The entry title is not quite a 1990s Print Shop banner hung by a resentful Dwight Schrute, but for now it’ll do because I’m not interested in checking on the internet’s mood swings today to see whether or not it’s cool to openly celebrate the Fourth of July. I’ve managed to avoid Twitter doomscrolling for a full 24 hours and plan to continue that streak until at least Sunday because, all things considered, right now I imagine the last three months’ worth of discussions have devolved into repetitive anti-holiday vitriol that’s about as fun an atmosphere as wading into a chatroom of bitter single straight dudes on Valentine’s Day.
As with most holidays besides Arbor Day, this one holds a plethora of different meanings to a lot of people, some at odds with one another. I’m generally okay with the occasion in and of itself, but sometimes I’m not very good at handing out basic holiday interjection greetings. Even simple sentiments such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday!” sometimes take me more conscious effort than they should or any rational human being. Hence why MCC doesn’t commemorate each and every holiday. This year, in this moment, and in this contentious and wearying climate, I’m tired of letting introversion curtail my communication skills, planting my feet and taking a hard, brave, revolutionary stance. And that stance is: “Independence Day is a thing.”
In searching our files for the right accompanying image, or a vaguely relevant image, or the first thing that reminded me of the value and/or consequences of unlimited free expression, I ran across our lead photo among our memories from the 2010 Indiana State Fair, which haven’t been posted yet on MCC. This righteously American scarecrow was among the guardians stationed at the Agricultural & Horticultural Building among the competing 4-H foods and the entrants in their annual giant-vegetable contests. This scarecrow clearly believed in its mission to defend its assigned property and products from hordes of squawking, freeloading crows.
For those who’d prefer a more dignified take on patriotism — iconic, not ironic — please enjoy this outtake from our 2010 road trip, which included a visit to the Statue of Liberty from the New Jersey side. Again, I haven’t checked online this morning, but I’m taking it on faith that it’s still standing.
Happy Fourth of July!