It’s July 4th, 2013. And yes, it would make much more sense to list the date in order of specificity: 4 July 2013. But we whipped the Redcoats so that we could drive on whichever side of the road we liked, measure things in base 12 instead of base 10, and write our dates like we spell Aluminum (which is to say: nonsensically).
Happy 4th, everyone.
In the U.S., our thoughts go back to beginnings, but the day is long enough to think about more than powdered wigs and firecrackers. Yesterday, I was reading about the ouster of a government in Egypt, and Amber and I talked about the protests erupting all over the world. It occurs to me that these protests, however they differ in details, share something with my country’s revolutionary roots.
Europe must’ve seen what happened here over two hundred years ago as a bunch of rabble rousers asking for more than they ought to expect from their government and themselves. Nothing good could come of such protests. Perhaps, if you view these global outbursts in a negative light but you value what came of our own revolution, there’s room to soften your heart and root for a people who demand a better life. I know I’m rooting for them. Not just in Turkey, Iran, Brazil, and Egypt. But also in Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, and everywhere that great swaths of people demand more freedoms. There’s also room to root for people here in the U.S. who are just now earning liberties that the rest of us take for granted. Many have yet to earn them.
The other place my mind wanders on this Fourth of July is that it’s the one rare day that we list in British order. We don’t call it “Happy July Fourth.” And there isn’t another day that we call “The Sixth of September” or some-such. We still can’t break completely free of those damn Brits. At least . . . I can’t. For the last week, I’ve been ostensibly on vacation, which has meant editing and revising DUST for my UK editor and publisher. They rule me from across the pond! And how can an island dare hope to govern a continent—
Damn. Another email from Jack Fogg. I’ve got to get back to work. Happy July 4th, everyone!