“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.” — Author Sol Saks
eXisTenTiaLNihLisT explores the illusion of freedom; contains graphic language and themes that should disturb anyone under the delusion they have choice, autonomy or faith taken seriously by the influential forces in control of your life from birth to death and afterwards.
Today, I implement my right to Freedom of Speech fully understanding that others have their rights; to disagree, agree or ignore completely my opinions as to why I believe the concept of freedom is a chimera. The illusion of freedom is neither a new concept nor unprecedented and the paradox is extraordinary.
Before I present a diatribe which has been seething within me I’d like to present a question to my readers. It is more allegorical than literal but deserves serious contemplation:
Do you consider yourself free?
As you ponder such a specific inquiry, devoid of convolution I shall augment it with this codicil; if you DO consider yourself free in what manner do you define freedom?
If I am fortunate enough to express my opinions without fear that once published I will draw the ire of those whom I have pissed off in the Imminent Paragraphs of My Blog I should appreciate that freedom. While I may appreciate said freedom I also understand the totality of disagreement has a price that is usually paid with blood and sacrifice.
Over the years since I was a journalist (1977-84) I have learned repeatedly that freedom is illusive and often more a product of imagination than tangible paradigm. For every individual proclaiming freedom in some faraway section of this planet there is a neighbor who is not as fortunate.
For every child who has not endured mental, physical, verbal or sexual abuse at the hands of family, friends or strangers there is a neighbor who has.
For every woman who has not endured mental, physical, verbal or sexual abuse at the hands of a spouse, boy friend or stranger there is a neighbor who has.
For every transgendered, homosexual or lesbian who has not been denied civil rights because of their chosen lifestyle, and they are in an Infinitesimal Majority) most are persecuted by individuals, churches, governments and neighbors.
The list is endless. For every person who claims freedom there is someone who deserves freedom and is denied any semblance of it for reasons generally shrouded in intolerance and irrationality.
I endured anti-Semitism and was constantly bullied through many years in the public school system in Alabama and NOT ONCE was I afforded freedom to merely go to class and learn. The representatives of the school system did not protect me and whenever I complained to officials, such as teachers or principals, I was punished worse than the offenders.
So much for freedom, eh?
I learned early, fortunately, that I had a choice: I could become what I despised or rise above it. I chose the latter rather than former.
We live in an inequitable society.
Human Rights must be for everyone; they are not. Civil Rights are so uncivil it’s conjecture as to who is actually treated fairly and with respect. For every pair of eyes that falls upon my words I will surmise they have either been wronged at least once in their lives or believe they have been treated unfairly in business, by governments or individuals.
Discriminatory practices are so rampant it is unsurprising that we have not endured another revolution. When the first colonists landed in North America history will portray them as a people who wanted freedom. How long afterwards did freedom metamorphose into tyranny against natives who already lived here?
The first colonists arrived and decided this huge, well-preserved continent is not large enough to share with the natives already living peacefully within its borders and begin genocide from the east coast to the west. It would not take much longer for the colonists to begin despoiling the landscape and future generations, being a collection of apathetic bastards, decide they need to kidnap and enslave strangers from another undamaged continent, and bring them to “America” to torture, humiliate and force them to become a labor force to build their dreams.
I want to share some outrageous examples; all true, to support my assumption that freedom is a word that is more often a concept than an actuality.
I was visited by the city police department last spring because I had a small patch of weeds that were over 8 inches high in my front yard; not the entire yard. Why? Because a neighbor reported me for having not cut my grass soon enough! I have no trees in my front yard, all lost in 1998 to a tornado, but the insurance company called it “straight line wind damage” so as to not pay for their removal. If my entire yard was covered in high weeds then perhaps it made sense to call the police; however, it was not the case.
I had an automotive accident in Georgia in May, 2009, that was caused due to water on the interstate system. I was not speeding, not using a cell phone or even listening to my radio. No other vehicles were involved and the water, from a huge storm was not on a flat section of highway but on an incline, next to a weight station for semi trucks. My collision was with an aluminum light post because I moved to allow a truck to merge unto the highway, which is the correct driving decision – and the law – and as of this past weekend the pole has never been replaced by the highway department.
I was given a citation because in Georgia that is the law. In Alabama, where I currently reside, there is no such law. My insurance was raised and since I felt the highway department was responsible for the problem I fought against my ticket.
It was rescinded. Even so, my insurance company advised that since I had an accident it was policy to raise my premiums. I was fortunate to live since my car hydroplaned diagonally five times, from right rear to left front, across the interstate and struck the pole on right side of my car, crushing it in a manner that would have most likely killed me or left me paralyzed.
I have cell phone coverage through ATT and more and more I either receive voice mails late (often without evidence anyone called and while it is on) or not at all. I know I am not in the minority and have found out from friends, with other service providers, that this problem is rampant, yet all these companies spend billions of dollars on advertising claiming to cover the world. Isn’t this freedom to lie? Why is there not a law against bullshitting consumers? Imagine ATT, Sprint or Verizon having television ads where they espouse: “We bullshit less than our competitors?”
Freedom is Bullshit.
Here’s another more serious problem that comes from the belief in freedom:
I’ll bet I have the attention of many people know. I do not use airlines and would rather drive 10,000 miles before I’d fly 150 miles on any airline.
I last took a commercial flight in 1998. It was before 9/11 but restrictions on airplanes were already being implemented. Passengers could no longer smoke, which is OK by me. I once smoked cigarettes but understood that in confines of an airplane there was no place for the smoke to go except into the lungs of smokers and non smokers alike. On a flight from San Francisco to Birmingham I was faced with a problem that was so bizarre that I knew I could never fly again.
