As such, I didn’t even notice that it was July 4th yesterday, despite having written out the date several times. I spent the day completely oblivious, and wandered round Coventry (my soon-to-be home) and Warwickshire marvelling at the peacefulness and the sunshine. Then, I got on the train home, and one of the first things I did was turn my laptop on.
It wasn’t until I logged in to tumblr that the fact it was the 4th of July yesterday even crossed my mind. But, yesterday, my tumblr dashboard felt a lot like being slapped around the face by an eagle, all the while having the word “FREEDOM” screamed at you.
Now, I understand the basic premise of the 4th of July as Independence Day and a celebration of American values, but I do not understand how something like this became so obnoxious.
I have been in Australia on Australia Day, a day with a not entirely dis-similar sentiment, and yes, there were fireworks and parties and people shouted “STRAYA” in your face a lot. But no body used it as a way to make other people feel bad. You’re not Australian? Never mind, have a beer and party with us anyway.
Australia Day may be problematic because of its attitude towards Indigenous Australians, but to me, it is a more friendly celebratory day than the 4th of July. The one thing I noticed from popular culture, and, well, tumblr is that the 4th of July is used as a way for Americans to present themselves as the best, the most free and the most liberated. They obnoxiously wave their national symbols in our faces, and tell us that the way we live is all wrong – and I am live in a Western liberal democracy. I dread to think how the 4th of July looks to people whose political systems America has tried to alter, by force or coercion.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be allowed to be patriotic and to have a good time on your national day. What I am saying is that you don’t have to be an obnoxious twat in order to do so. I am merely trying to suggest that America might not be as free as you think, and that you should probably acknowledge that other countries have actually heard of the concept.
The 4th of July should be a celebration of history and nation, and not an excuse to call the rest of the world out on things we’re not even doing wrong.
And, if you can’t see that, then you should probably grow up… or stop expressing your opinions all over the internet.