When I was young, neighbors gathered together just once a year to light fireworks on the street corner and create their own 4th of July celebrations in just the way the Founding Fathers prescribed. Every block had its own display.
That all ended when local fire marshals declared a “temporary ban” on fireworks during a particularly dry year. Local bureaucrats never lifted that “temporary ban,” both destroying a longtime tradition and one of the few remaining bonds that then still existed between neighbors.
Now, most of us don’t even know each others’ names.
It was all part of a continual, decades-long war the bureaucrats waged against working and middle class “riff-raff” for the benefit first of yuppies, and then hipsters. City Hall sent out the cops to chase away families who fed the ducks in the waterfront parks, and to harass teens who hung out and cruised the boulevard on the weekends; they put an end to Moss Bay Days and other traditional celebrations, replacing them with hoity toity wine and art festivals.
Of course, the small, smug group of perpetrators never openly acknowledged their conspiracy to dispossess us.
Those hands-on 4th of July celebrations, filled with fireworks, children playing and neighborly conversations, seemed far more real and appropriate than the one-size-fits-all, safe, sane and taxpayer-funded official fireworks display.
Kirkland government uses the working man’s taxes for parks, trails and road improvements to benefit affluent hipsters downtown and on the waterfront, as our potholes deepen and our sidewalks crumble.
Hooray for our “independence” this Independence Day.