From the Left



A Big Boom for China

Marc Munroe Dion on

I live in an urban area, which means my neighborhood sounds like the Battle of Midway on the Fourth of July, and for a week before and after. It scares the hell out of my cats, who spend the holiday under the bed.

Fireworks are illegal in the city and the state, which discourages no one. In fact, it encourages many people who view themselves as warriors in a continuous revolution against the government they elect every few years.

They are Americans, they will tell you, and by God, no government is going to tell them they can't have fireworks. The police, drowning in a rolling wave of domestic disturbances, overdoses and gun crime, have no time to enforce the law against fireworks.

In general, in America, if it makes a big noise, we think it's patriotic. Guns. Brass bands. Loud exhausts. Donald Trump. Fireworks. It is best to communicate with the American people through explosions or screaming. Everything else is wimpy and communist. That's why we hate reading. It's too quiet.

I've set off fireworks in my life. I did it when I was in high school, when most kinds of stupidity seemed cute. I'm an adult now, so I don't do most of the stuff I did in high school, though I read a lot now, and I did back in high school, too.

The fireworks we blow off in great rolling thunders of patriotism are made in China. Everything is made in China. It's the American way. Even our patriotic noise is imported.

They sell fireworks just over the state line, so even if you're driving an unreliable vehicle because the factories are gone and the unions are broken, you and your 10-year-old Japanese car with the "NOT A LIBERAL" bumper sticker can still stutter over the state line to buy Chinese fireworks with the $300 unemployment bonus you got from the government against which you are in perpetual revolt.

We would love to get back at China. We hate China. The union jobs assembling toasters and vacuum cleaners went to China. Well, they didn't go to China under their own power, but the jobs are there now, so we hate China


What if no one in America bought fireworks? Millions of dollars would stay in America and not go to China. You don't eat fireworks, so no one would starve to death if America stopped buying, and at least one Chinese industry would feel some pain.

Who am I kidding? Americans don't like boycotts. They're too quiet. Sure, we'll kill tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians because Donald Rumsfeld didn't know how to confirm an intelligence report, but that's different. A war is a series of explosions, so it has to be patriotic. Also, it produces heroic dead, and no endeavor that produces dead bodies is un-American. There's a reason dead soldiers get the biggest memorials. It's because the dead can't tell us what the war was really like, so their inconvenient truths won't be said loud enough to drown out the sound of rifles fired in a volley.

Nah. A boycott of Chinese fireworks would be wimpy and probably communist, even though it would be aimed at China, which is a communist country. Although that's hard to understand because, right now, China is doing a better job of capitalism than they're doing in Gary, Indiana.

So, buy your patriotic Chinese fireworks, and drive back over the state line. Stop for some gas station nachos and a couple lottery tickets on the way back.

I'm going under the bed with my cats. It's quiet under there, and even if it's dark, if I bring a flashlight, I can probably manage to read.


To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion's latest book, "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America," is a collection of his best columns. It is available in paperback from Amazon. Com and for Nook, Kindle and iBooks.




Joey Weatherford Ed Wexler Dick Wright John Darkow Monte Wolverton Bill Day