Peer Review by bibliophile (United States)

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By: Dusk :)

    Every Fourth of July I would lie at the bottom of my kayak to watch the fireworks.  Explosions consumed the sky, illuminated it with sparks and colors followed by deafening booms that made it nearly impossible to think of anything else. The myriad of colors entranced all its viewers; the whole town was seemingly hypnotized like luring Sirens had decided to move into the skies. But once the finale was over and fireworks no longer flashed, clouds of smoke remained visible in the air. It would only be in the wake of the show that I began to wonder about the extent of damage caused. Ultimately the fireworks would not be too significant in terms of impact, especially given their unfrequent nature, but they ran parallel to many perspectives on common but harmful pollutants.
    Pollution does not always look threatening on the outside, making it easy to ignore it and remain blind. People tend to naturally only focus on the problem once it already has escalated to harm. It’s easy to ignore the smog only until it covers the skyline. It’s easy to ignore the harsh air only until stepping outside means respiratory issues acting up the rest of the day. It’s easy to ignore the unnaturally warm air only until people living on islands off the coast are forced inland with the rising seas. Just as the flash of each firework blinds everybody to the smoke discreetly accumulating behind, sightlessness with other pollutants is often repetitive until the results are blatantly and harshly shown. So instead of waiting until the fireworks are over and the aftermath is apparent, it is time to take a different route. One that fixes problems that sometimes are even not yet problems, one that addresses issues rather than addressing the already widespread consequences, and overall one that sees behind the fireworks.

Peer Review

Fireworks. Something I've always liked, but never wanted to watch for the entire show. The colors in the sky are beautiful, yes, but they get old after a while. However, I always force myself to stay for the entire show, just to watch and marvel over the grand finale. Although many people have many different opinions about fireworks, I feel like one thing is the same in most of those opinions. They aren't worried that death is just around the corner, at least, not death from lack of oxygen. Well, I was one of those people. I still am, to be honest. I don't think that fireworks are a very big source of air pollution. However, I still found this piece EXTREMELY meaningful. The way that you turn an innocent thing like fireworks into something terrible is something I feel will mean something to everyone who reads it. Maybe it's just me, but even if so, take pride in knowing that your piece changed me, woke me up, meant something to me. Because it truly, truly did.

You have BRILLIANT word choice in this piece! The way you used fireworks, something beautiful, enjoyable, and seemingly harmless, to portray how REAL pollution is despite the fact it is easy to ignore, was clever and moving. The words you used throughout this piece are what make it so meaningful.

Reviewer Comments

I love this piece SO much! I honestly can't even tell you how much this piece meant to me. I wouldn't change a thing about it, it's already so meaningful. It struck me as a wake up call for humanity. It beautifully written and worded. This piece should honestly be read at an air pollution conference or some big, important event about conservation. Amazing job, keep writing!