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The Independence Day Ruckus


The Independence Day Ruckus

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Michael Valentine Jones
Michael Valentine Jones
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I think everyone is being a bit hard on Brian. I'm sure he knows what Independence Day is all about, but he was just writing about the joyful childhood ritual of setting off fireworks.

When we visited out relatives in Texas at Christmas time it was the local custom to set off fireworks for the whole holiday season. I didn't forget the meaning of Christmas, but I had a lot of fun setting off fireworks for a week.
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Perhaps... just couldn't get past the reduction of the holiday to "To me, Independence Day is all about making a ruckus." ;-)

--Jeff Moden

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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That's the modern holiday, fireworks. Even reading the Declaration of Independence last year with my son didn't register with him.

I think it's a great day in the US, and there are plenty of people I know that do appreciate the freedoms we have. I know I am glad for them every day.

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Manie Verster
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Well here in South Africa we do not have an Independence Day and what we have in common with the US is fighting the British and there was actually a couple of things that the British did in SA that is still a very sore matter but I don't want to bring that up now. We in SA have a Freedom Day. The day that SA was freed of apartheid and since someone has posted the US national anthem, I would like to post ours. Before I do I'd like to say that it consists of 5 languages. isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Afrikaans (Dutch) and English. I like the patriotism that I read here and yes, I feel the same.

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

Translation if the first parts:
Lord, bless Africa
May her spirit rise high up
Hear thou our prayers
Lord bless us.

Lord, bless Africa
Banish wars and strife
Lord, bless our nation
Of South Africa.

Ringing out from our blue heavens
From our deep seas breaking round
Over everlasting mountains
Where the echoing crags resound ...




To come to my second point. Fireworks has never been a favorite of mine since people tend to forget the animals. I fear days like Guy Fawkes, Christmas and New Year cause I know how afraid my dogs get when the fireworks start. Not all people are considerate of pets.

:-PManie Verster
Developer
Johannesburg
South Africa

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blandry
blandry
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For God's sake, lets go a bit easier on Brian who was clearly talking about the holiday side of Independence Day. I find it very unfair to go after the guy about the deeper meaning of Independence Day when he is very clearly talking about the celebration and tradition involved with fireworks.

This equally clearly shows that some people need a good M80 placed in their ear canal, a bottle rocket up their nose and a Roman Candle shoved up their.... nevermind... ;-)

There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
George Hepworth
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Hmm. People whose opinions differ from yours shoud be assaulted with explosive devices.

Interesting take on the whole "freedom of expression" thing.
Vic Rauch-303403
Vic Rauch-303403
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This is fascinating. We have a guest editorial about fireworks on the 4th of July. Then answers from a few of us that feel strongly about the value of discussing the meaning of the 4th of July rather than just a method of celebrating. I have not seen any attacks on Brian, just discussions from people with a differing opinion. Now a differing opinion justifies an M80, or bottle rocket, or Roman Candle? It was very clear to me as "blandry" stated that Brian was talking about the "holiday side" of Independence Day. I personally feel it would be good to always include in the discussion, the REASON for celebrating the day.

Vic
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Charles Kincaid
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The British said, "The Americans are revolting." The rest of Europe said, "Agreed!" I feel sad that we only sing the first verse of that bloody awful song. It's an old pub drinking song if I remember.

I love fireworks. Had some of my best times putting on shows. I never saw any of my own shows. Best to keep ones head down in a launch area. I had to give it up just short of turning semi-pro.

We are always on about how the holidays have little to do with how we celebrate them. Well, true.

The one part of the 4th is that it gives us the right to be wrong. Go for it, Brian.

ATBCharles Kincaid
George Hepworth
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Re: "attacks". To be honest, I did use the words, "silly", "sophomoric" and "juvenile" in my original response to the "guest editorial". I guess in a hypersensitive world, those words MIGHT be considered attacks, though of a different sort, and considerably different threat level, than the suggestion that someone might want to insert various explosive devices in different parts of my body because I hold a different point of view from them.

Oh, and there is one other little complication here. I made the assertion that freedom of expression--which was guaranteed in part by the efforts of men like Francis Scott Key--applies equally to statements which I find "silly", "sophomoric" and "juvenile", as well as to statements which I find offensive, and even to those which are vaguely threatening. That last one is a bit more difficult for me to accept inasmuchas I was one of the targets of the statement , but I do so because I doubt the threat to shove fireworks up my nose was made seriously.

It wasn't, was it?
George Hepworth
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"Old pub song"---- well, that might be partly correct, but only in a very superficial and tangential way.

The original poem (not song) was written to celebrate the sight of the US flag flying free over Ft. McHenry following an all-night bombardment by British forces. Some time later the poem was set to music. The song selected, The Anacreontic Song, was orginally the club song for a London based group of amateur musicians (who quite conceivable could have hung about in pubs, drinking and singing).

It makes a nice little story to refer to it as "an old pub song", and I strongly suspect it was sung (the orginal song, that is) in more than one English pub. But, like all myths, this one tends to obscure more than it reveals.

No worries, though, we know the truth.
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