a bodaceous blog
- The Fourth of July, 2008
- Winter Soldier Two
- Feeling the love in Iran
- Potholes on the Super-Highway
- Coffee, Computers, and Clear Skies
- Merry Micro Christmas
This July Fourth holiday weekend has been unusually subdued. The usual neighborhood block parties seemed relatively quiet affairs, and there were no large gatherings of people playing and picnicing in the parks— just the usual weekend crowd.
Another sign of disaffection is the lack of flags on display. While most people around here do not display a flag at other times of the year, there is usually a good display for Independence Day. This year, walking several miles throughout the area, I have seen just four American flags. Even the flags bearing the peace symbol were absent, despite being so popular last year.
With the downturn in the economy, and with wars and rumors of war, I imagine people here find few reasons to celebrate. On the contrary, the mood seems to be one of protest, rather than celebration.
This mood is particularly evident in the blogosphere. For example, see the article that professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history, Juan Cole, wrote. With a nod to Kahlil Gibran, he begins:
Your Fourth of July and My Fourth of July
Your Fourth of July is blood for oil.
My Fourth of July is the pure sunbeam of peace.
Yours is the imperial presidency and “so what?” to public opinion.
Mine is “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”
Yours is profiling and discrimination.
Mine is “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
Yours is “My country right or wrong.”
Mine is avoiding “Offences against the Law of Nations”
You can read all of Your Fourth of July and My Fourth of July at Informed Comment.
Less circumspect articles appear at The Progressive and Inter-Press Service. The IPS article is titled Little to Cheer on U.S. Independence Day. Matthew Rothschild’s article in The Progressive is in memory of George Carlin. The piece is called Why I’m Not Patriotic. It begins:
It’s July 4th again, a day of near-compulsory flag-waving and nation-worshipping. Count me out.
Meanwhile, a group calling itself the Bill of Rights Defense Committee took out an advertisement in Thursday’s New York Times – A Declaration for Our Times (pdf) – which they hope will help mobilize support for a movement to “reverse the freedom-robbing government actions and policies that are threatening our nation’s future.”
The United States right now is not a nation of happy campers.