02 July 2007

dear neighbors, it is july 2nd.

and the day before was july 1st. the day before that, when you started all of this, was june 30th. NOT JULY 4TH!!!!!!!!!

once again, in true form, it sounds like a war zone in my neighborhood AFTER 11 PM each night! they shoot off these horribly loud "fireworks" that sound remarkably like weapons and bombs. i don't like war, nor the sounds of war. but i've already sufficiently beat this into the ground last year. i can't figure out how to link it, but the sentiment still stands:

deja vu, deja vu...

01 July 2006

it's july 1st, fools.

and i really don't get it. the fireworks started their incessant booming yesterday. while it was still june. don't try and tell me it's just overly patriotic types, celebrating their blessed freedom. i ain't buying it.

for the next MONTH, my dogs will pace the floors - alternating between whimpering, crying and barking - jumping in fear at every boom, clack and snap that will grace my neighborhood until all hours of the morning. i hope the baby can sleep. so help me if this nonsense wakes him up. if you hear about some crazy chic driving around midtown lecturing fireworks offenders and confiscating ignitable paraphernalia- that would be me. hell hath no fury, they say. and i actually have the law behind me on this one, you unruly renegades. go you, with your damn-the-man-i'm-doing-illegal-stuff mentality. you have been warned.

why, kara - WHY can't you just lighten up, you say? because i will be acutely aware, on a very small level for the span of this month, of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of gunfire and bomb explosions. there are no oooh's and aaaah's for me. i don't think it's "pretty" - i think it's twisted. everytime one goes off, i get a vivid image in my head of one of the many war images i make myself look at regularly to know what is being done/has been done in my name. only in america will you find people delighting in sounds that much of the world lay in fear of hearing.

and the more i think about all the beer guzzling, flag waving, fireworks shooting, barbequeing madness that takes over this time of year, i get increasingly irritated. somehow, these "patriotic" americans will cast more votes for an american idol contestant than they will in an election. lovely. perfect. yeah - i'm pissed.

so when will i get a day to celebrate my independence from a country that thinks war sounds are fun?

and just because, i shall repost this one as well:

Put Away the Flags
by Howard Zinn
June 30, 2006

On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.

Our citizenry has been brought up to see our nation as different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral, expanding into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy.

That self-deception started early.

When the first English settlers moved into Indian land in Massachusetts Bay and were resisted, the violence escalated into war with the Pequot Indians. The killing of Indians was seen as approved by God, the taking of land as commanded by the Bible. The Puritans cited one of the Psalms, which says: "Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy possession."

When the English set fire to a Pequot village and massacred men, women and children, the Puritan theologian Cotton Mather said: "It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day."

On the eve of the Mexican War, an American journalist declared it our "Manifest Destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence." After the invasion of Mexico began, The New York Herald announced: "We believe it is a part of our destiny to civilize that beautiful country."

It was always supposedly for benign purposes that our country went to war.

We invaded Cuba in 1898 to liberate the Cubans, and went to war in the Philippines shortly after, as President McKinley put it, "to civilize and Christianize" the Filipino people.

As our armies were committing massacres in the Philippines (at least 600,000 Filipinos died in a few years of conflict), Elihu Root, our secretary of war, was saying: "The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the war began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order, and of peace and happiness."

We see in Iraq that our soldiers are not different. They have, perhaps against their better nature, killed thousands of Iraq civilians. And some soldiers have shown themselves capable of brutality, of torture.

Yet they are victims, too, of our government's lies.

How many times have we heard President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tell the troops that if they die, if they return without arms or legs, or blinded, it is for "liberty," for "democracy"?

One of the effects of nationalist thinking is a loss of a sense of proportion. The killing of 2,300 people at Pearl Harbor becomes the justification for killing 240,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The killing of 3,000 people on Sept. 11 becomes the justification for killing tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

my girl, pam, just tagged me with a rockin' girl blogger award, i'm on to that next!

edited to add this - how i'll be celebrating the fourth. thanks for the button code, mary!!!!

well, turns out i still can't get the code to work. yup. luddite.

here's a link instead, for the blogswarm.

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