My Review of a July 4th Pyrotechnics Display

 

Normally I would not attend July 4th fireworks shows because they [1] glorify war and the decibel levels [2] trigger the nightmarish flashbacks of war veterans suffering from PTSD, [3] negatively impact all who must endure autism, [4] freak out house pets and [5] spook the crap out of living in the wild creatures… great and small.

Beyond that are the air quality issues caused by [1] the traffic jams (both before and after) and [2] the nasty chemical composition of the fireworks themselves. On this particular night there was so much smog that it actually “seeded” the clouds and caused brief rain showers.

Additionally, the bumper to bumper, snail’s paced traffic also made life difficult for one team of ambulance paramedics. One can only hope their patient made it to the hospital before it was too late.

So why did I even bother attending my hometown’s 15 minute long festivities? Because I could not avoid them… the pyrotechnics people had practically set up shop in my own home’s backyard (in actuality… at my stone’s throw away, once-upon-a-time high school’s football field).

All fhe while I was typing this (about an hour ago) the low engine rumble and honking horns were further disturbing the peace as their owners continued filing out and heading for home.

Oh, btw… the visual aspect of the fireworks was stunningly beautiful.

One has to wonder if such an assessment… a mere footnote… makes any of this worthwhile.

About the only way this would become a rewarding, enriching experience is if it heightened genuine patriotism and inspired parent / children teaching moments re the importance of empowering wise presidents who… when settling international conflicts… will always rank warfare dead last.

 

 

 

It Sounded Like a Battlefield!

 

It all began a few eves ago around sundown. As the glow along the hazy, northwesterly horizon dimmed and the deep purple hues of twilight gave way to the inky darkness, folks from near and far, came roaring into my lifelong hometown. With them came the pervasive, sickly stench of vehicular exhaust… sufficiently pungent to make the already unpleasant, sweltering, muggy conditions even more so.

Once their countless vehicles were all neatly parallel parked up and down the labyrinth of my subdivision’s asphalt streets, the drivers and passengers began emerging and slamming car doors shut. With a sense of urgency, they began marching forth to converge upon… to noisily congregate at… what was about to become ground zero.

My residing in the direct path of the expected onslaught, I needed to figure out my next move, expeditiously. Either staying far from the madding crowd or?

Well… after a moment of deliberation, I surrendered to the inevitable. I’d make my stand on my side of the chainlink fence, which cordoned off my backyard… which separated me from my countless compatriots standing on the opposite side.

The final moments leading up to the expected Zero Hour just kept on ticking down… rapidly.

Then… all the sudden… the barrage began! Even though I had been through a similar siege back in the fall of ‘16, nonetheless, this startled me, anew. Then came the launch of the subsequent missiles and projectiles… numbering in the hundreds… their smoky, streaky, chemical contrails scarring the starlit skies… contaminating the sweet air. This could not possibly be harmless to any of our Creator’s creatures. As for the accompanying, relentless, thunderous explosions and whizzing, whistling din… well… long sigh…

For the vast majority of us, taking all of this in stride was doable. BUT, could the same be said for the sensitive souls, who experience life from differing perspectives? They’d likely be hunkering down within their nearby homes, YET, still be within earshot. Folks such as…

America’s valiant war veterans haunted by horrifying flashbacks… the disturbing sights, smells and sounds associated with their tours of duty upon the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Civilians trying their very best to cope with autism would not be exempt, either. Ditto goes for the crying children and infants too young and frightened to ever fully comprehend.

Even household felines and canines as well as other domesticated and feral creatures could wind up getting spooked.

OK folks, full disclosure time. All the news isn’t bad, after all. You see, nobody had actually declared war and attacked my hometown. What you’ve just been reading is my account of a 4th of July fireworks show.

So, does my fact based, fictional treatment of this topic make me out to be a grumpy old man who sucks the joy of life out of everything? Is it unpatriotic for me to “malign” a “harmless” fireworks show?

BUT, what about how the BOOM BOOM BOOM of fireworks needlessly terrifies some folks? Wouldn’t you say that sucks the joy out of their lives? There’s nothing harmless about that! If fireworks explosions upset even one person in any way, that would be one person too many! And what if that one person turned out to be a war veteran?

I mean… is it not bad enough for any nation to deploy selfless soldiers into war zones? Must we also force war survivors (now suffering from PTSD), to relive the hell of war just so some selfish civilians, who romanticize war, can experience the “ooh and ahh” of a fireworks display?

