Happy Independence Day to those Americans who celebrate it!

Art by J. Marshall Freeman.

Obviously this Tale has a national holiday theme to it, but it also has something of a Pride Day theme, coming on the heels of the anniversary of Stonewall. Queer Pride is about being open and honest about who you are, even if it makes people around you uncomfortable. And it’s about being comfortable enough with yourself that maybe you don’t even notice that other people are noticing you.

The parade Jay complains about in this was a real thing that happened here in Grand Rapids. After the so-called Gulf War, the city had an “Independence Day” parade downtown that was a thinly disguised Victory Over Iraq parade, and reelection campaign stop for GHWB.

Like a smaller version of old Soviet May Day parades, it featured uniformed troops, armored personnel carriers, a tank, and the Commander in Chief, there for a safe Republican crowd to cheer for him. It was nakedly political, kinda jingoistic, and all justified by the pretense of “supporting our troops”.