7 Ways to Celebrate July 4th if You're Fed Up With America

If you're not feeling the whole "America is great" thing, here are some alternative ways to spend your Independence Day.

America has always been the land of the free—unless you're, well, anybody but a white male. Now, even if you are a white male, you're probably either feeling marginalized because everyone hates you for colonizing the world and bringing it to the edge of climate apocalypse or you're fed up with our current leader as he gallivants around North Korea.

No matter who you are, it's quite likely that you're feeling less than optimistic about the state of our nation, and maybe you don't want to cheer while fireworks rain down and the national anthem plays on the 4th of July. If that's the case, here are seven ways to celebrate your own anti-Independence Day.

Image via eye of the cyclone

1. Take a summer road trip down to the U.S.-Mexico Border to protest our government's imprisonment of children

What could be better than a road trip to celebrate this great nation, with its expansive network of highways, endless fast food stops, and quirky roadside attractions? This July 4, cue up a fun playlist, fill up the gas tank, and set off on an exciting journey to one of the many "concentration camps" in which the U.S. government is keeping migrants at the border.

You could even live out your On The Road dreams and make a whole cross-country odyssey of it, starting from the Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey and making your way to the flu and lice-ridden center in Clint, Texas. From there you can travel along the famous Route 66 to El Barretal, the overflowing abandoned nightclub in Tijuana where huge numbers of people slept without roofs over their heads. Then, you can dip back up to California for a jaunt through the Redwoods, stopping along the way at the many for-profit California ICE facilities that have been holding prisoners for months or years at a time.

After all, what could be more American than separating children from their families and imprisoning non-white people on questionable legal grounds and at disproportionate rates? Tequila shots on Mexico!

2. Have a picnic in Missouri in front of the last remaining Planned Parenthood in the state

The 4th of July is the perfect excuse to take a leisurely journey to Missouri. You can start out with a visit to St. Louis, then spend the afternoon drinking lemonade and watching the sun set in front of the state's only remaining abortion clinic. Though the state ordered it to close, the Planned Parenthood has managed to hang on, securing a stay of proceedings that will allow its doors to remain open until August.

To make the perfect July 4th celebration, be sure to bring an all-American spread of hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, protest signs, and bulletproof vests. You may have to fend off a few angry Evangelicals, but you'll also get to witness women rushing to get abortions while knowing that should this clinic close, come August 24th it will be illegal for them to get abortions after 8 weeks of pregnancy, even in the case of rape or incest. Who needs the separation of church and state, anyway? Obviously both of these organizations have everyone's best interests at heart!

3. Get wasted in one of New York City's many corporatized gay bars, then light some fireworks outside Trump Tower

New York City is the best place to celebrate the true spirit of the land of the free, where everyone is supposed to be able to pursue life, liberty, and happiness (as long as they're a white male). If you visit New York, you might catch the last vestiges of Pride Month before companies take down their rainbow flags for the rest of the year, because obviously gay people only exist in June.

You can celebrate the true spirit of American independence—being able to make as much money as possible even, or especially, if you're profiting off exploitation of marginalized groups—by visiting T. Mobile or Citibank or any of the other corporate bodies that have grown wise to the profit potential of queerness (as long as it fits into a non-disruptive, cisgender construct).

Afterwards, drink away your ennui at one of NYC's many gay bars, which were originally formed as spaces of refuge for queer people but now serve as the perfect destination for straight women to bring their boyfriends or celebrate their girls' nights out.

Once you've downed enough watered-down $17 cocktails and are feeling reckless, take a stroll over to Trump Tower and show your love for our President by doing whatever you, in your drunken state, see fit. If that includes lighting fireworks outside the lobby while screaming at the top of your lungs, go for it. You may spend the rest of your life in prison, but what could be more American than that?!

4. Visit a black history museum—any black history museum

Did you know that black people are still facing the economic and sociopolitical consequences of that time when white Americans kidnapped and enslaved them? This year, you could celebrate the true hypocrisy of Independence Day by deepening your understanding of this nation's legacy and visiting any black history museum, or reading any Langston Hughes poem.

Independence Day: a poorly thought-out glorification of a country founded on an ethos of colonization and unchecked consumption? Who would've thought? Luckily, all you have to do is turn to a random page in any reasonably accurate history book for proof that America is the product of a long, long series of injustices.

5. Burn a Confederate flag in front of one of America's many statues of Confederate leaders

Did you know that this proud nation still boasts 718 memorials and monuments to the Confederacy? That's right, the same Confederacy that fought to the death so they could continue enslaving the people they kidnapped, tortured, and sold as property still remains immortalized across the country, and many of its monuments are meticulously preserved, courtesy of your tax dollars.

For a fun July 4th adventure, you could steal Confederate flags from Southerners' lawns and burn them in front of the statue of Robert E. Lee in our nation's capital or at any of the 10 U.S. military bases named after Confederate leaders. Or, you could drive along the Jefferson Davis highway, or you could cut to the chase and visit any of the 107 Confederate monuments in Alabama. Of course, modern America doesn't have a racist bone in its body, and these statues are just nostalgic testaments to a bygone era when this nation was great!

6. Visit a Native American reservation to remember that this country was founded on the blood of the people that existed peacefully for thousands of years before European colonizers sailed in and killed them all

Remember when Christopher Columbus, that sociopath who started a genocide and was instrumental in creating slavery, had a federal holiday named after him? Oh wait, that's still true! Columbus Day is Monday, October 14th, and though it's not a day off in all states, it's still a legal observance day in a few states, including that embodiment of American class and excellence, Florida.

If you want to celebrate Columbus's legacy in all its gory reality, you could stop by a Native American reservation—or maybe pay a visit to Standing Rock, where a massive cross-cultural protest failed to stop the installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While there, you might take a moment of silence to honor the fact that the U.S. is completely dependent on crude oil and that fossil fuel-funded super PACs essentially run our political elections.

7. Host a 2020 election preparation party

In all seriousness, America isn't the easiest nation to be proud of right now. However, 2020 will mark a time when we the people can actually come together to form a (slightly) more perfect union. Whether that more perfect union will be shaped by Elizabeth Warren's plans, Marianne Williamson's cosmic force field of love, or another four years of Trump tweets is up to us.

This 4th of July, if you're unhappy with the state of America, you could host a presidential candidate speech-viewing party or a climate change discussion group. Just frame the event as a fun picnic with watermelon and fireworks, but when all your conservative neighbors show up, slam 'em with a dramatic reading of AOC's Green New Deal.

As the liquor starts flowing, start collecting signatures for your favorite candidate or political cause. Then host the adults-only after-party at a protest against an ICE raid or another incident of police brutality. Because after all, despite all its flaws, for now America is still a place where everybody has the right to be very, very angry.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.