Still, the friendly banter fired in my direction by drunken Yanks, such as "yeah, we kicked your ass on this day" and "how does it feel not to be free - I have total freedom!" evoked a moment of contemplation. What would this country be like if it was still part of the British Empire, or at least, the Commonwealth? This is meant to be a blog about art, film and Tall Tales, so I wont attempt to answer that question here. However, as I upload photos of some miniature food I was commissioned to make for a magazine's Independence Day feature, I wonder how many Americans know that a huge gripe of the colonists was in being overly taxed by Britain... The taxes Americans pay today are lower than many developed countries, but do they know they receive a lot less for their money? Healthcare, much higher college tuition fees, less paid parental leave... it's a lot more out of pocket. (Helpful article here).
As for complete freedom, granted the US had the freedom to establish some popular new religions, and that's just marvellous, but this is still a country that continually reduces civil liberties (National Defense Authorization Act - which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens, Patriots Act - allows government to engage in discretionary surveillance etc etc) and let's face it, you're not free to drink in public here!
Furthermore, do Americans know that Britain enacted the Slave Trade Act in 1807 and then the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833 that fully abolished slavery in the British Empire? The US abolished slavery later in 1865.
That being said, I challenge you to find anyone more in love with Los Angeles than myself. It may not be as totally 'free' as its people claim, but America is one heck of a place, unlike anywhere else, with some of the best and most innovative, incredible people I've ever met and I love the way of life out here. Still attached to Britain, I am not sure it could be nearly as wonderful.
Anyway! Here are some all-American (aka German) foods for the holiday and here's the original posting about that project last year.