I heard on the radio the other day that I should take some time this 4th of July to thank soldiers for my freedom. This morning the internet told me that I should thank police on the same day for the same reason. Everywhere I turn there seems to be some advice on which direction to aim my hero worship on Independence Day, while there never seems to be any question about whether myself or anybody else should engage in said hero worship to begin with.
Probably not, but fuck it. It seems far more fun to tell you which career fields to worship than just to tell you not to do it at all, so I am gonna try my hand at this shit and see if I can’t hunt us down some heroes to hail.
I guess history is probably a pretty good place to start. Independence Day celebrates the date in 1776 that the Continental Congress informed the public that it had legally asserted its autonomy from Britain two days earlier by revealing a document called the Declaration of Independence. That document was written by Thomas Jefferson with four other dudes who looked over his shoulders and made coughing noises whenever he forgot or misused an apostrophe. So this gives us a few options for adulation.
We could celebrate the politicians who made up the Continental Congress and did all the legal stuff to get the ball rolling. But it somehow feels wrong to applaud Continental Congress, given its current non-existent status, and even more wrong to just transfer that mindless adoration to politicians in general. So that’s out.
Or we could celebrate the five dudes who wrote the Declaration of Independence, which would really just boil down to a celebration of Thomas Jefferson in the end. And even though he said and wrote some seriously smart shit in his day, the man that my friend Carey calls the Father of American Liberalism was a slave owning aristocrat who probably has gotten more props than he deserved already. Yet if not Jefferson and his four backseat writers, then who?
Since it is the day we celebrate DECLARING our independence – and not fighting for it or doing some ill-conceived macho alpha ape shit for it – using our words like the big kids…how about celebrating writers?
The pen is mightier than the sword, and those who wield it wisely are more effective than any army at securing the peace, prosperity, freedoms and liberties of individuals. All of the best things in existence, those things which have brought us progress over countless generations, all were conceived as ideas and birthed to the world through communication. And the alleged independence of Murrica is no different. It began not with sticks and stones, but by DECLARING THAT SHIT in writing.
So how about we worship the brave heroes who go out of their way each and every day to bring you freedom and liberty by thinking about the world in radical and challenging ways and helping to create and share the ideas and language that lead the way. Why do we insist on every holiday being another opportunity to prostrate ourselves on the people who wield Uncles Sams weaponry against us, and against the peace and prosperity we would otherwise enjoy? How about, at least once a year, we recognize that those who THINK and WRITE are the true heroes and revolutionaries.
This Independence Day find a thinker/writer that you appreciate and reach out to them thanking them for all of their hard work and perseverance. It is not easy to forge ahead of humanity into unchartered territories and carve a path to the future, but that is what they do, and we all owe them our endless gratitude.
And this has NOTHING to do with the fact that I myself fit into the category of those I suggest we honor. What kind of sick hypocritical fucks would ever insist that you worship them. That is, besides cops and soldiers and politicians and the other employees of the state that all erode your freedoms and liberties on a daily basis. Okay, maybe that is what I am doing. But at least I don’t also fucking kill people.