Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Pretty blue lights falling
We went into sultry downtown West Palm Beach for the holiday fireworks display, called "4th on Flagler". It was a very pretty show with a stunning and LOUD finale! A constant stream of loud bangs, much louder than normal fireworks, exploded in gold down low while high up, the gold trails got bigger and bigger. After a few seconds it got even LOUDER, then finished with the biggest firework I've ever seen...very good show :) The coolest new firework was one which blows up in gold, goes DARK for a few seconds, then relights in gold. It's very trippy to see the second colour appear from nowhere :) It was generally agreed that last year's show was better, but it was worth the trip down all the same.
I really enjoy living in America, despite the backwards, corporation-centered attitude of it's leadership. I think the essential goodness of the majority of the American people is reflected in the general optimisim and progressive, liberal spirit that you see in the culture, especially the movies and television. A good example occurred the other day when I watched a debate about gay marriage on TV. The interviewer quoted a poll that showed around 60% of people were opposed to it, a figure I'd heard before and had had trouble understanding how so many could be opposed.
"That opposition is a mile wide and two inches deep." she replied.
I hadn't thought of it that way before - it always disturbed me that so many people were against this basic human right; to express a commitment to another person and have that respected and legally recognized. It rang true to me that very few of those 60% would hang on to that opposition with any real vigor: I see it as a "I'd rather they didn't, but if the court says its OK, then I'm OK with it" kind of sentiment. The lady of TV was certain it was only a matter of time before it was federally recognized and I agreed with her.
David Brin wrote a good speech which, among other things, pointed out that western society, especially American society is brainwashed into a most suprising condition: permanent rebellion. We are taught by a large fraction of the films and TV programs that we authority is not to be trusted, we should try new things for ourselves and always look for a better way. Governments may come and go, but this message keeps coming, relentlessly. I'm glad it does, because it keeps the public pre-disposed to think in what I consider the Right Way: Never settle for today's answer - look for a better way.
Hmmm...I do ramble a bit, don't I ?