“Remember the last new firework you saw? I’ll save you some time — you’ve never seen a new firework. Same show every year, and every year you all act impressed.”
I fucking hate fireworks.
I don’t hate them because of the environmental cost or how they scare animals and people with PTSD or how they celebrate things that don’t always deserved to be celebrated.
I hate them because they’re completely overrated. I hate them because they’re dumb and pointless and redundant. Most of all, though, I hate them because of everything that is involved in experiencing the supposed magic of colorful explosions.
My wife, of course, loves them. Every woman I’ve ever met loves fireworks. If you’re a woman and you hate fireworks, I’ll vote for you for president. That can be your entire platform. I’m in.
She treats July 4th like it’s D-Day. Every year, there’s a tactical battleplan for how we’re going to walk to the high school and get a good spot so we can watch them. I’m always waiting for her to spread a map across the dining room table and plot our attack. And like all regiments, we need supplies. Chairs. Cooler. Diaper bag. Snacks. Activity books.
Why enjoy a relaxing holiday when you can walk over a mile in the summer heat dragging a wagon behind you that has everything precariously positioned in such a way that even a slight breeze will cause an avalanche?
I always feel like John Candy schlepping everything on the beach in Summer Rental.
Then we get there and we…sit. For hours. Just waiting. All so we can spend eight minutes pretending to marvel at the wonder of manmade explosives that we’ve seen our entire lives.
In Disney World, they do fireworks every night, which is an apt metaphor for that entire enterprise considering that fireworks are expensive, time-consuming, and worthless, yet massively popular. The only benefit they bring to society is that they’re a vehicle for Darwinism. That’s it.
One time when I was a kid, my parents wanted to go see the fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philly. Considering how many morons would be in attendance, we had to get there early so we could get a great view. We were there hours beforehand (it was the middle of the day) and I remember just sitting and sitting and sitting, just wasting a summer day, waiting for…what? A slightly better version of what we usually see every other year? It was so anticlimactic.
The worst part is that they’re the same every year. It’s like the iPhone of pyrotechnics. This year’s version is indecipherable from last year’s version except to superfans and weirdos. I know people that refuse to watch movies a second time that will drive miles to watch multiple fireworks displays and be in awe each time as if they were staring at the aurora borealis.
I don’t get it.
Why do people record them? Not only do they always look the same, but who goes back and watches those videos? Will families gather around the phone one night this November and relive the glory of that local fireworks display from July 4, 2012?
And how many times a year do we need to put up with this juvenile nonsense? Fourth of July; New Year’s Eve; every time the home team scores a touchdown. It’s constant. I’m surprised they didn’t have any at my preschooler’s moving up ceremony.
It’s enough already.
Future civilizations will mock us for this in the same way we scoff at Greek mythology. They believed that Odysseus was shipwrecked on the island of Thrinacia because Zeus threw a thunderbolt to appease the sun god Helios. That may sound ridiculous, but we have the best technology on Earth — we can watch anything, experience anything, do things that our grandparents wouldn’t even dare to dream about — and yet we gather in public places, sit around, and wait hours to watch a seventh grade science experiment in the sky. They’re pretty comparable.
The people that fawn over fireworks are terrible — easily-led automatons that are wowed by bright colors and loud noises. These are the same people that stand up the moment the plane stops moving and clap when the credits roll in a movie theater. They’re the worst.
So enjoy your Independence Day by mindlessly doing what everyone else is doing year after year after year. It’s the American way.
God bless America but God damn fireworks.
Christopher Pierznik is the worst-selling author of nine books. Check out more of his writing at Medium. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Please feel free to get in touch at CPierznik99@gmail.com.