Two hundred and thirty four years ago a grand experiment was started. It is an experiment that the world had not seen that scale up to that point, and no other country can claim such a massive experiment. Two hundred and thirty four years ago ,fifty-six men had decided that the style of governing that had dominated the world for nearly a thousand years was way past its expiration date. This is very important to remember because this blog is only sort of about them. It is more about watching fireworks, the wonderful kaleidoscope which is America (admittedly, two hundred and thirty four years after it was founded) and New Coke and why it is better in some very key ways to Old Coke.
The United States, right now, is a messed up country. We have a massive debt that, if represented by pennies would reach the moon, circle it once and have enough left over to use to actually buy things. We are a country divided into two equally stupid camps. The first camp has no problem with people like Glenn Beck who are offended by everything and cry at the drop of a hat. The second group follows the angst ridden and terminally offended moveon.org, which despite their promises of moving on seem to stay in place. There is a third group and they are represented by people who quite obviously have no concept of math. This is not about them, they are "special" and neither group is allowed to play with the sharp scissors. This is about the group of Americans I saw when I was at 4th of July fireworks.
When I walked on the soccer field in sugarland, Texas it was a magical and wonderful sight. There were women wearing hijabs. There were Latin Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, really every race you could imagine, the air was filled will just as many languages as colors of skin. There were old Americans whose grandparents or great-great grandparents first came to the country, there were new American, sharing with their children why this day was so important and explaining how to weave it into the rug of tradition that they brought with them. There were even people who may have not been American on a piece of paper, but because of the smiles on their face and the warmth in the heart because of the day, they were no less American than Washington or Lincoln. This moment was what 56 men risked their lives , by signing a piece of paper ,dreamed of.
America is not perfect. We have a constitution which is flawed and encourages us, if not demands us, to elect a new village idiot every four years. We aren't as refined as the British. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is just a likely to know some who is related to someone who is related to yet another person who may possibly be middle class as he is to find someone who would openly admit buying one of the seven million copies of the Spice Girl's first album that were sold . It is that social snobbery that has allowed our uncles across the ocean to once rule an empire where the sun never set, it allowed them to take French words, say them in a funny manner and call it a new language, they even invented cricket...what a great civilization that can have so much time on their hands to invent such an odd sport.
The United States is the opposite. We were created by the wretched refuse of other people's shores. Were England was a country of nobility (all non-nobles were thrown off a cliff is I remember that movie" 300" correctly) we were a country that actively sought out the huddled masses , the homeless and the tempest tossed. We did then, and we do now. And when people speak of advancing their country they speak of creating a version of the "American Dream" and not the British one. The French don't speak German because of descendants of these people. People listen to hip-hop and rick and roll while sitting atop a Ferris Wheel because of the inherent craziness of Americans that was needed for anyone to think these were good ideas and not only think of them, but pursue them, perfect them, and then have the whole world copy them.
Yes my country has a lot of problems. However in the end the day, as we waited for the fireworks, we were all Americans. We were able to put our differences to be one nation (under God, Gods, science, what have you) celebrate the liberty our country offers us and justice that keeps us safe from harm. I think we can find a way to do it the other 364 days of the year.
Josh is the self proclaimed unofficial spokesman for Generation X. He likes fireworks. He also likes baseball and apple pie. He is an annoyingly stereotypical American however since he signs our paychecks we won‘t complain.