Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why America is the Best Place of All

For many people Memorial Day is a day to grill, watch John Wayne war movies on Turner Classic Movies, and the chance to wear white.

This is a shame, because people should do all these things more often than once a year. Especially with the wearing white rule, because winter white is a thing now and we shouldn't confine ourselves to outdated rules made up by elderly ladies with pinched faces.

The John Wayne part is a shame too, because his signature drawl makes it a joy to watch his varied costars try to play off a drawl that really very little to play off of. And grilling meat is always fun, provided that I do not have to touch the raw meat.

But the best part of Memorial Day is remember the past that gave us the present and hope for a future. And there's no better way to do it than to go to the National Memorial Day Concert.

I'm not sure whose job it is to coordinate the annual National Memorial Day concert from the front lawn of the Capitol, but it's probably not the same person who gets to plan the concert everyone knows about, which is the Fourth of July concert.

The Fourth of July concert is one of those things that gets the spotlight because of two reasons. The first reason is, well, the Declaration of Independence. The second reason is because it is the height of the summer, and every year the same US tourists fall into the same trap of thinking that visiting their nation's capitol during the summer is just the greatest idea since the wireless mouse.

Unfortunately few of them ever paid attention during the history class which dealt with the issue of why DC is the Capitol. They missed the lesson on how the great District of Columbia was constructed in a swamp, meaning that while it was generally gross, humid, and filled with mosquitos in the eighteen century, global warming and biowarfare has insured that now it's filled with hotter temperatures which accentuate the humidity, and West Nile Virus.

The Memorial Day concert is an overlooked gem that not many people know about. And that is completely fine with me. I detest big crowds, so when presented with the opportunity to go to the dress rehearsal with all the music, the stars, and roughly a third of the usual crowd, I said yes.

The general rule of thumb for this seems to be to invite two stars from Law and Order (or one of their many, many spin offs), a country singer, and whoever has happened to win American Idol recently. For the dress rehearsal this is especially fun, because they sprinkle montages of war and stories of veterans in amongst the renditions of Simon and Garfunkel and West Side Story.

During the show they will practice zooming in with dramatic emphasis on where the people in the stories will be sitting, which leads to general confusion since it might be a man sitting in the seat where the mother of the story will l probably be sitting tomorrow, and for a brief moment in time everyone is wondering why the woman looks so masculine, until everyone remember it is a dress rehearsal and the woman from the story is probably eating her dinner somewhere, not thinking about her dress rehearsal stand in.

Because of all these things, the concert is a chance to celebrate what truly makes America great. You have a moment to remember all the lives given up so that we have the freedom to be, well, Americans. And say what you like about Americans, but we are a pretty kind people on the whole. Besides, we invented Apple, the Beach Boys, Grumpy Cat, and John Wayne, so that should count for something in the grand scheme of things. 

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