Independent thoughts after 'the holiday'

Independent thoughts after 'the holiday'

I don't want to ask people "What did you do for Independence Day?"

For one thing, I don't like the frequent look of puzzlement I get while people think through "Independence Day = the Fourth of July = the holiday" and then answer.

For another thing, why does it need to get lengthened to "the Fourth of July holiday?" Are we so frightened of causing offense that we can't name holidays for what they celebrate? (What next, "the Dec. 25 holiday?" No, I say!)

Finally, I find it maddening that questions about Independence Day events elicit so few answers:

"I went to a picnic."

" I saw some fireworks."

"I went to a concert."

"I was stuck in traffic."

We're missing something here -- independence itself!

It's amazing to me that on the day dedicated to celebrating the country's political independence, the idea of social independence is forgotten.

Celebrating independence suddenly means that everyone is expected to do the very same things. What's independent about feeling forced to go along with the crowds?

So, dear readers, what did I do for Independence Day? Well, I slept away much of it. I aggravated a knee injury on June 30, and on the Glorious Fourth, the most glorious, independent thing I could do was catch up on the sleep which had been very difficult for the previous nights.

Besides sleeping, I've done some reading -- and some writing, so that I won't be silent so long for a while. (For instance, I drafted this before catching a few ZZZs on the Fourth.) So thank you for your patience, and stay tuned!

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  • "What's independent about feeling forced to go along with the crowds?" Hear! Hear! I couldn't agree more. But more importantly you've got me thinking about creating new [for me] traditions for some of our holiday observances.

  • In reply to folkloric:

    Good for you, folkloric. I enjoy "new (for me) traditions" -- even deciding whether they are one-time deals or first tries at traditions.

  • First there is the question whether Independence Day=The Fourth of July, given such debates as that transit service was curtailed on the 3rd.

    Then it being on Saturday was a bummer, as not being an employee with Friday off, I still had to do stuff like 3 loads of laundry. I also exercised my independence by not going to a parade where a bunch of stinking politicians was marching, notwithstanding that some veterans' groups would also be there. I did get enough willpower to see the fireworks at 9:15, but not near where anyone else was, and the spot let me see two shows at once. Then the park district running the second sent me an e-mail survey on it, for which I exercised my First Amendment rights* by throwing it in the e-mail recycling bin.

    *Include the right not to speak.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for exercising your First Amendment rights, Jack -- with the bin and here. (I assume that the throw was metaphorical!)

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Depends on how one takes the box with the recycle symbol in Outlook. I guess copyright issues keep Microsoft from calling it the Trash, as Apple does.

    Maybe to get to one of my comments on The Quark in the Road, no the message didn't jump out of my computer monitor and demand to be put into the green cart, nor did I throw my computer into it (village ordinance requires that it be taken to the electronics collection on the first Tuesday of the month, and I'm not trotting out there today).

    However, this is one of several occasions I have said "there is a reason why an e-mail program has a recycling bin." The first was when a soon to be former employer sent a survey about whether the employees thought the severance package was fair. Did they think I was going to send a message from an identifiable company e-mail account saying "you should have given 3 weeks per year instead of 2?"

  • In reply to jack:

    Wow! That first one must have been quite a deal! Thanks.

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