HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY EVERYBODY - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

 

Friday, June 30, 2006

Some of you, I know, only check this blog at work. So here's wishing you a happy Fourth of July.

One thing I like to do on July Fourth is read the Declaration of Independence. Out loud. To a crowd. Preferably around a barbecue.

It is a stirring document. It was meant to be. I'm sure the moment it was signed, thousands of copies were run off at Ben Franklin's printing press and rushed to all the towns of North America. And over the next week or so, there would have been gatherings all across the 13 colonies -- and probably in Upper and Lower Canada too -- where someone stood up and read these words:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
And then they would have talked it over. And argued it over. And dissected it. And debated it. Because the whole reason for the Declaration of Independence was that in the thirteen colonies, it mattered what the people thought. They would either have to take arms to support the document. Or relinquish the rights it was demanding.

It is a serious document. It must have scared a lot of people, because it was asking a lot of everybody. After the Declaration, it became very hard to be a neutral. You were either a Loyalist or a Patriot.

I was going to quote less, but it's hard not to simply quote the whole thing. What would you cut?

It is a document both rash and wise.

Rash, because at the time you would have been hard pressed to find a European outside of a university who agreed that all men are created equal. An Iroquois, sure. The Native Americans couldn't understand why some settlers were born "gentlemen" and others weren't. But a European? All men were born to their appointed station in life. While one could change one's station, it was a good thing if everyone stayed where they belonged. And yet the signers called it "self-evident" that all men deserve the same shot at the good life.

But wise, because it essentially says, hey, we're not going off half-cocked here. When you blow up your government, you better have a good reason. And we've got reasons -- "abuses and usurpations." We've been pushed past the limits of our endurance. And we owe the world an explanation for what we're doing.

I can't read through the whole document without choking up. Or getting angry at King George and his Parliament:
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power...
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury ...
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences...
It's worth remembering, on Independence Day, just what the United States of America meant as an idea; and what it is supposed to mean now. They weren't just declaring independence from George III, they were declaring independence from a whole tradition of one-man rule, from class divisions and from arbitrary justice.

They were also declaring independence for.

For what? And did they succeed?

Worth pondering as you sip your margaritas and grill up your burgers over the long weekend.

Y'all have fun now, hear?

Labels:

1 Comments:

...and happy Canada Day ;)

Good post. Thanks for it.

By Blogger Jutratest, at 9:46 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.