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Modernizing an Obsolete Holiday

One of these days somebody needs to construct a Top Ten list of ludicrous obsolescences: those anachronisms that somehow survive in the modern world, despite being way past their shelf life. Certainly Independence Day in America would make it near the top.

But in fairness there will only be a brief and perfunctory mention of obsolete terms, such as "freedom" and "liberty", in the corny speeches of politicians. (And if the pol is a Democrat, there won't be any mention at all.) All in all, Independence Day has become a day to celebrate militaristic nationalism and imperialism; it's the American version of the old Soviet celebrations, dragging nuclear missiles through Red Square, with Communist big-shots looking down approvingly from a balcony on the Kremlin.

It's all very easy to poke fun at Independence Day, but it's more worthy of us to suggest how to modernize it to be relevant to modern Amerika. One of the famous police states of the 20th Century was Nazi Germany, but they lacked the technology of the modern police state, so I doubt we could learn much by studying their national holidays. Besides, many of the things that are banned or controlled in modern Amerika were unrestricted in Nazi Germany. Do you think Hitler cared how many weekly grams of trans-fat his minions were permitted?

Perhaps the ideal national holiday for a modern police state is a midsummer Saturnalia. Let's be practical and imagine that 1 percent of the citizen-serfs are chosen at random, as with juries, and then treated to something reminiscent of the ancient Saturnalias. From Chapter LVIII, section 3 in The Golden Bough, Frazer give us:
We have seen that many peoples have been used to observe an annual period of license, when the customary restraints of law and morality are thrown aside...and when the darker passions find a vent which would never be allowed them in the more staid and sober course of ordinary life. Such outbursts of the pent-up forces of human nature, too often degenerating into wild orgies of lust and crime...
But no feature of the festival is more remarkable, nothing in it seems to have struck the ancients themselves more than the license granted to slaves at this time.
Why shouldn't the citizen-serf of modern Amerika also enjoy a Saturnalia? Of course ours needs to be on the 4th of July rather than the winter solstice. I didn't have Frazer's extremes in mind; merely that the 1% selected be allowed to experience the freedom that all Americans had when we were born. Do you think it's actually practical?

Consider examples from your own life: driving a car, smoking in a bar, drinking at a public festival without going into a fenced cage, using your own land the way you want, letting your dog poop in peace, crossing international borders, using A.D. and B.C., whistling at a pretty girl, etc.