(This is a speech I wrote for my brother while we were living in London, a few years back. He was meant to stand on a soapbox and drown out the nuts who these days occupy Speaker’s Corner with his own vehement nuttiness. He never did though, the puss.)
It’s a wide world of wonder folks, a grand old garden. We can do some pretty neat stuff here! We can marvel at the crystal clear blue sky and the fluffy white clouds. We can admire the animal life, naming it should it take our fancy. We can eat the fruit fresh from the trees (well, all except that one). We can wander about our garden innocent of all things evil. Skip! Play! It’s a beautiful day, damn it! Beautiful!
Our garden is great, something wondrous, but be careful, whatever you do, if you see a snake, don’t talk to it! Coz there’s this tree, see, and if we do but eat of it… well it’s all over then. Paradise lost. All chips in on a busted straight. But no worries, eh? It’s an old story, one we all know. We wouldn’t listen to that snake, no sirree; we wouldn’t fall for its reptilian charm. No eating of the fruit from the tree of knowledge for us. We’re onto that snake – we know its game. Adam and Eve, they went for it, but not us, uh-uh, we know what evil looks like – we’re smarter, more experienced. We’re free, we choose good. Rainbows and Sunshine. It’s that easy.
Happiness and Satisfaction.
Joy and Laughter.
However, that’s not the world we live in. We live in the West, the heart of civilization. Sure it’s not utopia but hell, it beats living in Afghanistan, Israel or Kosovo. Better than East Timor. And it certainly kicks the shit out of Iraq (nothing like army units full of Americans armed to the teeth with heavy ordinance and self righteousness to fuck up your decade).
We live in none of these places but we’re hardly free are we? The government has had our number for some time now – we’re well sorted. Government, honestly, for an elected, representative body that’s main purpose is to keep us happy, healthy and prosperous they’re a bit… you know what? It doesn’t even matter, barely relevant in fact. It’s not like they’re in charge anyway. Let’s face it: the state no longer controls our lives unencumbered. Their influence is now, if not eclipsed, then at least severely mitigated by corporate interests – corporate interests that care less for our individual well being than the government did. And it’s not accidental. In fact it’s not even subtle. And it’s not like our leaders past and present didn’t see it coming. These elected authorities, these people’s representatives, these end products of the great democratic dream, these arseholes entertained and adopted corporate wants and desires willingly, even enthusiastically, just to expedite them and their cronies getting their grubby hands on the second hand pieces of our pie.
It’s important to be realistic about certain things in democratic life.
(But they can’t fool us – we can spot that snake! We’re smart; we know what evil looks like. We’ll remain safe in our garden.)
Yet all the state owned, thus people owned, institutions keep on disappearing. All the state owned, i.e. general publics, assets keep vanishing. Worry not though friends, the corporations found them, all safe and sound, and they promise to look after them – for just a nominal fee.
(I know what bad people look like, can’t slip that snake past me!)
So: our duly elected take what, democratically speaking, we own, and sell it to private business concerns who, in turn, stick their dicks in our collective arse and, with some vigorous to-ing and fro-ing, proceed to shake what little savings our taxes have left us out of our pockets. This, so the press secretaries and ministers tell us, is privitisation with the dual aim of trimming fiscal fat from the budget while increasing lower price competition for the benefit of the consumer.
Ooooh! They did it for us!
Whatever. All I know is that I can’t afford to go see the doctor about my stretched and bleeding sphincter. We elect the bastards; they’re meant to be on our side! I don’t find this encouraging.
(Where’s that snake? I’m so tired. And hungry. Hey, look! An apple. Mmmmm.)
We’re asked to pay our taxes, we’re asked to be a contributing member of society, to make ourselves accountable to the system that, apparently, works so hard for us. We’re asked this by people who sell our assets, limit our liberties, make us unhappy and lie to us constantly. And, for this, we’re told to be grateful.
We need to learn to throw our gratitude at different things.
So when the politicians try to dictate social terms, when they try to appeal to our duty as voting citizens in order to facilitate the implementation of the ‘new’ policies. When they ask us for anything at all, just remember that their dignified, stoic, image consulted, pleading lips have been kissing big business arse and eating multi-national shit to meet no one’s ends but their own.
Don’t pay homage to the state when asked, those corporate sycophants don’t deserve it; they lost any respect that remained their due when they sold their soul to the economic devil.
Don’t respect ‘the Man’; don’t listen to the state or pledge loyalty to the corpse of an ideal state. Fight the government, rebel against the controlling corporate dollar. Bite the hand that refuses to feed you. Break rules and laws. Don’t love a status quo that serves the interests of those completely disinterested in yours. Don’t love cynical rhetoric that describes a non-existent nation.
If you’re going to love anything, love life. Love life and whatever freedom it engenders. Love your freedom, woo your freedom, caress it, hold it, whisper unto it sweet everythings. Grab it, feel it, grope it.
Fuck freedom, make it come.