Tag Archives: independence day

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everybody. And by everybody, I’m talking about Americans, of course. Real Americans. What’s a real American? Well, I’m not going to get into a political diatribe. Anybody who knows me understands that I never insert myself into political controversies. No, I like to stay above the fray, out of the spotlight. OK, yeah, I’m known to make the occasional passive-aggressive comment on my relatives’ Facebook posts. Whatever, maybe sometimes it’s something bordering more on aggressive-aggressive, I’m only human.

Captain America punches Hitler

But I’m a human American. And as an American, I can say that the Fourth of July is the one day out of the year when Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can lay aside their differences and focus on what makes us different from everybody else. Call it American exceptionalism, you know, that feeling you get when a big group of people start chanting “USA! USA!” and then you start chanting it too, and you’re all really pumped up, almost daring a different group of people to start chanting something else.

Can you imagine what it would be like if an equal sized group started chanting something ridiculous? Like, “Germany! Germany!” or, they’d be saying it in German, I’m not going to bother writing out the German word for Germany, seeing as how it’s the Fourth of July and everything, but in that scenario, things would get ugly pretty fast.

Luckily, all we have to do is look back at history to imagine how that one would play out. We’d probably lose a bunch of really great chanters, but they’d be the greatest chanting generation ever, and it would be worth it, because this is the greatest country in the world. Sorry Canada. Sorry every other country in the world.

Sorry Puerto Rico, and look, I get it, it’s kind of nice to be wanted, but you think we’re going to keep up this courtship forever? One of these days it’s going to be like, all right, are you with us or against us? And you might be like, “Well, it’s complicated, we have to have a series of referendums. Ask us again in another twenty years,” and that’s when we’re going to pull the rug right out from underneath your feet. And maybe we’ll give statehood to some other country, people who really want it. Denmark? Chad? I could just keep listing random countries all day.

But why would I want to talk about any other country besides America? Especially on the Fourth of July. Forget all about that Canada and Denmark and Chad stuff I was talking about earlier. Let’s focus only on America, for real. I went to the arts and crafts store the other day with the idea of making my own custom globe, one with only America, like it would be the earth’s only giant country. That’s a globe I figure that all Americans might be able to rally behind. Obviously there’d have to be water, but that’s OK, it would just be one giant ocean, and I’d call it the American Ocean, and it wouldn’t really be as big as giant America anyway.

But walking into an arts and crafts store with an idea for a project is a lot different than actually figuring out what you’d have to do to make that project a reality. I started talking to some sales clerk about my idea, and she just kept giving me the craziest faces. Again, I don’t want to get political, but she was clearly one of those unreal Americans I was talking about earlier. Maybe she wasn’t even American at all. Jesus, I can’t believe I almost bought something from a potential non-American, and this close to the Fourth of July.

But it’s OK, because I didn’t buy anything. It would have been a lot of work, involving stuff like paper mache and mod-podge and … well, it doesn’t matter, I’m not really a crafts guy I guess, and so, who knows, maybe when I strike it big some day I’ll be able to hire a real globe maker to make my dream globe a reality. But for right now I’ll have to settle with this regular globe that I bought and covered up with blue paint. You know, all of the non-American parts. But it’s not the same, it’s like, regular America, just by itself, it’s too small surrounded by such a large ocean.

Anyway, I don’t want to keep anybody too far away from their barbeques and celebrations today. Go out there and eat a bunch of hot dogs, and make sure your flag lapel pin isn’t on crooked, and if you see anybody chanting anything else, just pretend like you’re one of them, like you’re chanting whatever it is that they’re chanting, but slowly start to alter the trajectory of the chant in a way that, after a few minutes, nobody will realize that they’re all actually chanting “USA! USA!” I’ve seen if happen before. It’s difficult, but it’s totally doable. Happy Fourth everybody.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day everybody! I’m an American – well, technically so are Canadians, we all live in North America – so I always wind up just not giving July 1st any serious thought. And then July 4th comes around three days later, it’s this whole huge USA bonanza, and sometime a few days after that, something pops in my head, hey Rob, way to go, idiot, you forgot about Canada Day again.


Not this year. This year I’m giving all of my Canadian readers a reason to keep reading this blog. And maybe I’ll even gain some new Canadian readers in the process. I’m just picturing my neighbors to the North, they’ll be settling in for a nice night of patriotic celebration, maybe they’ll get bored with the same-old, same-old, and they’ll turn to the Internet, they’ll type “Canada Day” into Google for ideas on some fun Canada related activities, and maybe this blog post will show up.

