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Here in Kirkwood there is law against fireworks within city limits. I am not sure how the fair citizens of this suburb respond to that law, as it is my first Independence Day here, but you can bet I will pay attention tonight.
In Lincoln, Fireworks were only allowed on the fourth, and only small ones such as sparklers, snakes, and the like. Most people paid no attention to this law. On the fourth of July people were shooting of some pretty significantly illegal fireworks. Many of them were not only illegal within Lincoln city limits, they were illegal in the entire state of Nebraska. I know plenty of folks who would drive down to Missouri every year to get some of the really good ones. Who knows? I may have been one of them.
But there is something beautiful about those who break the law regarding fireworks on Independence Day, is there not? The reason we celebrate the day is to mark our independence from tyrannic unjust authority. Historically speaking this was the King of England pushing a sect of Christianity that some did not agree with. Today, as stupid and insignificant it may seem to some, people are disobeying the very authority which was formed in the wake of our declaration of independence. It would seem that, not only some, but many people feel that our government in some ways is being unjustly tyrannical. They will not be oppressed. They will rebel! We are a nation of rebels built out of rebellion. Sometimes, and I would argue quite frequently lately, our government needs a reminder that many of us are the descendants of rebels who would not stand for government oppression.
We have strength in our numbers and no amount of increased law enforcement can prevent the majority of the populace blatantly disregarding it. I am sure that the police sometimes try to enforce those laws in Lincoln, but the most they can do effectively is give a heftier fine if some careless asshat blows up his neighbor. Although it is not hard to find articles about accidental injury, the great majority of the time no one gets hurt. Sometimes, it would seem, a few need to be sacrificed for the liberation of the greater many.
Sure, fireworks are pollution. They cause our dogs much unnecessary trauma. Not to mention that they usually amount to a bunch of liter the next day. I tell you what. If I see a bunch of trash on my street tomorrow, I will go pick it up. I am not even lighting a single fuse this year because of the extreme fire danger and the fact it is Chris’s work week so we will barely have enough time to fit in a family BBQ. I hope my fellow humans also realize that there is extreme fire danger here in St. Louis and that they will be extra cautious in light of that fact. But, I already heard some pops last night, and I am sure some will follow tonight.
That is what I think it should mean to be human. To help clean up after the careless mess of others just because it needs to be done by someone. I am hopeful that whoever did it will someday amount to someone who cared enough to do something kind for someone else. I think being human means to show, through my actions, that we people can be better to each other even when we are being careless ourselves. I know I am pretty careless sometimes. Despite differences, we should try to have no enemies, and only be kind and loving to each other. I guess that is what I get out of Independence Day. Nothing about nationalism or whatever patriotism is supposed to mean these days. Just humans loving other humans because we all deserve it from each other. Despite that it was born out of some humans stealing land from a bunch of other humans for their own selfish gain, I think there is something about liberation and learning from mistakes that the whole world can celebrate in it too.
Speaking of descendants, one of my favorite songs to listen to on Independence Day (thanks to my high school classmate and friend, Joe, for reminding me of it last year) is one by the punk band Descendents in their song, ‘Merican. I will leave you with that.
Yesterday we took the boys and met Antijen and Tom down at Mangia which was a prime place for us to enjoy brunch and the Pride Parade on Grand. I had never seen such a tight knight community of people at a festival before this. Of all the fests, parades and other events that we have been to so far since moving here, this one was my favorite.
St. Louis is most certainly a party town with a lot of party opportunities for binge drinkers and sober fun lovers alike. It is Chris’s work week so we did not get to spend a lot of time there, but it is important to us that we expose our kids to a variety of people and lifestyles, and the St. Louis Pride Fest was no better way to do it.
We hung around Mangia for a little while and ate our brunch. I had a couple of delicious Bloody Marys and a Belgian Waffle. Do not ever go to Mangia for brunch without getting a Bloody Mary. They make one of the most delicious ones I have ever had.
Next we started toward the Tower Grove park. Since Chris had another overnight shift on the horizon, we had to cheer pride as fast as we could and get back home so she could sleep before she had to go back to work.
On our way to and through the park we met a few interesting characters. As my friend Greg said when he saw this picture, Tsunami officially now has a WTF look after seeing a few gay clowns. Jupiter was definitely a fan of the balloons and even a pup got in on the enjoyment.
I also saw some dominatrix action, some cross dressing, a lot of hand holding, and definitely a lot of love.
The theme of the festival this year was “Be You”. I really like that theme a lot. It speaks for so much more than only people who have issues with a certain subset of society because of gender preferences and roles. Everyone has something that is uniquely them, and I felt that is what this Pride Fest was about.
I think we will keep taking the kids to festivals like this one. It is very important for me and Chris to raise our kids to be accepting of all people no matter what or who they are. It is also important for us to teach them to be themselves no matter who or what that may turn out to be.
I have never been a fan of February 14th, known as Valentine’s Day. I feel this way mostly because we should let the ones we love know we love them everyday. So I henceforth declare February 15th as Anti-Valentine’s Day. As a new holiday, you may make up whatever custom you wish. Personally, I choose to take this opportunity to let my French press know exactly how I feel as you may see in the video below:
I think divorce gets a bad rap in our society. It gets painted as a problem when most often it is a solution to a problem marriage. Sometimes, for example when people marry their high school sweetheart, people have made an error in thinking that they have found someone who matches what they want for the rest of their lives. In this case, a divorce is the solution.
Successful marriages have been studied to be associated with higher education and age. This makes sense. The more you know, the more you know what you are looking for in a partner.
Many people are foregoing the whole idea of marriage altogether. Many people realize that as people grow, interests change and that you cannot definitely say that two people will remain interested in the same things for the rest of their lives. I am married to my wife, but I can see that point of view.
Marriage in The US is also convenient for legal reasons. Taxes are higher on single people, and while the state using taxes to encourage marriage is deplorable, it is cheaper to be married. There is also the issue of custody should something unfortunate happen to one of us. Men do not always get the kids in that situation if the parents are not wed, but that varies from state to state.
Chris and I had Jupiter out of marriage voluntarily. He is, by definition, a bastard. We did not see why marriage and kids necessarily needed to go together. Chris had just gotten out of a marriage and I did not see the need to rush ours. But we both wanted to have kids and thought that we would both be good parents to a kid.
I waited until after Jupiter came to ask her. I did not want to give off the perception that we were getting married just because we were making family. I wanted marriage to actually mean something. It is different for different humans, but to me it means that I think we can grow our interests together for a long time.
It seems to me like the perception is opposite the problem. Sometimes people just should not get married, but they do anyway. Sometimes people make a mistake that they only realize later on. No doubt divorce is a terrible thing to have to go through, but I think that it is sometimes necessary. Really, I think divorce statistics are a bit irrelevant as a negative, because sometimes marriage was the problem and divorce is the solution. If the divorce rate is up, that could mean that people are finally getting the right solutions to their problems. If Chris did not have a divorce before me, we would not have this awesome family together.