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Made for Each Other

Each year on this date I try to find and present a photo or illustration that captures America in a nutshell (here are the ones from 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008). What I like about this year’s entry — a photo of Donald Trump hugging a flag at a campaign event in Tampa a little over a year ago — is its versatility. If you like Trump, the photo shows his admirable love of country; if you hate Trump, the photo shows his penchant for absurd behavior. Either way, the photo seems like an apt snapshot of America at this point in time, and the divergent reactions to it capture our unfortunate state of polarization.

Anyway: Everyone have a great holiday. I’ll be busy today, but the comments are open, so feel free to chat amongst yourselves (but let’s please not have any pro- or anti-Trump speechifying, thanks).

If you have a few minutes, I heartily recommend that you read the Declaration of Independence, whose ratification is what we’re celebrating today. (Here’s typeset version, in case you can’t decipher Jefferson’s handwriting.)

And if you’re spending the day in the company of a Britisher, kindly pass along my annual Independence Day rallying cry: In your face, Redcoats!

19 comments to Made for Each Other

  • S. Menecola | July 4, 2017 at 8:21 am |

    To the American readership and Paul and all the crew at Uni watch. Please enjoy and have a safe Independence Day. As a Canadian I am proud to have your country as a neighbour, and my personal belief is let’s celebrate our differences and the ability to be proud of one another regardless of religion, socio-economic status or political stripe. In the end none of us get out of here alive so let’s make it fun and aesthetically pleasing, and for the love of all that is sacred let’s petition the removal of holiday uniforms in baseball.

    Be safe folks.

  • R.S. Rogers | July 4, 2017 at 8:27 am |

    That’s not Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting. The signing draft of the Declaration was definitely not written by Jefferson, and most likely was drafted by brewer and patriot Timothy Matlack. And while the engrossed handwritten copy is what we think of today as the real or original Declaration, it was actually promulgated on July 4, 1776 in this printed form: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_history_of_the_United_States_Declaration_of_Independence#Dunlap_broadside

    The fancy-handwriting version wasn’t created until late July or August of 1776. It was basically Congress’s souvenir copy.

  • John H. | July 4, 2017 at 8:30 am |

    Well said, S.. As a fellow Canuck, I second all of that.

  • mild bill | July 4, 2017 at 8:35 am |

    Thanks for including all of the previous photos and illustrations that capture America. My favorite year is still the first, 2008, which reflects an array of some of our most damaging products; fireworks, guns, ham, and cigarettes.

    • Andy L | July 4, 2017 at 9:49 am |

      The 2008 sign is advertising BB guns. Or perhaps the U in ‘guns’ is umlauted, in which case the America-ness of the sign/photo takes a hit.

      • Donnie | July 4, 2017 at 11:51 am |

        BB Goonz

  • Rich | July 4, 2017 at 9:33 am |

    I’m celebrating the birth of our great country today, and I’m also celebrating the fact that this is the last day of the stupid ass stars and stripes uniforms.

  • StLMarty | July 4, 2017 at 9:42 am |

    I will continue to post this Gumby video every 4th. I realize very few (if any) have watched in years past. Their mistake.

    https://youtu.be/uS8Ef8X3bBY

    • Steve | July 5, 2017 at 9:41 am |

      Obligatory…

      “I’m Gumby, dammit!”

  • R.S. Rogers | July 4, 2017 at 9:50 am |

    Sports, guns, drugs, trucks, race, real estate, financial shenanigans, highways, family gatherings, immigration, booze, death – if there’s one song that sums up modern America on this Independence Day, it’s James McMurtry’s “Choctaw Bingo”: https://youtu.be/AWEJPqJtZsk

  • Phil Hecken | July 4, 2017 at 10:04 am |

    abe_lincoln_riding_a_grizzly_by_sharpwriter-d33u2nl

    Happy Murica Day, Errybody!

    • Steve | July 5, 2017 at 9:41 am |

      THIS ONE WINS.

  • R Shackleford | July 4, 2017 at 10:06 am |

    Mexican American Grocers Association? I support them as well D!

  • Adam w | July 4, 2017 at 10:35 am |

    Happy 4th all. I’m going to go have my celebratory anus burger!

  • Roger M | July 4, 2017 at 3:13 pm |

    Happy Independence Day! Seeing you are from Blue Point why don’t you ever write about eating at Flo’s?

  • Political Man | July 6, 2017 at 11:23 pm |

    I really enjoy the site. I got hooked on it about a year ago. I have to say however your “capture America in a nutshell” pictures are pretty disappointing. You think a man in his underpants cooking on grill shaped like a gun or a supermarket display of beer captures America in a nutshell? Really?

    I’m not sure if I should be sad that you see America in that way or rather I should be sceptical that you really want to make a political statement.

    Great site but your yearly thinly veiled political statements disguised as “humor” or cleverness could use a little more optimism.

    • Paul Lukas | July 7, 2017 at 7:44 am |

      If your biggest complaint about the site is that you don’t like a couple of photos I posted several years before you even started showing up here, I’m not too concerned. If those photos somehow diminish or interfere with your enjoyment of the site, that’s a pity. But I’d like to think we’ll both find a way to move on.

      • Political Man | July 8, 2017 at 6:33 pm |

        That’s a little over supplication don’t you think? You make your thoughts about America known publicly,every year on the 4th of July, by choosing photos which you say “capture America in a nutshell.” Then you choose photos that show the American flag in beer display or a drawing of a fat Captain America holding a Big Gulp.

        I’m calling you out. Your yearly pictures aren’t cute or clever. What they are is cowardly. If you have something you really want to say about America, then show the courage of your convictions and say it.

        Then we can all have a discussion about your ideas. When we are done I’ll take a photo of that… And let that be my “America in a nutshell.”