Independence Day In America

This holiday tends to leave a sour taste in my mouth nowadays. Right wingers huff and puff about liberty and share pictures of people in funny hats with muskets. “Take our country back,” they say. Left wingers rant about the corporate greed flushing the nation down the tubes and inequalities. “Take our country back,” they say.

We can do without the fife and drum antics, can't we?
We can do without the fife and drum antics, can’t we?

Me, I just feel like I’m at the airport, because being surrounded by hundreds of jet engines is the only other way to hear so much high-pitched whining… but at least at an airport all the whining and hot air takes you somewhere.

A concept as vague as “independence” is a process, not a destination. Just as when you sweep the kitchen floor, it isn’t “clean” when you are done; it is simply at the “maintenance complete” part of a cycle. I don’t much reflect on words like “independence” these days, and I don’t need to anymore than a pawn needs to contemplate its next move on the chess board.

All cynicism aside though, my favorite way to celebrate the 4th of July is with crappy cinema. That’s right, a travel montage with epically over-dramatic music. What’s more ‘Murica than outdated technology dressed in chrome, blasting through the American southwest towards the coast? Nothin’, that’s what.

So allow me my silliness and join in if you want because I celebrate American Independence by watching Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man©. It’s 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes makes it that much more wonderful. Embrace the cheese America, “because it’s better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool.

“Where y headed?” “Nowhere special.” “C’mon, I’ll take you there.”

As bad as the movie is, it actually does feature the best travel montage I’ve ever seen, despite all of its pomp. Over-the-top sure, but it makes me want to load up the bike and head out on the road, and that deserves a hat tip. Micky Rourke has clearly stated he signed on purely for the money and did the film as a job. But the genuine on-set disinterest plays so well for the character’s aloofness. I can’t help myself; I freakin’ like this movie.

Alright, so about that beginning montage. If you’re of a delicate nature you’ll want to watch out for the completely unnecessary full nudity from 1:39 to 1:48, but then again does female full frontal nudity ever need to be necessary? Again, I defer to ‘Murica as my answer.

It’s your world homes, I’m just livin’ in it. Happy birthday America… you look like you’ve been up all night drinking. Get some rest.


Pretty cool bike too. Built in an era when flash was the thing, this understated and purposeful bike is probably the best thing to come out of the film. I think the bike and Harley’s jacket are surprisingly copied style icons for such a forgettable film. You just have to love it for what it is.

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