Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Few Words about the Fourth of July

Last night was probably the second loudest ever in the history of Belltown. Some dumbass was lighting off strings of 100 firecrackers across the street. You'd think that once would have been enough, but no. This went on every five minutes for half an hour. It sounded like the world's briefest and most intense gun battle. Meanwhile, various others (I don't want to believe that these dopes could be my neighbors) lit off individual firecrackers until somebody told them to knock it off. As loud as it was, it doesn't compare with the year when the rival neighbor crack dealers were lobbing M-80s at each other for over an hour. Most of the action took place directly under my window. That was not cool. By the end of the hour, so many people were yelling at them from various windows that they went down the street and continued their contest. God knows where the cops were during this whole thing.

This year, I'm not seeing/hearing a lot of bottle rockets and frankly I miss them. They're not nearly as loud as firecrackers and half of them turn out to be duds. Speaking of rockets and such, there's not going to be an Elliott Bay fireworks display this year. Although it was announced in April, I just found out this week. I told you that I was slow on the uptake! This is par for the course.

For years and years, I got in on the Lake Union scene. My aunt and uncle lived on a sailboat in Lake Union and always had a day-long party leading up to the show. Since that very last time two years ago, my uncle has passed away and my aunt has moved away to Hood Canal. That display was the more artistic of the two. I know that seems a weird term to describe fireworks, but it's apt. During the course of all those explosions, you'd see hearts and smiley faces and ringed planets and various other stuff. And it wasn't just me; other people saw them too! In contrast, the "4th of Jul-Ivar's" presentation on Elliott Bay was all brute force. Sure, it was colorful, but the only aesthetic involved was to shoot as many fireworks as possible into the sky over the course of 20 minutes. It was also super-loud. I took it in last year from Myrtle Edwards Park and I tell you, it was a good night for brute force. I didn't feel like I was missing anything from not seeing Lake Union. All told, it was a terrific display.

This year, Lake Union is the only game in town. Instead of spending its money on sky-candy, Ivar's is funneling it to food banks. That's all well and good, but can I please mourn a Seattle tradition? This crummy town is big enough for two major displays! I want two fireworks shows! If we don't have another one by next year, Portland will laugh at us. Do we want that? Absolutely not! They need to be occasionally reminded that Seattle is a superior city except when it comes to public transportation and basketball. I welcome any profitable corporation to smear its tacky logo all over next year's Elliott Bay festivities. Any company will do: Alpo, Walmart, Union Carbide, Summer's Eve Disposable Douches, any agglomeration of Internet porn sites, Kill the Children Inc., Seal Clubbers International or NAMBLA. I want Elliott Bay back! I have spoken. I am Igor.

This is from my "18 Seconds of Not Much" cellphone film series. It gives you a little idea of what the Ivar's display was all about. Little did I know that it would be the last one. Enjoy!

Oh, and Happy 4th.

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