Happy Independence Day

Happy Wednesday, which most ppl will think is Saturday at least at some point during the festivities and then will think is Sunday night when they pray that the fireworks will stop exploding and the dogs will stop barking so they can get to freakin sleep since they have to go to in like 6 hours. But I digress. There is only one minor problem with The Fourth Of July. So please join me on a buzzkill version of “the things I have learned”:
The Fourth of July is a big fat lie. No, this is not some political comment about the true meanings of “all men are created equal” nor is it a lament as to how the modern political leaders have made a mockery of the rational and lofty principles of the Founding Fathers. Its just that we got the history all wrong and as the Washington tour guide can confirm, I take history pretty seriously. I will keep this short as I can feel the eyes starting to wander away from this post and go check out which embarrassing song their friends are listening to on Spotify right now. The war with the British had been going on since 1775. The Continental congress had been meeting in Philadelphia for most of the summer trying to find a way to send the monarchy in London a big one-figured salute. Apparently you can only make so many jokes about bad teeth and inbreeding-related hemophilia before they start to lose their sting. So on the most momentus day of July 2, they formally approved the message of their formal break with King George and the boys and it was recorded in the Philadelphia newspaper.Wow, newspapers used to matter? What happened on July 4? Thomas Jefferson submitted a working copy of his Declaration to the delegates that were present at the congress. It kind of ruins the spirit of the holiday that basically we are celebrating the fact that Tommy turned his rough draft in on time. A clean copy was turned in on August 2, and the last signature was scribbled on it sometime in early November.
The thing we celebrate, however is the ideals contained in that document. Life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness… and something to do with deals at carlots and mattress store sales. But a little warning, if after leaving the bar you are pulled over by a police officer and he inquires what you were doing tonight. Do not respond that you were pursuing happiness or you will become acquainted with that other founding document, namely your Miranda rights. It is remarkable that Jefferson was able to complete the Declaration on time ( “not tonight Sally, I have a headache”) and it is a remarkable piece if writing. After my recent dabbling in the literary world, I find the amazing thing about the Declaration…not a single mention of the Kardasians anywhere. Everybody knows the opening lines of the Declaration:
“I never thought this would happen to me. I am a professor at a small southern college. This afternoon the Captain of the Cheerleading team said she wanted make my truth self-evident so she…..”oops sorry that must be from an earlier draft.
My favorite part of the Declaration is the latter part of the piece where Jefferson lists the grievances that are the reasons that the break with England was so necessary. It was kind of a Lettermanesque Top Ten Reasons it Sucks To Not Be Independent. There were some surprising things included in it:
The British insisted on a two-drink minimum, no happy hour on weekends
The Children menu had no chicken fingers
British cuisine: lets just boil everything
British soldiers kept giving Alexander Hamilton atomic wedgies
Prime Minister Lord Frederick North refused to accept Farmville invites
King George doesnt validate parking
As you can see, our backs were to the wall and it took a great man to sum up the concepts upon which our nation was to be built. Well,it is America’s birthday today and for all her many flaws she has continued to extol these ideals of freedom and liberty even to today and I for one congratulate the old girl. She still looks pretty good to me.


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