Happy America Day!
July 4, 2016 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Enjoy thirteen versions of "The Stars And Stripes Forever", wince with self-recognition at The Oatmeal's America Explained To Non-Americans and schedule a trip to one of ten distinctive July festivals and events.

Patriotic hat tip to Miss Cellania
posted by Johnny Wallflower (44 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can't play The Stars And Stripes forever.
posted by octothorpe at 8:09 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Listen to X's "Fourth of July"
Listen to Bruce Springsteen's "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"
Listen to John Cougar Mellencamp's "Pink Houses"
Listen to Simon & Garfunkel's "America"
And listen to Bruce Springsteen's "Independence Day"
posted by chavenet at 8:18 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Patton Oswalt (via Playboy): The most important—and nebulous—freedom that’s up for grabs in 2016 and beyond is this: the freedom not to be the exemplar of your race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, hair color, height, gluten sensitivity, etc.

In other words, the freedom to fuck up and not have it cost the rest of your peer group.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:23 AM on July 4, 2016 [16 favorites]


Anti-Flag plays the real national anthem.
posted by octothorpe at 8:23 AM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]




Last night, I got to watch a parade of drag queens and a D-list 1980s pop diva perform a sincere rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

America, I love you, you colossal, beautiful, inexplicable trainwreck.
posted by schmod at 8:35 AM on July 4, 2016 [26 favorites]


Hugh Laurie's Song for America, from A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:37 AM on July 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


When I was living in the US, in Napa, CA., my girlfriend flew up from Chile to visit me for the month of July. On the 4th, we drove up to the county fair in Calistoga, which was like a parody of a county fair on some teen drama, with rides and corn dogs and cotton candy and blonde nuclear families and teenagers flirting and carnies.

Anywho, there was this pen, about 2 meters on each side, with a platform around it. The sign said 'world's largest pig'. And, lo and behold, there she was. 2 meters square of pig (sow?) could barely fit in the pen, which wasn't big enough for her to turn around in. In like 45ºC heat, with 12 electric fans on her to keep her (barely) alive. It was sad. And smelly. And hot.

In summation, happy 4th of July!
posted by signal at 8:38 AM on July 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Last night, I got to watch a parade of drag queens and a D-list 1980s pop diva perform a sincere rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

America, I love you, you colossal, beautiful, inexplicable trainwreck


Last night I was in an old man's bar in Kingsbridge, drinking Jack Daniels and draft Bud. There was free sausage and peppers and some of us sang along to Sly Stone's "Thank You falettin Me Be Mice Elf Again."

The effect was similar.
posted by jonmc at 8:40 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Stars and Stripes Forever" will always bring back memories of sitting uncomfortably on a trotting horse in 90 degree weather. I spent seven summers at a riding camp for girls, and every summer, for the four- and seven-week horse shows, we learned drills and performed them to patriotic music for our parents. The drills got harder as we got better; in my last two summers, I held my reins in one hand and carried a heavy US flag balanced precariously on my stirrup (riders in parades have a cup on their stirrup for the pole; I did not). Before my final seven-week show, I begged the camp director for a reprieve from the drills and the advanced class played a hilariously terrible round of stick polo with a soccer ball instead. But the music still brings back some of the happiest summers of my life.

Happy 4th, everyone!
posted by swerve at 8:48 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Happy treason day, yanks.
posted by Talez at 8:50 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Talez: "Happy treason day, yanks."

More like the original Brexit.
posted by chavenet at 8:52 AM on July 4, 2016 [21 favorites]


The War of Colonial Aggression is celebrated once more ...
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:57 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]




We Are America ft. John Cena.

John Cena is rapidly turning into the coolest fucking guy on the planet.
posted by Talez at 9:17 AM on July 4, 2016 [27 favorites]


Let's observe this day for what it commemorates: freedom from a colonial, imperial oppressor.
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:25 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


The best version of stars and stripes forever ever ever ever.
posted by idiopath at 9:36 AM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I dated a girl in high school who was a piccolo player who was positively obsessed with the S&SF. She walked around with her piccolo and would play the solo part at the drop of a hat- and she always had a hat to drop.

Cindy, wherever you are now, I remember- and I did forgive you your charming strangeness in time.
posted by pjern at 9:36 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


From the Oatmeal thing:

Turkeys are easy to identify because they look like an inside-out vagina attached to a quilt.

I...what? I'm sorry, this is just not funny. America is far more beautiful than that comic.

But happy Fourth of July, y'all!
posted by limeonaire at 9:42 AM on July 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Happy Independence Day America! May you have many more sequels to terrible movies.
posted by adept256 at 9:43 AM on July 4, 2016


GOOD GOD! this post has overlooked the most important part of this day
posted by poffin boffin at 10:02 AM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


brb stealing the declaration of independence
posted by poffin boffin at 10:03 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I caught a little Minnesota Public Radio in the car this morning, long enough to hear a guy talking about how "charismatic, handsome, and athletic" Benedict Arnold was.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:30 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


We Are America ft. John Cena.

