worth standing in the rain to watch for.