Share it

Saturday, June 30, 2012

George M. Cohan Looks a Lot like Jimmy Cagney

I'm making this my Fourth of July weekend even though according to the calendar we're not actually having one this year. Seems fair to me. When we celebrated the original Fourth of July, it's not like we staged it so we could have Saturday, Sunday AND Monday off. We were a nation of farmers, woodsman, blacksmiths, tradesmen and sailors-we had no such time for vagabond hearts. We had to keep muskets and munitions in easy reach.

We'd been at war with the most powerful nation in the history of the world (sorry, Roman Empire) for quite some time before events took their turn on the streets of Philadelphia. I'm not sure the Crown called the enforcement of the Coercive Acts 'a police action,' as just one example, but it was not the most fun you could have with your clothes on for a Hessian mercenary, that's for sure. And so it went.

I'm suggesting, especially in the light of recent events, much of them centered in the District of Columbia (or as an acquaintance, currently missing bike wheels in NYC called it, ''Dodge City') whose ferocity seems to have surprised so many of us, that we're born this way. We're obstinate, arrogant, ignorant, and perhaps flatulent. And we come by all of it honestly. We asked nicely of the people who ruled us if we could go our own way and they said over our dead bodies. All we did was oblige them.

But how about this weekend, or at the very least this coming Wednesday, the actual holiday date, we stop snapping and sniping (verbally, I hope, only) long enough about the politics of our private now to turn and look at where and how we started and admire the historic view.

There's no need to take off your thirsty boots and stay awhile. We have a whole century's worth of stuff to get done in a lot less time than it takes to tell to include making sure we have equality in our equal rights, health in our universal health care, dignity in our efforts for full employment and a return of the joy in everyday living we each experienced even when we didn't know its name when we were so small so long ago.

This is when we should catch our breath, hike up our britches or adjust our other garments (your mileage may vary) and make sure we're comfortable with the hands we are grasping in each of ours, or to get comfortable with them as we're going to be at this rebuilding the greatest nation on earth gig a little while longer.

And later tonight, whether we're hip deep in one another's back pockets as we line the streets of our not quite ready for Prime Time downtown, or find someplace to stand and watch the rockets go up and the sparks shower down, we can exult as the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight-forcing a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July. And if only for that moment as we're bathed in colors that don't exist in nature, we can find a way to have, and to share, a moment of our Pilgrims' Progress.
-bill kenny