Suck on the Rude Pundit's Patriotic Photo:

After a good few hours of drinking at a dark-paneled-walled, relatively well-air-conditioned bar in Hoboken, NJ, the Rude Pundit and company toddled down the fetid streets for the best view of the fireworks over the Hudson River at an outdoor spot that he'll never tell you about. On the way, he received a text from a friend in Dallas, who found himself outside in the hundred degree heat, awaiting fireworks, but forced to sit through a Smashmouth concert. He said it was "irony." The Rude Pundit told him he had confused "irony" with "insanity."

We couldn't hear the music that accompanies the fireworks, the songs patriotic and partying that gave the explosions its choreography. The Rude Pundit's partner said, "I wonder if Morgan Freeman is narrating on TV."

In the worst Morgan Freeman voice you've ever heard, the Rude Pundit said, "America: 236 years old today. But she still looks pretty good for her age" before being shut up. When someone mused about what music was playing, he started singing Smashmouth songs. He was shut down again before he could get through the chorus of "All-Star."

No music was necessary, though. The fireworks show said it all. Especially in this election season, so many people try so damn hard to show how they love their country more than thou. Whether it's wearing colonial drag or carrying signs about some amendment or other they don't actually understand or doing some stupid shit and saying that it's a celebration of "Free Speech," something or other that ends up alienating someone else, or maybe it's some friggin' politician telling us how much they really, really wanna hump the Declaration of Independence, god, sometimes it's okay to just chill the fuck out. Relax and understand that merely being here, in this country, working, like so many of us, to do things to make it better, or at least not making it worse, not making a big, flaming deal out of it, is enough. You don't need music to back up the fireworks. It's fireworks, fer chrissake. Why do they need enhancement?

There we were, across from the big city, the sky aflame, and there it was, effortless, not forced, patriotism, not trying to demonstrate how much we loved Uhmerka with speeches and flags and other accessories, merely enjoying the stinking air, the loud noises echoing off the buildings behind us, the people of different races and classes, the crowd's oohs, the applause for unseen manipulators of our pleasure on what should be our national day of sweaty commiseration with the triumphs and pains of our past, not hating each other for a little while.