Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July (A Little Late, But Still)

Today is the 4th of July. This is the day we celebrate the founding of this great country (America). I guess we celebrate. Or at least we celebrate when we decided it would be a country. There’s an old thing that isn't true that people believe that on July 4th 1776 King George wrote "nothing of importance happened today." I thought for the longest time that this was true, because I read it in a book. Which I'd always thought books were synonymous with truth. I read it in the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by a Mr. Sean Covey. You read that you might be thinking of another book geared towards people who want to be more effective. That’s a different book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective people and that’s by a Mr. Stephen Covey. Yes, they are related. Stephen is Sean’s father. I guess he saw how highly effective his father was at making money by writing a book so he decided to write one as well. Oddly neither book lists nepotism as a highly effective behavior.
Writing a book? Effective!
Lazily cashing in your father's name? Highly effective!

My mother bought the book for me when I was a highly ineffective teen. Throughout the book there are a number of tips on how to improve your efficacy. Seven I think. Unfortunately I don’t remember any of those. That’s why to this day, I’m not a particularly effective teen. However, The book did have something that I do remember. Along the bottom of the pages it had all these little quotes. Some were supposed to be inspirational, some were supposed to make you think, and then there was the one about King George. I guess the point of that was to make us always be thinking about what history will make of us as effective teens. Because god forbid we write the wrong thing in our diary then generations of effective teens will be laughing at us for as long people read silly self-help books.

Highly ineffective
The quote never sat well with me, because, well, it’s dumb. That’s a quote that looks like it would be silly in today’s day and age, but is stupid in context. Hey that King George is such an arrogant ass he doesn’t even care that America decided to be it’s own country. How self involved could a guy even be to not realize that the crown jewel of the empire was slipping through his hands. But, that’s fucking dumb. How the hell would King George even know that the Declaration of Independence had even been signed. It’s not King George spent his days watching the developments on C-Span. He was in a castle an ocean away. This was quite a bit of time ago. There wasn’t much in the way of mass communication. Jefferson didn’t fax it over as soon as John Hancock was done making his silly giant signature. It would take a while to news to get anywhere. They would have to tell a guy. Have that guy write it down just in case he died. That guy would have to get on a boat. Then weeks later that guy would show up in England. Take a horse to London. And hope the King was not on vacation. If he was it might be weeks before he might get back. The revolution was probably half over before the King even knew there was one.

I'd make fun of this guy for keeping a diary, but I'm writing a blog. So whatever.

This is dumb for another reason. It’s a typical arrogant American thing to think that everyone would be waiting with baited breath to hear what’s going on with America. That’s something that we all still seem to think. That the whole of the world is pretty eager to see what’s going on with us and doesn’t give a shit about too much else. America is a pretty lady or a dude with abs taking selfie after selfie and then constantly monitoring how many likes it racks up on social media. What if by some crazy set of circumstances King George was able to find out that America had just declared its independence. Maybe he still just wouldn’t much care. America, was at that point, just a few colonies that was part of an empire that was about a third of the planet. The king has to care about everything that goes on in an entire empire on any given day? I’m not sure if you remember the late eighteenth century, but there was a lot going on with the Brits. They were irrevocably damaging native populations all over the globe. One king can't possibly keep all that squared away. For Christ's sake cut the guy some slack. He's a busy man. I read (just now to make this point) that The British Empire may have consisted of 192 separate counties, protectorates, and territories. So something happens to one part of that, that's only 0.005% of it. If I have $19,000, and I drop fifty cents that's probably not making it in my diary either. Just because a fax comes through that that one of its many countries is making some noise the king can't drop everything and spend his whole day writing in his diary about it. These days America is a country that has a bunch of shit going on. Maybe if tomorrow Guam kicked up some dust I bet that wouldn’t make it to the top spot of Obama’s diary. Maybe the king had other larger countries to worry about more.

British Empire: circa before the sun set on it

It doesn’t take much to realize that this is one of those too good to be true quotes that’s just false. It never happened, but that’s not the reason this doesn't matter. The reason this is dumb is for a far more important reason. We’re Americans. We don’t give a shit what some limey in a fancy hat thinks. USA! USA! USA!

Eagle says: Fuck you diary keeping Redcoat!

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