I’ve always loved the idea of Independence Day. The entire world caught unprepared by the sudden and hostile invasion of an alien species who just completely kicks the world’s collective asses until the (of course) scrappy USA-based resistance force finds the weak spot and saves the world by valiantly sacrificing of itself in order to do so. US exceptionalism at its best. Such a great movie. In the few years I had the money and autonomy to do so before I left the state for college, I’d buy myself some Chicago deep dish pizza and watch it every 4th of July. It was my tradition that I’ve only had the opportunity to reproduce once in the 7 years since then.
This year, however, I was given the wonderful gift of celebrating US independence by watching the sequel. If you’re curious, it’s basically the same movie except the rest of the world is pretty much destroyed, the US government is killed, and the US exceptionalism is a bit more subtle. Just a bit. Oh, and they totally set the stage for more sequels. I’d kind of be okay with a few dozen of those movies, if I’m being honest. I’m not going to see them because I think they’re going to be wonderful examples of cinematography. I watch them because they’re decent action flicks with good pacing, funny bits, and not enough narcissism to take themselves seriously.
That last element is key. Not taking itself too seriously. I’m a big fan of that idea. I enjoy anything that can take a step back and laugh at itself. A lot of the better meta humor is a pretty good example of this. Shows like Community, comics like Order of the Stick, writers like Terry Pratchett. They’re all very good at poking fun at themselves.
I feel like any attempt to do that with a national US holiday is met with some resistance. There are the inevitable trolls of course, but a lot of people can’t seem to understand that making jokes about something isn’t necessarily disrespect. If you think about it, the general rule for humor is that it’s not considered bad taste to make fun of a particular group so long as you’re a part of that group. Since I’m a citizen of the USA, I should be able to make fun of my own country. People should just chuckle and crack a few jokes of their own. I’m pretty laid back as well, so I wouldn’t even care if citizens of other countries made a fun jokes as well. Humor unites us and all that.
Unfortunately, there is inevitably at least one person who just wants to rain on everyone’s parade because they think their country is the best and deserves nothing but “respect.” Otherwise known as unquestioning loyalty. I will admit to being inspired to write this post by the series of grumps I’ve seen across social media CAPS-LOCKing at people about being disrespectful.
Thanks to this holiday, though, they’re free to do as they wish and I’m not going to do more about it than make a rambling, critical blog post. That’s what today is about, you know. Independence. Freedom. Eagles, fireworks, and charred meats. Oily pasta salad and potato salad with enough mayonnaise and eggs in it to clog all the arteries of the original signers of the declaration of independence. Public intoxication and drunk driving. What a day.
As always, the biggest consolation is I can log off and go about my day without thinking about them or carrying their negativity with me. They, however, are stuck with their insipid self constantly.
One final thought before I go scare some pets and consume processed meat tubes: If you’re a member of the political tea party, can I call you a Tea Bag? I’d call you a wet blanket, but… Well, it’s not as funny.