Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

I spent the whole weekend, my bags already packed, everything I owned on my back, at Freedomfest, a festival near Barrie for local bands.  My old band Settle For Less had played there previous years but we were defunct now.  That was one reason not to stay.

Also I’d moved so many times in the past year that my belongings had been whittled down to just a few things anyway so fitting everything I need in a backpack, rucksack and guitar case wasn’t too difficult.  People think freedom is being able to buy everything but it’s actually not owning anything.

Everyone was there, it was perfect.  It was very sneaky of me to make it my goodbye party.  It was a weekend long party with lots of great bands, some of which I knew and some not.  It was a great time for music in Barrie.

I got a ride from my old guitarist Dave’s drummer from his new band Junior (later to be renamed Fight Like Gentlemen).  They dropped me off on the TransCanada highway, said goodbye and drove off.  I wonder if everyone was expecting to see me back in town the next week.  I sat there, not even accustomed to hitchhiking at all, wondering if I’d get picked up and thinking about this being my last opportunity to waffle and just go back to Barrie.  But I couldn’t.  There was nothing left for me there…


The decision came abruptly and almost epiphanously as I grit my teeth to put up with Brian’s mouth running with his brain parked at the question mark that ended all his sentences.  I was going to West Bank, where I had stashed my gear with a buddy of Brian’s, to bring back to the hostel which we could afford after picking apples at an orchard all day.  I did some lucrative busking out front of the liquor store too.  What a great way to make money.   As I was leaving I joked, “Maybe I’ll just grab my stuff and take off.”  The idea was so appealing I barely considered any other course of action after the words left my mouth.  Carrying everything you own on your back is a lot like living on a house boat.  If you don’t like your neighbours you just pick up and leave.  It’s real freedom, not the kind of freedom you hear people up in arms about all the time.  Real freedom is not having a closet full of junk you hold onto because it might be useful someday.

But anyway, I walked to the last set of lights leaving West Bank, Kelowna and got a ride to the first turnoff in Peachland.  10 minute ride tops.  This guy wants to learn how to play the guitar.  Good for him (sorry I’m so cynical).

It can’t help but be funny it’s too crazy.

What’s security?  What’s freedom?  They’re contradictory.  They’re both “good” supposedly.  It seems obvious that there’s some kind of grey area.  In fact, isn’t grey area all there ever has been?  Anything that’s not scientifically proven  shows shades of grey.  Let’s face it.  We’re all Goddamn humans.  Hey, sure, we’re competitive.  If we weren’t the Neanderthal might still be co-existing around with us (they disappeared shortly after first contact with us).  That’d be interesting. A similar race to bounce philosophies off of.

But it seems painfully obvious that we’ve outgrown our competitive instinct.  Good vs Evil for example.  That’s a good one.  Like how drugs are labeled “bad” and yet by doing so, making them illegal, they become the main source of income for organized crime.  If they were legal and regulated like alcohol then crime syndicates would cease being lucrative.  What are they gonna do for money?  Murder?

But if drugs were legal and anyone could decide to use them whenever they wanted, then wouldn’t everyone just be fucked up all the time?  What  kind of people do you know?  Boy, I’d love to try heroine.  Too bad it’s illegal..  No.  Addicts would deal with their baggage the same way addicts do today.  Addiction is one of many symptoms of a multi-symptomed society.  If you had a society that promotes something that was actually realistic, that your work made sense, that you had a real purpose in serving society, (you wouldn’t see so many glorified rebels), if society actually had our real interests at heart then the world would be accepting of our (fairly new) capability to view the world as one whole world entity (and entirely connected) system and decide what to do in all of our best interests.  We, the humans, invented the monetary system.  Now we serve it.  For what?  Products scheduled to break.  Incompatible updates to new technologies (now you gotta buy a whole new system).  Unbridled waste.

‘Cause no matter what you believe, we’re runnin’ out.  Of what?  Everything.  If anything’s finite, we’re using the last of it.  Plastic:  made from oil.  Saudi Arabia, source of a quarter of the worlds oil supply, they’re drilling offshore.  Not the most efficient method.  And water, since fresh water’s being wasted like it’s gonna replace itself somehow.  We need to set up desalinization plants around all oceanside land which takes a lot of energy to run so we need sustainable energy running them and this all is going to take a lot of work.  The sooner we start the better chance we have.  We need water.

Or maybe nothing ever runs out and life is just dreamy.  It would be nice not to have to consider my own contribution to the worlds ruin.  I can totally see how appealing that could be to believe in.  But if I don’t trust scientists in their own fields then who could I ever believe?  Does the scientific method mean anything to anybody?  It’s purpose is that which can be proved with as many variables eliminated as possible.

My favorite surmise to the debate about how trustworthy the past decade of climate scientists are is thus:  The credibility of a scientist is as important to them as profits are to an oil company. (kinda sums up where the motives of the counter-argument as well)

I grew up in the ’90s when apathy was cool.  Maybe I’m getting old but what the kids seem to be into today is willful ignorance (I think that’s what they call it).  When all the problems of the world are coming to dinner, out there in the open almost daring anyone to do something about them, how is nothing still getting done?  Oh wait, shut up!  Stephan Harper’s playing the piano.

What a kick in the face that was to anybody paying attention, eh?  Harper makes deep cuts to arts funding in Canada saying “ordinary folks don’t care about the arts” and then appears on stage covering a Beatles song and up goes his approval ratings.  Haha, get it!?  He’s being ironic I think!

Yeah, ordinary Canadians don’t care about the arts.  They’re to focused on their two jobs, the family they never get to see and keeping up with buying all the newest cars, computers and other crap they don’t need.  They don’t have time for anything that is fulfilling or that makes them happy.

That’s something else there seems to be an inexplicable disconnect from, happiness.  Everyone’s up in arms when anything threatens their FREEDOM but happiness no one seems too attached to.  What they ARE attached to is stuff and ironically the more stuff you got the less free you are. Full circle!

So we’re working crappy jobs that we hate because they’re unfulfilling because they’re made up jobs designed to keep the economy going after all our jobs were taken by machines.  Damn rich machines!  Now, shouldn’t all this time freed up by not having to work labour jobs lead to a society with more time dedicated to the arts?  You’d think so.

If getting stuff makes you happy you should realize how gluttonous that is and feel appropriately bad about it.  If you really want to be happy create something, do something creative or do something for someone else.  I suggest getting creative about your survival because there’s happier ways to live and there’s a more fulfilling society possible.  Someone’s just gotta think of it..