Freedom Day

Today is Freedom Day in South Africa, a date commemorating the introduction of a non-racial constitution which came into effect on this day in 1994, and the start of the nation’s first post-apartheid democratic elections where everyone of voting age, irrespective of the colour of their skin, was allowed to take part freely for the first time, liberating both the oppressor and the oppressed. Some 20 million people, 18 million more than had voted at the previous election, queued to cast their vote over three days, waiting for many hours for an opportunity which had hitherto been denied them by a ruling white minority.

Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress claimed 62 per cent of the vote and, on 10 May 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign,” he declared in his inaugural address to supporters in Pretoria.

Interestingly, it also marks the date that slavery was definitively abolished in France’s colonies (in 1848) and that Italian partisans arrested and killed dictator Benito Mussolini, founder of Europe’s first fascist movement (in 1945).

There are many songs about freedom in its various guises and different interpretations of it, obviously. Here’s ‘Mother Freedom’, by Bread, with its simple yet effective lines

“Freedom
Keep trying
People stay alive and people keep dying
For Freedom
So don’t lose it”

Indeed, Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘He Was My Brother’ was dedicated to Andrew Goodman, a classmate of Paul Simon’s and one of three American civil rights activists murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Neshoba County, Mississippi during Freedom Summer, 1964.

Which songs are you reminded of? There’s Paul McCartney’s ‘Freedom’, of course, an immediate, passionate and defiant response to the 2001 9/11 terror attacks in New York. Likewise, although from an opposing standpoint, Neil Young’s controversial, biting assessment of retaliatory operations in Iraq throughout his 2006 album Living with War. Similarly, Donovan’s ‘Ballad of a Crystal Man’ pours scorn on the idea of making peace through war; in his case, Vietnam:

“Walk along and talk along and live your lives quite freely
But leave our children with their toys of peppermint and candy
For seagull I don’t want your wings
I don’t want your freedom in a lie”

The Housemartins doubted just how politically liberated British society was in 1986, certainly as it was portrayed by and in the media, in ‘Freedom’:

“From the front page news to the interviews
It’s sink the reds and lift the blues
They pretend they’re differing points of view
But it’s only different shades of blue”

Whether it be serious social commentary (The Cranberries, ‘Zombie’), delight at obtaining temporary escape from work or study (Alice Cooper, ‘School’s Out’), satisfaction with confrontation resulting in being free from a trying relationship (Steve Winwood, ‘Freedom Overspill’), even just a respectful celebration of an artist’s lyrical independence from the inconvenient constraints of accepted modern language in bringing back an old verb not seen since the works of centuries past for the sake of rhyme (Bob Dylan, ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’), if it enters your head or is something which in itself compels you to make like The Who’s Tommy — or John Inman’s Mr Humphries in camp television sitcom Are You Being Served?, if you prefer — and joyously exclaim ‘I’m Free’, please don’t keep it to yourself today.

The chatroom will be open tomorrow from 4pm (UK).

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

49 thoughts on “Freedom Day”

  1. I agree 200% with the notion that you simply cannot wage peace via war. That’s like saying you’re going to promote green technology by drilling for more oil (which is what they say they’re doing here in the USA). Or like promoting education by ending a school (another thing they’re doing here).

    “On The Turning Away” is a great song about keeping aware of what’s going on out there (a form of freedom). Of course “A Great Day For Freedom” is another one. How about so many of Peter Paul and Mary’s songs (“We Shall Overcome,” “Light One Candle”)? Great stuff.

  2. Hi FEd, long time no see

    This is a good topic. Freedom seems to be something so many oppressed people in the world risk everything to obtain (as seen in the Middle East right now), and people in the ‘free’ world take for granted, like toilet paper and indoor plumbing.

    As far as songs go, Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” is a great song. Good call on the Bob Dylan song, too. A band I am in plays that song.

