Ah, the 4th of July.
The one day a year that you can use that random “fireworks” scene setting on your digital camera.
I was struck by how many tiny screens seemed to be glowing on the field in front of me: people’s iphones, cameras, etc. I kept mine in my lap, occasionally pressing the shutter button but refusing to look at the lcd screen or the viewfinder. Instead, I snuggled up to my date for the evening and enjoyed what may be the last ever McIntire Park fireworks.
Looking over those pictures now, it’s fascinating to see what a different image the camera was able to capture. It seems I took pictures of some strange sculptures of light; sci-fi landscapes, or neon light figurines.
On another note, the aforementioned date told me that the 4th of July is one of the two busiest nights for the ER because of injuries and deaths from fireworks. Apparently, several people die every year from fireworks, and a lot more people blow off a limb or something.
My [somewhat morbid] first response was, “hm, death by fireworks would make a great ending for a short story.” My second response was, “why the fuck is this the way that we celebrate the United States?” When a bunch of teenagers get drunk and blow off an arm, are they casualties of our patriotic celebration? Should they get some kind of award?
I found this somewhat less-than-professional website that nonetheless brought up a good point:“Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms kill around 450,000 people each year and fireworks kill around 10 people each year. Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are legal in every state. Fireworks are not.”
Happy birthday, young country. I hope these growing pains are worth it.