It’s a sad state of affairs. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and nobody cares. It just seems like the lead is out of the pencil and communities in the greater DC area are just going through the motions of putting on their annual whatever. Fireworks shows in many local communities across the country have been cancelled due to the sagging economy, firework shortages, drought and just plain old apathy. Not so long ago, in the years immediately following the September 11th tragedies, July 4 was like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s and Easter all wrapped up in one. We used to light the tree on fire and exchange the most awesome gifts ever stuffed into flavorful turkeys or hidden in colorful eggs! There were marching bands and colorful costumes and beads – gosh, that was a great time wasn’t it? Lee Greenwood would sing “Proud to Be An American” and then we’d all puke red, white and blue. OK, to be honest, that period of time seemed a little disengenuous to me as well. But now it seems like we’ve done some sort of anti-4th of July 180.
Our neighbors are all getting together tonight to do the traditional neighborhood barbecue. Afterwards, we’ll all gather in the cul-de-sac and light fireworks and whatever. But something just doesn’t feel right this year. Perhaps there is a pervasive feeling of the state of our country being up in the air. We here at Cageboy.com DO NOT and WILL NOT get into politics – at least I hope we won’t. And I’m not going to endorse or otherwise promote ANY candidate over another. (Note: I hope you all enjoyed our little political “cartoon” on yesterday’s blog). And perhaps I’m oversimplifying things a bit. In truth, this particular Cageboy rarely discusses politics because I don’t have any particular political affiliation. I do involve myself in the process – so I’m not one of those scumbags. But ever since I’ve been old enough to vote, it has always made more sense to me to throw my support towards whoever makes the most sense – whoever’spolicies and values seem the most in line withmy own. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that that tends to shift a bit from time to time. But I’ve never said this party or that party is better than the other. And the two candidates running towards Election 2008 both have desirable qualities. (Even that’s more political commentary than I like to make). However, the problems in our country seem insurmountable. Inasmuch as we’ve either had them for so long or have been sliding into the maw of the abyss for so long that you would think if they were solvable, someone would have solved them already. I’m sorry – Barack Obama seems like a great guy – he’s a go**amn rock star – but does anyone really think that the Obamas are gonna move into 1600 Penn Avenue and gas is gonna go back to being a buck-and-a-half-a-gallon? And clearly McCain is the man in terms of military experience, but does anyone really think that Mr. and Mrs. McCain are gonna put their feet up in the Lincoln bedroom and all the troops are gonna come home? These are all festering problems that have gotten worse and worse over time. It’s easy to point the finger at our current President and blame him – but this is all slippery slope stuff that has dominoed over years and years. The news today is all about some impending action in Iran. Cheese and rice – let’s dry off from the current shi* storm before we plunge neck deep into yet another one!
(Break: Today’s blog REALLY started off as a nostalgic little wake for the 4th of July Celebrations I used to know – I didn’t mean to get all “Meet The Press” on you folks. I apologize – but feel obligated to see where this is all going. Lemme see if I can get this back on track – Read on!)
It’s all a matter of bad PR. America has a bad spokesperson. George Bush might be the smartest guy on the planet in the history of the world. It’s possible. I think probably not – but let’s give Mr. Bush the benefit of the doubt, shall we. His MAJOR short coming in his entire political career is that he sucks on the mic. He can’t talk. Slick Willie Clinton on the other hand got himself in all kinds of trouble – but he was great on the mic and so he skates free. See the difference? It’s all about perception. A good spokesperson is all about turning lemons into lemonade. In terms of public speaking, George Bush turns lemons into cancer.
I’m really sorry for pi**ing all over the 4th of July here. I love the 4th of July. Growing up, the 4thof July was quite possibly a bigger deal than Christmas or any other major holiday. Our neighborhood used to get together and throw epic, all-day celebrations with fireworks, and barbecues and softball and water balloon fights and horseshoes. The whole nine yards. All American. Hell, they could have filmed commercials for Chevy at our 4th parties! The kids in my neighborhood would wake up early on the 4th and go out and start setting up chairs and tables before they ate their Frankenberry in the morning! I guess, I want a slice of that for my kids. It just seems that now the 4th comes with all sorts of baggage it never had before. Fireworks are dangerous…hot dogs and hamburgers lead to childhood obesity and Lee Greenwood sucks. (Is that a Cageboy Truism I smell grillin’?).
You know what? Now I’m mad. I went from feeling a little deflated to being straight up pi**ed off in just 5 short paragraphs. I’m takingmatters into my own hands. I’m declaring the 4th of July as the official holiday of Cageboys everywhere. Cageboys! Rise up! Reclaim what is your God-given celebration of choice! Fire up your grill and cook hamburgers and hot dogs! Light fireworks and play softball! Drink an icy-cold domestic beer and sing along to a Beach Boys song! Because when I think about what it means to be a Cageboy – ya know what I’m thinking about? I’m thinking about America!