Dug Hill fireworks
Sunday, July 4 2004
Gretchen took Doug and Sharon to Woodstock for the weekly liberal televised be-in called In Your Face, which would be especially pissed-off on this, yet another Fourth of July under fascist rule. Last year Gretchen and I were sure to be out of the country for this most patriotic of days, but this year it didn't seem to matter as much. This year more people agree with us that a change is in order. We're seeing a lot more John Kerry for President bumperstickers than those stating that "the troops" should [somehow] receive "support."
The plan was to take Sharon and Doug to the bus station so they could be whisked back to New York City, but a hike on a nearby mountain inserted a problematic delay, so they all returned in the afternoon and snackwinkled on cheese, crackers, and hummus. Later I drove D&S to the bus station and saw them off.
After darkness fell, the folks kitty-corner across the road initiated a long and elaborate fireworks display using pyrotechnics one would normally expect only from a mid-sized municipality. They must have been smuggled in from Mexico or Byelorussia or bought over the Internet, because there's no way a private citizen could buy such an arsenal in the United States, not after what happened on 9/11 anyway. Our dog Sally was terrified, of course, more so than she gets during a thunderstorm. But I rather enjoyed watching the big ones exploding over the tree line. "Is that safe?" Gretchen asked me at one point.
"Probably not," I replied.
I'd like to introduce a new measure, a number I'd like to call Index of Redstatitude (or, for those who want to cut through the crap, Index of Redneckitude). Here's how we calculate it. Take the number of miles you had to drive to get to the opening of Michæl Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and add it to the number of miles you'd have to drive if you wanted to get an abortion without having to come back a second time. Then divide by two. The answer is still in miles. Here's the example of the calculation for where I'm living now, Hurley, New York:
Drive to Woodstock (the closest showing of Fahrenheit 9/11): 12 Miles
Drive to Broadway in Kingston (the closest abortion provider): 6.79 Miles
(I have to say that tracking down this information was not easy, even on the web. I suspect this has something to do with all the lunatic abortion clinic bombers not being pursued by John Ashcroft.)
Total/2: 9.4 miles
In Staunton, Virginia, the Index of Redstatitude is a lot higher, as you'd expect:
Drive to Charlottesville (the closest showing of Fahrenheit 9/11): 44 Miles
Drive to Charlottesville (the closest abortion clinic): 44 Miles
(For some mysterious reason there's no waiting period in Virginia, but the Charlottesville clinic only does abortions on Thursdays.)
Total/2: 44 miles
Here's a theatre chain in the Midwest that refuses to show Fahrenheit 9/11 because it "encourages terrorists." Write to Beth the webmistress and tell her you think Dodgeball and White Chicks are clearly superior films.
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