Is authenticity as fleeting a personal quality as chastity? Are we limited in our self-expression opportunities? Do we have an overarching desire to live in the past, rather than exercise our Constitutional right to pursue present-day felicity and now-ness?
Like many other self-deluded old people, I like to think that I remain very much on the cutting edge of youth culture. I hashtag my handwritten personal correspondence. I describe sneakers and stair lifts alike as "swaggy." I know with 82.5 percent certainty that Macklemore is a person who has a song. If something is cool or #awesome, there's a good chance I'll get hip to it four days sooner than my parents will.
Owing to a pair of unfortunate incidents, I've been without a phone for the better part of the last two weeks. The first one, my own fault, confirmed the vulnerability of circuit-reliant devices to immersion in pooled water. The second, attributable to the spatial-reasoning-impaired woman I love, affirmed the rep of paving stones as the AC/DC of patio surfaces. It's the timing that gets me: No sooner did the first replacement arrive than it met a brutal and smashy demise. If you'd like to replicate my reaction to this turn of events, shake up a can of paint thinner and …
What I love most about the 4th of July is that, 235 or so years after our freedom-loving predecessors told Jiminy Redcoat what he could do with his left-driving and Robbie Williams CDs, we still celebrate it in a way that's consistent with our nation's ideals. We attempt to inflict third-degree burns on our buddies' calves with strategically targeted bottle rockets. We slather an extra layer of honey-mustard glaze on the pork loins that we bought at Costco. We star-spangle everything: our banners, our muscle cars, our remaining slivers of non-inked flesh. In short, we live, man. We live.