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Land of the Free and The Home…

God Bless America!
God Bless us with fireworks that were invented by the Chinese, set off by an Italian family which was funded by a Australian conglomerate using Japanese computers and technology on a barge sitting on the Connecticut River, which was stolen from the Pequot and Mohegan tribes by a Dutch religious zealot who is having a major shopping and sports complex named after him.
God Bless America!

Welcome to the Fourth of July celebration in Hartford, Connecticut… which for some reason is being held this year on the 3rd. What a fitting way to celebrate the birth of a rebellious little country, by snubbing our noses up at our own traditions.

Fourth of July? Who said that we have to hold the Fourth of July on the Fourth?

Let's set the scene. It's somewhere between ninety and ten-thousand degrees with a relative humidity of 100%, and Janet's mother, Donna, and brother, Andrew, have come over to say hi and bring us a plastic orchid plant (don't ask&#41. Nine thirty rolls around, and we happen to be tuned into channel 61, our local Fox affiliate. Suddenly, we look up to see the poorly crafted computerized logo of Riverfest 99: Hartford's celebration of the American Independence Day.

Donna, Janet and Avery: Aren't the fireworks supposed to happen on the Fourth?

The screen goes black, and the incessant chatter of the spokes-drones ends. The fireworks must be ready to start. The beginning of the Fourth of July tradition is about to commence. I take a pull off of my American-made Magic Hat Brewing Co. Fat Angel, and get ready to start the dripping-with-sarcasm Oohs and Aahs.

The fireworks begin, a few seconds later the computer-synchronized music starts. It's We Will Rock you by Queen.

Andrew: Isn't Queen a British band?
Avery: Yeah, really patriotic.

The music changes to Queen's We Are The Champions, which is quite fitting again: a British singer proclaiming himself "Champion of the World"… isn't this what we rebelled against 223 years ago? Still, we could hear the Budweiser induced hoots and hollers of the crowd over the boom-boom-boom of the fireworks.

Avery: Nice choice of music.  Didn't they play Classical music before?
Donna: The symphony used to play for the fireworks.
Janet: Yeah.

The music changes. We're now treated to Voices that Care, a fitting song to be played while watching ancient Chinese ammunition (fireworks were designed for military uses by the Chinese&#41 explode in the sky. Hearing Peter Cetera's bubblegum voice counterpointed by thunderous explosions just made me damn proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I'm so moved, I grab a bottle of Farmington Brewing Company Mahogany Ale to keep me from bursting out laughing.

We now shift to the ultra patriotic Proud to be an American, a twangy, country ditty played in the middle of the Capitol city of the Ultra-Yankees. Still, even this depressing as hell melody couldn't dampen the heart pounding excitement of these slightly better than backyard fireworks. It's the Third of July, and I'm proud to be an American. Yes-sir-ree, that's me. Born in the land of the free.

Cut to the announcement of the corporate sponsors: Fox, Heineken and Mohegan Sun. Yep. The land of the Free is sponsored by the Aussies, the Dutch and the tribe that we stole Connecticut from.

The music shifts to In The Mood, that great old swing piece that gets your toes tapping and your butt-cheeks moving. Unfortunately, the smooth sound of In the Mood isn't quite the mood that a staccato fireworks display needs. Still, it's an American song, and I'm an Patriotic American.

Didn't the Patriots just blow off Hartford in exchange for the bustling metropolis of Framingham?

The music moves to the sweet sound of Ray Charles singing O, Beautiful. Appropriate music or not, I have nothing bad to say about Saint Ray.

Janet: Where's the 1812 Overture?

Nope, not the 1812 Overture. Instead, a song that makes us proud to be Americans: Michael Jackson singing Save the World. Nothing says good ol' American Values like a trans-colored (sort of like trans-gendered… he's a black man who is in the process of becoming white, instead of a man becoming a woman, which some people think that our boy MJ has contemplated once or twice&#41 man who has had more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers and sleeps with little boys and chimpanzees.

Now for the 1812 Overture. Big booming finale in almost in synch with the cannon fire of the music. I get up to start writing this down before I forget any of the salient details.

But Wait! There's Something More!

The Imperial March begins. No longer is a classic fireworks piece like the 1812 enough to keep the attention of the kiddies out there. No sir! Now we have to inject a little bit of pop culture into our traditional celebration, and what better song to end a fireworks celebration than the god damned Darth Vader theme from The Empire Strikes Back. Let's end the Day Before Independence Day by listening to the theme of a despot who tries to take over the galaxy. Yep. I'm so proud to be an American. What next? The theme to Star Wars?

This Third of July, brought to you by Fox.

The Imperial March ends and the Theme to Star Wars begins. What's wrong? The Phantom Menace isn't doing well enough so Fox got their affiliates to buy rights to the local fireworks celebrations all around the country and then had them surreptitiously slip in some pro-Star Wars propaganda into our Independence Day celebration?

Proud to be an American. Land of the free and the home of the brave…

…underwritten by Budweiser: The Undisputed King of Beers.

Posted in Scowls.

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