Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Let Freedom Wring.

For my readers outside of the United States, Ad Aged will be taking July 4th and July 5th off. These are the days in amerika where we proclaim our belief in mattress sales, traffic jams, carcinogenic grilling, and nominally, freedom.

Of course, as Bobby McGee once said, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." And, by the way, we've lost it.

If you're at all interested in amerika and concepts like freedom and even the more hallowed reasons for the July 4th caesura from work, there's a book you might read, "Freedom's Dominion," by Vanderbilt University professor, Jefferson Cowrie. You can order it here from one of amerika's non-tax-paying monopoly booksellers. And you can read the review from "The New York Times" here.

Right now, I am about three-quarters of the way through another book you might want to pick up and actually read. It's called "The Invention of Prehistory: Empire, Violence, and Our Obsession with Human Origins" by Stefanos Geroulanos.

As the title of the review from "The Economist" indicates (you can read the review here) words like history, humanity, origins, species, freedom, independence and hundreds of other don't have exact definitions so much as they have political interpretations and prejudices.

The amerikan far right and liberal people like me both believe in freedom. But our definitions of what freedom is (you'll know it when we let it ring) are as different as chocolate is from a cinderblock.

In Cowrie's book, and as the title of the Times' review indicates (as well as the photo above of george wallace) freedom means the freedom of the dominant race (so often that means native born, christian white men) to have things their way and not to have to pay tax for that luxury. They want to be free to have their privileges, like to kill little girls while they're attending church. Then call themselves, as bannon and trump are doing, "political prisoners."

Bobby Frank Cherry fought for the freedom to kill little girls.

Many of the 80,000 or so people who read Ad Aged every week are in the communications business. We should probably spend more time thinking conceptually about language. The shades, nuances and layers of its meaning.

There's scarcely a word uttered these days, especially when it's used in political discussion, that isn't laden and loaded with bias and subterfuge. It seems to me a lot of people use the words independence and freedom think they mean, "I should be allowed to do and say what I want and no one can stop me. But other people, people whom I disagree with, don't have those same rights. If they have the right to express themselves it takes away from my right to have things my way."

Essentially, that's the thinking behind those who say government can't take our guns but can take our ovaries.

OK. It's July 4th. It's Independence Day.

The day when all amerika is free to agree with everything I say.

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