    One of the next frontiers in the fight for freedom has to be Human Trafficking. This is coming more and more to the forefront, especially in the US. It’s long been thought that it’s more of an issue in third world countries, particularly the “sex tourism” hot-spots like Thailand, but recent research has shown the US has the biggest underground sex slave industry, particularly for minors, than anywhere else in the world.

    On that note, this is a great time to reflect on the blessings of freedom so many of us enjoy.

    Regards,
    Mike

  3. Some 20 million people, 18 million more than had voted at the previous election, queued to cast their vote over three days…

    So many people in the world history had to wait such a long time to be allowed to vote (the women here only gained the right to vote in 1944 8| ) and so many are still fighting for freedom… I think it’s a shame that abstention is so high in elections these days (at least in France).

    Since the Revolution, our Motto contains, IMHO, the three most beautiful words that exist: ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’. If only… but so often only words…

    – ‘A Great Day For Freedom’, Pink Floyd
    – ‘Chimes Of Freedom’, Bob Dylan (love the symbolism in the lyrics, very ‘Rimbaud-esque’)
    – ‘The Partisan’, Leonard Cohen (Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing, Through the graves the wind is blowing, Freedom soon will come; Then we’ll come from the shadows.)
    – ‘Find The Cost Of Freedom’, CSN&Y
    – ‘Liberty’, Grateful Dead
    – ‘Freedom’, Jimi Hendrix
    – ‘Ma Liberté’, Serge Reggiani
    – ‘Ma Liberté De Penser’, Florent Pagny
    – ‘Le Déserteur’, Boris Vian
    – ‘Freedom Of Thought’, Power Quest

    A powerful song, I think:

    ‘Redemption Song’, Bob Marley:

    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
    None but ourselves can free our mind

    1. So many people in world history had to wait such a long time to be allowed to vote (the women here only gained the right to vote in 1944 8| ) and so many are still fighting for freedom… I think it’s a shame that abstention is so high in elections these days (at least in France).

      Michèle,

      I completely agree. Many people seem to behave as the rights they have now were just taken for granted and, maybe for this reason, not important or worth to be preserved. They forgot (or ignore?) someone else, as you said, had to wait and fight for those rights to be acknowledged, for the benefit of the following generations.

      This is shameful, disrespectful and dangerous, in my opinion. I believe (and I’m afraid about it) this superficial behaviour is gradually leading us to lose many of the rights we took for granted, while lots of people out there are not even aware of it. Probably they will realise they lost their rights when they won’t have them anymore, but, at that point, it will be too late.

      I know I have a very pessimistic view, but I think what’s happening in my country confirms these predictions perfectly. I’m not exaggerating if I say that, often, looking what Italy has become, I can’t help feeling sorry and embarrassed towards all the partisans and civilians who fought and died to free us from fascism.

    2. Alessandra, I absolutely share your pessimism and embarrassment. It’s hard not to see a bleak future, I sometimes feel, knowing just how few will actually bother to vote in forthcoming elections, for example. The UK electorate also has a referendum coming up next week on whether to change our voting system. Those who will not make the effort to vote at all (really, does it require that much effort to mark a small piece of paper?) and those who will vote to keep the current system only through fear of change and without taking the trouble to find out about the alternative – and then complain about it later – infuriate me. How many of our ancestors must be turning in their graves out of disgust and irritation at our unforgivable apathy. How they’d have loved the opportunity to have their say in such affairs.

    3. Those who will not make the effort to vote at all (really, does it require that much effort to mark a small piece of paper?) and those who will vote to keep the current system only through fear of change and without taking the trouble to find out about the alternative – and then complain about it later – infuriate me.

      About this…

      I’m occasionally giving a hand to the local public water/anti-nuclear referendum committee, distributing informative flyers in the streets and answering people’s questions. This gave me the chance to do my little personal survey. 😀

      If many people seem to be (are they, actually?) already informed and interested in voting, there is also a considerable number of individuals who ask me “Referendum? Which referendum?”, as they had never heard anything about it (is it possible?). But what is most discouraging is to talk with people who, after decades of abrogative referendums, didn’t learn, yet, they have to vote “Yes” to say they want to abrogate something and “No” to let things as they are. Is it really so complicated to understand it, after all these years?

