• Peter Fonda’s American flag patch from Easy Rider!

This week’s Variation on a Theme is—you guessed it—”independence.”

With the Fourth of July falling this week, we opted for the obvious when deciding what to write about in this iteration of our Variations on a Theme series.

Obvious isn’t bad. Compared to the options we considered and ultimately rejected—Freedom Week, America Week, Revolution Week—Independence Week felt more worthy of exploration. That’s because “independence” encompasses all of those things.

Tune in throughout the week to hear what others have to say about the meaning—beyond barbecues, explosives, and blind patriotism—of “independence.”