Skip to main content

Happy Burfday 'Merica.....

The 4th of July is one of those holidays that means different things to different Americans--- Freedom, Fun, Frivolity and Fireworks--- all those things that make America... America.

Two years ago, when I penned my Optimistic Cynic's Guide To Patriotism post, I was in a different mind-set about the essence of our country's existence. We are a young country--- only 237 yrs old--- an infant when you compare the ages of countries in the rest of the world.

We're the "baby of the family" so to speak....

and we carry the dreaded, though not unexpected, stereotype of being the youngest sibling, with us....

But, being the spoiled, youngest sprog also means we have a greater responsibility for carrying on the family name---- lest we bring an end to our line because we have failed to ensure our posterity.

We have the "time" to grow into a successful adult...we have the shadows of our older siblings to emulate, avoid, outshine--- if we follow, or in some cases, take heed of their mistakes as an instructive example. We want to make mom/dad proud. We want to do it ourselves (we're big kids!). And, we want to be different than our brothers and sisters---- cuz, who really enjoys being compared, on a microscopic level, to their older relatives???

But, it takes a lot growing and maturing before anyone takes a baby seriously.

We've got our quirks, our failings, our tendency to run headlong off the roof of the garage because we're sure we can fly. But, it's the very same kind of brash self-assurance that let us, finally, learn how to take flight (our own lack of aerodynamics was the last thing that was going to stop us).

Cranky diaper-rash aside, it's days like this that remind me how far we've come in so short a time.... and, yet, how far we still have to go....

So, to you, my motherland, I wish many happy returns......

Cake decorator, I am not....


  1. I'd never thought of America as the wee babe among siblings. It's an apt analogy. And the family dynamic explains a lot.

    If the whole marketing Penguins thing doesn't materialize, you can try your hand at international relations/family counseling.

    1. LOL.... I'm still holding out for the Random Penguins---not so sure how well I'd fare in sibling rivalries.... >_<


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

I is for...

... Iron Maiden

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe

---and not the English heavy metal band from East London...

Day 2 in the realm of morbid/macabre torture devices finds us back in the Middle Ages (there was definitely a fashionable trend of imaginative torture devices during this time). Though, the Middle Ages isn't really when we should be turning our attention when we discuss the Iron Maiden. In fact, there has been some debate as to the exact appearance of this monstrous creation.

It's probably easiest to relocate such a torturous thing back to a time when it seemed everyone was as skilled at exacting a confession as they were at creating the tools to exact those confessions. It's easier to blame ancestors from several hundred years ago than to accept that anyone of civilized disposition would be capable of doing such horrible things with such terrif…

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

V is for...

... Vrolik Museum

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe

How about a morbid museum?

Still used by the medical faculty and students at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrolik Museum is a unique collection of odd bones and skulls, pathogenic specimens, and an assortment of anomalous embryos.

The collection was amassed by Dutch anatomist, Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859) and continued by his son, Dutch anatomist and pathologist, Willem Vrolik (1801-1863). And since Willem's death, various donations have expanded the collection even further. Most specimens are human, though a few zoological specimens have trickled into the collection. Preserved remains, plaster casts, and various models show an assortment of congenital deformities and malformations.

This is one of those places that isn't for the faint of heart---certainly not for those who are easily moved or triggered by…