Happy Independence Day. On this day, the first in nearly a half-century in which women no longer have bodily autonomy, six people are dead and
16 24 (as of now) are hospitalized after yet another mass shooting. I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now; it was in Highland Park, Ill., at the most American event possible, a July 4 parade. Children are separated from their parents. The shooter is still at large.
God bless America.
Maybe you’ve seen one of the video clips, of people running as a klezmer band plays on a flatbed. Highland Park is a very Jewish suburb, so that adds another angle to consider. I predict that within a week, once again nothing will be done except some lip-flapping about mental health, and soon we’ll see the grateful tweets about being able to “defend your family” with all the weaponry money can buy.
This isn’t freedom. It’s the opposite of freedom.
Exact moments as shots are heard as a mass shooting unfolds in Highland Park during a 4th of July parade celebration. #highlandpark #masshooting
— CHICAGO CRITTER (@ChicagoCritter) July 4, 2022
Not celebrating anything today. It’s another 90-degree scorcher. I got my morning swim out of the way when it was still bearable, bought groceries, and am now finishing a Mick Herron novel in my air-conditioned house, which I nearly killed myself cleaning yesterday. Our bathroom(s) project is done, but as usual, the silt-like dust that went through the house lives on. Not feeling particularly celebratory right now, anyway. But that’s the thing about the Fourth of July — no one demands that you show up for a parade, wave a flag, or whatever. You’re free to shelter from extreme heat with a technology that will further degrade the environment, whoopee. Beats sheltering from mass shooters, I guess.
I did have a good time at my reunion. The MAGA who ended my last one on a sour note wasn’t there, and I found some fun people to hang with, including the class president, who I barely exchanged a word with when we were in school together. The downside of a class of 750, I guess. There were more than 100 people there, and it was beastly hot in the courtyard of the restaurant we had reserved, even in the shade. Fortunately, the bar was air-conditioned, and open. A few more names have been added to the In Memoriam page. I looked it over while I was there (it was projected on a wall). Tried to remember who went when – car crashes first, then AIDS, then the early-reaping cancers, heart disease, etc. I mentioned this to one classmate I had zero memory of back then, and couldn’t even remember his name written somewhere on a class list. He said if you make it to 65, you’re probably good for another 15-20 years, then introduced himself as a public-health specialist. Figure he’d know.
Drove home Saturday afternoon, and listened to radio shows and podcasts about the Dobbs decision. On “This American Life,” an enthusiastic anti-abortion activist answered a question about what you’d say to a woman who absolutely, positively does not want in any way to be pregnant something like this: Tough shit, life is difficult, deal. Wow, what a gal.
OK, then. This photo is making the rounds, and seems like a good one to close with. See you later this week. America the beautiful:
A Lake County police officer walks through chairs and bikes left behind on the Central Avenue parade route sidewalk near the scene of the Highland Park mass shooting.
‘It was chaotic,’ reports of 6 dead, 2 dozen others shot during Fourth of July parade
— Brian Cassella (@briancassella)July 4, 2022