So the Fourth of July, the American Independence Day, has come again. We have a new president for this one. In fact, for the first time in history, the United States of America will celebrate the fact that we don't speak with English accents with a black man serving as our chief. Oh, how the times have changed. Our country is still in a helluva a lot of trouble. It took eight years of idiocy, greed, shortsightedness and neo-conservative tunnel vision to get us into this mess. So it will naturally take more than half a year to get us out of it. I would like to think, as I'm sure we all would, that things will get better. I imagine they will. Real steps have recently been taken to get us the hell out of Iraq, which can be nothing but good in my opinion. The economy is still in the toilet but I know it won't stay there. Recessions have come and gone many times before and this one will eventually run its course. And while politics are always politics as usual, i.e. more bullshit than substance, I do have some hope for our future. Say what you will about Obama but at least he seems to have a genuinely intellectual brain as opposed to one nearly reduced to mush by cocaine, booze and a lifetime of indoctrination by Christian Conservatives.
I once said the Fourth of July is The Great American Fire Festival and I still hold to that. It is our celebration of freedom won by fire, by bullets and cannons. It is a celebration of fiery bravery, audacity and pure grit. It is a celebration of a momentous win achieved during the hottest, fieriest time of the year in this country. The Fourth may fall two weeks after the Summer Solstice but the heat, fire and strength of the sun is still plenty strong enough to heat up the air, the mind and the soul. Now, as then, its strength and power can help us overcome apparently insurmountable odds. It's only fitting that we mark the day with barbecues filled with sizzling and sumptuous foods. It makes perfect sense that as our forefathers fired guns and set off cannons we today create our own deafening explosions accompanied by brilliant flashes of sparkling, shining colors.
But let's not forget those who have no such cause for celebration. While we're grilling food over the fire or blowing up expensive pyrotechnics and generally enjoying good times with friends and family let's take time to remember those who are still fighting for freedom from tyranny, oppression and cruelty. Let's say a prayer for those wounded and dying, but still brave, student protesters in Iran. Let's ask our respective gods, spirits, guides, etc., to lend some of their support to those fighting for freedom all over the world. Let's give something of ourselves to help those folks who are fighting for independence right now. If we can't send money to support a cause, let's spread the message of their struggles. If we feel we can't reach anyone with our words let's work magic to help them continue the fight. If we can't help them in time let's pray that their passing was quick and painless. If their oppressors killed them slowly and brutally let's pray that their souls can move on from their most recent horrible deaths and perhaps enjoy better times in a future life. While we celebrate our freedom let's not forget those who don't have it.
I wish you a safe, happy, informed and aware holiday.
Image from the Flickrstream of Camera Slayer, licensed by Creative Commons.