Friday Night Think Tank: Red, White, and Blue Deep Thoughts

flagIt was a weird Friday, Modern Philosophers.

For some reason, my office was open even though tomorrow is Independence Day and most of America was closed for business.  Even odder, I didn’t take the day off despite having plenty of vacation time.

Needless to say, I could not wait for it to be 5:00 so I could celebrate my independence from my desk and head out to enjoy my freedom.

I’ve been in a Fourth of July frame of mind since I returned to The House on the Hill, so let’s keep it going in the Think Tank tonight.  I’m wearing my red, white, and blue toga while enjoying a slice of apple pie.  Are you ready to join me?

This week’s topic: What comes to mind when you think of Independence Day?

This is a holiday that really gets my Deep Thoughts going.  It puts me in a patriotic frame of mind and conjures up so many happy Summer memories.

I went grocery shopping on the way home tonight, so once again, Independence Day will be about grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and eating apple pie.  It’s the most American of holidays, so it makes sense that food would be a big part of it.

The Fourth of July is also about baseball.  I’m watching the Yankees right now, and will set tomorrow’s grilling schedule around Saturday’s 1:00pm first pitch.

The Yankees and Independence Day will be forever linked in my mind.  I still remember watching Dave Righetti’s Fourth of July no hitter when I was a kid.  We were at a pool party, and we all crammed into the hosts’ living room to watch the ninth inning.

As I wrote in a recent blog post, I went to a Yankees game on the Fourth of July the year Independence Day was released.  After a day at Yankee Stadium, I spent the evening in the movie theater watching Bill Pullman save the planet.

Statue of LibertyMore than anything, though, Independence Day makes me think of fireworks.

While I don’t like it when idiots set them off randomly during the year, I do really enjoy it when professionals put on a show to celebrate America’s Birthday.

I can see the fireworks show without leaving The House on the Hill, and I will be out on my porch for it tomorrow night.

The colors, the pageantry, the way they light up the night sky…so glorious.  Who doesn’t love the rockets’ red glare, and the bombs bursting in air?

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  For those of you who are not American, answer this one as if I were asking you about your country’s special holiday…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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23 Responses to Friday Night Think Tank: Red, White, and Blue Deep Thoughts

  1. markbialczak says:

    I think about English guys sitting around in powdered wigs who came here and started a new country because they believed in a better way. And I think about all the immigrants who came here to a new country because they believed in this new better way. And I believe I want to celebrate my country, and still hope that we all can come together and strive to keep making this the place for a better way. And I love fireworks done by professionals, Austin. Mets baseball, too. 🙂 Great Think Tank for our Holiday Weekend, my friend.

  2. I still have a hard time seeing past my Christian theology and accepting homosexual marriage. I have an even harder time understanding why a man would WANT to have sex with another man. I love women!! My son came out to us a few months ago. All this to say, this Independence Day I am glad our Supreme Court upheld freedom in America. I don’t have to understand desires on any level in order to understand freedom. We all won last week!! I love my country more today and and proud to wear a uniform to serve!

  3. Oh and I love a day dedicated to drinking and blowing things up!!

  4. hollie says:

    We are going to use a projector to watch The Sandlot on the side of the house after fireworks. Baseball is always what comes to mind for summer, but we thought this movie, since there is a fireworks scene would be the perfect one to sit outside and watch. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the holiday, but Owen is with me this year and he is excited to watch all the fireworks tomorrow after our bbq.

  5. herheadache says:

    My country celebrated Canada Day on Wednesday. Fireworks from my very own front yard.

  6. floridaborne says:

    Sadly, my thoughts are much too deep today. No barbecues, fireworks or parades for me.

    I think about the NDAA, TPP, Patriot act, the demise of the Glass-Steagall act, and the way that most of the US forgets what our founders fought for. It used to be my favorite holiday as a child, and now I look around and see all the people who have no idea what they’re supposed to be celebrating.

  7. roweeee says:

    Although Australia Day celebrates the arrival of the first white settlers at Sydney Cove, probablybthe day we give more reverence is ANZAC Day which commemorates the arrival of Australian troops at ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli in WWI. Australia Day is a bit controversial as awareness about Aboriginal Australia hasincreased. Aboriginals tend to call it Invasion Day.
    That said, on Australia Day theres a national holiday although I dont think any other can match the States pariotism on Independence Day. Who hasnt heard about 4th July? Happy 4th July xx Rowena

  8. jacobemet says:

    I tend to think about a bunch of rednecks holding fuses and lighters saying, “hold my beer and watch this.” Their Joe Dirt mullets waving in the summer breeze. Their shirtless skins scorching under the sun’s rays. Their fat, dirty mouthed kids jumping up and down, clapping, screaming, “Hercules, Hercules!” Their wives smoking the second cigarette from their second pack for the day, shaking their heads in contempt as they look on while grilling the lion’s share of their food stamp money . . . Ah. Freedom.

