Debate: Should We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

By Glenn & Jake 

The Fourth of July marks the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the release of the huge blockbuster film Independence Day. This day is often celebrated by attending a barbecue, lighting off fireworks and dying in a drunk driving accident. All three of those things are as American as apple pie, but none taste quite as delicious. While getting drunk and lighting off fireworks is an American tradition, we will end up spending a great deal of the fifth of July cleaning firework debris off of our lawns, and during this we will silently ask ourselves," Should we celebrate the Fourth of July?"

Glenn: The answer is a resounding "no." There is nothing wrong, inherently, with recognizing the fact that America's independence was the first step towards a 500 year project that will end with the destruction of the Earth. I am proud to be a citizen of a country that can graciously lose its World Cup game to Ghana and at the same time produce the kind of violent, ignorant rhetoric of the Tea Party movement. I draw the line at the way we celebrate the Fourth of July though. Just look at some of the recent tweets about this holiday.

  • "Niggas kill me. They party and bullshit the rest of the year then become online activists on the 4th of July & Thanksgiving. Kindly, stfu.
  • Freedom is the oxygen of the soul! Happy 4th of July!
  • Breakfast...Then Church...Then the festivitiesssss!! Happy 4th of July everyone!! :)

    Is this the best we can do as a country? Sadly, it is. The Fourth of July should be celebrated no more than my birthday or the anniversary of Amelia Earhart's disappearance. Blowing up Chinese-made fireworks is a stupid way to celebrate America's eventual declaration of DEPENDENCE on them.

    Jake: Glenn, I am sick of your anti-Americanism. America is the greatest country in the world, after China, of course. Our independence from the dastardly Brits and their tea is to be celebrated, much like Cinco de Mayo or Boxing Day. We will all get drunk, eat more ribs than common sense would allow and blow some shit up. Blowing shit up is what this country is all about, just look at Afghanistan. While Glenn thinks he can prove things with a few tweets from some random idiots, I can prove my point with some tweets that I just made up:

  • America is great, I'm glad we celebrate the Fourth of July responsibly.
  • Glenn is wrong, America is great!
  • Luv u America, Luv U!!!!!!

    See, even twitter thinks Glenn is wrong and they have not even read this article yet, in fact, nobody has. God bless America!

    Glenn: Jingoism, patriotism, fascism, absenteeism and other words of that nature describe how Jake and the "other side" view this holiday. I will grant you that China is the greatest country in the world and even further grant you three wishes, as long as all of them involve the abolition of the Fourth of July holiday. The only wish I have ever had, besides to be "Big," is an America where we do not celebrate this wretched holiday. I just saw a story on Fox News about how a man blew off his arm from holding a firework too long. How many more amputees have to be created before we as a collective say "no" to this insanity? I don't want my life to be like Born on the Fourth of July anymore than it already is. I think the best way to celebrate America's military prowess and veterans is to ratify the Kellogg-Briand Pact and outlaw war!

    Jake: Fourth of July is the greatest holiday after Christmas, Halloween, Kwanza, Ramadan, Flag Day, Presidents Day, Dick Van Dyke's birthday and the day commemorating the release of Gremlins 2: The New Batch. To do away with one of the top 20 American holidays would be a crime against the American people the likes of which we haven't seen since George W. Bush's presidency ended. Everybody loves fireworks. They explode and paint the sky like a drunken whore. Ever since man looked to the sky, he has imagined blowing it up and the Fourth of July is the closest we will ever get. I don't understand Glenn's take on this subject. Why would somebody want to get rid of a day that everybody loves so much. My theory is that Glenn is a Grinchian character and we are the inhabitants of Whoville.

    Glenn: I have what some would say is an irrational bias against holidays. I haven't celebrated Christmas, Easter or the release of Gremlins 2 in almost a decade. This is a personal choice I have made, colored by my sociological ideas and reluctance to buy presents. Blowing up things is not a sufficient reason for me to rearrange my life. I don't celebrate the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19th every year either, even though maybe as a nation we should. We'd certainly be better prepared for whatever new version of Oklahoma City happens during Obama's presidency. What else does it mean to celebrate the Fourth of July? Having a barbecue? Wearing flag shirts from Old Navy? These things are not immoral but they are not worth "celebrating." The last time I bought a hoodie from Old Navy the country didn't shut down in honor of the amazing deal I got. So my point is compound - that the Fourth of July is not worth celebrating and the things that people to do "celebrate" it are irrelevant to the declaration of independence we made from China 234 years ago.

    Jake: The Fourth of July is about our freedom. This is the freedom that allows you to walk into an Old Navy and purchase as many items sewn by children as possible. It is this freedom that allows us, as a country, to watch scat porn on the internet. This freedom is worth celebrating, whether it is by shooting off bottle rockets, eating processed pig anus, reading from the Koran or simply baking a cake in the shape of the contiguous United States. No matter how you choose to celebrate this Fourth of July, you have my blessing.

    1. I like this! I like when Glenn admits he doesn't celebrate holidays because he doesn't want to buy presents.

    2. I don't know why anyone's not commenting on this. It's funny! It convinced me to celebrate the 4th even more every year. Thanks guys!

    3. "This day is often celebrated by attending a barbecue, lighting off fireworks and dying in a drunk driving accident."

      No one commented because they were busy being dead from drunk driving accidents! But this was a very nice holiday treat.

    4. i liked this too. some of my family members even read it!

    5. i haven't celebrated the 4th of july since 2007 and my quality of life gets better and better each year. jake gives a convincing argument, but i don't think i'll ever go back.

    6. Not celebrating the 4th of July is like getting clean off of pills. Once you do it, you realize that you can never go back, even though your life used to be a lot more fun.

    7. one year later I still hate july 4th! but I saw 2 fireworks celebrations and got 3 DUIs

    8. Although I apparently commented on this in a drunken stupor, I did enjoy this debate and must say you both make excellent arguements. I will continue to "blow up the sky" on the 4th of July but will also self-hate in response. Maybe I'll beat myself with leather straps and razor shards. Either way it's going to be CRAZY!