Friday 02 Dec 2016

Freedom
M Alan Roberts

The one thing I'd tell the entire world, given the chance, is everyone should learn to think for themselves. They should be individualistic." Wow, a big word, individualistic. What do I mean, when I urge individualism? Well, I mean be yourself; live by your own rules, within reason, of course, and exercise your freedom to be.

Beside the conformist when I ask myself, "Why aren't more folks individuals"? I think that I know the answer. It's because being an "individual," one who exercises free thought, has a lot to do with how much money you have. If you're loaded with cash, then you can pay for your freedom.

A J Liebling, the early 20th century journalist, said free speech was available to anyone who had $50,000, to start their own newspaper. He got my point. Today, it takes one hundred times, as much money, to ensure your individualism, your freedom.

If you are a working class slob - like me - then you really have no true freedom. Freedom implies having the power to choose how you spend your time. Freedom means having the power to exercise your own free will and thinking processes. How many working class slobs - like me - do you know that have those powers?

Let's say that, today, I was to exercise my freedom to do as I pleased. This makes me wonder, a lot. After my breakfast of beer and lasagna, I would be off directly - directly back to bed for a little snooze until a decent hour arrived at which to begin my day - say 11 AM. Yeah, that's about right.

Now, it's out of bed and off to the beach (one of those you see on the Travel Channel with all of the scantly-clad beauties). As a few of the beauties prepared my lunch, a fat T-bone on a sand-based grill, foil potatoes, white asparagus and, of course, Russian vodka, I would wiggle my toes in the sugar-white sand and dream lazily of my after-lunch nap. Steak's done. I'm eating. I'm fat and happy - no cares here.

I dip around in the water of the Pacific, the waves gently crashing onto my carefree and tanning body. The beauties abound. I beckon one or three of them to me to smear the sun block on the places that are difficult for me to reach and drift off again to Snoozeville in a temperate paradise. When fully rested, my brain awakens me naturally. I grab my stuff, shower off and head for the local club for an evening of pampered treatment at one of the area's most hip nightclubs (with several of the beauties).

When satiated of my desires for socializing, I return to my private abode in the nestling countryside and flip on the tube to engage the views and sounds of my favorite show where I again drift off to Neverland on my overstuffed leather couch that was custom-crafted for Louis XIV himself.

That would be just one little day in my life of unencumbered individualistic freedom. Who knows what the next day would bring? Only I would - and only if I cared to plan it out. Maybe I would simply do nothing. Maybe I would travel to Tibet like Pitt. The world would be mine because I would be free. I would be an individual.

Unlike Pitt, curse him, I have no stored loads of fat cash or plastic. I am stuck in the land of the non-free; in the land of the controlled conformists. I must perform. I must work hard. I must continue to forge the privilege of freedom for those of wealth and individualism.

They say that most of us are but a paycheck - maybe two from homelessness. For me, it is only a matter of hours.

Now, there's a thought. Give it all up and live free on the streets of the individualistic homeless. Be a hobo. Ask for change. Dumpster dive, for all you need. Okay, I guess not. I guess that I will continue to live the dream of the working class slob. If I fail to show up at my keyboard and work my normal 14 to 16 hours for a given day, my kids get hungry, my electrical devices fail to function and my fat T-bones, such rarities, turn to bologna.

Where are my beauties? Whose dream was this again?

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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