Americans will go through the motions of gathering for backyard barbeques, watching fireworks and chasing after kids who throw firecrackers into their lawns. But the overall mood of the country will be anything but patriotic.
In the last three months, the country has transitioned from a democratic republic to a corporation to a dictatorship and finally back to a republic. It began with Google’s acquisition of the U.S., followed by a military coup led by former Sen. Hillary Clinton and an ultimate rescue by the lunar armed forces.
“The American people are more confused about their identity, about their leadership and about the future of our form of government,” said Horatio Ivee, a history professor at Harvard University. “It’s created a kind of despondency, a kind of decadent resignation that I’ve never witnessed before. It’s like Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw’ is the new national anthem.”
The national mood stems partly from a crisis of leadership. President George Prescott Bush has decided against running for a second term, and both political parties are scrambling to get nominees onto the November ballot.
Festering environmental crises have also been weighing on the America spirit. Several major coastal cities, including Seattle, Boston and New York City, are suffering from ongoing flooding due to climate change. Water shortages abound in many southwestern states, resulting in widespread rioting. And the shift to alternative forms of fuel, including cranberry juice cocktail, are proceeding slowly.
The Bush administration is hoping the Olympic Games, set to begin Aug. 8 in Bismarck, N.D., will lift the country’s spirits a bit.
Meanwhile, temperatures in Washington, D.C. are expected to hit 135º F today, which is expected to suppress the number of people attending activities on the National Mall. A concert on the lawn of Capitol Building will feature Miley Cyrus, David Archuleta, the National Robotic Orchestra, and the president himself performing with his old high-school pal Enrique Iglesias.
Jimmy Buffett is also expected to perform, although organizers of the event have asked him to stick to uplifting songs. That means fans won’t get to hear his aforementioned hit and his signature “Margaritaville.”
Country crooner Lee Greenwood, best known for his hit “God Bless the USA,” turned down an invitation to perform at the event, saying that he would rather spend the day at his villa in the south of France.
Performers on the Capitol lawn tonight include, from left, Miley Cyrus, David Archuleta and Enrique Iglesias and President Bush