Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet

This afternoon, I’ll probably turn on the Red Sox game. (What’s more American than baseball?)

Maybe a bit earlier, I’ll brave a stroll down to the Esplanade and queue up with the gathering Pops’ Concert crowd at the hot dog stand. Probably not, as I’d feel too badly that my gluten-free husband couldn’t join me for a dog, which my mouth is now watering for. (Relish, mustard, and onions, by the way. Never ketchup.)

Apple pie may be American, but it’s not exactly a summer-time pie now, is it.  If I were going to go in for some 4th of July pie, it would be blueberry. My mother’s recipe. Yum! (If only I had mastered her crust-making skills.  Of course, there’d still be that gluten-free sympathy thing, which would keep me from pie-baking, even with a frozen store-bought crust…)

As far as I can tell, Chevrolets are 100% gluten-free. And I do believe that they’re mostly made in the good old U.S. A.

I just don’t think I know anyone who actually drives one.

In any case, it’s actually kind of nice to have a mid-week Fourth of July.

The holiday isn’t getting lost in the long weekend, and is standing on it’s own for a change.

I kind of like that feeling.

Other than baseball, my plans for the day are to read the Declaration of Independence, which The Boston Globe prints each year on its editorial page. (I will even have gone retro and picked up a paper copy of the paper for a change.)

In the evening, although we don’t live more than 200 yards – if that – from the Hatch Shell, we’ll put the Pops’ Concert on TV and watch the fireworks out our window.

In between Declaration of Independence reading, baseball watching, and fireworks gazing, I’ll think about just how unsettling it is to be am American these days.

It’s no longer our century.

This century, we’ll have to share.

This is not going down all that well, in some quarters in particular, and the political landscape is grim.

No, we don’t (yet) have elected representatives beating each other over the head with canes, as happened when Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner, an abolitionist, was beaten nearly to death by South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks. (Sumner was out of commission for three years, but had the best revenge. He outlived Brooks by 17 years. Not to mention that Sumner’s pallbearers included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Apparently you had to have three names to play. No mention of who bore Brooks’ pall, but I doubt they were as illustrious as the aforementioned. Source of Sumner-Brooks info, wikipedia.)

But even if we haven’t yet fallen to the gutta-percha-cane beating level, when it comes to our political discourse, things aren’t all that well-mannered these days.

Among the rants that the SCOTUS decision on the Affordable Care Act inspired were a former GOP spokesman in Michigan, who suggested that armed rebellion might be justified to break the yoke of progressive tyranny; a former NH town official who wished colon cancer on the five majority-voting justices; and a radio talk show host who said that the ruling demonstrated that John Roberts is brain-impaired due to epilepsy.

Sweet land of liberty, alright.

Maybe things will tone down after this fall’s election. Maybe comity and common sense will prevail.

On the Glorious Fourth of July, we can only hope that at some point we’ll actually become the shining city upon a hill that, for the world’s sake, wouldn’t be so bad to have around and which, in most of our red-white-and-blue heart of hearts, we believe we are.

Happy Fourth of July!

Last year’s Glorious Fourth post.

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