Well, tonight was a slight downer. I was trying to think of songs for the Fourth of July to sing. After sorta passing through the more patriotic songs (which typically get mixed response), I settled on Birthday by the Beatles as one of the cooler birthday songs.
So to introduce the song I decided to make it a little joke. I said something like, “230 years ago we declared our independence from the British. So what better way to celebrate our birthday than to have the British wish us happy birthday.” Or something.
During the fireworks, someone shouted “These colors don’t bleed and they never will,” I said “Except the War of 1812.” Some guy took offense.
Oh horrors! I mentioned the Beatles being British — although Paul McCartney has certainly done his share of playing for an American audience practically draped in the red, white and blue. And, OMG, the War of 1812 — the one war we had our tuckuses practically handed to us, nearly 200 years ago. I didn’t mention one word about the actions in the past 40 years, which certainly have been controversial and difficult to justify.
There’s certainly power in pride, but there is a cost of hubris if we’re not careful. Unfortunately, we’ve made mistakes over the past few hundred years and it’s ridiculous not to acknowledge them — and to learn from them.
I wanted to defend my positions and the right to do so under the First Amendment — one of the supposed rights we allegedly have. Instead I bit my tongue because the whole darn thing wasn’t worth it. I know not to make my stand in a bar where tolerance, understanding or even comprehension go flying out the window (I been a bystander and minor participant in a stupid New Years fight). Instead I’ll make a defiant stand on the blog I control and edit. 😉
Anyway, that freakin’ incident pretty much ruined the whole night, although I loved singing “New York, New York” and “You and Me and Bottle Make Three.”