Friday, July 4, 2014

I Boycott Fireworks

I boycott fireworks. I celebrate the 4th of July with other rituals or methodologies. (Don't mind my eccentricities. I also fast on Thanksgiving.)

My reasons for shunning fireworks include impact on the environment, harm to other creatures, sensitivities of combat veterans with PTSD, and the glorification of death and destruction as a means of resolving conflicts.

I wasn't always this pure. As a younger guy, I liked loud noises and smoke. I didn't mind a little chaos and violence now and then. I have since refined my views somewhat.

When I lived in NYC, we had roof parties in the summer. And on Independence Day, a party of people on one roof would fire bottle rockets at a group of people partying on a nearby roof across the street or down a few buildings.

So part of the partying was military in nature. Dodging sniper rockets, literally. Drinking beer, grilling brats, smoking various substances, and dodging incoming missiles. Everybody was doing it. It was surreal and comical in some respects. I loved the danger and abnormality of it.

People who drove down to the Statue of Liberty fireworks celebration did not enjoy the ride home. As they drove back north through the East Village, where I lived, they were greeted with garbage can cannons placed in the middle of the street and shooting off an incredible payload. Mischievously, a wide assortment of ballistics and explosives were hurled at their windshields -- an all out war on the streets.

No matter where you went in Manhattan, somebody would be tossing an M80, Solar Punch roman candle, Sidewinder missile, Black Arrow bottle rocket, or Super Hellcat firecracker in your general or specific direction.

Ask the cops what they think about Independence Day. They'll tell you it's the best day to shoot somebody and not get your gunshot sound reported. You know you have neighbors who are firing off illegally large amounts of powder blastings. But nobody cares. It's like Halloween without the candy and costumes. Anything goes, as long as nobody gets hurt too badly...

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