Personally, I’ve always looked at Independence Day as a fantastic opportunity to drink through all of my frustration with this country, eat some Betty Crocker and make out with a stranger under the light of a tax-payer funded spectacular. And this year doesn’t look like it will be any different. Even though there have been some monumental victories these past few weeks, there have also been a lot of reminders of how outdated some politicians would like us to remain. So for your reading pleasure, let’s go through some highlights of the past few days ripe with historical landmarks of American legislation, as a July 4th drinking game of sorts.
The rules are as follows: take a shot for the good things, chug a glass of wine for the bad things, shot gun a beer for terribly embarrassing things, binge eat a cupcake for things that make you really sad.
As mentioned last week, SCOTUS’s decision to repeal DOMA and Prop 8 was a huge leap forward in the fight for civil rights for all. But it also was a small triumph, an undoing rather than a doing, and disgustingly contested by a bunch of religious zealots and conservative politicians who have a far smaller understanding of the constitution and judicial system than most grade schoolers. It was still a victory nonetheless, Pride was celebrated this past weekend in full-glitter, and Hollywood has been providing the greater gays of Los Angeles with free marriages all week: take a celebratory shot.
In other news, Wendy Davis fought the good fight for women and southerners by leading a highly contested filibuster against SB5 (a bill that would practically ban abortion in Texas) last Monday, proving that maybe the GOP won’t be able to backtrack the rights of women hundreds of years, and also that just because one boasts the good name of the south doesn’t mean they are a giant ovary hater: take a shot.
The amazing work of Davis was backed by protesters of SB5 who ushered in the end of the filibuster by paralyzing the Texas state senate with cheers (take a shot) when Davis’ 13-hour efforts were almost circumvented by a chubby white man (chug a glass of wine). Fellow feminist colleagues stood in unison with the crowd who only got louder when Leticia Van De Putte refuted the woman-hating floor leaders, “At what point does a female senator need to raise her voice to be heard over the male colleagues in the room?” Take a shot.
Governor Rick Perry of course had a terrible reaction to all of this, having the gall to bring up Davis’ own family history including her mother and her daughter (chug glass of wine). Not only that but this week he called a special session to specifically address anti-abortion legislation. For this Republicans have fought to reduce the time for debate and ignore a rule that requires a two-thirds approval of the State Senate before the bill can be motioned for a floor vote. What is especially amazing about all this is that according to special people like Michele Bachmann, the Supreme Court voting down DOMA is unconstitutional (but take a shot for Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to that), and according to her bff Rick Perry so is a filibuster. But when seeing to it that your religiously informed agenda is pushed through to law, subverting democracy by suspending rules typical of the judicial system is totally fine. Shot gun a beer.
Another person manipulating the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage to be self-serving legal fodder is health’s worst enemy, Paula Deen. I personally think this woman should have been put on trial years ago for essentially becoming a spokesperson for the kind of American diet that’s allowed government cooperation with GMO giants despite obvious opposition by people who don’t consider fat and chemicals food groups. Anyways, it should be no surprise that someone who nostalgically salivates over the taste of slavery in each greasy bite of her plantation-style cooking is racist. Regardless, it’s all out in the open now, and has incited a circus of reactions. Free drink: drink of your choice.
The most recent idiocracy has been Deen's lawyer’s new defense citing that since the ex-employee who brought on the lawsuit is white, she can’t possibly be in the position to point out Deen’s discrimination against African Americans (shot gun a beer), because the Supreme Court ruled that the straight propagators of Prop 8 didn’t have the right to defend the discriminatory amendment. Shot gun a beer and slap yourself. All of Deen’s endorsements and contracts being dissolved has clearly sent the woman into desperation. Kind of like Glenn Beck. In general. But also when he defended her use of the n-word in the work place as freedom of speech, and drew a misguided comparison to Martin Luther King Jr. “speak[ing] and challeng[ing] segregation,” because I guess in his opinion Deen is challenging people who aren’t racist? Do one of everything because this is that bad. I bet you’re really drunk and really sad now, so go eat all the cupcakes.
If you are a liberal-minded human who’s paid attention to the media in the past few weeks leading up to the celebration of our bright nation, those are the stories that are likely going to quickly leave you as you don whatever ironic or un-ironic gear and head to your nearest BBQ. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t celebrate our freedom and country, if it wasn’t for our unique brand of freedom there wouldn’t be room for so many contentious cases to exist, but all of the fireworks should be a reminder that democracy and justice are something to be celebrated and fought to protect. A lot was gained these past few weeks in terms of progress, but other instances pointed out how much progress we still desperately need, and those are the things we often forget soonest, especially with a giant celebration like the 4th of July to wash it all down the river.