Given my "liberal" political views, I'm sure that at least a few of you will immediately think that I hate the 4th because of I hate America. Or some other ridiculous knee-jerk reaction. While it is true that I do see much of the "patriotism" that America projects as corporatism masquerading as nationalism (which, for those keeping track, is called "fascism"), that's not the problem. I think people should get to celebrate whatever they want to celebrate, that's part of what makes the idea of America great. But that's has absolutely nothing to do with why I hate the 4th of July.
Imagine for a moment that you have a small child, say 3 or 4 years old, and this particular child is terrified of organs and organ music for reasons that don't really matter. Now imagine that your neighbor loves organ music, and trots out his mighty Wurlitzer theater organ into his driveway once a year and starts playing it at high volume for several hours. Now imagine that a significant percentage of your neighbors do the same thing, but not only that one day, but for about a week before and after the date, although sporadically. Now imagine that a significant percentage of the population of the entire country does this, so there is almost no where to run to save your child from abject terror, requiring you to sedate him or her.
For many of us with household pets, this is the 4th of July. And we dread it.
Some of you will say, predictably, that "a dog is not a child." Well done! Your homo-superior arrogance has come through again! A dog is, indeed, not a child. Yet some of us treat our dogs as fuzzy children, and I am one of those people. Even if you aren't a pet person, if you were to see the terror in my dogs' eyes as the booming and banging starts in late June, and they run to hide in a closet where every explosion produces more trembling and shaking, no matter how many windows we closed, no matter how much music we put on, no matter how much noise we try to generate with fans and washing machines, then I would hope against hope that your compassion for another thinking, feeling being in obvious pain and fear would outweigh your need to blow stuff up. Our options are to drug our pets for a two-week period (and how would you react if I suggested you do that with your child in public?), or to find one of the six places in the country where people don't set off fireworks.
Not to mention that where I live, fireworks are *illegal*. You know, like all of those Mexicans that everyone seems to think will take over the country if we don't put up laser turrets on the border. Every year the city says they'll do something about it, and every year we listen to five or six hours of constant noise and try to keep our dogs from melting down. There's illegal, like lying about a little oral sex, and ILLEGAL, like lying to obstruct an investigation into treasonous acts. And fireworks, apparently, are of the lower-case variety, but they still send my dogs into a tailspin that breaks my heart.
So I suggest to you, firework-loving neighbors across the land: Next year, if you love the spectacle so much, go to a public fireworks display. Don't light off firecrackers or Roman candles for the week preceding/following the holiday. Because I'm just about angry enough that next year, I'm gonna pull out my organ and scare *your* kids.