The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, which is kind of a bummer, because if you’re not taking the whole week off — or at least half the week — it doesn’t feel much like a holiday. But it is a holiday, so let’s celebrate the independence of our nation by blowing up a small part of it!
Here are four (more) reasons to light the fireworks this year:
One: The black guy versus the Mormon.
Only in America would you have two candidates who are so part of “the other” running for president. No matter what happens in November, we’ll have a president that is very different than the majority of the country and it feels like that just isn’t a big deal anymore. Look across the rest of the world and every country votes in what they know. Here in the USA we’ve turned a corner.
Two: Our awesome cuisine.
Sure, we’ve gotten soft over the years and we could all afford to lose a few pounds. But how could you not get a little round with all of this awesome food around? From locavores to paleos and everything in between, America has an awesome food culture. Where I live, I can eat at a diner that regionally sources all of its food, get an authentic kobeeda kabob with a bread cooked in a traditional brick oven pit thing and check out a vegetarian fried chicken.
And that doesn’t even account for all of the resources we have for learning to cook and making your own food. If you love to eat, America is the place to be.
Maybe it’s because I live in the DC-metro area, where we’re enthralled by the seemingly-out-of-nowhere ascendency of the Nationals and the up-from-the-ashes Baltimore Orioles, but I feel like baseball is back. This is the closest thing to a sport America can claim as its own — something we invented nearly out of whole cloth (sorry tackle football, you’re a bastardization of Rugby) and its great to see it coming back from the steroids controversy and the resulting congressional follies and lawsuits.
Four: Our unwavering creative spirit.
Yeah, the economy’s not great. We’re finally pulling ourselves out of a recess-depression only to have a potential European collapse bring us down again, but by and large Americans aren’t getting down. Instead, we’re creating things — from Pinterest, to Spanx, to Kickstarter — we’re finding ways to solve problems, do what we love, and make a little bank. And with the power of the Internets, we’re creating more and more just for kicks. You don’t need a studio to be an artist anymore, you just need a laptop and an internet connection.
I don’t worry about America, because our creative spirit will never let us down. A bad economy, a government that doesn’t work anymore and a seemingly impossible and ever-growing political divide be damned — no matter what differences we have, our desire to build something new will always win out.
(Photo: America, by Thomas Hawk. Used under a Creative Commons license.)