  9. While I’m an apple pie fan, my thoughts were not on fireworks or celebrating the 4th. My wife, who arrived in America in 1986 on a student visa from China and who is now a U.S. citizen, is the one who bought the flag that hangs outside our house.

    My job was to install the bracket for the flag, and while installing the flag a lot of conflicting thoughts were running through my head. For instance, the reason I don’t go to fireworks shows is because of the PTSD that came home with me from Vietnam as a U.S. Marine—a war that was based on lies by a U.S. President just like the war in Iraq.

    I was thinking of the Swift Boat Veteran campaign against Kerry when he ran for president and how G. W. Bush probably won that election when he was a coward who used his family influence to keep him out of a war. You see, Kerry served in Vietnam on a swift boat and he was wounded more than once. He even held dying friends in his arms. Yea, they were close calls for Kerry, flesh wounds, but they were still wounds, and even though the rounds, rockets, and mortars that came close to me never cut flesh, close is still too close because an inch more and bam you might be crippled or worse, dead.

    I was thinking of the Koch brothers and all that they are doing to sabotage the people’s republic the Founding Fathers gave to America’s citizens. In fact, this morning, I read that non-profits that the Koch brothers fund are waging a PR campaign to get rid of the national parks. It seems the Koch brothers want the federal government to turn all the national parks over to the states and give the states the power to sell them off to the highest bidder in the private sector.

    And the Koch brothers aren’t alone among the billionaire oligarchs who are out to destroy our people’s republic. There’s Bill Gates, Eli Broad and the Walton family wating an all out war against America’s democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools to close them down and turn our children over to for profit, opaque, undemocratic corporate Charter schools to teach. Bill Gates even wants to put Big Brother in every public school classroom by installing video cameras to spy on every teacher and make sure they are doing what Big Brother wants them to do with the so-called Common Core crap.

    In fact, I’m reading a book right now that keeps me awake at night. The book is about a conspiracy that isn’t a theory and it’s like reading a true crime novel but one that is based on the crime as it is happening instead of after the criminals were caught, tried, convicted and sent to prison. The book is called “Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?” by Mercedes K. Schneider.

    And I keep asking myself as I’m reading the book—I’m almost done and then I’m going to write a review—why the conspiracy this book reveals isn’t front page news in our corporate owned and controlled media. Then I tell myself I already know the answer: 90% of the traditional media is owned by six huge corporations and one of those media corporations is controlled by Rupert Murdock.

    Then as I stand there watching the wind rippling the stars and stripes hanging from a flag pole attached to the side of our house, I think, how many Americans really represent the United States our Founding Fathers gave us—who reads and who votes?

    In the 2014 election, fewer people turned out to vote than any election in the last 70 years. In the 2012 Presidential election, 64% of eligible voters voted. The biggest excuse is they were too busy to vote (17.5%) or they were just not interested (13.4%). And the turnout for the 2014 election was the lowest since World War II at 36.4% and look what we got.

    Of all the socioeconomic factors impacting voter turnout, education has the greatest impact. The more educated a person is, the more likely they are to vote, as they have a better understanding of how the system works, how to influence the system, and why participation is important.

    I was also thinking of the Fairness Doctrine (1949 – 1987). The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced.

    The Fairness Doctrine was eliminate by two U.S. Presidents on the excuse that it was a violation of our freedom of expression: Ronald Reagan followed by the first Bush to live in the White House.

    Does the right to lie and mislead the public freedom of expression?

    The last thought I’m going to share is this: studies show that 91% of elections in the United Sttes are won by the candidates who spent the most money on the campaign propaganda they spin out to fool voters.

  10. donedreaming says:

    I hope you all had a great day. If one good thing came out of it at least America, Australia and Canada all get to party for having escaped the clutches of England! We don’t get a day’s holiday to celebrate ‘England day’ over here. Perhaps as well, we’ll just keep our heads down and hopefully no-one will notice us ..

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