      I just wonder what people will decide to do on 12-13 June, if voting or leaving for holidays. Considering that referendums are almost the only way we have to exercise direct democracy, shouldn’t people be more motivated to vote in them than in political elections? It’s mad they don’t realise that.

      Sorry if my English wasn’t clear. My head is very slow today.

      1. It’s crystal clear. 🙂

        The UK’s referendum last week didn’t go the way I had hoped. What was sadder still was that only about 40 per cent turned out to vote in most regions.

        I’d make voting compulsory. People would still be able to register their protest by spoiling their papers, should they choose to. If we have systems in place to allow voting online and by text message for assorted television programmes, surely this infrastructure should be adapted for the sake of all opportunities to shape democracy. But then, would we have regressive right-wing governments if young people voted without fail? Probably not, I like to think.

    4. I’ve been following your conversation with interest, and nodding in agreement. 🙂 I can’t fathom why people don’t use their vote either but I was thinking about it. Where I live, the turn out was less than 30%.

      We say we’d like more to turn out and vote, our individual hopes being, that they would vote like us and we would get the result we want. It occurs to me that the people who don’t bother to vote, don’t think like me and probably wouldn’t vote the same as me either. 🙁 Maybe they’d just make the problem/s worse.

      It also occurs to me that maybe the majority don’t vote because the majority don’t understand the bigger pictures and never will, which means they’ll never educate their children (about voting) either.

      I don’t know if this is a gloomy or a good thing. I’m actually kinda wondering if I actually came up with this thought. 8|

      ash

    5. Something else that just came to me, there was a time when you heard cars with loudhailers out on the streets, urging people to cast their vote, on election days. Helpers came and took elderly or disabled people to the polling station. There was generally more public awareness because of it I think.

      Now there is no (perceived) need for infirm people to actually go to the polling station because they have the opportunity to vote by post or by proxy. We get lots of leaflets through our doors urging us to vote for one or other candidates.

      I think most of the literature including ‘how to vote’ information, gets binned along with junk mail so public awareness has actually gone DOWN.

      Maybe if some government actually passed a law banning all the crap junk mail and leaflets we got, people would take notice of the important stuff!

      ash

    6. I’m sorry for your referendum results. 40 per cent is a low participation rate, especially for an important subject such as voting system.

      Here, 40 per cent is not enough to do anything. If participation is lower than 50% + 1 of all electors, the quorum won’t be met and the referendum can’t be considered valid.

      Maybe we should actually make voting compulsory (again). At least, if all electors had to vote, their number would be known and precise and it wouldn’t happen anymore to find boxes full of validated (marked and unmarked) ballot papers around in the streets, as it happened in Rome after the last elections.

  4. A topic very near to me having grown up in an Apartheid South Africa in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

    The first thing that comes to mind is a South African progressive/psychedelic rock band called Freedom’s Children born in the midst of Apartheid. They tried to make a go of it in Britain but were refused visas due to South Africa’s Apartheid policies. Some biographical materials actually mention that they opened for Pink Floyd in the mid ‘60s at the Country Club in Belsize Park – whether this is legit or not, I don’t know. They were really, really good and would probably have “gone places” had the political climate been different.

    I’m reminded of Janis Joplin’s sad and soulful “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”; Ritchie Havens doing “Freedom” at Woodstock; Lucky Dube’s “Mickey Mouse Freedom” (interesting perspective from a South Africa reggae artist … post-Apartheid at that); Uriah Heep’s “Free Me” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” (granted a different kind of freedom); and since South Africa is included in this topic, may as well add “Born Free” sung by Matt Monro. And then there’s being “shackled” by work and family and wishing for ‘spiritual’ freedom in “That Lucky Old Sun” sung by many.

