View Full Version : Happy 4th of July

07-03-2002, 11:18 PM
(not meant in any way to offend non-U.S. forumers...)

From Peggy Noonan of the WSJ...

The Lights That Didn't Fail
Let's celebrate all that's right with our great country.

Wednesday, July 3, 2002 12:01 a.m.

I mark the coming holiday remembering the words of a friend of Samuel Johnson, who said, "I meant to be a philosopher, but happiness kept breaking through."

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and we must celebrate. Let us hold high a single sparkler to honor those American institutions that, in this interesting year, did not flounder or fail. Much has been said of those that did--Wall Street, big business, big accounting, the Catholic Church, the FBI and CIA. But most didn't. Some stayed good and some improved and some seem to summon a metaphor: While the towers of the institution tottered, the men and women who worked within them took the stairs two at a time, hauling 80 pounds of gear to save the structure.

So: Let us hold a single sparkler to the lights that didn't fail.

The U.S. military. Honored more than ever across the country and the world. They're not just tough, they're smart and brave, and to the extent we dig our way out of the current crisis they'll be the ones with the shovels and pails.

Cops and firemen. Once patronized, now poster boys, and rightly so. They're exemplars of courage and sacrifice, especially the firemen. What they did at the towers last September was like what was done at Omaha Beach on D-Day: They raced to fight a battle and proved we'd win a war.

Airline pilots and stewards. Under incredible stress, in a fearful time, without combat pay, they get us seated, settled and flying safely and in style. They have tons of guts. They do their jobs in spite of terror threats, pressure from family and friends to get out, and Department of Transportation rulings and methods that seem almost deliberately designed to encourage the bad guys and discourage the responsible.

The men and women of newspapers. We forget until history reminds us. But there are times when the lengthy, detailed, independent coverage of the great newspapers, and the gutsy work of reporters and editors, is irreplaceable. The past year reminded us of what Thomas Jefferson said: Given the choice between government and a free press, he'd take the free press.

American television. More news shows, more stations, more networks means more voices, more views. Only 20 years ago Big Media still had a monopoly on information, greatly pleasing those who found stimulation in bland, gray-suited corporate liberalism. It's changed. Now more than ever we need options, now more than ever we have them. And: On Sept. 11, reporters and crews on the ground in New York literally risked their lives to get the story and the pictures.

Television entertainment. Once MGM had "more stars than there are in heaven," but now the great studio of our time is a cable outfit. HBO will be studied by future social historians who'll ponder the cultural impact of groundbreaking drama from "The Sopranos" to "Six Feet Under" to "Oz." No network has reached such a consistently high level of product excellence since William Paley's CBS, in the first golden age of television when his shop was called the Tiffany Network.

American wit. From Conan to Dave to Jay to Comedy Central. (and let's not forget VT) It more than thrives, it keeps the country together each night as comics and writers tear apart What Isn't Working Now.

Science and medicine. Research labs, new treatments, technologies, medicines. All continue as the best in the world. Some day someone really will cure cancer. It will happen here.

The Internet. On Sept. 11, it was the light that didn't fail. Phones in New York and Washington went down but the Internet kept humming. Separated parents, children and friends instant-messaged news of their safety, or wrote last words. And within the Internet this year the rise of a new institution:

Blogging. The 24-7 opinion sites that offer free speech at its straightest, truest, wildest, most uncensored, most thoughtful, most strange. Thousands of independent information entrepreneurs are informing, arguing, adding information. Imagine if we'd had them in 1776: "As I wrote in yesterday's lead item on SamAdams.com, my well meaning cousin John continues his grammatical nitpicking with Jefferson (link requires registration) 'Inalienable,' 'unalienable,' whatever. Boys, let's fight. Start the war." Blogs may one hard day become clearinghouses for civil support and information when other lines, under new pressure, break down.

Local government. The federal government tends to flail about at the beginning of national crises but local governments continue doing what they do: seeing that traffic lights work, garbage is hauled, libraries stocked. Local governments provide the basic services of protection of person and property. They did their job this year.

The local church. Whatever is happening in the higher structure, chances are the ministers, priests, nuns, rabbis and brothers on the ground in your hometown are doing the work of God. They're like airline pilots and stewardesses: They're saving the institutions they represent by doing their daily work with professionalism and love.

American abundance. From the farm fields to your table it all still worked, and shows no signs of weakening. A friend wrote the other day: "Have you tasted the peaches this year? So sweet they'll make you cry, the best in years. Tomatoes too."

The American Dream. Our greatest institution. Our greatest tradition. It proceeds apace. Individual dreams continue to flourish, and we chase them with a freedom of movement, an encouraged creativity and a sense of possibility that remain unparalleled.