If you’re a Canadian, and this is your first time here, I’d like to say, welcome. This is an American web site, so you’re kind of, almost visiting the States. Every time I’ve been to Canada, I’ve noticed how Canadians always refer to the US as just the States. And I always think, huh, that’s a funny way to refer to it. But then I also think about my time abroad. While I was living in Ecuador, everybody called America the States, myself included. I don’t know why. I guess maybe when you’re living in America, when you’re in a state, it doesn’t make any sense, but once you leave, maybe you forget where it is, or how to describe it, so you’re like, you point to them, you know, the States, those ones, somewhere over there.

Look at me, I’m trying to write a whole blog post dedicated to Canada, to Canada Day, and here I am spending the majority of my words talking about America. Sorry, I can’t help it though, that’s just us Americans by nature. Even though, let’s be real for a minute, even though I’m being a little America-centric, and despite the fact that I’m being the bigger person here, admitting that I can’t stop talking about the US, what the hell Canada? Why did you guys make your independence day so close to ours? It’s like, OK, we have the Fourth of July, that’s great, and I hate to say it, but we were here first. And then you guys are like, oh yeah? Well we’re going to have an independence day too, and we’re going to preempt yours by three days. Three days! It’s your own fault that I keep forgetting about Canada Day every year. Maybe if you did it like in October, or September. April would have been a good independence month. Just something that we could have looked at, apart from our own independence and been like, huh, Canada Day, let’s drive up north and check that out.

But with our own celebration a mere three days away? It’s unlikely that any Americans will be caught dead north of the border on July 1st. We have too much planning to do over here, what with the procuring of fireworks, asking our parents to borrow their giant cooler for the weekend, and they’re like, “Again? Every year with you. Why don’t you just buy your own cooler? Why don’t you start acting like an adult? And another thing, when are you going to start paying for your own cell phone?” and you’re like, OK mom, OK, and then you just sneak into their backyard when they’re out walking the dogs and you just borrow it without asking, and maybe if you don’t return it, after a while they’ll get a new cooler, an even bigger one, and then when you finally decide to return the original, maybe you’ll borrow the new one, take it out for a spin, a cooler upgrade.

Wait a second. What if that’s your true intention? Canada, I hate to even lob such a dirty accusation your way, but are you having your Fourth of July on July 1st in an effort to keep us away? Because yeah, we’re loud at parties, and sure, if you look at us funny, we’ll probably get into some sort of a fight, but we’re still bros. You can’t just have a huge national celebration and decide that we’re not cool enough.

Because we’re not that different, you and me. You being all Canadians. Me being, well, just me, I guess I can only speak for just me. And I’m actually in the unique position of being both American and Canadian. What I mean is, my grandmother is from Quebec. That’s enough, right? How come you guys haven’t offered me dual-citizenship yet? It hardly seems fair. Israel would have given me dual-citizenship if my grandmother were born in Jerusalem. Just think about it. I make great dip for parties. Ahem. You know, like national holidays. Ahem. Like Canada Day. Come on just invite me to Canada Day! Please! Not one Canadian is going to invite me to Canada Day? That’s such bullshit! I’ll invite you here for the Fourth. All of you, you can come stay in my two-bedroom here in New York. Let’s keep relations good, Canada. I promise I won’t break anything. I promise I won’t blast my Toby Keith or forget to separate the recyclables from the rest of the trash or honk my car horn in suburban traffic. It’s just that, you guys drive so slow! What the hell! What are you looking at? Huh? You want to fight? Huh?

Sorry Canada. I got a little carried away. Most of that fight just there was in my imagination. We Americans have such colorful and vivid daydreams. Anyway, look at the positives. I didn’t make one “eh” joke, I didn’t take a cheap shot at how polite you guys are. I just want you to love me, Canada. I just want the President of Canada, or the Prime Minister, or whatever, Stephen Harper, or Steven Harper, I have no idea, he’s been in charge forever, like way before George W. Bush, I just want Mr. Harper to send me a glossy eight by ten photo, have him sign it, something like, “Hey Rob! Canada loves you! Love, Canada!” Because I love you Canada. Happy First. Does anybody say that? Happy First? I’m saying it.