    Personally I think freedom (of any kind) is a double-edged sword depending on who happens to be defining freedom at any given point in time. As an example, I look back at what was known as Rhodesia and the global outcry at white minority ‘rule’. Some 30 odd years later, we have Zimbabwe – one of the absolute worst autocracies and no global outcry. I also believe, to some extent, that we’re robbing our children and their children of a certain kind of freedom with all this political correctness – sanitized nursery rhymes and fairy tales rewritten to make them more ‘palatable’ (according to who?); the amending of original texts to make them more “acceptable”. I so love that excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech – sadly, I don’t know that man’s inhumanity to man and beast will ever cease no matter how beautifully we clothe it!

    1. ‘Born Free’. Love it – the song, the film, the film score and the Born Free Foundation especially.

      It’s a freedom I hadn’t thought about in writing the above, yet the confinement and exploitation of the many beautiful and majestic creatures that share our planet, for our own selfish, warped amusement, is something that particularly upsets and enrages me. How their freedom has been eroded because of human expansion and greed. It’s enough to make you weep.

      It makes me think, and feel thoroughly depressed in the process, of the Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Small Black Flowers That Grow In the Sky’. The song’s final line – “Here, chewing your tail is joy” – says it all.

      I think I need to watch Christian the Lion to momentarily restore some faith in humanity.

    2. Personally I think freedom (of any kind) is a double-edged sword depending on who happens to be defining freedom at any given point in time. …. I don’t know that man’s inhumanity to man and beast will ever cease no matter how beautifully we clothe it!

      Well said Pavlov!

  5. A Great Day For Freedom ~ Pink Floyd
    Birmingham Sunday ~ Joan Baez
    Michael, Andrew and James ~ Mimi & Richard Farina
    Strange Fruit ~ Billie Holiday
    Chimes of Freedom ~ Bob Dylan
    There But For Fortune ~ Phil Ochs (also recorded by Joan Baez)
    Crucifixion ~ Phil Ochs
    Redemption Song ~ Bob Marley
    Biko ~ Peter Gabriel
    Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child ~ Van Morrison
    Freedom Rider ~ Traffic
    Freedom ~ David Gray
    One Road To Freedom ~ Ben Harper
    Give Me Back My Freedom ~ Peter Green

    Just a few …

    Peace!
    Gabrielle

  6. Good post, FEd. 🙂

    Some songs:

    Joan Baez – We Shall Overcome
    Bob Dylan – Chimes of Freedom / The Times They Are A-Changin’
    Pink Floyd – A Great Day for Freedom
    Bob Marley – Redemption Song
    Tracy Chapman – Freedom Now
    Ben Harper – People Lead / One Road To Freedom
    Jimi Hendrix – Stone Free
    Lou Reed – Voices of Freedom
    The Beatles – Free as a Bird
    Uriah Heep – I Wanna Be Free
    Rage Against The Machine – Freedom
    Eddie Vedder – Far Behind

    1. You’ve got me thinking of Bob Dylan now, Alessandra, and another type of freedom I hadn’t considered: the freedom to choose to end one’s own life.

      “Leaving men wholly, totally free
      To do anything they wish to do but die”

      — ‘Gates of Eden’

    2. A very important type of freedom. I also didn’t think about it.

      This is what immediately came to my mind:

      R.E.M. – Try Not To Breathe

      “I will try not to breathe
      This decision is mine. I have lived a full life”

  7. I still love a saying I’ve heard before.

    “We are all elightened, pretending not to be”.

    I think, Imagine by John Lennon fits this category. 8)

  8. Are any of us truly free? Those of us fortunate enough to enjoy the four freedoms (no, not a defunct Motown soul band) outlined by FDR (freedom of speech/thought, freedom of religion, or these days lack of one, freedom from want and fear) are rarely free from obligation, debt, social pressures and conventions, conscience, doubt. Those who are are probably psychopaths and deserve to be locked up!!

