I feel I would be doing a disservice to America if I did not wish her a "Happy Birthday" on this the day of her birth. Of course, I was wondering the tone that should I adopt for this post... Should it be genuine or "sarcastic?" Should I focus upon the contributions this nation has made to world at large (um, Twilight) or "how she is beginning to show her age." (Her adventurous foreign policies among other travesties)
Well, I will save being provocative for "provocative's sake" for another day. After all, nobody likes to hear bad things about themselves on their "day." So, here are some things that make America alright. The United States of America this is your life.
1. The American Revolution
The American Revolution had it all, a great plot --with a whole slew of interesting characters-- involving guerrillas rebelling against tyrannical despot. Sadly, the Revolution spawned the best American thinkers to date (With the exception of Lincoln and a select others) and such an occurrence will never happen again. Lightning does not strike twice after all.
2. Thomas Jefferson
The man, the myth, the legend. I cannot say more about this preeminent wordsmith/ revolutionary. Sure, there were other great men... Henry, Franklin, Adams (Sam and John) surrounding him but frankly none of them resonated with me more than the man who wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. One would assume that having laid the framework for a document of that magnitude would make one narcissistic... Not Jefferson, he was not keen on writing it... go figure.
3. The Bill Of Rights
They do not mean as much as they did before but the Bill of Rights was revolutionary in the way they made "privileges" in other countries, the inherent rights of all citizens in this one.
4. The Proverbial "Melting Pot"
Immigration is what made this country great. It has given us a truly unique cultural dynamic... Sadly, not all of us share this sentiment.
5. National Parks
America certainly has some wondrous sites out there. Hell, some so great that we have gone to great lengths to protect them. Here's to you our proverbial "Purple Mountains Majesty."
It pains me to hear people call institutions such as this, "Ly-Berries." Seriously, my four-year old knows better. Bless the institution that seeks to eradicate idiocy in populace. Its a tough and altogether fight old bean... Hang in there.
7. The Blues
One of the truly unique American musical art forms, one whose reach was global and had influenced countless other forms of music. The Blues of the South is the stuff of legend. They say the man above this caption sold his soul to the devil... Regardless, he could play a mean guitar.
8. The Public Broadcasting System
Who does not enjoy a little PBS after a hard day in the salt mines? As it stands, it has to be the best television that money can buy. It has something for everybody and I would still give my left --you know what-- to VOLUNTEER at WGBH Boston. Don't tell my wife that...
9. Non-Profit / Volunteer Organizations
Some call it social welfare or handouts but when was helping people a bad thing? Thankfully, there has been no shortage of people who long to help their fellow man. I am glad that not everyone is that cynical... This is coming from a cynic no less.
10. The Golden Age of Hollywood
The Golden Age of Hollywood is something that will never happen again. Long gone are the days of Capra, Stewart, Hitchcock and countless other, they have been replaced by the age of the lowest common denominator. Genuine humor has been cast aside for the timeless dick and fart joke. This is just the film graduate in me waxing poetic about days past. I swear if they ever remake Singing in the Rain or It's A Wonderful Life... I am expatriating.
*Please note: this list is not empirical but one man's opinion. (Sorry, that's why you don't see Toby Keith or Seth MacFarlane on this list... Face it, they kind of suck)
Addendum: While watching fireworks with the Funkowitz clan, --In between babies crying, pointless murmuring, three people singing "God Bless America" and the lady yakking on her cell phone-- some jackass yelled out "Let's hear it for our troops in Iraq!" to unanimous applause. I still don't know where to start with that. On second thought, I take back the nice things I said. To be fair, this lone action is indictment of the populace not America... Evidently, number six is facing a tougher battle than I had previously thought.