Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Independence Day!

If Facebook is any indication, my generation associates the fourth of July primarily with heroic efforts of Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman to save the world from the alien menace.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I woke up this morning to fratboys blaring country music as if that's an appropriate way to celebrate the most American of holidays. To be fair, they also played a couple of Creedence songs and a Bob Dylan tune.  In any case, contemporary country music is in no way an appropriate way to celebrate Independence Day, aliens or otherwise. Country music is about waving the Confederate flag, a piece of fabric representing the heritage of a failed white supremacist slave state that was founded with the intention of destroying the unity of the North American republic founded on July 4, 1776. Country music is antithetical to the fourth of July, as it is the music of the stars and bars, not the stars and stripes.
The appropriate music for Independence Day - music that represents what is great about the United States of America - would probably be that of the descendants of American slaves, not the descendants of American slaveowners. It may be cliché to say that jazz is the quintessential American music - but it's sort of true. But if Kind of Blue is too downtempo for your barbecue, pretty much all great American music comes from the same (primarily African-American) roots: try a little tenderness with Otis Redding and some soul and R&B, after all, there's nothing more American than Motown and Stax-Volt, right? Except maybe the wild blues shouting of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters or Jimmy Rushing? How about some Chuck Berry, the inventor and most anarchic and energetic exponent of Rock 'n Roll? How about his precursors, Fats Domino and Big Joe Turner?
The original rock star
Or if you prefer to choose music from this century, there's always hip hop, which has conquered the world so quickly it might be easy to forget that it's as American as jazz or Motown. God Bless Jay-Z!
Not Jay-Z.
I guess my point is that Will Smith is an appropriate mascot for the fourth of July since he's basically the Barack Obama of that most American of cultural exports, the big budget Hollywood Blockbuster.
This is what the United States of America looks like. Eat shit, racists.


  1. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Live at Woodstock