I don’t think our country is about to turn into an obese version of the Weimar Republic anytime soon, but we are definitely not doing well. The economy, healthcare and the war in Afghanistan are all taking a negative toll on the land of the free and the home of the brave. Personally, I feel myself becoming more and more cynical every time I choose to watch the news on television.
My family and friends have definitely seen this cynicism whenever my political hot button is pushed. I’m so tired of listening to arguments that have no basis in reality.
For Independence Day 2012, I’m deciding to take a desperately needed step back.
I want to remember why I like America. Not the Republican or Democrat America, but my America.
We all have a little piece of this country, and I’m using my day off to reflect on my portion of the best country in the world.
The first thing I want to do is block any source of ill influence, which might be a good policy to adopt in my everyday life. That means no televised news broadcasts, no political flame wars on Facebook and no news from the Internet.
After that, I’m going to party.
Now, you might be wandering what partying has to with the reflection on happier times. Well, it is an essential part of the process. Of course, I’m not talking about a 30-beer binge I can’t remember the next day.
I’m going to party like it’s 1996.
On Independence Day that year, there was enough barbecue to feed an army and enough fireworks to arm them. My aunt’s ultra-teased 90s hairdo, which was held up by a thick coating of Aqua Net hairspray, caught fire when an errant bottle rocket buzzed past her head. And I think I stayed in my grandmother’s pool so long that I looked like a prune for the rest of the weekend.
It was a glorious day, and I’m afraid I will never get that feeling of absolute freedom and happiness back.
So I’m going to do my best to put my adult cynicism and bitterness behind me, at least for a day, and just have fun.
I’m going to forget that not having a gall bladder means barbecue is a risky affair; I’m going to forget I don’t have enough money for proper fireworks, and I’m going to forget how bad of a swimmer I am nowadays.
America is great, even with all its faults, and I still want to believe I live in the best country in the world.
So, I’m ordering a couple pounds of pork from Mike and Ed’s, scraping up what money I can to buy some bottle rockets and spending most of the day by the pool with my friends.
Simply put, I’m going to celebrate my America.