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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence (from Cilantro) Day

As a precocious, egomaniacal kid, the fireworks meant a lot to me growing up. See, they would happen on the 4th of July, while my birthday is on the 12th of July, (and I always used that syntax to describe my birthday, being in addition to precocious and egomaniacal, patriotic in the precise way of a nuance-free 5-year-old) and my recollection is that my father would tell me every year the grand fireworks were part of my birthday celebration, not so much that they were for me but that they were somehow part of the Erin Hollingsworth birthday gestalt, if you will.

So it's in this context that I came to know fireworks, Independence Day, the whole thing; America's birthday and mine are, in my mind, intrinsically linked. Of course, as I've grown older I've realized this isn't strictly true, but one doesn't easily shake-off childhood associations. This association has also become more disturbing as each year of age brings another year of Bush--another year of mitigated freedom. The fireworks, invented by the Chinese, are less magical and more ironic--China kicking our economic asses and everything. But as we grow older, we find new ways to enjoy things we used to, or we probably should try.

And so it is that I greatly look forward to this weekend's festivities, which awesomely will be full of friends old and new, and I'm thinking cilantro-free! You don't get more Americana than 4th of July food: potato salad, BBQ, hot dogs, baked beans, watermelon, (with salt if you have any reverence to either the fruit or your Midwestern roots) and domestic macrobrews. And when and if Americana is overtaken by cilantro, well, the war against gross is lost. Not on my watch America!

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