Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Stupidity of Burning Money: Fireworks!

We, like many municipalities, are in a money crunch.  We're cutting programs for kids.  The arts are going, parks programs are cut, sports programs for kids are cut, and so, in an effort to keep some of those programs the Sugarhouse Fireworks display was cut.  To me this is a very sensible solution to saving money.  What is a fireworks display but the literal burning of money in a very ostentatious way, with a lot of noise and a certain amount of risk of life and limb to the idiots blowing things up. "... it costs more than pocket change to put on the show: $55,000 to be exact"  according to the article in the Salt Lake Tribune.  So some idiot with more money than brains began a private effort to raise the money to put on the blowing shit up program in Sugarhouse Park.  And it was wildly successful.  So, fine.  We can raise the money to blow shit up, but we can't afford a summer arts program.  This private effort to raise funds is laudable.  But if we, the citizens who feel so burdened by taxes can raise money for fireworks, why can't we do the same for our public schools, or summer programs for kids from poor families?

I have many reasons for hating fireworks and not the least among them is the damage they do to lives of animals who are terrified by the noise. It is the glorification of "bombs bursting in air" symbolized by the sight and ground-shaking sound and smell of smoke that fireworks is all about.  Surely we can find a way to celebrate the Fourth of July in less costly and dangerous ways than blowing shit up.