As a resident of the UK I knew very little of the Fourth of July until very recently when I read an article in Salon about it. For my fellow Brits, here’s a short summary of why the US celebrates Independence Day based on what I’ve learned from reading mainstream publications and watching a few historical movies…
In the 1400s an Italian man named Columbo (no relation to Peter Falk) set out to discover America, but he ended up landing at The Bahamas instead and spent the next several years discovering its exotic beaches, aquariums, and bustling nightlife before dying of scurvy or something. Then in the 1500s, Sir Walter Raleigh had another pop at finding the US so that he could steal it from the Native American tribes because Queen Elizabeth has developed a 40-a-day habit and wanted to smoke all their tobacco. He was more successful and successfully enslaved much of the Native population, set up a few English colonies and invented the Raleigh Chopper before his death in 15-something-or-other of scurvy.
Then in 1607, a brave young Native American girl called Pocahontas, along with her friends, the raccoon Meeko and hummingbird Flit, showed the English white supremacists the error of their ways by singing an inspiring song about the wind before promptly dying of scurvy and so her message was eventually forgotten.
Over the next hundred years, white men arrived in their droves and claimed America as their own despite Daniel Day-Lewis’s attempts to save the last of the Mexicans who were rounded up by the Spanish and told to go and live behind a wall somewhere in the conveniently named ‘Mexico’. During this time, the British had become filthy rich by selling tea, a weak beverage they’d ripped off the Chinese and made from leaves you can’t even make a decent skinny Frappuccino out of. At this point, the white colonialists of America started to object because non-fat sugar-free salted caramel lattes were all the rage over in New York and this so-called ‘tea’ just wasn’t doing it for them and so they declared war on the UK.
Fighting went on for many months until both sides decided to sit down together at a tea party in Boston where they agreed to discuss the issue over a few bagels so long as coffee was also an option. Things were going well until an alien invasion showed up and both the Americans and the British were forced to fight again, only this time united against a vast number of spaceships. The alien technology was too advanced for the 18th century white colonialists and all looked lost until a brave African American man flew into the fray, piloting an aircraft he’d built with the help from the previously undiscovered Wakandan people. He successfully uploaded a virus to the alien mothership which wiped out their defenses, and thus allowed the Americans and the British to conquer another race and claim a victory which was not theirs. They both agreed to part ways amicably and sealed the deal by signing a contract which stated that in the future, all successful TV sitcoms made in either country would be remade by their counterpart with varying degrees of success. The most depressing part of this entire chronicle of events is that instead of thanking the African American man who had saved them all from impending destruction, the white men instead enslaved him and his entire people for the next two hundred years because white people are basically scum.
And so, this ends the story of American Independence. Do you still think it’s something to celebrate? Because I certainly don’t.