So, by now you have heard that the city of San Diego, a metropolitan area home to some 1 million people, detonated all of its fireworks at the same time. Twenty minutes worth of fireworks erupted simultaneously, launching into the sky a supernova of patriotism unlike any seen before.
San Diego residents were pissed. They'd staked out a primo spot hours in advance, and the pyrotechnics were over in like twenty seconds.
But it's admittedly kind of awesome. Come on, we're not reading about any other city's fireworks on blogs today—New York's were nice or whatever, but they were the same as ever.
In fact, this funky aberration encourages one to think a little bit about the ritual itself—I mean, seeing that giant airborne molten mass makes the whole affair seem even more peculiar. Every year, we expect our dazzling display of powerful explosives to last 10-20 minutes, to come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and to culminate in a noisy grand finale.
Much has been written about the militaristic overtones, the repetition, the oddness of the holiday that celebrates our nation's birth. How millions gather at dusk every year to watch a volley of explosives fly into the air and to eat hot dogs and cheer. Seeing San Diego get the nuke instead of the carpet bombs, I can't help but wonder if sometime in the future, when resources are scarcer, belts tighter, we'll all look back on this strange, excessive ritual and go: what the hell?