I remember when I was a child I loved fireworks. This seems to be a universal trait among children. But as an adult I’ve come to realize I just don’t give a damn about fireworks. Pretty colors, boom boom, yawn. I wonder why kids like fireworks so much, and why I feel so disconnected from that passion now.

  1. When I was a kid, we never went to the town show. The neighborhood folks gathered in the street with all manners of illegal munitions, and it was better than anything we could have seen in an official show. Everyone would take turns, with highs and lows and a variety that was dazzling. Our parents allowed us to light off all of our own stuff. It was active, not passive, and we loved it. And I miss it now. My wife won’t let me indulge my inner pyro.

    As for muddling downtown now to go wait around for hours for a 25 minute show to start and then muddle back home, through crowds and traffic–it just ain’t worth it. I am with you on that. But I have a daughter now, so it is worth it for her, and I recapture some of the excitement vicariously. A lot of things are like that, really. Things I wouldn’t give a damn about, they now have a new meaning.

  2. I am a loser too!

    Living in New Orleans when I har the first explosions I always think it is gunfire and wonder where my daughter is.

    Post Traumatic Stress never takes a holiday

  3. I was in Oklahoma for the 4th… it was also their 100th anniversary as a state. Biggest damn fireworks display I’ve ever seen anywhere – amazingly insane…awesome in the true sens of the word.

    Four F-16 fighter jets flew over head before the works were lit – very loud and very scary… All I could think about was having one of those things fly over your house in Baghdad – very frightening – I can’t imagine the fear of just seeing one of those things anywhere above your head in a war zone…

    Fireworks are part of the glorification of war in this society and part of our deeply problematic culture of violence that gets to the heart of our current situation…

  4. I’ll never forget that F-16 Fighter Jets flew very low and close over my Chicago apartment on 9-11-01 (or maybe it was the day after). I was terrified. Truly terrified.

    And when fireworks were used at some nearby park celebration a few months after that, I actually called the local 311 (non-emergency police) number to report it. (That’s how I learned that the noise was only fireworks, not something more sinister). I was not the only one to place a similar call that night, I was told.

    Post traumatic stress, indeed, doesn’t take a holiday, or at least not for a long time.

    Now, I’m back to being mostly bored with fireworks. So, I guess I’m a loser, too, Editor B.

    And since my daughter is still to young to get a big kick out of them, I’m on a fireworks break for a few years, which is OK with me.

  5. I’ll always like fireworks. One of the funnest shows was one I went to a couple years ago at the County Pier in Panama City Beach. The real show was fun, but the minute it got dark, everyone on the beach seemed to have their own fireworks and there’s nuthin’ more fun that watching a bunch of drunk rednecks play with things that go boom.

    I don’t understand why people like firecrackers, tho. They’re just loud. I want light and fire, damn it.

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