Sound and fury




The Fourth of July is a quintessentially American holiday, composed of over-the-top visuals, deafening noise, national self-aggrandizement and victimization of vulnerables, especially dogs, thousands of which will run away, cower in terror, or simply wet themselves.

I may well do the same, as each year, I find myself more averse to these cacophonous, polluting celebrations of the Glory of Us, which also terrorize wildlife, re-traumatize combat veterans, start fires and land thousands of people in emergency rooms.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, 7,600 of 11,000 fireworks-related injuries in 2016 were treated in hospital emergency departments between June 18 and July 18. Four people died, a noticeable decline from the year before, when 11 Americans perished from fireworks accidents.

To which I can only say: People, we have to do better. If we’re going to put other species through this awful holiday, surely we can at the same time kill off more of ourselves, as keener wits than mine have observed.twain

“Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together,” wrote Mark Twain. “This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.”

Since Twain’s time,   fatalities associated with New Year’s Eve fireworks have obviated the need for a second Independence Day. But I’m still blue that a nation with our putative intelligence isn’t enlightened enough to celebrate itself in a way that respects the sensibilities of the vulnerable among and around us. Why not day-time festivals featuring homespun American music and food?  Why not night- time laser or light shows to provide awe, without the shock?

The white and the red in my commemoration this year will be chardonnay and a delicate strawberry from my garden patch, imbibed in my basement, where my animals and I – like thousands of other Americans, many likewise tranquilized – will be waiting out the patriotic pyrotechnics.  Which this year – the first Independence Day in the Trump era —  seem especially a tale told by an idiot: Full of sound and fury,  signifying nothing.




  1. The local idiots started days ago, but of course the intensity has grown each night. Our poor dogs are hunkered down in their safe places in our bedroom, and they’re ok, but I pity the pets that are left outside in this lunacy. Sigh.


    1. Hang in there, Bob. It’ll be over soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least the idjuts have been waiting until after dark. Of course fireworks are illegal within the city limits…


        1. That helps …. some. But there always seem to be a few folks who ignore the law.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yep. Unfortunately we have many folks ignoring the law. Grr.


  2. Oh-h-h-h-h, ah-h-h-h-h…. nice strawberry. Twain on!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You summed up my feelings about this holiday nicely. My sweet therapy dog is so terrified of the noise, she requires therapy herself. We will be hiding in the basement as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be thinking of you, you dog and the many other human-animal families in seclusion that night. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  4. Oh thank you for saying what I have been thinking. At lunch the other day we were telling our recent co-workers who moved here from SF about the 4th of July war zone when it becomes dark. Even being illegal here in Seattle means nothing. The volume of gun powder set afire is astounding and troubling.

    Don’t mean to be a wet blanket but like you said there are so many who hate this. Dogs, veterans, folks injured by them, my cats, wildlife, birds, my crows and what about the mess that is left. A lot of it ends up in Puget Sound and even impacts fish and mammals that live there.

    Thanx again for letting me get this off my chest too. Nothing like a good rant in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think many folks feel this way. And you make an exceptionally good point about Puget Sound,which would extend to other vulnerable water ways. Thanks!


  5. This, of course, doesn’t take into account the lethal ingredients to many other deaths – alcohol and the carnivorous savaging of more red and unidentified meats in the form of burgers and dogs. Slower deaths to be sure, but death none the less.
    We stay home, because in addition to all the racket, drunk driving, and gluttony, I like to avoid the menacing hordes whenever possible. Plus, I’m a jerk and hate holidays in general.

    Liked by 2 people

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