    Finding freedoms which do not in some form shackle someone else has proven to be a bit a a challenge for us … even Michele’s rightly treasured ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’ have proven to contain one of the conundrums for modern man … calls to brotherhood and equality seem to have led to regimented, oppressive regimes more often than not because freedom to be human means freedom to do and be good and bad in equal measure.

    Actually, I think we don’t have to look/listen very far to find a nice meditation on freedom from our old friend Roger …

    Breathe, breathe in the air.
    Don’t be afraid to care.
    Leave, don’t leave me.
    Look around and choose your own ground.

    Long you live and high you fly
    smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
    all you touch and all you see
    Is all your life will ever be.

    As for me, I’m off for my own annual dose of freedom on the appropriately named island of Eleuthera (Bahamas) where I shall walk bare-footed on white sands, gaze across turquoise seas, do what I want, when I want, with the person I freely tied myself to.

  9. I forgot to mention these lines from Pearl Jam “I Am Mine”, which I really love.

    “I know I was born and I know that I’ll die
    The in between is mine
    I am mine”

  10. Put the thinking cap on and found a few more:

    – Supertramp’s Fool’s Overture — midway through the song in between the sounds of gale force winds there’s a plaintive cry … “freedom”
    – Simple Minds’ Mandela Song
    – Thin Lizzy’s Freedom Song
    – Paul Revere & The Raiders’ Indian Reservation (wanted to find out a bit about the song’s origins and discovered it was actually written in the 50s!)
    – Alan Parsons Project — Breakdown (not my favourite APP song)

  11. Off topic …

    Not sure that Polly ever reads the blog but wanted to extend best wishes for the happiest of birthdays tomorrow. Loved Out of the Picture, recently finished reading Perfect Lives and am waiting patiently for Amazon to send me Lying in Bed.

  12. …mmhhh “A great day for freedom”… but what freedom in Africa?

    China is buying a lot of ground, Libya is involved in a terrible fight for Gheddafi madness, Egypt is going to an embrace (hug) of Muslim brotherhood and Army… what kind of freedom… there’s not freedom but “our” sensation but not in Africa, mates.

    Great Weekend everyone.

    diana

    1. And now it is claimed that Osama bin Laden is dead, which raises all sorts of questions about how free any of us truly are.

  13. Here in Canada we are in the throws of the last days of an election campaign. I am proud to say this election was called because our minority Tory government was found in (utter) contempt of Parliament, the first country ever in Commonwealth history to fall for that reason. While many of my compatriots are ashamed or embarrassed, I think we should be proud we have parliamentary instruments that allow us to practice vigilance and stand on guard for Democracy. When things go very wrong, when Parliament – as representative of the People – is being blatantly disregarded and mocked by the Party in power we, the ‘little’ people, have the right to say “Enough!”.

    Our fathers and grand-fathers fought and died in terrible wars to earn this right. Brave folks across North Africa and the Middle East are fighting and dying to earn this right. It is not enough to win Democracy, we need to remain constantly vigilant as rights we take for granted can vanish overnight at the stroke of a pen.

    Quite uncharacteristically, as I detest jingoism in any form, my song of choice this week is our national anthem. As I sat in the Gallery of our House of Commons with tears pouring down my face listening to each Member of Parliament saying “Yay” or “Nay” to bring the Harper Government down, I was thinking of the words:

    “True North strong and free
    From far and wide, O Canada,
    We stand on guard for thee”

    Happy Freedom Day. Happy Election Day to my compatriots: please vote!

    Bella x

    1. An excellent choice, Bella, and very well said.

      By the way, I was interested to read that one quarter of Canadian MPs are women. In the UK, I think I’m right in saying that, following last year’s election, one in five MPs are women. Just a different slant on freedom, there, considering how women in our respective parts of the globe, as with large swathes of it, have only had the right to vote and to stand as parliamentary candidates for barely a century.

      On this day, incidentally, Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman prime minister. For me, though, the less said about that and her, the better. 😉

    2. Thank you FEd. :v

      Well, who said Democracy was easy? Canada woke up the day after the elections a radically changed country. No more governed from the centre but, sadly, sharply polarized with a right-wing Tory majority 😮 and our left-wing New Democratic Party which made history by becoming Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition for the first time.

