But it's over and everyone's gone.
The Admiral hates the noise and I agree with him. Patriotism isn't pointless explosions. Most people can only name three of the amendments in the Bill of Rights: 1,2,5. Even those they can't really recite, let alone explain. "I can say what I want", "where's my gun", "Fuck you, your honor".
I try to imagine how the founding fathers felt. Without deification, they were still visionary men who put into place a system still running, and I think that's worth emulating. Did their neighbors care about the Stamp Tax? The Libel Law? The early prototypes of human rights? Likely not.
My mind swirls and thrashes. I imagine Cromwell, loathing the ignorant idolatry of the Fourth. I see my city on fire. I dream of a world where the citizens I meet daily are worthy of the title. A world where humanist values actually matter, where throwing away deities and superstitions left people as the most important element.
Of course, it is a pointless, unobtainable dream.
Under "Hobbies", I wrote "Suppressing my Central Nervous System as far as possible while maintaining mammalian life".
"That's harsh," she said.
"Have you considered the alternative?" I asked.