Musings on Contemporary Waffle
My uncle read this recently, and sent me a note:
“Let me tell you about freedom.
It is not a ‘thing’, like Uggs or a new laptop.
Freedom is an angel’s wing.
Let me old-guy arrogantly explain.
Freedom is a relative concept, in the same way as ‘like’ and ‘dislike’, or ‘night’ and ‘day’.
Without the one state, there is no concept of the other.
Try it. Imagine that it never gets dark. Can you imagine your experience of nighttime if the sun never sets? It may be wonderful to imagine the sun always shining. But it doesn’t do that anywhere in our world.
Along this arc of opposites, let us now imagine the taking away of freedom. This act of taking away of freedom is always preceded by the having of freedom.
I assess the dichotomy of freedom and no freedom with the perspective of someone (me) born into a communist country around the time the Beatles released the White Album. A few months later, that freedom briefly foisted upon me was rudely flicked away (by the Russians, make note), for the next 21 years. Am I boring you?
Czechoslovakia, 1968. I encourage you to look it up. Your freedom is just as delicate and breakable as an angel’s wing.
But if you don’t think it’s important, then it doesn’t matter what I say about it.
Or maybe this tidbit of ancient history will inspire you, if you are a millennial, whatever that is, to feel good about freedom again; about how liberty can be lost, and how long it can take to get it back.
If you need more details to convince you, or are confused by some of the references, or don’t quite get what I mean, or think I’m anti America-Great-Again, or think I’m gay or black or green or turquoise, or disrespectful of the flag, or are considered just old and irrelevant to your world; or you think I support the 49’ers, or you don’t care about anything but yourselves – well I am actually one of the fellows who, as an engineer, enabled your interconnected world that you use to waste your precious time assessing likes and dislikes and willingly accept 57 disruptive pings a day about nothing in particular, which prevent you from overcoming your intellectual laziness to use a bounty of information to learn about the world so you can save your own from those who want your share of freedom for themselves. Phew.
Sorry about my sense of arrogant superiority. But I’ve already raised a family and overcome hardship. You can go to hell, for all I care. Unless you actually care. Then we’re brothers and sisters. And not enemies.”
Gosh. You might want to stay on his good side.