Last night Christopher and I parked over in the U. District and took the Burke Gilman Trail over to Fremont. We didn’t go as close as Gas Works Park because of the crowds, but we staked out a decent spot in a small parking lot close to the water…it was a little farther from the show than I thought, but it was still a great show and we had a good view. And, of course, I snapped some photos! (The Slideshow feature might work best.) They came out pretty good for a first attempt at this sorta thing with the new camera. This is one reason why I love-love-love digital photography: if you’re still figuring out your settings, you can snap as many photos as you want and not have to worry about spending $100 on developing roll after roll of bad shots!
On a side note, despite the silly fairweather patriotism I see everywhere lately (even here in Seattle), I managed to remind myself that I’m lucky to live in a country which, despite its tarnished image, gives me so many freedoms that I may not enjoy in other places. (Of course, those currently in power are doing all they can to limit them, so I’m trying to enjoy them while they last!) I don’t have the arrogance to believe that America is the best place in the world, because there is no such thing, but I could have been born in less desirable or more restrictive places. However, the spectacle of a fireworks display doesn’t exactly stir feelings of patriotism in me anymore…I simply enjoy watching a cool lightshow and taking pictures, and I’m happy leaving it at that. Does this mean I’m not proud of my country? I think it would be more accurate to say that I’m not proud of what my government is doing around the world in the name of my country. At the same time, I have to admit that it’s sort of a strange feeling to be only a casual observer of something I used to look forward to all year as a kid. Ah, adulthood.
It’s also amazing how beer and fireworks bring out the dumb in some people (or accentuates it, as the case may be). We saw plenty of woolheaded fratboys and shirtless gutter-dwellers hootin’ and hollarin’, some of them setting off rockets dangerously close to everyone else… Christopher remarked that the organizers should have played the song “America, Fuck Yeah!” on loudspeakers during the show. One guy in particular was intensely amazed by every rocket that went off, especially the differently-shaped ones: when the cube-shaped ones blew up, he shouted “SQUARES!” When the smiley-faced ones went off, he shouted “SMILEY!!” When the planet-shaped one with the ring around it went off, he shouted “SATURN!!!” Yeah, we get it…have another beer, dorkwad. A shining example of American supremacy!