30 Comments

  1. This would have been drawn more than three weeks ago.
    Probably done around Memorial Day. Plans changed.

  2. The news reports I’ve seen had these cancelled waaaaaay before three weeks ago, and many cities reported that they couldn’t even find any professional fireworks people/businesses to contract for a fireworks show.

  3. THINK of all the money the counties and cities saved by not buying fireworks or contracting them out. Wonder where that money will go . . .

  4. Most fireworks shows are funded by donations, so it’s not the counties and cities that have saved money.

  5. I take this particular comic as sort of breaking the 4th wall. The cartoonist is tipping his hat to us the reader, and by extension the general public.

  6. It’d be weird to assume that there *would* be any fireworks. We certainly don’t want anybody gathering in a location to watch them. Although to be honest I don’t see why they can’t have fireworks over a closed area and tell everyone to watch from their homes.

  7. Thanks to our stupid gov DeSantis, who legalized fireworks for three days/year, I’m having my own private fireworks show, safely ensconced in my office. I didn’t have to pay for ’em, either.

  8. Private fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, even sparklers. Some idiots have been sending them up well after midnight.

  9. In one of the nearby areas, they’ve been having drive-in shows in the parking lot of a mall that’s under reconstruction. They had fireworks tonight. I think that was privately funded.

  10. Welp…. California’s burning again…..

    Of course, no-one one earth could have predicted fireworks after three months of isolation and boredom and hot weather could have this outcome. It’s not like California ever had experience with wild fires to learn from.

  11. We have several houses that have burned due to fireworks, and not necessarily from the folks who own the house. Thanks again for nothing, Gov DeSantis!

  12. I’m not sure I buy his reasoning; unemployment would/should give people LESS $$$ to spend on ephemeral things like fireworks. He also doesn’t mention that Florida eliminated the ban on fireworks in 2019. I’m awaiting statistics on not only fires caused by fireworks, but physical damage (fingers, eyes, etc.).

    I think it’s just an increase in *ssh*le-ness, which is now greatly in public view and ‘normalized’.

  13. Speaking of *ssh*le-ness, the article’s website wouldn’t let me read it because I have an ad-blocker running. So I just loaded source and read it from there. The *ssh*le-ness come in from a notice at the end — the actual article is reprinted from somewhere else, and is under a creative-commons license! *ssh*les!

  14. @ larK – I actively avoid reposting any image that has “Pinterest” as its source, because the stupid system refuses to let people browse without having a login ID.

  15. My city’s big public fireworks show went on, I assume, because it is broadcast by the local ABC affiliate in prime time. The city closed the park where most folks would go to watch it in person, though helicopter coverage of the fireworks on the broadcast showed that plenty of folks drove to the area and parked on the sides of public streets and freeway overpasses to watch the show. This is always a problem during this fireworks show, but perhaps was even more so this time.

    I grew up in a neighborhood where fireworks were both 100% legal (not in an incorporated city) and very very very popular. People from all walks of life, ages, races, economic situations… so many people and so many different types of people spent amazing amounts of money (likely thousands of dollars in some cases) on fireworks every New Years and 4th of July. Folks you’d think could barely afford to keep their home bought fireworks. Immigrants who barely spoke English bought fireworks. Even “get off my lawn”/NIMBY types bought fireworks and merrily participated in the neighborhood Roman candle fight that they would otherwise gripe about. Personally, I do not enjoy fireworks at all and dreaded fireworks season growing up, but I cannot deny their remarkable appeal across a diverse group of people. Truly remarkable.

