Wednesday, September 1, 2004

"Freedom" in America is like living in a really nice zoo, where the walls are spread far enough apart to allow you to lie to yourself, but close enough to quell the desire to maul your inattentive captors, knowing a bullet with your name on it waits on the other side.

As much as I wish we could leave the country when if Bush wins the election in November, I know it's an unrealistic fantasy. For us, at least. Especially with two kids.

A drunk kid accosted Matt and I last Friday after the Jets game, asking us if we took life for granted and immediately answering for us that, in fact, we did. Everybody did. It was one of those entertaining, alcohol-induced philosophical moments and we played along until he got bored and moved on. At one point, he said he wished he was Amish because they didn't take life for granted, they worked hard and appreciated every thing they had. Amish in the City's dual-edged message finding fertile ground.

Unable to flee into exile, I understood where he was coming from even if he didn't. Part of me wants to get as far away from the materialistic, capitalistic, emptiness of this city, to dig deeper into the earthier parts of the country and live a completely different life.

I've always understood the appeal of organized religion, the sense of a connection to something larger it offers people, especially those in dire straits. I also recognize it for the potential crutch it can be, the power it has to control, to oppress.

The American Dream is a religion.

It is as open to interpretation as the Bible, and as maddeningly vague in its promise for a better life. Non-denominational, it is open to all who believe in it, who dedicate their lives to pursuing it, who blind themselves to certain truths that call its existence into question.

I've always been more of an agnostic than an outright atheist; always believed that whatever the larger truths might be, there's no singular ethereal force pulling the strings in the background.

Main Entry: free·dom
Pronunciation: 'frE-d&m
Function: noun
1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
We are all marionettes of some sort, capable of choosing our puppet-masters, and so often choosing badly. There is no fairy godmother waiting to grant our wishes, and cutting the strings outright isn't an option unless you're willing to completely live off the grid.

1 comment:

Earl said...

OK, along those lines, this is what freedom and democracy is all about: Eagles, Jets, preseason football, this Friday baby...are you ready for some football or what??!! It doesn't get any better than this...(if my memory serves me correctly, the Jets always win this game!)