The real heroes of the American Revolutionary War were the British Redcoats — the work-a-day schlubs who charged up hills and trudged through the swamp lands of the American Colonies while bravely wearing the color red. Sure, the color red made them extremely easy targets for colonial farmers and backwoods hicks, but the rifled barrel had not yet been invented.
Accuracy limitations of smooth-bore muskets leveled the playing field, causing the war to drag on for seven years beyond July 4th, 1776. This gave anti-war hippies plenty of time to organize a resistance effort. However, hippies didn’t exist yet, and resistance never materialized. Furthermore, the colonial rebels were poorly equipped for harsh winter conditions. This made the playing field even more level.
Today we can only wonder how things would have turned out if George Washington and his troops had been equipped at Valley Forge with Soviet-style puffy warm furry animal-skin hats instead of nothing but rat meat and cold anger. Aspiring legal minds should look into this situation to examine whether a lawsuit should be filed on behalf of descendants of Valley Forge survivors. If it turns out that our troops were harmed unnecessarily, then there could be a big pay day in store for their ancestors, or a progressive organization such as the ACORN group.
Seven out of 10 college professors agree that the greatest tragedy of the American Revolution was that the first volume of Das Kapital was not published until 1867. If Karl Marx had only been born 150 years earlier in the American Colonies, rather than Germany, we could have achieved the perfect revolution. Not only that, George Washington would have looked much better crossing the Delaware while wearing a ushanka hat instead of that pointy triangle.
The Declaration of Independence stated a lot of fancy things that were written in a strange form of cursive that not many people really understand anymore. However, among the truisms that were not stipulated by the document are the undeniable facts that we are limited only by our own imaginations, the laws of physics, as well as the collective idiocy of other human beings.
There had to be at least one British redcoat who believed that going into battle dressed as a target was not the brightest of ideas. We can only imagine the conversation he would have had with one of his fellow soldiers as rebel musket fire whizzed past his head, “Oh, bloody hell. I knew that red would only cause problems. Perhaps we should dress in buckskins, or something that doesn’t clash so much with our surroundings?”
Dutifully, his fellow soldier would have waited until the end of the battle to turn him over to the proper authorities. A two-minute trial would have ensued, followed by drums and a firing squad. The weirdo had no purpose in a group-think system such as a massive, cumbersome army designed to look pretty for a queen or king’s parade.
The easiest words to grasp from the cursive set forth on the old yellow parchment of the Declaration of Independence are, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Unwittingly, the constructors of these words gave rise to a nation of weirdos. This was mainly due to the fact that Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the gang was so weird for their time that they thought weirdness was normal.
The pursuit of happiness is a crazy idea that should probably be banished or at least honed into a tightly defined concept that everyone can agree upon. As evidenced by reports from the AP wire, dozens of modern U.S. citizens believe that the pursuit of happiness requires the smoking of bath salts. Apparently they do this in order to transform themselves into the human-flesh-eating zombies they have always aspired to become. Although this is perfectly fine for the Halloween season, it causes problems throughout the rest of the year involving under-funded police departments.
At last we have arrived at yet another profound and teachable moment. Independence Day is not about smoking bath salts and running around like a zombie. It’s about something deeper and much more important. It’s about taking the time to think of the redcoats and the sacrifices they made for us so long ago at places like Bunker Hill.
Michael Patrick is a freelance writer from Reno. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.