OK, this post is going to have nothing to do with my health, but I feel compelled to express myself anyway.
If you live in the USA, like I do, tomorrow is Independence Day. It is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. That was on July 4, 1776.
But, I have a question. Are we independent? If so, from what, and/or whom, are we independent? You may be thinking, “Of course we’re independent — no other nation controls us”! And you would be right. No nation controls us. In fact, you could say the opposite is true. We control many other nations. As recent revelations in the news have revealed, we certainly spy on them, even our “friends”!
But, back in 1776, our government was the British government. The colonists were declaring independence from their own government! So, I guess my question really is, do you feel independent from your own government? If so, how is that possible? With computers, GPS units, wi-fi, and smartphones, is there anything you can do or anywhere you can go where you feel independent?
I don’t know about you, but the mere fact that the government has the ability to monitor everything I do, and the ability to track me anywhere I go, makes me feel not so independent. Now, I’m not so paranoid that I think the government is monitoring me right now, or has been, but the point is, they could.
Do you feel independent every time you look at your pay stub and see how much you pay in taxes? Do you feel independent each year on April 15? Do you feel independent when you receive one of those traffic tickets in the mail with a picture of your car on it? I know I don’t.
I’m sorry to be so down on this holiday, but it really isn’t Independence Day, so we should call it something else. Now, I have a suggestion for a replacement name, but I don’t think it would catch on. “Replacing the British Empire with the American Empire” day takes too long to say, and takes too long to write. I don’t think it would even fit on a bumper sticker! It would be a more accurate title for the day, though. But, Independence Day sounds so much nicer, doesn’t it?
For one day, we can all celebrate the illusion that we’re free, if only for a short while. We can have picnics and parties with family and friends, and we can pretend for a day. We can pretend that we’re independent, and we can pretend that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Then, on July 5th, everything goes back to normal.
It reminds me a little bit of the classic Star Trek episode, “Return of the Archons”, where Captain Kirk and the Enterprise encounter a society of people who are completely controlled by a master computer. The people all walk around in a trance-like state all the time, except for once a year, when everyone screams “Festival, Festival, Festival”! Then they go crazy for a day, and then they return to their normal trance-like states.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we’re all controlled by a master computer, but we are, to a significant extent, controlled by the actions of our political leaders (in cahoots with their Wall Street banker buddies, of course!). So, once again, I ask, are we independent?
Once again, I apologize for getting down on Independence Day. If you are planning a big celebration tomorrow, and you want to celebrate, by all means, go ahead. You won’t offend me at all. But, I’m going to celebrate “Replacing the British Empire with the American Empire” day, and I’m going to celebrate it by treating it like any other day, because I don’t feel “independent”.
Oh, and one other thing — Happy Festivus!!