I have always lavishly loved fireworks. Sometimes I wonder how they do it; how are all those shapes, sizes and colors so perfectly created and how are the displays synchronized with music? But I have never looked into it - maybe because, as with magicians, I like the surprise more than I care about the secrets.
Undoubtedly the tradition of Independence Day fireworks is related to the “rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air” part of the national anthem. Don't you think?
[By the way, did you know that The Star-Spangled Banner did not become the official national anthem until 1931? Before then, Hail, Columbia was most often sung at official functions. Nowadays, that tune is used as the entrance song for the vice president as Hail to the Chief is played for the entrance of the president. Thus ends today's history lesson, kiddies.]
A drawback to fireworks for me is the accompanying noise that I find to be a distraction from the beauty of the displays. This explains how I became a devotee of YouTube videos of fireworks – I can turn off the audio.
I have also been known to turn off all the lights in the house at night, flip the video to full screen and let the burst of colors and patterns wash over me in complete darkness with the silence. (If you think this sounds a bit like I might be smoking something funny, you might not be wrong.)
Recently, I have become a fan of Japanese fireworks. Without denigrating America's efforts, which can be magnificent, there is a subtlety to the design of some Japanese displays I like and a creative use of repetition. The latter is what you will see in the first minute of this video – which doesn't take anything away from the more traditional second half.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, EVERYONE. I HOPE YOU ARE ENJOYING THE LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND.