Ironic Independence

Earlier today, I started to update my Facebook status with a saying (or something very near what we were saying) from last night. April and I went out to Cody’s parent’s house to celebrate the 4th of July, and we commented (as so many do) that we were celebrating our country’s independence by blowing up a small portion of it. Of course, we didn’t really–blow up a part of our country, that is–but we did get a number of parachutes caught in power lines and trees, dropped them on his neighbour’s homes and into their yards, and left long streaks of ash and char upon the street. Lots of explosions and pretty lights filled the neighbourhood.

As I typed my status into Facebook, however, I realized that it could be misconstrued as somewhat terroristic. “Matthew celebrated Independence Day by blowing up a part of America!” That just seemed like a bad idea in today’s climate of governmental paranoia and arrest-first-torture-later. The Supreme Court finally ruled that terrorist suspects deserve a trial, but that took 5+ years. It’d be silly to get myself arrested for something so minor as a Facebook status.

Regardless, the somewhat silly line of thought left me with the amused realization that our current state of affairs has left us 1) fearing terrorists who blow things up but 2) celebrating our independence by blowing things up.

I’m not the first to wonder whether we give up too much for the sake of security, and I don’t have any deep concluding thought, but it was an intriguing realization. It puts me in mind of I Am Legend, which Kevin (my boss) recommended to me on Thursday. I haven’t read it yet, but I think I’ll have to now: we must always be wary of becoming that which we fear most. How does Harvy Dent put it in the upcoming Batman movie?

Oh yes. You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

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