Friday, March 28, 2008

Free II

“Areas of the world that are the most biologically diverse are also the most diverse in language, yet the rate of decline is greater even than that of species loss.” –Paul Hawken

I am free
of that society

Walls surround me
constructed by culture

I am free
inside my mind

You can be free
even in this prison

You can free yourself
but you can free
no one else

Walk with me
imagine pathways
past the walls
to freedom

I am free
but what good is free
If I'm alone?

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little between-period poetry before part 3 of Finally Leaving Toronto. I've also had requests for more installments of In the Interest of Truth and Honesty, so I'll get to that soon too. Happy Friday!
In my volunteer with prisoners, we frequently discuss how freedom of the mind transcends what the state can take away.
Hm. Way back, I seemed to be very much in a poem like that...Suddenly I got married. Quantum leap?
TC: very interesting, I'd love to hear more about that. Maybe you should post about it some time. in this poem the walls were a bit metaphorical, but even in that sense there are limits. what i mean is that though the more i learn about our culture the more freed from it i can become, yet to a large extent i remain powerless, trapped within it. i imagine the same is true for inmates surrounded by physical walls.

Ivan: fortunately marriage has had the opposite effect for me. it's freed me from solitude. i'm no longer alone in my freedom.
What good is freedom when we are tied to the system by lies?

Freedom exists only in small isolated pockets, it seems. Canada is more free than the states. We cannot show a woman's breasts on TV, even at night, but every day we have to talk about a war, terrorism, torture, all manner of domestic crime and re-runs of Cops.

I have to agree with Oli Stone's Jim Morrison, "What is more obscene, sex, or war?"

Just one of many issues regarding freedom. I can holler all night about it, so I'll stop...

But I would really like to smoke a joint before bed and not be called a criminal for doing so. Is that too much to ask from the current proprietors of the Home of the Brave? I mean, really. Drug laws, the first ones, were instituted in order to have leverage against minorities. The opium laws for California's sacred crusade against the Chinese, and marijuana laws so that the Texas Rangers could justify kicking the holy snot out of Mexicans. Obscenity might be in making these laws in the first place, and then in enforcing them until this very day because brown skinned people might make too much money from sales of their commodity, and white business people would have to deal with less money for their non addictive/dangerous products like Red Bull, Budweiser, Mad Dog 20/20, polyester, designer tasers, Marlboros (got a light?), diet pills, and pharmaceutical items with a list of side effects as long as the northern winter night.

Seriously, we the people are fed up to there (look up) with being told how free we are before being told that we should like a war with the family enemy of our current "leader". We are sick of being told that home remedies and good nutrition are not recommended by a doctor, but some how, stroke inducing, heart gyrating meds that have barely been tested are fully endorsed. I'm sick of being told what recreational drugs I can and can't use. I'm sick to death from the current paranoia expressed by the world towards my nation because of the acts it commits every day, because of the dictators we install in other seats of power. I'm sick of being told not to worry, it's a good thing that the middle class is shrinking. I'm sick of the thought that at this point it's looking a lot like my grandchildren will be serfs to whatever American Czar holds the reigns of power in their time.

ach... there I went again.
A good poem, even if it is only a breather between the big features.

I like the opening line best. Maybe emphasize the word "that". Other than that, I couldn't possibly have a suggestion.
Thanks Eric. I don't see quite as much difference between our two countries as you do. We're doing the same in Afghanistan. As for quantity of freedom, in each country the majority of the people have a set schedule, are tied to their jobs, spend too much time in places they don't want to be. so regardless of what placates us on the TV, boobs or explosions, we're stuck. which is probably a big driver in recreational (and other) drug use. i have nothing against you smoking your joints, but i have to wonder: if this was a different world, would we need that escape?
Probably not. To put it simply.

Escapism is a double edged luxury-- many abuse it to the point that the escape becomes all that they seek. I've grappled with it myself, and luckily, I've come out of it alive, physically and mentally.

So many others cannot say that.

My problem is insomnia related. A joint does one-hundred percent more for me than a sanctioned "sleep aid".

Sorry to be so vociferous on your blog. But your poem did strike a nerve triggering a cosmic-scale grumble to fall out of my psyche.
Hey Eric, no worries, I enjoy your vociferousness, and your comments are always worth reading.
Maybe true freedom is loneliness - not being tied to anything or anyone. Total lack of obligation?
Toast: hmmm, maybe. but i don't see it that way, freedom as lack of obligation i mean. maybe it's more lack of unnecessary, dumbass obligation. like timesheets at work. like work that is meaningless to the worker. i have obligations to my family and i never feel like my freedom is repressed in fulfilling them. but work duties, even though i like my work, are sometimes such a drag.
Benji, I think that all walls are a product of the mind, even the ones made of concrete. I know many men, murderers serving life without possibility of parole, who have freed themselves on the inside and made a life out of helping others earn and maintain physical freedom.

I don't mix my volunteer work with my blogging too often, because my blogging is quite partisan, but in my role as an officer and director in a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partisan politics is forbidden by law.
TC: i agree that all walls are the product of the mind. but they are still there, and still real. and, can still be made to be a home. it's just not necessarily the home we'd choose, if the choice was available.
What does Hawken mean by "decline"? Wouldn't that be a loss in number of species or diversity of species, or something that one could objectively measure?
loss in number and diversity of both species and human languages. both of which are difficult to quantify, especially species. we really have no idea how many species there are. all we can do is guestimate, which is what scientists have done. by all accounts though, the overall quantity is decreasing, i.e. we are losing species at a far faster rate than new ones are emerging. and what hawken is saying is that this rate of decrease (based on guestimates) is even greater with human languages. the point being that as much as we are threatening every species, we are threatening our own, especially ones outside the current dominant culture.
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