This July fourth marks the two hundred and thirty-sixth year of our great country, which is amazing because in all honesty it barely looks a day over two hundred and twenty-eight. Certainly, many of us will celebrate this momentous occasion in a familiar fashion, with backyard barbecues, perhaps a parade and of course the obligatory gazing into the sky as volatile mixtures of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium-nitrate explode into a dazzling array of colors. Now all of these are awesome, but what does that certain unabashed mega-geek do that's looking for a unique way to indulge his/her love for both this country AND all things geek simultaneously? Well, here's a list of activities we've assembled for those looking for out of the ordinary ways to unleash their inner patriot.
1. Civil War Reenactments!
Some people just don't give Civil War reenactments their due, and that's a shame, because after all, they are the original cosplay. Think about it: before the days of toy Light Sabers and Comic-cons we had musket replicas and staged performances of the Battle of Mossy Creek. According to Wikipedia, "Reencating the American Civil War began before the real fighting had ended," which may sound a bit ridiculous, but that's just how dedicated Civil War hobbyists are!
With over fifty-thousand active Civil War re-enactment actors across the US and dozens of historical re-enactment groups in every state, chances are you may have one happening near you this year. These action packed fights aren't just entertaining, they're also a great way to learn about U.S. history and the trials and tribulations our nation has faced in preserving our Independence.
2. Visit a National Park
Just like the song goes, "This land is your land," and what better way to take advantage of that fact than by setting foot inside the iconic forests of our great national parks? These majestic spaces are virtually untouched, and in a world where we're constantly bombarded by so much, these wide open spaces can offer much needed peace of mind.
3. Listen to the Oldies station
What's more American than Rock n' Roll? With the exception of maybe George Washington's underwear, the answer is nothing. Few art-forms are as inextricably linked from the culture they arose from, and rock n' roll, an American innovation, went on to become arguably the most beloved music of the past century. Listening to artists like Bo Diddly, Elvis and Buddy Holly are the audio equivalent of reading a speech from our founding fathers.
4. Captain America Marathon
With all of the hoopla surrounding this weekend's release of the new SpiderMan reboot, sadly Captain America is feeling quite neglected. Actually that's not true at all; Captain America is a fictional character, so he doesn't feel much of anything really, much less feelings of neglect.
Still, Steve Rogers' Admantium shield carrying alter-ego makes for great stories, and if you want to go above and beyond your patriotic-geek-duty this Fourth of July sit, then why not make it all about the Captain? You can start at your local cineplex with viewing of the Avengers. Sure it's been out awhile, but it's still breaking box-office records, so you shouldn't have a problem tracking it down. Next, watch Captain America: The First Avenger. Compare and contrast. Which makes you more proud to be an American, and why? Follow up this mini-film festival with a reading of any Captain America comic you can get your hands on.
Whatever you do, do not, I repeat do NOT follow up with a viewing of either the 1990 straight to video Captain America or the loosely associated Nick Fury "Agent of Shield," starring David Hasslehoff.
How will you geek out today?