Regardless of what Bill Pullman says in a ridiculous action movie, this is actually our Independence Day. July 4th. Every year. It’s the day where we celebrate the formation of our nation through barbecues, fireworks, and wearing red, white and blue.
My own Independence Day was a little less than patriotic, including a stroll through Hollywood, a viewing of 1989’s Batman (starring Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton, in that order), no fireworks, and a blue/green shirt lacking in any of our nation’s other identifiable colors. That’s fine, though. The Fourth of July shouldn’t be about totems and symbols. It should be about spending time with people that you like.
The Fourth is one of those holidays that everyone celebrates, even if they don’t necessarily identify as American. Sure, it only exists as a relic of our country’s creation, but – much like Memorial Day – some of that meaning has been lost over the years. These days, the Fourth of July is all about getting a well-deserved day off from work (last year I got two, but a beggar won’t be a chooser).
How you use that day off is up to you. There’s certainly nothing wrong with getting together with a group of like-minded citizens to celebrate the USA’s birthday – that’s what I did – but I wouldn’t blame anyone for spending the day in a robe on a couch, enjoying his or her personal time. Is that hermit-like activity any less viable a celebration than the one that I experienced? I don’t think so.
The most important part of celebrating Independence Day is asserting your freedom. So do whatever the hell you want. I hope you didn’t listen to anyone else today, because the Fourth of July is all about doing what you want to do. So do anything and everything you feel like doing this weekend. Though you should definitely listen to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” at least five times.