(One of several prize rants, first posted on Letterdash)
It’s late, late, late on Saturday night. Spent the day doing last-minute maniac home repairs and garden maintenance in time for my first visitor of the season – this time it’s my Dad.
But that’s not what I want to write about tonight – before I go to sleep in a room that’s incandescent with paint fumes. I want to unfold this thing called freedom.
Janis Joplin’s “Me an’ Bobby McGee”: freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose… is too cynical, and I guess it describes the kind of freedom experienced by bag-ladies and middle-aged conmen, so that’s not what I mean. I’m thinking more of the kind of freedom striven for on a grander scale – William Wallace as they unfurl his entrails, the American tree that needs it’s roots refreshed from time-to-time with the blood of patriots – like that.
And it occurs to me that such freedom is so very expensive – both in the purchasing of it and in the maintenance.
Because we humans seem genetically programmed to let it slip through our hands. We’re forever signing ourselves away to shit in order to gain a pot of stew, a contract, some praise, a better deal, bigger guns, some kind of advantage – not to keep our children safe, maintain a roof over our heads or ensure a decent meal. No. Always to gain much MORE than we need.
We’re mathematically retarded, historically illiterate and incapable of looking beyond the next share-payout.
And it’s not a colour, culture or specific era thing – whether it was colonials shooting springbok until the huge herds had thinned to nothing, Hitler and Napoleon choosing winter as the time to attack Russia, or our current govt screwing around with sewerage processing until our water is a churning toxic mass – there are so many examples, pick one, any one.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve confused being industrious and inventive with wisdom – I think that we are the most fucking stupid thing to ever appear on this orb.
And I know you’ll disagree, but don’t take it up with me – go and show any other life-form on this planet your IPad – amaze the crap out of them with your Blackberry – offer them a test-drive of your stupid 4-wheel-drive and explain to them how important collagen treatments, chocolate and tik are…
Get any species to grasp that mating and raising young is pointless – sell them the idea of dropping out to find themselves. And be sure to tell them just how these useful, useful accessories are helping them.
This isn’t about conservation or extinction – unless you count the extinction of a species who, with an entire world at their disposal, aren’t able to feed themselves.
I think we’re going to pay for all of this sparkly pointless crap with our lives…