Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ah independence day!

clearly i did not take this picture, but it's still pretty awesome.

what a funny name for America's birthday.  (it is america's bday isn't it?) funny, because "birthday" implies being born, a baby. does this mean america is a cancer baby, like me? hmmm... well, July 4th is very cancer-ish. all that creative energy and over-dramatic emotionalism. "independence" makes me think of much more grown up things. 

when did i become independent? have i? i guess i have. i haven't really celebrated my own birthday in several years and am at that nebulous age where you remember yourself much younger than you actually are. though perhaps this is enhanced by my "bohemian lifestyle"--ie my "i'm-a-poor-actor-without-a-pension"--compared to the relatively stable life of my peers. when you willfully disregard the responsibilities of being an independent adult, it is easy to forget that you are supposed to be one.

instead, i marked the 4th by playing in paint then watching Macy's spectacular light show over the hudson. i parked my behind on pier i, along with quite a few other people. we had a prime spot, as the pier stretches far out into the river, letting us look almost directly at the fireworks. this is one of my favorite spots in the city. the wind whips around you with an invigorating push or an inviting twilight caress.  you can usually find me there at least once or twice a week.

on this particular festive day, someone had brought out an old boombox --god, those still exist??- and was blaring out a radio station of old-timey "patriot" songs. and we're not talking rerecorded country hits, but honest to goodness full choir orchestra renditions, fit for cathedrals.

in the right (or wrong, depending on your view) context, these songs make an eerily dark soundtrack to the bloody history of fundamentalist patriotism.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: 
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightnings of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps:
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah,...
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."

Glory, glory, hallelujah ...
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat:
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant my feet!
Our God is marching on!
 Glory, glory, hallelujah, ...

Our God is marching on!
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah,...
While God is marching on.

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