Sunday, July 05, 2009

Feast of the Pyrotechnics

On Independence Day, The Lobbyist and I went up the bay to a Yacht Club, to help one of her fellow Beltway Bandits (together they would bleed things like the F-22 program dry for frivolities like Head Start and childcare) celebrate a big birthday with dinner and booze-up beside the Chesapeake. The Yacht Club, despite its snooty self-concept, is pretty low-key, just a pool and dining room next to a marina, much more like a Rotary or a small officer’s club than the haughty haunt of Thurston Howell. But it is on a beautiful point of land from which, after dinner, standing in a delicious breeze off the water, we could see the fireworks going up at a least a dozen shows up and down the Chesapeake, from the vast and distant one at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, to the halting and pipsqueak (more fun) neighborhood one across the little estuary. All this did promote a moment’s general sense of communion and jubilation. I imagined millions of people all up and down the east coast joining in the observance – even if it really amounts to little more than animal high spirits in the ease and plenty of midsummer. It’s a syncretism, I guess, the repurposing of what must surely be a traditional feast older than history. It sure as hell doesn’t stand much for America’s gift of freedom and justice anymore -- if it ever did. Still, nice sparkly distractions, good food and drink; if one squints and imagines….


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