Fireworks really suck

In less than three weeks, mayhem will take over Vancouver as the HSBC Celebration of Light continues the tradition of bringing drunken yahoos into the shores of English Bay and Kits beach to watch bright explosions in the sky.

Admittedly, as a young impressionable woman, I have taken part in these beach-based celebrations myself and indulged in libations on the sand. However, I hate the long waits for the bus, the third-world-like public transportation options, and the general chaos that accompanies it. My least favourite part of the whole affair though, are the actual fireworks because they are pretty much meaningless and the incongruent response both confuses and frustrates me to no end.

In the summer months, the Celebration of Light is possibly the only event that manages to unite Vancouverites. It bears no relation to the culture and arts that the city's artists have to offer (like the jazz festival or the MusicFest Vancouver) or showcase anything else Vancouver should truly celebrate. Instead, we are offered a pyrotechnics show and we lap it up. This is embarrassing.

Inspired by similar affairs throughout the US for Independence Day, Troy Patterson's article "Fireworks Really Suck" perfectly sums up my feelings about the coming pandemonium:
The professional fireworks display is an exercise in pomposity, aggression, triumphalism, and hubris. The pyrotechnician—and, more importantly, his patron—intends to ornament the night sky beyond the powers of God himself. He means to inspire awe for little purpose other than to demonstrate his power. The first great fireworks nuts in the Western world were Peter the Great (who put on a five-hour show to celebrate the birth of his first son) and Louis XIV (who, with a specially equipped sundial, used them to tell time at Versailles). Fireworks are imperialist and, as we used to say in school, hegemonic. That they are popularly believed to be populist entertainment does not say much for the populace.

No way were all men created equal. According to some of the country's top statisticians, exactly half of them are below average, and that is the segment of the population most likely to get too excited about fireworks. Other species highly intrigued by bright lights include moths and venison. Hearing people hoot lustily at a crossette or chrysanthemum, I assume that they are the same sort who lined up at bear-baiting pits back in the day and, in modern times, watch Howie Mandel reality shows.

...there is more satisfaction in watching actual stuff explode—cars, volcanoes, toasters, what have you—than in witnessing explosions that produce only bombast. When fireworks blow up, the only things up-blowing are the fireworks themselves.

More reasons why fireworks are stupid

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