Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

Backyard fireworks are simultaneously one of America’s greatest and worst traditions. Certainly, they’re an odd way to display patriotic pride. And, predictably, amateur fireworks displays send thousands of hapless Americans to the emergency room every July 4. As such, more communities are banning or severely limiting the use of home fireworks each year. At first blush, that might seem like a boon to society at large, but there’s a downside to it, too. For one thing, the fireworks industry has given rise to some of the wildest, tackiest, most copyright-flaunting graphic artwork in recent memory. Cabel Sasser, an Oregon-based software company founder, has been documenting the most egregious example of bad fireworks packaging at his blog for the last nine years. But 2016 might be the end of the line, Sasser says. Local lawmakers in Oregon have cracked down on what are euphemistically termed “personal fireworks.”

While he still can, Sasser offers one last roundup of truly horrendous and awesome fireworks packaging. A number of the designs here blatantly infringe on famous movie and TV characters. Do the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles know, for instance, that they’re endorsing a line of low-level explosives?

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Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

The same fate has befallen a bootleg Lightning McQueen.

Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

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And Arnold Schwarzenegger, seemingly in Terminator mode, has been pressed into service as well.

Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

The fireworks industry is not worried about insulting its core consumers either, as demonstrated by the egregious stereotypes embodied here.

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Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

Other packages invite consumers to take pride in their own dickishness.

Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

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Photo: Cabel Sasser (cabel.me)

Consider what is being lost, America, every time an anti-fireworks ordinance goes into effect. A whole way of life is being snuffed out by the over-cautious government nanny state. Sasser acknowledges this in the text accompanying the photos:

It’s not my place to pass judgement on the shriveled up, Raisinet-like hearts of the Vancouver City Council—I know they have their reasons, such as maybe owning dogs, having explosion-sensitive hearing aids, or something about a high chance of fire danger and personal injury to children something something.

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Someday, Sasser’s photographs may be all that remains of this once-proud tradition. Savor these horrendous, eye-assaulting images.

[via Boing Boing]