Well, folks, it’s Blogger Idol time again. The week two topic is up, hot off the presses, and I’m here to answer the call.
(For those of you unfamiliar with the Blogger Idol concept, just click on one of these Blogger Idol links I keep posting, and see for yourself what Blogger Idol is all about. That’s Blogger Idol — ask for it by name.)
So, without further stalling because I haven’t decided about what to write about yet… here’s your Blogger Idol post for the week. Enjoy!
(Click to see all Week Two posts)
Week Two Topic: ‘Freedom’
Freedom, to me, is a bit of a tricky problem. (Or a ‘sticky wicket’, if you prefer. But really, folks, if your wicket is feeling sticky in any way, you really should go see your doctor. There’s no shame in getting well, folks. And we only have the one wicket apiece; once it’s gone — or irretrievably sticky — there’s no going back. Remember that.)
(Okay, so I said no more stalling, right? Sorry. I’ll be getting on with it now.)
I suppose the trouble with talking about freedom is really defining the scope of what you mean. I have a feeling that most people — most Americans, anyway — who answer this question may discuss the various merits and advantages of living in a country with certain well-defined freedoms, and what those freedoms mean to them. And that’s all well and good. But it’s only one kind of freedom, then, isn’t it?
See, any organization to which you belong — country, religion, school, ‘Frequent Fondlers Club’ at your local booby bar, whatever — is going to offer you certain ‘freedoms‘. (And in the case of the last example, free lap dances after every fifth table dance — woo hoo!)
Of course, with each of the freedoms comes responsibility, too — if you want to speak freely, then you’re going to have to listen to ridiculous mind-numbing claptrap sometimes, too. If you want to attend church services, you’ve got to follow the rules, particularly the one about ‘No Streaking’. (They’re very adamant about that one, I’ve found.) If you want to live in the university dorms, you’ve got to refrain from peeing in the shower stalls. (Or at least, not get caught peeing in the shower stalls.) And if you want to sit up front by the stage and talk to the strippers, you’ve got to keep buying drinks, and slip the girls an occasional fiver in their G-strings. (Um… from what I hear, anyway. From friends. I mean, friends of friends. Acquaintances of friends, really. Almost strangers. Ahem.)
Anyway, I think it’s this yin and yang of ‘freedom’ versus ‘responsibility’ that’s important. Once you’ve figured that out, you find that really, when you get right down to it, we have freedom to do anything. It’s just those pesky responsibilities that might get us pimp-slapped — or worse — for exercising those freedoms.
Think about it — all those groups that we belong to, none of them really says that we can’t do anything. They just have this little fine-print statement up front that says, ‘If you join, you have to play by our rules‘, and then they lay out what the consequences are for doing certain things. You agree to be responsible for following the punishment they set out if you break a rule… but nobody said you don’t have the freedom to break it, if you want to. You’re just responsible for paying the piper if you step out of line.
(Or the priest, or policeman, or big hairy bouncer, depending on where you choose to run wild. Personally, I’d rather deal with the piper, but I don’t know what the hell kind of organization puts a ‘piper’ in charge to begin with. Scotland, maybe?
Oh, and if ‘piper’ is some sort of vague sexual euphemism, then I reserve the right to change my answer. Probably have to go with the bouncer at that point — if I can manage to get out the door before he shreds me for hanging Barrel of Monkeys toys off the ass-floss part of the stripper’s G-strings, then I’m safe.
This is all highly theoretical, all right? I don’t even have Barrel of Monkeys monkeys any more. On the other hand, now I know Amazon has them. Hmmm. I’ll keep you posted.)
Anyway, that’s the crux of ‘freedom’ to me – we’ve all got the freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, and while wearing as little clothing as we want. As a (mostly) fully-functional sentient biped, there’s absolutely nothing stopping me from — just as a ‘for instance’ — stripping down to a pair of sweat socks, putting on a silver tiara, running out onto the lawn, and doing the ‘Snoopy dance’ while singing ‘I Love a Parade‘ at the top of my lungs. (I know, sounds like fun, doesn’t it?)
But I do know that I have responsibilities to various groups, under whose jurisdiction such behavior would fall. Now, some of them would probably let me slide. As a nation, for instance, I don’t believe that the United States has specific legislation regarding ‘nearly-nude lawn gyrations’. I could be wrong; I haven’t read all the relevant case law, but I’m pretty sure that the federal government would turn the other cheek to my shenanigans. (Although I know of a few Senators who’d probably like to watch. But that’s a whole different set of dance steps. I digress.)
The city I live in, of course, probably has some very specific ideas about folks who wiggle their wieners around in public — the socks, singing, and Snoopy-shaking notwithstanding — and I’d likely have to deal with the local cops at some point to find out exactly what those rules are. Come to think of it, maybe I’d want to check out those laws beforehand — maybe there’s some sort of loophole I could exploit. Like putting a fence around the yard first, or wearing the socks in a different way. We could probably work out some sort of compromise that keeps everyone happy, and would still allow me to frolic more or less unfettered.
In the end, it’s a different sort of responsibility that would probably prevent me from performing my little ‘freedom experiment’. I’m married, you see — several years ago, I promised to ‘honor’ and ‘obey’ my wife, among lots of other stuff; blah, blah, blah — and I don’t think she’d approve of naked vaudeville of this sort on our lawn. Even the back lawn, and even if I weren’t technically naked, what with the socks and tiara and all. (She’s tough that way. Real stickler when it comes to these sorts of things.)
On the other hand, this is freedom we’re talking about, right? It’s only the most sacred concept of all — and I don’t recall hearing anything in our wedding vows that specifically outlawed twirling my twiddly bits all over the back yard. (Of course, I may have missed that part. I think I dozed off for just a minute near the end. I’ll have to watch the tape one of these days.)
And anyway, I can’t very well ‘disobey’ my wife if I don’t tell her what I’m doing first, right? Surely, she can’t take away my freedom to do something she doesn’t know about. And that’s what ‘freedom’ is all about — you have the responsibility to face the consequences afterward, but up front, we’re free to make any decision, and sing any song, and wear any headgear, that we see fit. In a way, we are all absolutely free. (Intoxicating, ain’t it?)
So maybe I would perform my little experiment, after all. I think we’ve established that there’s nothing stopping me, as long as I’m willing to pay my penance after the fact. And if I play my cards right, I’ll only have the wife to deal with. Hmmm… you know, she’s in the other room working right now. She can’t even see the back yard from there. And if I turned on the stereo, it’d drown out anything I might yell or sing out there.
Huh. I never thought of that. And here I am, already wearing sweat socks, and with plenty of ‘free’ time on my hands. Spooky.
Listen, I’ve… I’ve gotta go. Thanks for reading about what ‘freedom’ means to me. I hope you enjoyed it. I’ve got to go.. um, do something now. Nothing in particular — just stuff. I’ll… uh, I’ll see you later. Bye, now.
(Lessee now… got the socks, check. Song lyrics — check. What’s next?
Honey! Hey, honey! Is your tiara still in the attic?
Well, never mind why — I’m on a mission, dammit! It’s time I exercised a little freedom around here!)Permalink | 7 Comments