While I was pedaling on May 5 through the streets of Santa Monica (the only possible way to travel during the Cinco de Mayo gridlock), I recalled that a few years ago the City Council decided to tone down the 4th of July celebrations. If memory serves, the reasons given were: massive crowds, congestion, violence, cost, litter and air pollution caused by the thousands of idling cars not going anywhere. In their enigmatic wisdom, they decided to have the fireworksdisplay before dawn, hoping no one would show up. I have never really understood why, if theydidn't want folks to come, they just didn't cancel it outright, but I guess that's why I'm not awise man in the city government.
Now comes the Mexican Independence Day celebration. Traffic was backed up for miles on the freeways and the streets were tangled with cars. We had crowds, pollution, gangs, litter and basically everything the city government anathematized American Independence Day for. I suggest we dispense with this obvious double standard and do one of three things: (a) Don't celebrate either holiday; (b) Celebrate both during the hours when most Homo sapiens are awake and simply grit our teeth to the consequences; (c) Observe both holidays at 4 a.m.