Today marks the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; the birth of the United States of America.
To many, it's simply an excuse for a huge cook-out (the americanisms have started already), hot dog eating competitions, lots of beer in red, white and blue plastic cups and Jolene on repeat. Although with Trump at the helm, celebrating political freedom seems like a far cry.
But here are our top 10 favourite Americanisms.
It would be fair to say that Disney is potentially the best thing to come out of America in the last 100 years. Aside from the fact that Disney has been entertaining children since the creation of Mickey Mouse in 1928, is responsible for everybody's number one favourite childhood film - The Lion King, and created timeless tales such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, they now have 14 theme parks around the world!
That's 14 of the most magical places on earth where all your Disney dreams can come true. What would our childhood have been without the imagination of Walt Disney.
2. Apple Pie
And no, not for reasons American Pie-esque. Genuine sweet and golden goodness covered in custard (or ice cream, whatever's your preference). As a brit we are of course partial to the good old apple crumble, but dessert aficionados the world over cannot deny the buttery, crispy goodness of a well baked apple pie. Furthermore, McDonalds apple pie takes it to a whole new level of righteousness. That actually leads me nicely onto my next favourite...
3. Burger King/McDonalds/Five Guys/KFC/Chipotle/Domino's the list goes on...
(Basically every decent fast food outlet and then some). It has to be said, America is the king of the fast food world. Whatever you fancy, they can offer and in portion sizes Hagrid would struggle with. With their first fast food restaurant chain, White Castle, opening in 1921 it is easy to see why America are the overlord of fast foods, now home to over 160,000 fast food restaurants!
4. Barack Obama
With Mr Trump currently in office, even Hannibal Lecter would come up trumps (excuse the pun) in comparison. However, Obama remains a firm favourite of America and the world. Not only did the president perform well as a politician, pursuing justice for all, introducing Obamacare, standing against gun violence and legalising gay marriage. But he was also, just a really great guy. Respectful of women and a relentless advocate of women's rights. A loving and doting husband and father. A great singer (his rendition of Amazing Grace blew us all away). Great with kids, once letting a little African American boy feel his hair after the boy asked "I want to know if my hair is just like yours". He never takes himself too serious, and he did this:
5. The Motor City
Aka Detroit. Giving birth to legends such as Carl Craig, Jeff Mills, Moodymann, Derrick May, Theo Parrish, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Eminem and Aaliyah to name a few, it's easy to see why Detroit is a clear favourite. It was here that techno was created by the founding fathers, musical agents of the third wave who only saw the fusion of man and machine for the future of electronic music. Techno became the sound of America's final and complete assimilation of the European sound, it spread like wildfire with Derrick May's 1987 release "Strings of Life" and Inner City's "Good Life" making waves internationally. Without Detroit and the pioneers it raised, electronic music would sound very different today.
Where would Skepta be without Nike? What would DJ EZ wear if that little tick never existed? Without a doubt Nike has dominated the athletic clothing and footwear industry for the last few decades from Jordans to Just Do It. Also providing us with the iconic Converse, I for one am grateful for this formidable sportswear powerhouse, could you imagine life without that inimitable swoosh?
7. Beer pong
Just incase anyone thought us Brits weren't good enough at getting obliterated off cheap alcohol, the Americans brought us beer pong! Invented in the basement of a college fraternity (where else) in the 1950s the simple drinking game has spread internationally with light up beer pong tables, beer pong bars and non-stick balls for the cleanest beer pong yet. To be honest, any game that gets us pissed is a win.
So weird yet so wonderful, PB & J sandwiches are one of the simplest yet most ingenious combinations to find its way to us from over the pond (although let's be serious, who calls jam, jelly?). And surprisingly there are so many variations to this straightforward snack, crunchy or smooth, strawberry or raspberry, seedless or seeded, make it into french toast, donuts, pancakes... the possibilities are endless.
No childhood was complete without the wonder that is Play-Doh. Who would have thought a bit of flour, water and salt could provide kids with endless amounts of fun. A revolutionary toy, we have now played with more than 700 million lb. of the stuff. Modern day play-doh comes in glitter and glow in the dark colours!! And adults can find joy in this simple toy as my family do every Christmas with a fairly competitive game of Rapido.
The native home of house music, Chicago house is the sound of global pop today. House kingpin Frankie Knuckles, a resident DJ at The Warehouse in Chicago, mixed old disco classics, new Eurobeat pop and synthesised beats into a frantic high-energy amalgamation of recycled soul. Legend Larry Levan presided over Paradise Garage and a whole generation including Farley and Frankie Knuckles rocked the clubs and played on radio stations, changing the course of electronic music for good. Now enjoying a renaissance in London and Berlin, it is only fair and right this makes the American favourites list.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!