Another Independence Day weekend, another Iowa City Jazz Festival. I’ve written here before about my difficulty appreciating jazz. It’s like wine: I know when I like something but I can’t explain why I like it. I don’t have any understanding of the subtleties.
Speaking of things I don’t understand the subtleties of: the World Cup. Argentina got pounded yesterday by Germany, so I have a lot of sad in-laws. Then Paraguay lost a close game to Spain, which means their hottest underwear model won’t get naked in public as promised. It was a bad day for the Americas.
This so-called World Cup is really a Eurotrash festival. Europe started out by sending their thirteen (thirteen!) best teams to the tournament–including “England”, which is like letting California have its own team. Germany, Spain, and Netherlands all made it to the semifinals. Uruguay is our only hope.
So, though I struck out with these two things–one typically American (jazz) and another of more international appeal (soccer), I’m tackling something a little more familiar to me this weekend to celebrate the independence of our declining nation. I’m reading a new book about the founders: “Revolutionaries” by Jack Rakove. I’m only about two-thirds of the way through, but so far it’s pretty good. The author attends to some of the less celebrated revolutionary figures (George Mason, Robert Morris, and Henry Laurens) and events (the framing of the first state constitutions, the peace negotiations with Great Britain).
I don’t know why I like reading about the founders so much. Maybe it’s because our present political leaders are such duds. I had a history professor at college who insisted that all historical figures were simply the products of their times. In that case, maybe we’re the duds. Happy Fourth.