Friday, July 04, 2008
Happy 4th of July
Speaking of Jefferson, a friend of mine goes to Monticello every July 4th (if it's not 100 degrees) for the large, annual naturalization ceremony. Having grown up within view of Monticello (& what a sight it is viewed from several miles away), & not as a descendent of Virginia's landed gentry, she understands the contradictions & paradoxes of the place. Put it this way: What the uppity folks on the hill, the Randolphs & Jeffersons & their class denied for several hundred years was always accepted common knowledge to the folks at the bottom of the hill without the DNA proof. So her yearly pilgrimage reminds her we are a nation of slaves & immigrants. For all his flaws & hypocrisies, I think Jefferson would be pleased that his plantation hosts the event. Unfortunately, Bush went down there year, God knows why, & screwed up a local tradition.
I turn on the radio it's the Yankee game, at the Stadium, top of the 7th, Boston leading 6-3 with men on lst & 3rd, one out, clearly a tense moment that John Sterling is trying to call the old-fashioned way with long pauses & crowd noise, commentator Suzy Waldman blabbing on about the Yankee-Sox rivalry of the 70's, you could sense Sterling wanting to say, "For cripessake Suzy, just be quiet until something happens." The batter strikes out & catcher Molina nails the guy trying to steal second, great double play.
The 4th of July is a day when it's foolish to look at the people next to you at the fireworks waving sparklers & little American flags & wonder if they're liberals or conservatives. Some liberals seem to think conservative patriotism is always war-mongering & some conservatives think liberals acting patriotic is posturing. I like the ground-display fireworks of the flag, sparking & waving, the crowd whistling & cheering, & there's a Sousa march blaring through the loudpeakers. Composer Charles Ives loved the hoopla so much he wrote music imitating 4th of July fireworks mixed with band music, which made it very modern music in 1913, although it wasn't performed until 1932 in Paris.
There's something peculiar about Christie Brinkley.