      Democracy is humbling. Democracy demands patience. It is not for the faint of heart!

      Bella x

    3. A seismic political shift indeed. I noticed on Twitter earlier (assuming that the figures are correct, of course, I haven’t checked) that the centre-left parties polled 59.5 per cent of the vote compared with the right’s 39.6 per cent. And the right claimed the majority.

      Now, I’m not saying anything at all about the results serving as a timely reminder to anyone having doubts about voting ‘Yes to AV’ in tomorrow’s referendum, UK readers.

      (And I did so well to restrain myself earlier when I had the chance to berate Maggie Thatcher for being an evil witch, I thought.)

  14. I recalled “I’m Free”, by The Who, which is the climatic moment in the opera-rock movie Tommy:

    “I’m free, and freedom tastes of reality”

  15. Couple of months ago, there were rumors that Gilmour passed away! I never researched this in a long time!! Phew! What a relief… I was saddened by Syd Barret’s news and him being called Acid Barrett, etc. We need Dave and Philanthropists like him around for this world and for Rock ‘n Roll! Rock on!

    Prayers for the health of Dave! Rock on!!

  16. Hello everyone, that’s my first time commenting although I’ve been visiting Mr Gilmour’s Blog for quite a long time.

    So, a song coming to my mind about freedom is Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Ghost of Tom Joad’. There are some lines that I liked a lot:

    ”Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
    Or decent job or a helpin’ hand
    Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
    Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me”

    So, for me Freedom is pursuing whatever makes you Happy in this life. It is in our nature I believe to help each other (especially those in need). Also freedom is knowlegde, it is to know and respect that we are all equal human beings so our freedom stops when we are about to intervene or harm other people’s lives one way or another.

    Thanks a lot, 😀
    ManukGr

  17. Since we’re on the topic of Osama bin Laden and the question of freedom, I’ve got to say the following.

    Here in America, people are partying in the streets like drunks at a Super Bowl that went our way. But I don’t think the death of any man, even bin Laden, is cause for celebration. As much as we don’t like him, he is still a human being with a family and friends. For me, it is a time for somber reflection about the nature of freedom and what it means to have an “enemy.” I always tell my students that the way we treat an enemy says a lot about us.

    So, is this what we do in America now? We secretly send a team into a sovereign nation and shoot an unarmed man and throw the body into the sea, just because we don’t like him? Do we now ignore our entire legal system and kill an enemy without any kind of trial or court action, just because that’s what we feel like doing? If they can do it to bin Laden, then is anyone truly safe? And is anyone truly free? If the masses party in the streets because our government broke all of its own laws, then who is holding the checks and balances on our government? Freedom is not just about doing anything that suits you. It is about doing the right thing. Is lawlessness the right thing if the President orders it? In what other ways is there lawlessness in government? And why aren’t the masses asking all of these same questions? Are we now so drunk on revenge that we forget all about consequences? Are we thinking this through?

    1. It’s scary, and the implications for everyone are now even scarier. Wouldn’t it have been better to arrest him, take him to The Hague and put him on trial, the resulting outcome in all likelihood, so you would think, being execution – as was the case with Saddam Hussein? I realise the huge financial cost involved in a lengthy trial at a time of unpopular austerity cuts (really, I’ve just helped pay for a Royal wedding) and I also realise that the handling of Saddam Hussein’s execution shamed even George W. Bush, but this all seems so wrong. Never mind the conspiracy theories or guff about bin Laden being armed and using his wife as a human shield, and President Obama watching, which has now been denied. The only argument I’ve read which supports the way this has been carried out is that bin Laden could possibly have escaped justice on a technicality, as the evidence connecting him to the atrocities remains sketchy. How agonising that would have been for the families of the bereaved and how the public would then have questioned why he wasn’t killed when forces had the chance. Another dreaded scenario would have been a repeat of what happened to Slobodan Milosevic, who died in custody before justice could be served; considering that bin Laden was afflicted with renal failure, he could have died of natural causes in a prison cell before the jury reached its verdict. That wouldn’t have gone down at all well.