The other day I went to the oath-taking ceremony for new citizens at the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. There were hundreds of people in saris, in skullcaps, in suits made in Romania. There was a hugely pregnant woman from Nigeria, dressed in a red-and-white plaid cotton dress; there were young Eastern European women in too-tight pants from the Gap; there were young men in gym clothes. The usual mix from all over the world. They were so happy to be joining what others of us were lucky enough to be born into. They knew they were in the right place doing the right thing, and changing their lives for the better.

New Americans. We hold high this sparkler for you.

07-03-2002, 11:32 PM
"Airline pilots and stewards"
-yeah really; even before 9-11 they had to deal with. . .

. . .

. . .

. . . The AIR RAGE TWINS?!?! :o :eek: :dead:
man, them nutty, hissy-throwin, b-list fashion models woulda had that shoebomb guy leapin out an emergency exit itellyouwhut :crazed: (say, that gives me an idear; instead of skymarshalls. . . )
btw peggy, sparkeylurs are illegal here in colorado this summer cuzza the fires :p
p.s. what exactly's a "blog" anyway? izzit an onomatopoeia for puking? ;)

Jedi Juice
07-03-2002, 11:58 PM

Eternal Padawan
07-04-2002, 10:27 AM
Happy Birthday America. You don't look a day over 225. Go ahead and make a wish before you blow out your candles.
What's that?

Peace on Earth? Good will toward men?

Yeah. I wish for that, too. :cry:

But I have an idea! Let's light off fireworks and try to singe the butt hairs off of God. He's above us, after all, and we're one nation Under Him... :D

'Blogging' is short for bee-yotch logging, where you log on and bee-yotch and complain about everything. or maybe not...:rolleyes:

07-04-2002, 02:17 PM
Lets hope that someday the meaning of this holiday will spread all over the world and we all can truely be free.

Dar' Argol
07-04-2002, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Obi-Don
Lets hope that someday the meaning of this holiday will spread all over the world and we all can truely be free.

Didn't that happen already?? It was a couple years ago. Bill Pullman was the president and aliens attacked and knocked out all communications and . . . . . . . .

Hmmm? What's that EP?? OH:eek: THAT was a MOVIE?!?!?!?

Uhhh . . . . . . . . nevermind then

Happy 4th everyone!!!!:D

07-04-2002, 02:54 PM
Happy 4th!

I don't think people are gonna be setting off many fireworks around here, considering the last few days they've been setting them off like crazy. :rolleyes:

master jedi
07-04-2002, 03:20 PM
I think my avatar speaks louder than anything I have to say.

07-04-2002, 04:06 PM
I agree, master jedi.

All this patriotism makes me want to blow away terrorist scum in video games! :D

07-04-2002, 05:55 PM
I am proud to be an American!:cool:

07-04-2002, 06:44 PM
Yep they are making Independence Day 2!!!

Originally posted by master jedi
I think my avatar speaks louder than anything I have to say.

Mod Note: These 2 posts have been merged

07-04-2002, 07:18 PM
I second that! :D

07-04-2002, 09:28 PM
Swaffy, that part about people using the internet to write last words is chilling. :cry:

Take care everyone, be safe!
Tomorrow I'll be R-O-C-K in the U.S.A. with Mellencamp. :happy:

Eternal Padawan
07-05-2002, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by scruffziller
Yep they are making Independence Day 2!!!

Actually, in a recent interview with Will Smith he said that too much time has gone by for a sequel to be viable and he has chatted with Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich and they concur.

And looking at my watch...Happy 5th of July as well. The anniversary of the day they all woke up and thought "What the hell did we just sign?!?!"

07-05-2002, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Eternal Padawan
Actually, in a recent interview with Will Smith he said that too much time has gone by for a sequel to be viable and he has chatted with Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich and they concur.

that surprises me a bit. I mean, it seems extremely plausible to me within the context of the storyline for it to take several years for "the other shoe to drop."

perhaps, Devlin & Emmerich were so quick to agree with Will Smith because they would rather not pay him $20 million, plus 20% of the box for the 1st 3 weeks of the release? perhaps they'd love to make the sequel, just with less costly talent, but didn't feel like saying so to Smith?

anyway, since this is OT for the GenDisc forum, I'll keep it lean.
the only other thing I want to add is that I think this many years of time between sequels helps the storyline, as it makes it more logical to assume that we'd have been able to do a lot towards rebuilding our infrastructures, defenses and cities.

or, would a sequel involve us using the technology we were able to glom from all the crashed alien spaceships, to create our own interstellar craft and take the fight directly to the aliens - sorta Starship Troopers fashion?