The Internet – The United States of America turns 240 today, and much to its chagrin it got the same gift it gets every single year. Fireworks.
“Dammit,” the nation said, to no one in particular. “Why does it always have to be those darn explosions. Do I not feel enough shame over the course of the year about all the things that get blown up in my name, they have to remind me of it on my birthday? Which is supposed to be a happy day. And they tell me the fireworks look nice, but it’s the same thing every year and I’m more than two hundred years old already. Do they really expect me to be able to see more than a vague hint of unusual colors in the atmosphere? My eyes are shot, and my ears aren’t too far behind, but I can still hear the crackling and booming noises going on all weekend, and I expect more of them. But maybe if I’m lucky they’ll totally destroy my eardrums so I won’t have to hear it anymore.”
When asked what it wanted for its birthday, if not fireworks, America was reluctant to answer, claiming no one would listen anyway. But after continued prodding, it said it would like medical help. “The first thing I need,” it said, “is a Congressional transplant. That part of me has been toxic at times my whole life, and now it must be the most rotten organ that any body politic has ever had. Ever. Maybe my memory is fuzzy from old age, but I’m fairly certain that it’s the worst, and the only way to fix it would be to take out the whole thing and get a brand new one. It’s the 21st Century by now, so that has to be possible, right?”
When told a Congressional transplant would be impossible without a total overhauling of the Constitution, which would only happen if a massive majority of legislators agreed to forfeit their cushy jobs, America looked despondent. Then it rallied, as it often does, and said: “Freedom. The meaning of the word has been twisted over the years, often reflecting selfish desires rather than a universal right to be liberated from oppressors of all kinds. If we can get back to a more noble meaning of the concept, then I think I can be happy. Would that be possible?”
When told it was more realistic than a Congressional transplant but still highly unlikely, America sighed. “Oh well,” it said. “I guess I will try to appreciate these fireworks, since most of them do mean well, and hope they come up with something else for next year.”