  16. @ Andréa – “unemployment … LESS $$$ to spend on ephemeral things like fireworks
    That’s very true, but the unemployment issue only affects a (distressingly large) percentage of the population, whereas the shutdown and its associated boredom affects everyone, including those who still have sufficient spare cash to (literally) burn on fireworks, as well as those who don’t, but do so anyway.
    P.S. I vividly remember my first New Year’s Eve in Germany. I had seen various amounts of fireworks on sale in supermarkets, drugstores, and elsewhere(*), but I had no idea how many people were dishing out how much money, until midnight rolled around, and the entire countryside erupted in a 360-degree onslaught of pyrotechnic firepower.
    After several years of having been just a spectator (usually from various tall apartment buildings), I had the misfortune to be participating in the proceedings from street level in a Berlin neighborhood, not realizing that only most of the rockets go “up”. Some idiots (at least in that neighborhood) thought that it was entertaining to launch them horizontally, and watch the neighbors a block away dodge for cover. It was like a war zone, and you had to have eyes in the back of your head. Since then, we’ve usually stayed at home in the suburbs (where it is relatively safe).
    P.P.S. (*) – Fireworks can be sold in Germany only for three days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and can be lit off (legally) only between 6 pm on New Year’s Eve and 6 am on New Year’s Day. However, the overwhelming majority of the tonnage is burnt up in a single hour (between 11:45 pm and 12:45 am).

  17. The article seems pretty plausible to me, perhaps even obvious, but it also reminds me of what I dislike about a lot of economic analysis. The author quotes someone as saying that it’s because people are bored, but then says that the real reason has to do with “opportunity costs.” But the discussion of opportunity costs basically boils down to “people are bored.” They have fewer other things to do, and and more free time. (Unemployment is just one factor leading to the increased free time.) It’s all pretty plausible, but describing it as “opportunity costs” adds no new insights over saying that people are bored.

    Another obvious cause is that this year most people can’t see a large municipal fireworks display, so if they want to see fireworks, they have to set off their own. If I were an economist I suppose I’d feel the need to say “Usually cities provides a large firework display supply, leading many consumers have low marginal utility for additional fireworks. Without that municipal supply, the consumer’s marginal utility is much higher.”

  18. So I just loaded source and read it from there.
    If your browser supports Reader Mode, you can try that.

  19. 1) I had adblocker on, with no problem
    2) I have no Pinterest login ID and browse thru it just fine
    3) I use Firefox, if that makes any difference

  20. “Opportunity cost” is a technical term, and what it means is “nothin’ better to do.” Which is to say, yes, “people are bored” is the same thing. Do unemployed people have money? Often they have a little money. So why spend it on fireworks? Well, opportunity cost is the value of the best other thing you could spend the money on. A concert? no concerts. A movie? no movies. Go to the bar? bars are closed. So the best other thing is to just hold on to the money. But if you hold onto the money somebody will just “borrow” it to buy cigarettes and it’ll be gone so fireworks are the better value.

  21. MiB, thanks! Now I need to hear about how “good will” is a technical term for the difference between the price being paid to take over a working small business and the valuation of the property and assets. IOW, payment for expected income from customers continuing to patronize the business, hence the term “good will”.

  22. Mitch4, that’s correct. Specifically goodwill is the residual amount after the transaction to make the debits and credits balance. If you’ve been in business for a long time but nobody has bought your company and you haven’t bought another company, you may have plenty of good will but there won’t be any goodwill on the books. This makes it hard to compare companies by looking only at their balance sheets.

  23. NYC had short, fireworks displays in various locations the week before July 4th with very short notice that they were going to occur so people would not have time to show up in crowds. They filmed them. They then added them together with a live show of them – location unannounced in advance on the 4th – including fireworks coming out of the top of the Empire State Building. Local ones out here on LI were canceled.

    We watched (from home on TV of course) the virtual concert and the fireworks at the Washington Monument in DC -we were surprised they went ahead with the fireworks – but later understood why. People were all along the Mall to watch them – not sure how or if they kept them distanced.

    This is the second time we have been home on July 4th in decades. Normally we are in Lancaster, PA for the holiday (with great hope Robert had me change the RV park reservation to mid August – I don’t think we will be going). It is like a war zone with huge fireworks that are like the professional ones in size viewable between trees in each direction. (Luckily the next door neighbors who I figured would be having a party in their backyard with lots of fireworks did not.) Fireworks have scared me since I was child – which figuring I have filled in firing our reenactment’s unit repro period cannon a number of times seems odd even to me. ALL fireworks are illegal in NYS.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.