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Fourth of July Word Vomit

4 Jul

I used to hate the Fourth of July – all those grotesque displays of blind patriotism and all, tons of hamburgers, parades (who doesn’t love a parade? Sometimes me, apparently), fireworks set off in the streets by people who obviously don’t value the sanctity of their digits. And also, there’s this:

Sociologists have critiqued nationalism for being the source of an irrational commitment and loyalty to one’s nation, a commitment that makes one willing to both die and kill.

But sinister flag-waving and irritating crowds aside, I kind of like July 4 nowadays.The weather is usually decent, there is a three-day weekend involved, there is food around, and I can’t help loving an excuse to make themed desserts. Also, it’s the biggest secular holiday in the US, which is kind of neat. No one is excluded on the basis of religion, and if you don’t celebrate it, you really needn’t squirm when someone asks you your plans – anything you do this weekend can be construed as a holiday celebration.Compare that to Easter or Christmas, where people will almost unfailingly ask you what your plans are, and when you haven’t thought ahead to have a made-up answer at the ready they look at you funny.

So here’s what I’m doing to celebrate:

  • Putting homemade ice cream in my coffee instead of cream
  • Eating pie
  • Going to a picnic later
  • Eating more pie
  • Riding the bus to where the fireworks are later
  • Taking a walk
  • Lying around making lame bulleted lists

How do you feel about patriotic holidays? Conflicted? Delighted? Grumpy? What do you do on long summer weekends, holiday or no?

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