Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fireworks, Noise, and Extravagance: American way of Merrymaking


The way Americans commemorate yearly special occasions is cause for alarm. With the most memorable days in the U.S. being Christmas Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day, what troubles many who choose to remain on the sidelines is how celebrations are conducted on these special days. Statistically, Americans spend millions of dollars on booze, barbeque, and fireworks in a matter of hours; Americans consume three times more beef than the rest of the nations of the world combined; and it has been proven that Americans consume more alcohol than any other nation during special occasions like Independence Day and Labor Day. On the other hand, the number of revelers involved in road fatalities exceeds those of many countries. Usually, all hell breaks loose after midnight when the sky is lit with displays of fireworks that continue late into the night if not the wee hours of the morning. Then it is booze as usual. Despite increased police surveillance, criminal activities such as burglaries, robberies, vehicular theft, purse snatching, arson, rape and murder become an observable factor. Neighborhoods most affected by acts of criminality are poor neighborhoods populated by blacks and Hispanics. For the media fraternity, after the dust settles, key discussions that attract attention include the terrible nature of startling incidents recorded nationwide. Thereafter, as usual, breaking news broadcasts, commentaries, analyses, and endless ballyhoo about crime statistics in the nation receive weighty reflection.

For many with heart ailments, the sounds of fireworks make their nights and days unbearable if not deadly. Most affected by the tremendous echoic vibrations and reverberating decibels are the elderly, young children, women in labor, and the sick whose body metabolism may not bear the deafening impacts. Businesspeople engaged in the fireworks trade pitch tents days before the projected celebrations. Advertisements on television and radio proliferate and billboards are erected to lure the unsuspecting extravagant consumer. Since Americans are known to be way ahead of the times, individual families may purchase stocks of firecrackers to the tune of hundreds of dollars as early as several months before in anticipation for the ceremonial occasion. And when the day comes, regardless of rain or shine, the blast of epic firework displays radiating from every direction of every city and dwelling would obviously put a newcomer into hasty retreat. Upon wrapping the ceremonial occasion, used crackers of every shape, size, and color strewn everywhere become challenging and eyesore for pedestrians of all walks of life. No wonder when the occasion comes to an end, with the exception of business operators, millions of consumers may remain penniless until the next paycheck. Some businesses may slowdown or come to a standstill for a while until the economy resuscitates again for the better.

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