The Fourth and the Eighth

Ah, delight on a hot Fourth of July to know that I can stay indoors and experience my own alterna-celebration. Why? Because every day  should be a celebration of life.

Anyone who really knows me understands my holiday kink. I can’t repeat the greasy, forced, unimaginative, jello-laden holiday tropes of my forebearers. Not that there is anything wrong with ants, sunburn, raunchy potato salad — I love raunchy potato salad — or even, beer. It’s the forced communal emotional soup that sunk me.

I love fireworks too, but hate crowds, crowds on ratty picnic blankets, combined with explosives, cheap thrills and crass patriotism. I’ll be okay.

I don’t mean to rant here, but you may know what I mean. With everyone trying to be civil, trying way too hard to have a good time, needing the beer, sweets, etc. to cope with the no-choice groupings, it can be trying.

Wow. What does that say about my clan? Let’s not go there today. Chalk it up to too many ill-fitting energies stuffed in one familial can.

I think I found that combination of things very unsettling as a child. I am hypersensitive to dullard insincerity and hypocrisy. The recipe is off.Take one family, allow no wiggle room for individual points of view, subtract curiosity and imagination, add food and let the fun begin. It’s inorganic.

Gatherings should grow out of shared values and real interest in exchanging ideas but, good god, one should not get carried away with any group concept that hinges on forced engagement even in the name of shared ideas, values goals, or there you go trotting down the road to dogma.

Do what you do, do your own work  and then come together to relax, because you enjoy the company.

If you have a family, of any kind, in which everyone takes joy in the presence of all the others consider yourself lucky and wealthy and blessed.

I’m hanging out with Frank N. Miller, the best partner ever, and together we will work, snack, and probably watch too much of HBO’s sumptuously produced The Tudors.

Last night we watched a bit of The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth. The 70s PBS mini-series looks so pitifully bland and empty compared to The Tudors. It seemed a shabby recitation of the facts, from the historical documents. Once you’re hooked on HDTV you can’t go backwards.

I learned there will be a new Six Wives of Henry the Eighth on PBS. I haven’t yet found a listing for it on KIXE. It is scheduled to air on some stations on July 16 and 23.


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