Safe And Sane


It seems odd to me that a holiday which should engender joyous celebration has needed to be tempered by the sound bite “Safe and sane,” at least here in SoCal. It seems we’ve had too many children maimed by firecrackers, too many injuries from stray bullets, and too many brush or house fires by illegal fireworks.

Safe and sane indeed.

The morning after, the air is clogged with the residue of fireworks across the LA basin and into Orange County. We’ll breath the thick air until we get an onshore breeze that will blow it all into the next county. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the leftovers of our safe and sane celebration.

Don’t get me wrong. I find fireworks — the legal ones, especially the big shows that are accompanied by patriotic music — fascinating. They’re beautiful but also demanding of respect. Not to be misused or abused.

I’ve sat on the grass at Dodger Stadium or at Angel Stadium and looked up at the sky lit as bright as day while the concussions vibrate in my chest. It’s an awesome site — far removed from the street rockets and sparklers and the less safe and sane fireworks going off all across the city.

Holidays. Seems we need to call one during the summer so we have an excuse to shoot fire into the sky, to light up the barbecue in the backyard, and to bring family and friends together.

It all seems so divorced from the cause which it celebrates — a day of independence which was not noted for being sane or safe. Or frivolous, purposeless, or just for show.

Too bad we can’t celebrate the Fourth of July by doing something as radical as the founding fathers did — standing up to tyranny, setting free those enslaved to senseless laws. You know, something that actually has a connection to freedom.

Ah well, we can dream, can’t we. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll enjoy the show tonight — I can see four or five legal shows from my front porch and then there are all those behind-the-house or in-the-street family affairs. It’s quite a sight. 😀

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Published in: on July 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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