Independence Day?

| Sunday, July 4, 2010
It's a strange thing, which as far as I've seen, is uniquely American. We don't say Independence Day very often, instead preferring Fourth of July. This of course leads to endless tricks such as asking if they have a fourth of July in France and people say no. Why do we call it that?

Mostly simply, it's easier to say, with fewer syllables overall and shorter words. And it uses the common date format, as opposed to using an unusually long and infrequently used word like independence.

I also think we just don't think so much about independence. It's more of a fireworks and barbecue day mixed with parades and hyper-patriotism. America, fuck yea! Also it's a fireworks day. We like fireworks and set off a lot, even where they're illegal without a permit.

Besides turning into an excuse to make noise, I think it's also because of the British and our relationship with them. For many countries which fought for independence, it was more recent, and they didn't come out of it very well. There's a lot of animosity, and understandably so. While we certainly had our grievances and our decently long war, and then our capital getting burned down during the war of 1812, at present times we're pretty good friends as far as nations go. We've had over two and a quarter centuries to break the habit of saying "fuck you!" to each other. Those places which broke away in the 1900s haven't had that time.

It helps that until the declaration we were English citizens, both by right and by blood, as opposed to many other colonies which were essentially occupied territories. We fought for independence while others fought for liberation. This might have turned out differently if we hadn't by one means or another killed off millions of native Americans. If they had been fighting for independence, we'd see a much different set of relations.

Which brings me to Canada. What's their deal? I mean, are they their own country, are they a British colony? Don't they still bow to the Queen? It's all very strange to me. But they seem to do pretty well, so I'm in no position to criticize. In fact, Canada is the only country which has been invaded by us and not gotten pounded flat. True story. We tried at least twice and lost both times. I'm not claiming we won every time we invaded or occupied or whatever you want to call it, but we did at least bomb them senseless. See Vietnam. We did an excellent job ruining everything. We lost, but at least they didn't get to enjoy it. Not Canada though. That northern neighbor has resisted everything, and not for lack of trying. How? What is it about Canada that has resisted us for so long? I know we did grab some bits when we were drawing the border out west, but that was more a matter of us shouting louder during negotiations. It's not like Mexico that lost half its land to a few rowdy Texans. How Canada, how do you do it!?

Happy Fourth of July to everyone, even if this isn't the day that you took on and defeated the most powerful empire of the day, though we did have the help of the French, who are totally underrated militarily.


Protflashes said...

Happy fourth of July! :)

To answer your question about the Queen, Canada is a parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy - technically. So TECHNICALY the Queen is our Head of State.

In practice, the Queen (more specifically her governor General here in Canada) is "advised" by our democratically elected Prime minister and his cabinet and basically just goes along with whatever we want. It's a largely symbolic relationship. It will actually be interesting to see what happens to our connection to the monarchy when Elizabeth dies. She's very popular here (she's everyone's grandma...she's actually visiting us right now and the papers can't get enough of her), but generally speaking no one cares about the rest of her family.

As for Canada's secret...a huge chunk of our land is forests. There's got to be more than a few resto druids in there. No way you could damage us through all those HoTs. ^^

Gauss said...

Happy 4th of July as I am not American I am a very Proud Canadian. Protflashes speaks the truth about the Consitutional Monarchy, which is quite different than your Republic. Your Head of State and head of government are the same person, ours are different but one basically has no real power.

I always get the kick of the War of 1812 and the burning of the "Pink House". Canada may not have the largest military, but when shit hits the fan we are there and make our stand.

We Fly Spitfires said...

What Protflashes said :)

Canada is part of the Commonwealth of Nations (previously called the British Commonwealth) which is basically a way for everyone to kinda have a connection with the UK but not really have anything to do with them :) Australia is obviously a classic example of, essentially, a British country with it's own government and horrible accent.

There's really no benefit except I think we don't pay import duty on stuff being sent from Commonwealth countries. Go go postal service!

Eus said...

Happy Independence Day from Kentucky!!!

Personally, I have no issues with Canadians....except for those flappy heads and their beady lil eyes...

I'm just kidding, couldn't resist. Again, much love Canada, no problems LOL.

Again, Happy Fourth!

Klepsacovic said...

After all the Canada talk, I thought Eus was saying that Canada is happy to be independent from Kentucky.

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