Dean, Teresa, and I had a lousy Fourth of July, partly by ruining someone else’s holiday. There were no fireworks and no parades for us, though we came so close to seeing them. We did, however, find a diner that served inexpensive tanqueray-and-tonics.
But with all of today’s ceremonies, the pillars of light in downtown NYC, and the plastic American flags back (albeit in smaller numbers), it seems that our new national holiday is gaining strength. But not the Fourth; we spent 7/4/2003 wondering if “the end of major combat operations” was supposed to look like this. It was the dubious center of a dubious conflict that had a dubious connection to our War of Independence.
We seem to have forgotten how to celebrate Independence Day, but luckily we’re learning how to celebrate today’s unjoyous holiday. Perhaps it’s time to swap out Independence Day. It’s showing its age; it’s time to replace it with something the 230-and-younger crowd can relate to.
To help speed the process of making today our new national holiday, here are some necessary changes:
- The film Independence Day will be known as Attack on America Day.
- Ron Kovic will now be Born on The September Eleventh.
- Lanford Wilson’s play will be known as Twelfth of September.
- George M. Cohan—and by extension, James Cagney—will now also be born on the September Eleventh. And instead of being a real live nephew of our Uncle Sam’s, he’ll be Paul Wolfowitz.
- For some reason we’ll also change Strange Days from New Year’s Eve 1999 to September Eleventh. The film will still contain Angela Bassett.
- Bruce Springsteen’s song “Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” will be henceforth known as “The Rising.”
- Future productions of Annie will no longer have President Roosevelt saying “You’re the Fourth of July, kid!” to the little orphan. His line will be replaced with “Bring ’em on.”
- Chicago’s Saturday in the park will be assumed to have taken place on September Eleventh.
Can you dig it? Yes, I can. And I’ve been waiting such a long time.