I thought I’d go to the races (big surprise, huh?) and I wonder what everybody is up to for the 4th. In South Pasadena, there’s a dinky parade, hula hoop contests at the park with wall-to-wall geniality and a huge fireworks show at the high school. The kind of thing that makes me want to shoot myself. Give me a passel of low-lifes and degenerate gamblers any old day.
The husband of a close friend of mine always talked about going to some small town for its celebration. His wife insisted that where he lives is that small town. No, no. It’d be more authentic somewhere else. So a few years ago they went. The drive was onerous, the motel expensive, the food over-cooked. The parade consisted of leering politicians and sun-dazed Brownies with merit badges for Respiration. Just like in South Pasadena.
There’s a terrific essay by Walker Percy about the Authentic. And it’s a hard commodity to come by these days. A better faux is often the best one can do.
P.S. By the way, if you want to read a poem of mine about beginning-as-a-writer, it’s at a site called Creative Instigation. Google it and scroll down a bit.
Be safe this weekend, my friends.