Although I am not a racist I will share that the problem was due to an Asian woman with five children, the youngest an infant, the oldest a teenager. I was sitting in the right rear of the plane near the restroom. During the flight, the children were constantly running up and down the aisles. The flight attendants did nothing. They were loud and still not reprimanded or even politely told to sit down. Finally, the most disgusting event unfolded:
The woman began changing her infant, who had shit in his diaper, on the retractable food tray! Since I was two seats back and across from her I complained directly and was greeted with an expression I can only describe as “How dare you.” At this point, I realize the flight attendants should still be called stewardesses because they did nothing. I complained directly and was ignored. So, I lighted incense I had in my carryon bag.
How fast do you think I was threatened with arrest by the stewardess?
I made matters worse by loudly complaining: “Then make that woman change her child’s god damned diaper in the rest room like normal people!” Of course, the baby is crying and rather than intervene the woman handed her a garbage bag for the feces!
I haven’t missed air travel.
My partner; however, travels frequently, since all of her family lives in distant cities that would take too long to drive and by observing how the airports operate since 9/11 I see how freedom has been further circumvented everywhere. I have been with my friend in six different airports in the last decade and they are all bad. The rules change every time we go to these airports and the quality of employees is disturbing. On a flight this past weekend my friend arrived early, went through all the procedures, only to arrive at the Delta boarding area to be told they could not board the plane. Why? The ticket has been paid for already but for some reason only Delta Airlines knows, my friend, and a dozen other people did not have seat assignments!
Bullshit. They had paid tickets on a specific airline for a specific flight. To make matters worse originally there was no one at the boarding area representing Delta and those without seats were told the flight had been moved to another area at the Atlanta International Airport. Finally, these passengers were all allowed to board another plane 45 minutes later.
The amount of profiling is staggering and while the government, media and airlines continuously deny it exists once again bullshit is the operative word. Discrimination is not merely confined to color or nationality but also to gender and accents. My friend always has their baggage and personage searched and most recently once again had their computer x-rayed. Baggage is lost and often arrives damaged and even with non dangerous items missing. Now, they will even put a note in the baggage telling the passenger it was searched.
Do they refold the clothing?
Complain in an airport about anything and see how fast your freedom dissolves into a visit to security as a suspicious passenger.
All this to prevent terrorism?
It is control. The government continuously bails out airlines in trouble because of mismanagement but never sides with the passengers. Passengers have no rights, no freedom, and no say in what transpires. They are cattle heading towards the killing floor. Obedience is not freedom; it is acceptance without questioning.
President Obama is no better than President Bush. You see, presidents forget what it is like to fly commercial when they have Airforce One. Just once, I’d like to see a president go undercover, as a regular passenger, and learn what being strip searched and humiliated is like and maybe they’d get pissed off enough to tell the airlines to get their rules revised.
Another friend was almost arrested because security tried to strip search his seven year old daughter, because she beeped at the metal detector, after he had explained she had undergone surgery and had metal pins in her legs. He refused to let them intimidate the girl who was terrified.
Holidays generally give me migraines; there are too many, they are insignificant except to anyone believing they deserve extra days off from work and without exception there is not one American holiday worthy of celebrating. Callme a curmudgeon; that’s your freedom to do so as it is mine to say Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, Christmas, Labor Day, Memorial Day, et al, are bettered celebrated in the individual mind than on the national stage.
My late father served honorably in the U.S. Army during WW II and what did he get for his service? Evena s a retired Lt. Colonel his retirement benefits were miniscule and after his death my mother, who would suffer Alzheimer’s disease, received scant help from Tri-care and damned little from Medicare. It fell unto me to deplete my entire savings, as her caregiver, because the country he served to protect freedoms we “expect” did not have programs to help us.
So, you’ll understand why I will not celebrate Memorial Day in the traditional manner; in my heart I respect what my father did in the war and I wish that all our military was not bullshitted into believing they are protecting our freedom by dying across the globe for ideals and political beliefs that were manufactured.
In closing, I admit freely I do not trust in governments of any country, worldwide media or anything politicians anywhere assert. I trust my own instincts and they tell me that until ALL individuals are treated fairly throughout the Planet Earth their rhetoric is bullshit. Even cattle know the difference so when we the citizens of the world start realizing that freedom died before anyone living today was born?
We have elections here in West Ala this week and one only has to watch a day of political advertising to get a migraine; the Democrats and Republicans, running for myriad offices, are all attacking one another with campaigns designed to diminish trust. If they each think the other candidate it lying or incapable of serving honestly who is really trustworthy?
Freedom is transitory.
Freedom is a product; like cars, beer, disposable douche and male enhancement pills.
The freedom to think is all that remains undiluted, at least until Orwell’s “Thought Police” arrive on the mental landscape to corrupt and destroy.
If you believe my words do not speak any truth just look at the oil spill in the gulf and think about freedom. If we do not respect the freedom of the eco-system how can we truly be free?
Once a wondrous planet; enclosed in steel, concrete, plastic, glass, manmade toxins and so much humanized filth that it has begun to rebel against its sentient inhabitants: droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, earthquakes, rock and mud slides and fires.
And still, the humans do not appreciate the gift of Planet Earth. Where is the freedom to stop mankind from destroying the environment?
If we cannot appreciate life itself how the fuck can we ever appreciate the concept of freedom until it is implemented on a planetary scale?
It takes two people to create life but only one to destroy it.
It takes multitudes of people to make a difference.
It starts with you.