Proudly filmed in Ybor City! Ancestral home of my people, a wonderful little history lesson about the best things American can be, and definitely the number one reason you should visit Tampa, FL.
posted by penduluum at 10:30 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Happy Independence Day, America friends! This comment contains no sarcasm or even teasing. Hope you are having a good day, and that every day is good to you.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:50 AM on July 4, 2016


Thank you also to the French for supplying us with arms to be able to stick it to our common enemy and reminding us that nobody can truly go at it alone. And also for La Liberté éclairant le monde
posted by vacapinta at 10:54 AM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


*peers over fence*

Oh, heya neighbour! Enjoy your holiday!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:26 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


This Fourth of July I'd like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Fabio, who is taking his citizenship oath this weekend. Hooray!
posted by Itaxpica at 11:41 AM on July 4, 2016 [9 favorites]


I celebrated the day by enjoying the public lands. Highly recommended!
posted by suelac at 12:24 PM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Don't forget the secret pagan origins of this day (via).
Oh, and happy belated Canada Day, mandolin conspiracy!
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 12:52 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]




freedom from a colonial, imperial oppressor.
Which we keep a "special relationship" with to this day. (International Codependency much?) And which was actually less oppressive than most of the Empire's colonies, mostly because the earlier colonial immigrants had done so well at wiping out the Indigenous Peoples. The United States of America: Still Uncomfortably Closer to Britain Than We Want to Admit (except they have much less trouble with having a female head of state - royalty OR elected)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:48 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


My hometown boasts a funky July 4th Parade, and has done so for 31 years now. Absolutely anyone can march - the only thing universally banned is: instruments. Instead, all the music is supplied by old-school boom boxes tuned into the local radio station.

There tend to be lots of kids on bikes and politicians marching, but there are also fencers, SCA enthusiasts, a gang of guys calling themselves "The Latin Toyota Club", representatives from "The Fishhead Party", and three generations of a family that decorate their station wagon and make a float out of it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:39 PM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Vladimir Horowitz, upon gaining American citizenship, transcribed "The Stars and Stripes Forever" for piano in spectacular fashion.
posted by pmdboi at 3:49 PM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


re: the Oatmeal comic, I thought the basic joke about amendments is that the original consitution was so badly written that absolutely everything meaningful in it had to be added later.

But I suppose that's such an obvious joke that nobody has made it since 1780...
posted by Pyrogenesis at 4:09 PM on July 4, 2016


brb stealing the declaration of independence

You fool that's the only thing keeping the Queen at bay
posted by um at 4:14 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


that's the only thing keeping the Queen at bay
After Brexit, we don't have much to fear from the "United" Kingdom...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:28 PM on July 4, 2016


I caught a little Minnesota Public Radio in the car this morning, long enough to hear a guy talking about how "charismatic, handsome, and athletic" Benedict Arnold was.

I wouldn't read too much into that. Sometimes radio broadcasts leak in from the parallel universe where instead of merely being shot in the leg at the Battle of Saratoga, Arnold instead received a fatal hit to the chest. In that universe, he died a hero on par with Washington having never had the chance to betray anyone.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:00 PM on July 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I live almost on a small lake. Across the street. The smell of barbecue gives way at dusk to the smell of gunpowder. There are ad hoc fireworks, bonfires and parties all around the lake. The lake is full of boats with lights and kids with sparklers. It's really quite lovely and gives me hope for the ideas that we started out with.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 PM on July 4, 2016


My hometown boasts a funky July 4th Parade, and has done so for 31 years now. Absolutely anyone can march - the only thing universally banned is: instruments. Instead, all the music is supplied by old-school boom boxes tuned into the local radio station.

That's really cool.

Just watched the video...Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut): "This Independence Day is the result of our veterans, our men and women who serve and sacrifice on this day in places whose names we can barely pronounce..."

Aw. Bless your illiterate heart, you silly little patriot!

The idiot politico is no reflection upon the town, though. Party on!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:55 PM on July 4, 2016


Happy Independence Day, Americans. :-)
posted by Kevin Street at 9:53 PM on July 4, 2016


I dated a girl in high school who was a piccolo player who was positively obsessed with the S&SF. She walked around with her piccolo and would play the solo part at the drop of a hat- and she always had a hat to drop.

I don't know how many years ago that was, but I wonder if she's a pro player today at any level short of "international solo performing artist," because everyone from community orchestra hack like me to concertmaster in the Boston Pops has this to look forward to at least 1-3 times in late June. Every July 4 concert ends with this. Every. frickin'. one. I think it's in the Constitution...
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:48 AM on July 5, 2016



There is an antidote:

Anthony Braxton's Composition #58, from Creative Orchestra Music (1976)

Not only does the piece nicely deconstruct S&SF, not only was it recorded in the year of the American Bicentennial, not only does John Faddis play a delicious oblongoto on the picolo trumpet, not only that -- but it also features (Brit) Dave Holland on marching string bass, virtuoso vibe-ist Karl Berger on the imbecile glockenspiel part, and the brilliant and political avant garde pianist Frederic Rzewski -- on bass drum.

Bonus: Here's the Taylor Ho Bynum Chicago Big Band covering the piece, giving it a Raymond Scott "Powerhouse" vibe.

There's also a live version recorded in 1978 in Germany with AB conducting, but I don't much like it, so I'll let those interested find it on their own.
posted by Herodios at 12:56 PM on July 5, 2016


That's like Philip Glass on acid. Loved it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:06 PM on July 5, 2016


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