American Ambivalence on the Fourth of July
It's the Fourth of July here in Scotland as it is in the US. And I'm telling you, the biggest event going on right now is if we can get the stupid Apple Airport device working so I can be on the net on my own computer instead of Andy's.
Ok, so I admit. I really wish I was back in the US right now to partake in our greatest national holiday. Not because I'm terribly patriotic, cause I'm not. I'm more than aware of how janus-face the US can be when it comes to capitalism and global power. Hell, being Haitian allows me to be pissy with the US for not sending us help during the Haitian Revolution (which we did more than fine without their punk-asses anyway!) after we helped the fledging colonies in their fight for independence from England. But you know that little thing call the Louisiana Purchase was on the line and the newly founded US didn't want to upset Mr. Napoleon. Basically, they said "sorry, Charlie but, I gots to get paid" and blew us off. And don't get me started on the early 20th century invasions and occupation by the US either!
However, I'm not simple enough to not remember that it was here my parents chose to find a better life for themselves and their family. Despite all the crap that has happened to us, I have a brother who's making a little change with the Post Office and I'm trying to finish writing my PhD. The life I'm living, the life my baby bro lives would not have been possible in Haiti...no matter how much we love our Cherie Ayiti.
I wish I was back in the States to have the big cookout today. Drinking beer, eating great bbq with my friends (cause my people can cook!) and having the world's stupidest debates while putting on bug spray and questioning whether sunblock actually necessary for someone as dark as me. I got serious fieldslave skin tone, y'all!
And of course, the big finale is always the fireworks at our local park. I'm in my late 30s and fireworks still hit me with awe and joy as it did when I was a child.
The Fourth for me has never been about patriotism and rememberance of our country's forefathers Declaration of Independence. I get more misty-eyed over a good "Little House on the Prairie" episode. But it is the closest I get to bonding with the rest of the country...at least the common joys and events that is tradition on this day.
Have a good burger for me! I'm thinking of you all.