I hate this holiday (Independence Day, July 4, United States)

Yup.  Hate it.  Don't like it.  Don't like it so much.  Here are some of the reasons:

  • I'm not at all convinced we should have seceded from England in the first place.  Here are some of the things that England did peacefully that either did, or would probably, start a civil war in the United States, that we would have had to just do if England were able to tell us to:  Ending slavery.  Socializing healthcare.  Ending the casual civilian ownership of guns.  Here are some of America's greatest accomplishments since striking out on our own:  Inventing all the worst weapons.  Keeping by far the world's biggest organized killing force.  Crashing the world's economy, twice.  This stuff does not all seem worth the revolution, which basically boiled down to a bunch of rich dudes complaining that they were expected to pay their taxes.  (A tradition well upheld throughout the subsequent history of the country.)
  • I hate the decorations. Honestly, red, white and blue isn't a great color scheme.  I'm not really sure why most of the European countries decided to use it.
  • It's basically a nationwide excuse to eat meat and drink beer.  Not that Americans tend to need a reason to do either of those things, but it's problematic that we often think of the most centrally American act consists of eating cow (a massively overpopulated animal, the farming of which is arguably responsible for world hunger) and drinking beer (which is gross).
  • I don't like fireworks.  This is probably mainly because of association -- Americans really only do fireworks for the Fourth of July.  But, also, I don't see the appeal of watching them for more than a couple of minutes.

I'm going to close with a quote by Fredrick Douglass that I've seen a few times today:

What to the American slave is your Fourth of July I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy’s thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.