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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There are several things about wine that can confuse the average person. If you haven't spent the last few years of your life learning everything there is to know about wine, you can be forgiven for picking up a box of the good stuff every now and then. However, if you want to know a little bit more about how to choose a good bottle, we can help you out. We've created a beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine so you can enjoy yourself a little more.

Know What Type of Wine To Choose

First things first, you're going to need to decide the type of wine that you're looking for in order to narrow your search. Are you looking for a red, white, sparkling, or rosé? The choices may seem overwhelming, but try to focus on what foods you'll be pairing the wine with. Reds go great with heavier meals like red meat, while whites tend to lend themselves towards lighter dishes like fish and cheeses. If you'll be drinking the wine on its own, consider what you've tried in the past and what type you tend to gravitate toward.

Know How Much You're Willing To Spend

It's no secret that a penchant for wine can become an expensive hobby. If you're just getting into the idea, don't waste your time or money with the extremely pricey bottles. A good place to start looking for decent bottles of wine is somewhere between the $10 and $30 price range. This will keep you from buying something too low quality without breaking your bank in the process.

Read the Labels Closely

A good bottle of wine will often give tasting notes right on the bottle. Because everyone's palette is different, you may not get the same notes when you try the wine, but it's a good place to start. Choose something with tasting notes that you already enjoy like berries or cocoa and try to see if you get any hints of that as you drink. The labels may also tell you about the wine's acidity, or how tart it is, and the wine's body, or the way it feels in your mouth.

A beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine can only go so far without being overwhelming. The next part of your wine journey will need to be undertaken on your own. Try various types of wine and see what tastes best to you—that's what wine is really all about.

Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

Yet another clever twist on a weekday favorite! The paprika and garlic flavored cured sausage is a staple in our chopping baskets since it goes well with practically anything. Not only is Chorizo loved for its taste, but also for its ability to infuse sauces with its tantalizing flavor. This time around, HelloFresh has decided to spice up a classic bowl of bean chili with Spanish styling of a smokey mild chorizo. The end result? A mix of chorizo, red kidney beans, corn and avocado, and an irresistible flavor that everyone will love. This is just one of dozens of unique HelloFresh recipes you won't find anywhere else!

Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!