Tag Archives: independence day

Fourth of July

The fourth day of the seventh month of the year is just another day for most of the world. For Americans, the fourth day of July is Independence Day, the annual birthday of freedom. And we celebrate with hot dogs, beer, and fireworks. For most Americans, it’s just an excuse to barbeque and hang out in backyards. The best way to celebrate America’s birthday is to blow things up. Every Fourth of July, thousands of cities across the nation try to destroy the sky with an aerial bombardment of bright colors and misshapen smiley faces.

The Fourth of July is a holiday because Americans are stupid. Before the Declaration of Independence there was this thing called the resolution of independence or the Lee Resolution. On June 7, 1776, a Virginian named Richard Lee proposed that colonies should break away from the English. On June 11, 1776, A Committee of Five (Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) got together to prepare a document detailing why they wanted independence. Only July 2, 1776 we officially declared our independence. On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence. August 2, 1776 is when most people signed the document and the last guy signed it on November 4, 1776.

That’s kind of a watered down version of what happened, but of all those dates, July 4th seems the least likely option to become our Independence Day. John Adams thought that July 2nd would be the day we celebrated our freedom. All he did was help write the Declaration and become our first president after George Washington… what the fuck does he know about American patriotism?

john adams presidential dollar coin

So the Fourth of July is not when we declared our independence, it’s when we finished writing a note to Mom and Dad a letter saying that we were moving out. But then we didn’t sign it until a month later. Most of the world ignores the Fourth of July, and maybe we should too. Because July 2nd seems like a much more logical choice. So does August 2nd. So does June 7th or 11th. Whatever.

The spirit of this holiday is perhaps best captured by Bill Pullman in his greatest performance yet.

The Fourth of July is our Independence Day. I just don’t know why. But I’m a sheep and will go along with it like everyone else. Happy Birthday, America! Now where’s the booze?

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Independence Day (film, not the day)

Before Roland Emmerich went crazy and started spewing out ridiculous disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, he made an awesome disaster movie called Independence Day. This was one of the best summer movies of the ‘90s. It had it all: a sweet cast, amazing special effects, and good action scenes. Plus Vivica A. Fox plays a stripper.

The movie stars out with a bang. It starts on the moon and a giant shadow creeps across its surface, steadily heading for Earth. Before long, giant spaceships are hovering over 36 major cities across the world. As we learn about the threat, we are introduced to the main characters. Jeff Goldblum plays David Levinson, a genius who discovers a hidden code that indicates the aliens are going to attack. He goes to Washington, D.C. to warn his ex-wife who works for the President of the United States. Bill Pullman plays the President, a former combat pilot.

Will Smith plays Captain Steve Hiller, a pilot for the Marines. He wants to become an astronaut, and he has a stripper girlfriend named Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox). Randy Quaid plays Russell Casse, he’s a pilot too. Seriously, the whole world gets destroyed, but half the survivors are pilots. If you wanna survive Independence Day, you should start taking flying lessons.

The hidden code that David finds turns out to be valid, and the ships attack simultaneously across the world. Millions of people die, but if you jump into a storage closet in a tunnel, you’ll be fine. That’s how Vivica A. Fox survived. She plays a stripper in the movie by the way.

So the world’s been half destroyed, and we have no idea how to stop them. Will Smith flies around and gets one to crash and then he punches it in the face and welcomes it to Earth. And then he and the alien body get a ride from Russell Casse and his family to Area 51. And the President is there, along with David and all the other people who haven’t died yet. The alien turns out not to be dead, and we find out that they want to take over the world and they want us to die. So we decide to nuke them. And it doesn’t work, and we don’t know what to do. And we seem pretty fucked.

Then David gets an idea. He’ll simply use his Apple laptop to upload a virus to the mother ship to disable all the other ships, while simultaneously the survivors across the world will launch a global attack on the alien ships. Will Smith and David fly to the mother ship, and the President and Russell Casse and all the other survivor pilots take to the skies in a desperate attempt to save mankind.

Not to spoil anything, but we won. We beat the aliens. And David takes up smoking. He probably stops recycling too.

This movie came out when I was ten years old. It was the movie of the summer. It was like my Star Wars. It was an event. And when we went back to school we shunned the ones who didn’t see it.

There are a lot of funny moments and lots of great one-liners. There are also some touching moments, like when the President has to tell his daughter that mama ain’t coming back. Some of the actors do a great job, like Judd Hirsch as Julius, David’s father. Some of the actors do a terrible job, like James Duval as Miguel Casse, Russell’s son. He looks like he went to the Keanu Reeves School of Wooden Acting. I think Bill Pullman’s speech with the bullhorn is one of the best fake president speeches of all time. Oh, and Vivica A. Fox plays a stripper.

Of course there are lots of plot holes (like where’s the Secret Service?) and poorly written characters, but the movie is exciting and fun and entertaining. I like being entertained, it’s fun. I think it’s weird how everyone laughs at Russell whenever he mentions being abducted by aliens ten years earlier. They know that aliens exist now. They should be apologizing for having doubted him.

Independence Day is a cool movie. It was the first time Will Smith saved the world. He does that every other summer now. This was back when it was still special. Seriously if you haven’t seen this movie you missed the ‘90s and I feel bad for you.

Critically Rated at 15/17

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