Sunday, July 6, 2008

Praise Good Sense


July 4 in Tacoma was positively serene as compared with July 4 some 10 miles south, where they still not only allow but encourage fireworks.

In years past, we would have endured two weeks of the build-up, then the noise-riot of the "holy day," then a week of blasting the inventory that remained. One of our neighbors had a cannon. I kid you not.

This year: nothing, except for some noise from Gig Harbor, where official fireworks still go off for an hour, tops, and then some noise from one distant neighbor, who let off some fireworks in spite of the regulations. After this neighbor lighted the fireworks, they created light, noise, and smoke, just as they have done for thousands of years. Why don' t people just put in a DVD of fireworks going off? They seem surprised when the same effects result from lighting black powder anew. I hesitate to say the behavior is moronic. But. . . .

But: like a wee firecracker going off, a thought occurred to me this year that hadn't occurred in years past. Are fireworks gendered? That is, if men weren't around on July 4, would anyone set off fireworks? I assume that at least a small percentage of women would light them, but I think if men weren't around, fireworks sales would diminish by 90%, pure guesswork, and only guesswork. We'd need to hear from social scientists who study fireworks-behavior, take a look at their data and graphs, to get a better sense of this fireworks/gender issue.

I dream of a noiseless 4 July, when dogs and cats rest easy and all the money spent on black powder and paper goes toward . . . well, goes toward something, anything, quieter. Maybe baby food for impoverished families. Boom! Anyway, a tip of the cap to the City of T-Town and the good sense it had to outlaw fireworks, except for a big show down on the waterfront for folks who like that sort of thing.
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