Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

For some time now I have not gone to any of the public fireworks displays around here. They have ceased to have any significance for me, and seem more like a municipal celebration of the municipal government. Especially in view of the municipal disapproval of any individual celebrations of this type.

Driving to work through Denver, the overhead traffic signs, plus all the spares they usually use to warn you the the road ahead is effectively closed due to construction, were placed along side the major arteries, notifying the public that all fireworks of any kind are forbidden in Denver, and that the police would be strictly enforcing the ordinance. The city gets to celebrate, not you.

On a happier note, the BBQ I went to was attended by several folks who retain the knowledge of how fireworks are made, and are not so concerned with the inherent hazards of the things. If you know they're dangerous, you know not to hold them in your hand after lighting the fuse. That or else you will quickly learn. Darwinism in action. When the builder says to light the fuse, then get away, he's probably not kidding, and it is advisable to ask him how far. It doesn't hurt to add 10-20% to that number either.
Individual fireworks are a defiant statement of individual liberty, and I completely support them. Of course with individual liberty comes individual responsibility. You are expected to put out any fires you start, render first aid to any of your mates who fail to heed the warnings, and bury anything that might need burying in the aftermath.

Have a nice Independence Day.

1 comment:

jed said...

I'm a big proponent of DIY pyrotechnics, though not a knowledgable one, thus I haven't ventured past black powder and canon fuse. Sometimes I think I should lay in a stock of the appropriate compounds, against the day when they'll be banned. I suppose the gub'mint takes a dim view these days of people ordering large quantites of magnesium, etc., without some sort of "legitimate" business purpose. I think simply being able to assemble thermite is legitimate, and dozens of useful idiots on YouTube have demonstrated it's capacity for amusement. Besides, you never know when you'll need to weld some rail.