And btw… there weren’t all that many fireworks attendees who did go, “ooh and ahh”… in fact I actually witnessed some of them leaving that 20 minute show long before it ended.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. About all that’s left is the epilogue to my story… and believe me… once the nasty dust of the fireworks settled… things did not go smoothly.

It took a couple of hours for the local cops to clear the massive traffic jam. And included in their traffic management was the need to report to the scene of a nearby head-on collision, which resulted in the head injury of one of the victims.

Indeed, the wailing ambulance siren added a few more decibels to the sounds of idling and idled SUVs. And it’s tough to go “nose-blind” when the pervasive, sickly stench of vehicular exhaust is sufficiently pungent to make the already unpleasant, sweltering, muggy conditions even more so.

I would hope that people would concur with my conclusion… namely… that fireworks displays have little to offer. They glorify war, give folks a shallow sense of patriotism, pollute our environment and… last but not least… needlessly disturb the peace of mind of war veterans, autistic folks, youngsters / infants, house pets and wildlife.

 

 

OOOOOOH!!! AHHHHHH!!! WHEEEEEE!!! WE’RE FREEEEEE!!!

 

Michigan has a bumper crop of legislator bums (“bums” in the British connotation). They’re akin to self-centered children trapped in adults’ bodies. In their younger days it’s easy to envision them throwing epic temper tantrums if/when mommy and daddy ever tried to rein them in. A few examples…

INCIDENT A: Their legislation has relaxed the rules that once required all motorcyclists to wear helmets.

These kiddies exclaim, “WE’RE FREEEEEE!”

All sober grown-ups counter, “Oh really?”

Their (f)law* has resulted in a dramatic upsurge in traumatic brain injuries and death.

INCIDENT B: They’ve raised the speed limit on many highways/freeways to 75 mph, which likely means that, eventually, if not already, lead-footed drivers will be edging their speedometers upwards into the 90 – 100+ mph zone.

These kiddies squeal with glee, “WHEEEEEE!!!”

All sober grown-ups counter, “Oh really?”

Tragically, it’d fall on these (f)lawmakers’ deaf ears if anyone were to…

  1. mention how Michigan’s crumbling roadways are riddled with potholes and craters… are simply in no condition to safely accommodate faster traffic… which renders these ill-conceived speed limit hikes downright deadly.
  2. point out how even the most fuel efficient cars guzzle gasoline faster at higher mph, which only wastes energy and adds more pollutants to our air, soil and water.
  3. mention how “driverless” cars are a huge problem, too… driverless because humans, behind the wheel, are balancing drive thru cups of scalding coffee and stuffing egg McMuffins into their pie holes… all this while texting and viewing God-only-knows-what on their “devices”.

Folks, an increase in incidents of car caused carnage is inevitable.

Oh, btw, I’ve already done the math and this mph increase, at best, will “save” drivers (who, e.g., are commuting 50 miles to their workplaces) around 15 minutes! That’s a hollow victory hardly worth anyone giddily jumping up and down in celebration.

Now, speaking of celebration…

INCIDENT C: Michigan’s immature legislators have also enacted an insane fireworks law, which grants full access to roman candles, bottle and missile-type rockets, etc, to every 18+-year-old yahoo who ever existed. America’s 10 federal holidays (plus the day before and after each of them) is when these alleged grown-ups can legally detonate these devices. Per annum, that adds up to 30 days total!

These wideeyed, slack jawed kiddies let out their, “OOOOOOH!!! AHHHHHH!!!”

All sober grown-ups (literally) counter, “YAWWWNNNN.”

Folks, these legislators have actually included Christmas. Yep… nothing says “Happy Birthday Jesus” more like blasting off fireworks???? Good God!

Indeed, we’re talking about one full, freakin’ months’ worth of worthless, warzone decibel disturbances, which further debilitates our nation of already sleep deprived citizens, freaks out household pets and does far worse things than any of that!

These loud explosions upset war veterans and war heroes, who are battling PTSD and folks, who are suffering from autism.

Look, I’m not a total anti-fireworks freak. All I’m saying is that firing them off should be limited to America’s Independence Day and, perhaps, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. That would be an entirely reasonable compromise… well unless you’re a childish legislator who is also getting under the table, dirty money from the Fireworks manufactures.

I do suppose there’s one upside to all the above situations… when legislators are prioritizing their lawmaking in this manner… that limits the time they’ll have to do even more serious damage to Michigan.

It’s high time we vote out these bums (again, “bums” in the British connotation)!

 

*flaw + law = (f)law