The Fourth: A Man’s Holiday

Everything should be legal on the Fourth of July. We as Americans should be free to tie rockets to our boots, fill our pants with heroin, and engage in the kind of horribly depraved behavior that was written about in The Bible. We should be arming ourselves to the teeth, and God help the son-of-a-bitch who made enemies with our angry population. One country should be liberated as a sign of goodwill, and then told to nuke an innocent country as a test of loyalty. It should be a day our enemies can only describe to their progeny using cave paintings of shadowy figures.

For one day this country should deteriorate into a prison riot, with families roaming the countryside on machine gun-mounted ATV’s, seeking out places to loot. I dream of a Fourth where the rotten corpse of Ronald Reagan is exhumed and placed on the back of a motorcycle to be driven cross-country where a catapult the size of the Stratosphere Tower is waiting to launch him across the border into Mexico. I want tap water to be replaced with Thunderbird. I want fireworks displays to hand out LSD. I want my Social Security Number to be changed to “666”, and I want to see Meg Whitman gang-fucked by basketball players.

When in the course of human history it becomes necessary to reflect on one’s national identity, we should realize that we are nothing more than a swarm of bloodthirsty ghouls and celebrate our national essence for the inglorious monster it has become… if only for one day.

Fourth of July has a couple of meanings to me. First, it’s a day when classic rock radio stations can run through that old “best of” list that always seems to include “Hotel California” for some inexplicable reason. Second, it’s a day when I can buy cheap furniture from a number of local retailers. Third, there’s beer and bar-b-q, but for anybody that’s been to Casa De Madman you know we started celebrating that part of the holiday back in April. But last, and most important, is fire.

Ever since man could walk upright, talk, and compact combustible chemicals tightly enough into a cone to create an explosion, man has yearned to take what is and blow it to smithereens in a multicolored spectacle. Fireworks are one of the best things that America ever took from another culture. Growing up in the 909, the local cities passed ordinances banning the use of fireworks, which left Chino as the only city within twenty miles to allow them. This herded the local population into Chino Park, where every year the Fourth of July celebration grew into a commemoration of the anarcho-tribalism enjoyed by our caveman ancestors. The total lack of law enforcement allowed for pyro fetishists and kooks with explosive devices to gather with the kind of fireworks sold to football stadiums, and from the dugout of the little league fields they would attack each other, sending streaks of orange and red across the park in great bursts of shimmering copper. And somewhere in the dugout they would laugh maniacally, even as the clothing on their backs burned. Every ten minutes you would hear sirens as emergency responders dodged bottle rockets to reach burn victims. Anything that was hollow was filled with gunpowder, and by morning, nothing was left of the park but burned out cardboard and beer cans.

I find fireworks to be like smashing out windows, fun to do but boring to watch. So while I typically don’t endorse fireworks as a passive spectacle, I do endorse the joy of watching a fireworks factory explode. If you haven’t searched for this on YouTube, I’ve gone ahead and done you a service by rounding up a pluthera of great firework factory explosions.

Crank up the Skynyrd, drink a case of Budweiser, and maybe get in a fist fight. Watch out for sobriety checkpoints in Los Angeles and Orange County. And for my readers who are fat, agoraphobic shut-ins, check out the Los Angeles Police Department’s dispatch audio feed. It’s a 24 hour-a-day audio stream of man handing off misery to man, and it usually gets good after 9:00 PM on drinking holidays.

Remember, somebody probably died so you could enjoy these freedoms. Enjoy them now while they’re still cheap.


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