The best thing about the 4th of July is that it’s only one day before the 5th of July. The 5th of July is the best day of the year because it is the farthest away we get from the next 4th of July. Why don’t I like the 4th of July? It’s not because I hate America. It’s because I love America. I love it so much that I think we can do a hell of a lot better than cram sweaty meat down its throat while waiting for something to explode.
The 4th of July as a concept is amazing and as a practice is equivalent to the smell when a hair dryer burns out. You only think you like the 4th of July. What you’re actually thinking of is the movie Flight of the Navigator, which is set on the 4th of July and worth it for the opening sequence alone: it’s just dog after dog catching Frisbees. Just try not to think about the fact that this was shot in 1986 and all those dogs are dead.
Don’t let movies from the 1980s and primary colors trick you into loving this holiday the way those two things tricked me into loving elementary school. The 4th of July is about one day in July believing that it is better than all of the other days, where I come from we call that “preferential treatment.” Also, maybe it’s just me, but in what world is the number 4 better than the number 1? Get your numbers right, July.
The media wants you to believe that the 4th of July is about BBQs and beach parties, but it’s really about lines and crowds. It’s also about attacking the sky with colorful bombs. What did the sky ever do to you, besides be blue and love you? Is this how you repay the titular character in Bruno Mars’s masterpiece “Sky Full of Lighters”?
As Americans, we sometimes have to face hard facts. The 4th of July is not the best we can do. Our nation’s birthday party is just like any other birthday party — great for kids, but at some point kind of an annoying hassle and everyone ends up too drunk. To paraphrase Don Draper, “you’re 200-something years old, when are you going to get over birthdays, America?”
We can do better. Reforms I suggest: continuing to celebrate America, moving the holiday from July to a cooler, more manageable month, like sometime in the fall—possibly November. Serve only pie and don’t try to murder the planet ceiling. Rename it “Thanksgiving II.” Also, get a better theme song.