As I write this post it’s about a week away from the big patriotic holiday in the United States. For my international readers, it’s the one where we do our big celebration with parades and fireworks and lots of flag waving. Drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of meat. Some politician will make a speech about freedom and how we are the best country in the world.
This year I am not feeling it. At last report we still had more than 2,000 unaccompanied refugee children in custody, some of them in tent camps indistinguishable from prisons, on our southern border. And at one point (there’s been some political backlash, it may not happen now) the plan was to take as many as 20,000 more refugee children into custody and hold them as political hostages in a pointless and stupid internal political fight we are having. It’s state terrorism on a grand scale. It does not make me want to attend a parade or wave a flag.
The USA has earned a bad reputation in the 21st century when it comes to running prisons for people the government despises:
The idea that we are rapidly expanding such prisons in the style of concentration camps — and filling them with children — does not make me want to go and listen to a patriotic speech. Not this year.
But fireworks? Fireworks are cool. In particular I never get tired of rockets, which depending on design have aspects of being weapons systems, transportation systems, and objects of great beauty when they go “Kaboom!” And, of course, to a porn guy like me they never stop being wonderfully phallic.
Back in the age of pulp magazines, it was really common to see a helpless heroine strapped to a rocket, or imprisoned inside one, just as it was being launched into outer space or somewhere similarly perilous and deadly. Right now I have a lengthy list of people I’d like to nominate for a trip inside this rocket right here, but I shall have to settle for dreaming and sighing and wishing:
If you want to get downright nasty and literal and snuffy about your rocket-riding fireworks-show fantasies, the artist Gronc drew this human fireworks rocket-rider for his Explosive Girls series back in 2007. Like all of Gronc’s explosive girls she seems insanely cheerful about the noisy and messy light show that she’s about to provide:
My favorite of all the rocket-riding girls are the cheerfully underdressed hobo ladies. It’s hot on a rocket so they don’t wear very much, and they are definitely riding all that fierce rocket thrust that’s pulsing between their tight strong thighs right on out of our little backwater jurisdiction. They’ve got their clothes in a cute little handkerchief bundle on a stick thrown over their shoulder and they are waving goodbye to us because they are never coming back.
Where’s she going? Inquiring men want to know, but it’s a difficult question to answer. There’s a verse from a song by comedian Tom Lehrer that underscores the difficulty:
“Once the rockets are up,
who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department,”
says Wernher von Braun.
Happy patriotic holiday, everybody. And don’t forget to keep your head down.