Happy Independence Day 2013!

Happy 4th of July! Take a moment to remember what the American version of democracy and representative gov’t means, and those who serve since 1776. And then figure out if you’re really going to overeat, or watch what tv marathon is on (Walking Dead marathon? Star Trek: TNG marathon over at BBC America? Oh, yeah, fireworks).

From an e-mail of the Brooklyn Historical Society: July 4, 1827 is also Emancipation Day for NYS, as the day that slavery was finally abolished in NYS. Lots of cool things happened on 7/4.

The complicated history and implications of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” over at Slate (excerpt of God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song by Sheryl Kaskowitz).

This year, the US Supreme Court really packed it in at the end of the 2012-2013 term, with decisions that I still have to read already.  But, I got a kick out of the Breakfast Table at Slate, where Emily Bazelon facilitates the posted discussion with the crackling minds of Walter Dellinger and the Posners, Judge Richard Posner – such a great read as ever – and Eric Posner (son of Judge Posner and no slouch on his own as a legal mind as a Prof. of U of Chicago Law).  Starting with the first entry to the last – this was a good start of the coverage of the US Supreme Court.

Not that I had timed this at all, but I finished reading this week The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood.  An exploration of Franklin’s evolution (arguably revolution) from British patriot to American revolutionary, Wood’s smooth writing made this a terrific read.  I enjoyed it.

Currently reading: E.E. Cummings poetry, from this nifty little Selected Poems edition edited by Cummings biographer Richard S. Kennedy.

Well, every year, TCM on cable shows 1776 the Musical. (for whatever reason, they scheduled it at 1:30am – when it’s 7/5… sigh).   At any rate, it’s a great musical, really awesome, and felt pretty accurate, putting aside the whole movie-version-of-Broadway-show element. John Adams just pisses everybody off and we keep trying to fight a good fight. In the middle of an icky summer too. Yep. (N.B. – John Adams here was played by the awesome William Daniels, well before he did St. Elsewhere, Knight Rider, and Boy Meets World on tv)