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(Although A Few Days Late In Posting This) It Appears I’m Not Alone!

July 5, 2009

Fireworks SuckThey really do.

By Troy PattersonPosted Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at 8:01 PM ET

Fireworks.Fireworks

With Independence Day upon us, Americans are coming together once again in celebration of all our many freedoms, among them the freedom to drink outside during daylight hours. Some of us will fish Bud tallboys out of an Igloo on the National Mall; others will knock back rosé on picnic blankets and applejack at backyard barbecues; still others will sip on a pint bottle of Cutty Sark on the same park bench as always. We are a diverse nation.

Then, a bit after 8 p.m., the sun will set. The civilized thing to do at this juncture would be to go home, kick back with a little John Locke, and pass out fast. But, no, we must reckon with the stupid fireworks, an integral part of the Fourth of July since 1777, when they befouled the skies above Boston and Philadelphia. Even if you manage to avoid actually looking at their meaningless nonsense—which is essentially the same nonsense, show after show, year after year—their noise will disturb what should have been a pleasant lack of consciousness. Do we not have an unalienable right to be left alone?

Let me be clear: I have no beef with firecrackers or bottle rockets or Roman candles or anything else that one might set off in one’s cousin’s backyard. Those are pretty fun, especially if you happen to be in any of the magnificent states where that particular type is banned by law at that particular moment. Doing dangerous stuff in your cousin’s backyard is an important element of American folk culture. Those firecrackers are handsomely humble.

Read more at: Fireworks really suck.

Troy Patterson is Slate‘s television critic.

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