Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The Fourth of July celebration is a great American tradition in which patriotic Americans blow their fingers off, set fire to their neighbors’ houses, drink themselves stupid (or stupider), and terrorize their pets. This year’s July Fourth celebration was exceptional, setting several fireworks display milestones.
NASA, a first-time participant, won first place in two categories with a rocket dubbed Discovery, which easily captured blue ribbons for Biggest Rocket and Most Spectacular Rocket Launch.
North Korea, also a first-time participant, took first place in the category Most Impressive Explosion with its Taepodong-2 missile, and won honorable mention for most entries in the Short Range and Medium Range contests, but the smaller rockets otherwise generally failed to impress because so many of them fizzled.
Once again, Fort Vancouver won top honors for Largest Fireworks Display West of the Mississippi, and Sellwood was runner-up in a new category appropriately dubbed Neighborhood that Sounds Most Like a War Zone.
As usual, it was the organized fireworks displays that attracted the largest nighttime crowds. The ultra-short range, sub-miniature multiple-warhead rockets equipped with symmetrical air burst technology were crowd pleasers, never failing to elicit the properly respectful “oohs” and “ahhhs” from reverential attendees – especially during times of rapid deployment.
Unfortunately, the Fourth of July celebration, as we know it, may be about to undergo a radical transformation. Thanks to ineptitude and malfeasance in high places, Americans might soon be forced to abandon their holiday tribute to independence and freedom and, instead, spend their time fighting to defend these things they once took for granted.