So here we are once again celebrating the 4th of July long weekend and all that comes with it- mad dashes to the airport, freeway, summer escape house, our friend’s barbeque, the book we’ve meaning to catch up on, the lover we’ve decided to get to know better, the little cottage town we’ve meant to amble through-all acts in a sense seeking a wider affirmation of our being, of our liberty.
In a fraught world with pressing concerns, environmental disasters (BP we mean you!), economic frailty (sure the unemployment rate is now 9.5% but the private sector also fired more people this past June…), a slumping financial market, raging foreign wars that keep escalating, it’s a wonder that as a collective we are still able to hold our own. Life in short has become perilous and it all it takes is a momentary lapse of concentration, another financial mishap, environmental disaster and the whole lot could go like a pack of loaded domino’s. Then of course there’s the cultural landscape with it’s twisted stories of he said, she said, mad adventures to the other side, young women hoarding dollars for plastic surgery, celebrities and reality stars driving around drunk under the influence running into each other or innocent pedestrians on the street- pedestrians who are their fans. A kind of weird metaphor that our cultural heroes are running around amok to the disregard of their fans, admirers, sponsors, hoarding as much collateral as they possibly can so they can all become rich and famous. Of course what do those words really mean, especially to those of us on the outside watching these Americans self combust on the inside?
At the end of the day most of choose what we do and what happens around us, and yet so few of us realize there was a time when this nation couldn’t just do what it wanted to. That we had to shed blood to achieve this liberty. And yet one has to wonder with this liberty what are we actually doing, creating, giving back to our community and to ourselves. Fighting and scandalizing for what? And yes and 230 years later we are still fighting for our liberty, or perhaps it may be more intelligent to say a certain class’s liberty or access. Yet at some point we all have to ask for who’s sake are we fighting, which oil company, which pharmaceutical company, which entertainment, energy company, and in return how are they fighting for us, inspiring us?
This long weekend I hope as we take the time to raise a toast to our loved ones, a mad dash to the pool, a sweeping embrace of the land we all come home how much this all means to us and how if we are to maintain our collective liberty and integrity we also need to assert our own consciousness and liberty. As George Orwell once said liberty comes to those who choose not to oppress it….and who are willing to fight for it, or in our collective case express it.