Last night I went to Freedom Fire, the annual Independence Day concert/fireworks show, with Debbie. This was made possible by me double pinky promising that it wouldn't be a date. Some time ago, when she suspected that I was interested in her, she started acting cold and aloof to try and dissuade me. But she was still giving me rides and doing other nice things, so I became very confused as to why she seemed schizophrenic. After we clarified that issue and I promised never to ask her out, she became much warmer and more open and willing to spend time with me. As it turns out, when she "just wants to be friends", she doesn't really mean "I'm going to ghost you out of my life altogether and refuse to spare you two minutes unless it's an emergency". How unusual.
When she texted me the day of it, first off I immediately knew it was her because nobody else texts me, and second off I naturally assumed she was canceling on me, but she was just asking if I cared if her neighbor happened to come along. Again, I didn't want that because the dynamic of a trio where two people know one person but not each other always results in me becoming invisible, but since it wasn't a date I didn't feel in any position to be too insistent about that, so I just dodged the question and asked if I would become a third wheel and she laughed and said they aren't dating but we could just go alone anyway. That was just fine with me so I left it at that and didn't respond. I don't feel bad for him because this event has been publicized for months, so it's not like he needed us to invite him anyway.
When she texted me again an hour and forty-five minutes before we were supposed to meet, I thought for sure she was canceling this time, but she was just asking if I wanted to come over for dinner first. That was surprising, but I realized that because I promised not to pursue her, I'm like a dog that has earned the privilege of playing in the yard without a leash because I can be trusted not to run across the street. She just refers to toasted cheese sandwiches as cheese sandwiches and still puts mayonnaise on them, but she pronounces it “mannaise”. Then when we got there she insisted on buying me concessions as reimbursement for her ticket. She loves doing nice things for people but selfishly wants to deny them that same pleasure, and tries to prevent them from doing nice things for her. At my birthday party, the other guys had to block her out of the kitchen so they could wash her dishes. And this time around we were supposed to share the Kettle Corn - the wonderful, wonderful Kettle Corn - but she only ate one handful.
The event itself was very nice as well. The Journey Tribute Band sounded spot-on. When Ryan Innes sang, he was the blackest white guy I'd ever heard, and I said as much, and Debbie said she would put it on her quote wall. Finally. And the fireworks were good and the laser show was good and the patriotic farmer accolades were good, but I'm sure no one is interested in a point-by-point recap and I'm not interested in writing one either.
The Mormon Section
The Music Section
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man said "son if it was up to me"
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said "son, don't you understand"
I had a brother at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go
News flash: "Pink Houses" by John Mellencamp is not a patriotic song either. But by all means, play them both every 4th of July and make a fool of yourself, see if I care. Make no mistake, I'm not saying they're bad songs, because I don't actually worship this country or consider it to be above criticism. Among other things, it was founded on the freedom to criticize it, and the use of that freedom is sometimes merited. I've always hated the part of "America the Beautiful" that says "Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!" Is it suggesting that no one in the cities ever cries? Of course that would be absurd. But the only other interpretation I can think of is that there are human tears but the cities just don't give a crap. Because America is the greatest country in the world, so who cares about the suffering that goes on in it.
Anyway, the independence of the United States from Great Britain is sort of parallel to the independence of the Star Wars galaxy from the Empire. Not really, because the British weren't nearly that bad, but the antagonists had similar accents and both conflicts ended in celebrations with fireworks. The original Ewok celebration song from "Return of the Jedi", known as "Yub Nub", was replaced in the Special Edition by a more New Age-y sounding one that I prefer, but it has a charm of its own. A disco version was created by Meco Monardo, who sadly has faded into obscurity even though his disco version of the Star Wars theme and cantina band reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1977. There was an actual fan-made video to this song that I intended to share, but it has disappeared, so you just get the album art. That disappoints me greatly.