Review of: The 4th of July
A guide for the perplexed: Oliver Miller is writing a book of reviews in which he grades everything in the known universe. For all the previous reviews, go here. For more holiday-related reviews, go here and here.
Fireworks: I can’t think of anything bad to say about fireworks. They’re loud, they go boom, they’re probably a metaphor for sex in some way — in conclusion, fireworks are good. What better way to celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s birth than by watching things explode? It’s a very warlike way to celebrate July 4th, but then, a lot of our national symbols are pretty fierce and warlike when you think about them — bald eagles (very angry looking), the Statue of Liberty (ditto), Sarah Palin (ditto), and so on and so forth…
I also like the smaller home-backyard variety of fireworks, especially sparklers, and especially those little black pill things called “snakes” that don’t so much resemble snakes as they resemble — let’s just come out and say it — small turds of dog poop. Grade: A
Picnics: Picnics are really great if you want to travel a pointlessly long distance to eat and if you like bugs getting into your food, and who doesn’t like both of those things, right? …But then, I tend to think that the outdoors would be better if it was indoors and air-conditioned, so I guess I have no point here. Grade: C-minus
Cooking out — Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Bar-b-que, etc: Cooking out requires less traveling than picnics, so that’s good. Hot dogs are cool because even I can cook them, and I especially like burned hot dogs, so even if I do still manage to fuck them up, it’s still good. Hamburgers are likewise awesome and hard-to-fuck-up-ish. …And bar-b-que is a big hit with inbred yokels, so whatever.
…And hey, did you ever notice? Our three “national dishes” in America are essentially hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza. Which actually come from Germany, Germany again, and Italy. That’s two of the three countries that we fought in World War II. Once again, I have no real point here. I just always thought that that was weird/interesting. Grade: B-plus
Drinking: As far as I can tell, the point of every holiday and sporting event is drinking. Exceptions to this rule include the following holidays and sporting events: Arbor Day, Columbus Day, fencing, and jai-lai. Other than that, if it’s a holiday or you’re watching sports, it’s bottoms up. Grade: B
Patriotism: “…Is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Of course, it was some pointy-headed English dude who said that quote, so fuck that noise, and USA! USA! Etc… It is worth noting that everyone who lives in any country thinks that their country is the best, though — sort of the way that every mom thinks that her kids are the smartest and best-looking. So maybe Tea Partiers and other assorted assholes could chill it a little with the maniacal patriotism. After all, no country’s actual motto is “We’re Number Two!” We’re just not that special, guys — plus, excessive patriotism is dorky and leads to bad outfits, plus it’s oh-so-non-hipster. Grade: C
The Star-Spangled Banner: Well, “America the Beautiful” is a way better song, but maybe that’s just because I like songs that reference grain, I dunno. Also, “The Star-Spangled Banner” happens to be all about the War of 1812, which you can just tell is a dud war, because it doesn’t even have an interesting name. “American Revolution: Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” or “2Brit 2Furious” would both have been better names for this war, but whatever.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” is also one of those songs that has way more verses than you think it does; it’s just that we only ever sing the first one. (Another song with tons of extra verses: “Jingle Bells.” You should look them up sometime.) Anyway, here are some lyrics from the latter part of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” check it:
“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
…Which is a really convoluted question — and a really long way of saying “Hey did those British pussy out or what?” But then, I like songs like this; songs with questions in the lyrics — which includes tunes like “Who Let the Dogs Out?” or “Baby, Where Did My Love Go?” …And by the way, if you need answers to those two questions, the answers are as follows: “Some jerk” and “It was destroyed by the ravages of time.” So, there’s that. Anyway, I’ve said far, far too much. …And so, happy July 4th, everyone! Grade: B-minus
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