Fourth of July, 2020 style
So how was your Fourth of July? Safe and fun, I hope. Mine was a mixed bag.
It started in the afternoon when my son and granddaughter came over. First time we’d been together since before the first of March. Masked up and properly distanced, we watched “Hamilton.” Wow. It was everything I’d imagined. And I don’t usually care for musicals. Whatever you’ve heard about it, it’s all that and more. Both son and granddaughter had watched it just the night before and both were eager to see it again. It was so appropriate for the Fourth of July. We contemplated and discussed history and stagecraft and the various performances. Especially interesting because my granddaughter is into musical theater in a big way.
And by the way, I couldn’t disagree more with those who pan the show because it’s not historically accurate. It’s a play! Get over it.
Anyway, the bottom line is I highly recommend it. It’s streaming now on Disney Plus. And do turn on the subtitles. There was one place where the words went so fast I could barely read fast enough, much less understand what I was hearing.
Then came evening.
It’s been bad enough for the last month, having isolated illegal fireworks exploding in the neighborhood every night. Guaranteed to raise my blood pressure and terrorize my 60-lb dog. But that was nothing compared to the night of July 4. It sounded like WWIII had erupted right here in River City. Pops, explosions, and massive concussive booms all around. Aerials lighting up the sky directly behind my house — probably originating from the playground back there. I was so angry! It’s illegal! It’s dangerous for people and endangers my property. Even my son called to complain about the noise around his house. He was as angry as I was.
The 10 pm news had a helicopter shot of Denver and you could see aerials exploding everywhere. The next day I saw videos, with color and sound, of the same sort of thing happening in many major cities. Most of the comments were from people saying it was the greatest Fourth ever and they’d never forget it, etc.
Just one example of how bad (or good) it was:
It was, presumably, a reaction to most professional public fireworks displays being canceled, due either to COVID-19 fears or, here at least, the high fire danger. But beyond that I worry that a lot of it was sociopolitical commentary — people angry about one thing or another and wanting to display their rebellion and the inability of authorities to stop them. (The sale, purchase, or possession of fireworks is mostly illegal in Colorado, but it’s a relatively quick trip from Denver to Cheyenne.)
Maybe I’m a Karen for being so angry about the blatant disregard of the law. But all that crap startles me, traumatizes my dog (despite her prescription sedative), and poses a significant fire danger. It seems to me it would have been better to go ahead and have the professional shows — heavily monitored by fire departments and attended only by those who chose to be there — rather than inflicting massive fireworks on entire cities.
Okay, end of rant. At least it’s been quiet ever since. Apparently every last firecracker was ignited on the Fourth.