Attention Citizens: Your 4th of July Has Been Cancelled

Photo by Timothy K. Hamilton, Creativity+

Photo by Timothy K. Hamilton, Creativity+

As we continue to live with the consequences of the anti-public onslaught visited on our society these past decades by the radical reactionaries who have been calling themselves “Republicans” and “conservatives,” towns and cities across the United States have been forced to cancel their 4th of July fireworks — and sometimes their entire 4th of July observations — due to a lack of public funds.

Cancel the 4th of July? Think about it.

Thank your local “conservative” for working so hard all these years to “starve the beast” of government. As the man said, “Wave that flag; wave it wide and high!”

Of course, if you live in a large-enough city, you can still enjoy a fireworks show this July 4th. One brought to you through the “benevolence” of the executive overlords at your local, global corporate entity, like Macy’s in New York, or Target in Detroit. The national fireworks show, on the mall in DC, is itself brought to you as a good deed by a consortium of defense contractors (Base Technologies, Inc.) lobbyists (Tell America; The International Webcasting Association), and the usual corporate citizens, like Boeing and American Airlines. This, in our executive-overlord dystopia, is the way things are supposed to work: our government is supposed to be beholden to the “benevolence” of corporations. Have some municipal initiative? Better get your private funding and the chamber of commerce on board, boys. Anything else would be socialism.

Of course, when your country is up for sale to the highest bidder, attractive properties like the DC Mall, or the West Side of Manhattan garner the most “investor” interest. Meanwhile, hundreds, if not thousands of smaller towns and municipalities have cancelled their 4th of July, including my home town of Yonkers, NY. A cursory Internet search gives you an idea of the scope of this “patriotic” farce; towns cancelling their 4th of July include:

Yonkers, NY; Parma, OH; San Jose, CA; Charlottesville, VA; Hialeah, FL; Mesa, AZ; Colorado Springs, CO; Niceville, FL; Garland, TX; Gwinnett County, GA; Miami-Dade County, FL; Flint, MI; Montebello, CA; Nixa, MO; Bristol NH; York, ME; Methuen, Peabody, Randolph, Abington and Bridgewater, MA; Roseville, CA; Gurney, Elgin, Berwyn, North Riverside and Harvey, IL; Newton, IA; Loxley, AL; Rahway, Milville and Ridgewood Park, NJ. This is a representative sample from 5 minutes on Google News, not an exhaustive list.

Plymouth, Massachusetts — you know, as in “Plymouth Rock” — cancelled its 4th of July parade and celebrations altogether; after many years of being funded by private citizen donations, this year the contributions just dried up.

 As for me — I’ll be out riding my bike this weekend as usual. And despite my memories of wonderment at the little fireworks show that used to be staged at Ft. Totten in Bayside, NY when I was a kid, as I enjoy the unusual quiet this weekend, I’ll know who to thank.

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