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Wishes for July 4

Jasper Johns, White Flag, 1955, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Happy Independence Day, everybody!

For those outside the United States, July 4 is traditionally the day that Americans celebrate all those lofty ideals that make the United States the model of liberty throughout the world: freedom of the press, the right to a fair and speedy trial (not detaining people without charging them), freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the opposition to torture. Oh, wait.

Perhaps some time in the future, it will be possible to observe Independence Day without feeling like a hypocrite. I, for one, will be staying home this year, as I don't currently feel that there is a whole lot to celebrate (thank you, Vilaine Fille). The good news is that I dropped off to sleep this afternoon, in the middle of the day, when I could have been doing something. Mrs. Ionarts tells me that it is called a nap.


Anonymous said...

Tisk, tisk Charles. It is when we take any of our freedoms and blessings for granted that we are most at risk of letting them slip away... At least go out and get a red white and blue snow ball.

At the very least one is thankful for the freedom to write musical blogs to one's heart's content.

Charles T. Downey said...

Just to be clear, I am not taking any of those freedoms for granted. I am lamenting the fact that they are not being upheld.

As for my blog, as Uncle Charlton would say, "from my cold dead hands!"

george pieler said...

A shame that "something other than" politics in DC can't actually STICK with that promise and focus on potentially-unifying matters of cultural and artistic interest: and if one must pontificate, surely something beyond the level of an agit-prop poster is called for. Nat Hentoff, whose civil-liberties commitment is second to none AND who writes cogently about music and culture, takes care to invoke constitutional principle and, yes, American independence to argue for his views, not abandon them because he is unhappy with the present dispensation.

Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks, George. It was a rare moment of weakness. However, I don't see how I am abandoning any principle, just admitting that celebrating July 4 after recent developments seems hypocritical to me. I'm sure that you were out waving the red, white, and blue.

Don't worry: no more politics.

Mark Barry said...

A belated 2 thumbs up for the moderator! Hopefully we'll get this liberty thing straight someday. Politics, art, music, it's all good

jfl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charles T. Downey said...

I apologize publicly to George and anyone else who does not want to read about politics for temporarily violating my own long-established rule. It's not the first time I have done so, but it is still fairly rare. This was a lapse resulting from feeling depressed on the 4th of July.

In general, we try to keep this site free of politics as much as possible. Even so, I made the statements I did without any reference to political party (neither of which I support) or even politician (none of whom I really care for). I do love the United States, however, so the issues that I mentioned make me depressed.

End of story: back to the arts.

Agent Bones said...


I wholly agree with the sentiments you expressed on the original post you made on the fourth. I see no contradiction inherent in your premise of no politics on this blog.

Good art often involves the politics of the era it was created. Great art often involves the politics of the era it was created in AND is made relevant to the era it is actually presented in.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately on the establishment of this country, and it is absolutely striking how much Freedom and Liberty people in this country are willing to give up for the illusion of Security--a notion that many of the Founding Fathers would have absolutely scoffed at.

One mention of the terrible 'T' word and people are all of a sudden willing to turn their copies of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments in for tickets to imaginary place that too many politicians of both parties seem to feel is all too real.

Me, I'd rather be Free and take the risk that some ignorant fool would try to take it away by blowing himself up, than to be (un)Free yet be living under the false illusion of being Safe that some politician(s) have created to get themselves re-elected.

They can try to pry my Freedom from my cold, dead hands (or whatever is left of it after the blast it will take to do it).

aka Agent Bones