      I can’t decide whether the inevitable backlash from al-Qaeda would have been more or less severe had he been arrested and made to stand trial instead of killed and his body hastily buried at sea. Sometimes you’re just damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

      For the record, I don’t think there’s much doubt that his death is morally justifiable to a great many across the world, but killing him in this way amounts to a war crime, does it not?

    2. A beautifully balanced observation FEd and you’re right, we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t and there will be always be vigorous and heated debate on either side. Man’s ‘quest’ for the ‘ultimate truth’ is taking us to some very strange, dark places and I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel quite ill at ease with the rhetoric. Thank the powers that be for the joys of loved ones, music, books and cyberspace.

  18. “I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.”
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    On the Osama bin Laden thing, I just wish the folks in Washington and the media (from the far reaches of either side of the aisle and everywhere in-between) would get their story straight because us ‘poor, hapless’ masses don’t know what to ‘consume’ anymore!

  19. ‘Lo All, Fed. I’m confused. About the whole concept of Freedom. But does this qualify, a bit o’ Winston.

  20. Three disjointed thoughts continually stir in my mind. This blog prompts me to express. They are:

    1 – The newly implemented Constitution of the United States of America stripped true freedom from the people of the time that were directly impacted by the new legal document.

    2 – Criminals “are free” to victimize peaceful people. Criminal law addresses penalties for criminal behavior only after they are finally apprehended and “brought to justice”.

    3- To a non-criminal mind, the general assumption is that individuals are free to do as they choose, so long as they do not harm others. In other words, to do what is correct for the benefit of humanity.

    To my mind’s eye, the collective total of the intelligence of humanity has completely surpassed the boundaries of our legal systems, social doctrines, and religious dogmas, on a global basis. I may be off base on this, but our governments just don’t seem to be functional.

    Relating these comments to this blog: humanity is ready for a new song about what freedom is (now that we know more about it, even though we experience less of it).

    I am now 57 years old and am simply stunned when mentally digesting the constant onslaught of information about humans destroying the well-being of other humans.

    An Earth full of people living in harmony will not need legislation, prisons, or war. Ninety percent of the world’s inhabitants have been thrown askew by the other ten percent that are determined to undermine individual freedom.

    Rock on!

    1. A new song indeed Tom! Perhaps a challenge for “You Know Who”. 😉

  21. Nelson Mandela is right. Africans were slaves during the war and they are even discriminated now, but heck, who cares anyway? As long as these people get on living… They have the right to survive.

  22. Hey Pavlov,

    It’s like the cogs on a gear; or the teeth on a sprocket. As one goes up, another goes down. Life is circular in that sense. And so seems to be the relative freedom of mankind.

    Every generation must be wondering what is next for their children as the “big wheel” goes ’round and ’round and ’round.

    But all this “rise and fall” and “round and round” is the two-dimensional motion of a humanity that is a thing of the distant past.

    Our global inter-connectedness is now a matter of continuously modifying vectors in dozens, or more, dimensions of human reality. That is a tough concept to put to song or video.

    I’d give up my life essence to jump-start future generations in an effort to pass on my accumulated wisdom, but the young people I know don’t care to hear of it. They have American Idol.

    So I sense I have become a dinosaur in my own time, yet my feet continue to plod the surface of the Earth with my mind holding solutions that many people will need in the day to day of life as their freedom slips away without their recognition of the loss.

    Not sure a new song will tie things back together as we knew them, but it sure would be comforting to these old mental synapses of mine; and hopefully, the young folks would get the wake up call.

    Nothing rocks like rock!

  23. Loved what Pink Floyd did for Germany and reunification.

    Now its time to do the “Spanner in the works” concert to Free Tibet.

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