Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Burger and Hot Dog Day

That Guy just served me up an onion burger, covered in Edam cheese. "Happy 4th of July," I grumbled.

There wasn't a problem with the burger. It was great. It brought back memories of my Dad back in Pennsylvania on some previous fourths of July, flipping burgers and burning hot dogs (my favorite) on the grill on our back patio. My mother probably had the picnic table set up with a table cloth, and jars of pickle relish, mustard and ketchup sat in the middle, beside a bowl of finely chopped white onion. She always bought those great burger buns from the Pennsylvania Dutch bakery - the bread was soft and fluffy and the tops of the buns were dusted in white flour. Dad was probably stunning in his gardening shoes (a pair of his old wingtips), no socks, shorts and probably a Madras short-sleeved shirt. He probably had a cold beer or gin and tonic nearby.

He would never be caught dead in a pair of sandals back then, because that's what those God-damned hippies wore.

The 4th of July is a good memory for me. Even the one where my poor sister got the full force of a Roman Candle into her forearm (my brothers had some bad-ass aim). Especially if it involves family fun, good food, parades, sparklers and other incendiary devices. If it involves people that I love, getting together and seeing who can stick the most watermelon seeds on their face. Or lying on our backs on top of the family station wagon, oh-ing and ah-ing at the fireworks. And later in life, I was grateful for a day off from the corporate work grind.

But all that patriotic God Bless America, flag waving, hand-on-heart, pledge of allegiance shit? Not for me. I've never understood the concept of patriotism. And especially in the last 8 years when BushCo and the neocons (the majority of whom have NEVER been soldiers and NEVER seen any action and NEVER had to stare down the barrel of somebody else's semi-automatic weapon) have used and abused the concept of patriotism to con the dimwitted American people into falling for this oil orgy masquerading as a war. This country in which I was born, America, is just a concept too. It's just a fucking place, a large piece of sod, with make-believe ownership claims trumped up loudly enough to seem true.

I like how America looks, in places. I like how America sounds and feels, in places. I like and love many people who live in America. Now, substitute "America" for "France" or "Ireland" and you've got the same damn thing. It's the people, the experiences, the memories that count.

And why would this so-called God that people have tossed around for eons, why would he or she take notice and bless America? Does that mean that some other country doesn't get blessed? What a crock.

The other day I was on Skype talking to my brother in Arizona and he said at one point, "Come home." And I was struck by the sudden realization that neither Arizona, nor America is my home. I didn't say that to him because he leans to the right of the political spectrum. He might get offended, as if I had insulted some person he loved.

But it's just a lump of sod. With some interesting natural wonders. So is France.

We thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we're in France, because we haven't had to look at red white and blue shit in every store we go to for the last six weeks or so. I get to escape while über consumptive Americans (they consume so much, they're choking on their debt, and overflowing the land fills) are blasted on TV, radio, in the pharmacy, in the grocery store, at school, every-fucking-where, and coerced into buying every possible red white and blue gadget and food stuff and serving utensil, even flag tooth picks.

And all of these items, every single one, is MADE IN CHINA.

And so I have grumbled, "Happy 4th of July." Now, I shall move on.


ankur said...

god bless america. May god bless us all.

Data Entry

Hotfixer said...

Our government is falling apart. Especially our energy policy but there are solutions! Read them at

Richard said...

I spent the day very Americanly. We grilled steaks, went to a baseball game (our annual 4th of July outing) and watched a great fireworks display.

I enjoy Americana like that. It felt good and no one really preached about War, patriotism or other stuff; we just all enjoyed a uniquely American event.

A lot of Americans feel like you Lisa, but there is a lot of good things about just regular Americans as well.

They may have a bad grasp of the big picture (as the Eagles new album says) but they are mostly just being themselves.

While the current government is sadly defecient in almost everything decent and honest, there remains much to like about our country.

I know Paris is really cool, but I like the look of the country in North Carolina too. We've finally gotten some rain and the lush countryside is brilliant in all its green glory.

Don't give up on the old USA girl, and keep up the great blogging from Paris.

Your very American friend,