Fireworks are cool.
Big, spectacular, wonderful firework shows high in the air that display intriguing patterns and timed launches coordinated by professionals who put on a real show are awesome, a spectacular sight to behold.
Like a well written, directed and performed stage show, they offer a magical experience for a large group of people.
Lighting up the sky and inspiring the hearts and minds of the people gathered as friends and family to observe them, they are a real thing to behold.
Fireworks made available on any street corner to any yahoo with a few dollars in their pocket are stupid.
Think about it. The Victoria Day long weekend is coming. And, prior to any long weekend there's an explosion of availability of fireworks almost everywhere you look. The advertisements for fireworks the average person can buy remind me of those old ads in the back of comic books, the ones that promised you something really cool like x-ray glasses or a family of cute dancing sea monkeys. The hype seems to promise the same spectacular effects that the professionals can offer. But like most "you can do it yourself" hype they fail to remind people that putting on such a great show as the ones that Disney puts on every single night requires a LOT of work, a lot of time, and the proper amount of effort and skill.
Not to mention safety.
That idiot who doesn't understand gridlock, who cuts you off in traffic, who tosses their garbage haphazardly wherever they want without any consideration for anything or anyone other than themselves; that knucklehead who leaves their grocery cart in the middle of the parking lot rather than putting it where it belongs so it can roll off and dent someone's vehicle, who butts ahead in line when the new cashier opens and clearly states "next person in line," who isn't responsible enough to curb their dog so that the next time, walking on your own lawn you step in a messy pile of stinking crap can suddenly be in possession of dangerous explosives.
Think about this. Bubbleheads who nobody in their right mind would let operate dangerous machinery or handle weapons can quickly and easily be in possession of a box of explosives that they're most likely to use while even further stupified by alcohol.
I worry about innocent people, children and animals being injured or personal property being damaged by some jackass lighting off fireworks in their backyard or driveway without a second thought for safety.
But I also marvel at the idiot in my neighbourhood who was lighting these things off last night near midnight. I mean, c'mon, what was that bonehead thinking last night? "Hey everyone. It's a Thursday night prior to a long weekend and I have a box of fireworks. I think I'll set off explosives that nobody is even around to watch or enjoy, and wake everyone within a 5 block radius." Of course this is likely the very same idiot who drives his car through the neighbourhood at 1 in the morning blasting music so loud that the windows of houses he drives by rattle. He thinks he's showing off how cool his music is, but he's just showing off that he's a jerk without a second thought for anybody else.
Humans are pretty darn smart, sophisticated and capable of ingenious intelligent acts of discovery and creativity. We solve problems, engage in complex and marvelous activities that educate, engage and inspire.
But we can also be incredibly and intensely stupid.