A beautiful day here in New York City, among a cascade of beautiful days. We’re not used to kind treatment at the hands of the season. At this rate, I’m never going to clean my apartment.
Yesterday I baked aboard the Good Ship Ventura for a glorious few hours on the harbor (same again tomorrow, please), and after a sunstroke nap – you know a nap is a good one when the pillow wakes up damp – foraged off to Park Slope and met Pierre at Barbès for a madcap dip into the music of River Alexander and his zany crew of Mad Jazz Hatters. Six guys, two guitars, one clarinet, a few old-style harmonicas, a harness-mounted kazoo, a washtub bass, and David Langlois at the helm of a thimble-operated percussion set (washboard, dishpan, and other clangity things). Imagine a cross between Hoagy Carmichael and the alien bar-band from Star Wars doing hippety American classics, and you won’t be too far off.
Today is Independence Day. I will celebrate, I think, with a screening of Fahrenheit 9/11, wherein we will separate the hawks from the handsaws. And then there will be fireworks.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Read the rest here. How lucky we are that we once had such liberal, thoughtful, challenging and decent founders.