Today I've been thinking about what "freedom" really means—seriously! Hear me out. And I was thinking about writing this in some notes or starting another Word .doc or something but then it'll just get lost in my stack of dead hard drives that I am accumulating at the rate of 1 for every 2 years I am alive. At this rate, and assuming files don't get any bigger (they will, think that in one of the first "cyber-punk" novels the protagonist is risking his life trying to find something to hide something that is like 26KB worth of material, I mean, you could probably etch that much info into the back of a credit card with a pocket knife if you wanted to) and assuming I live to an average age of death (I won't), and that the average age of death won't have changed (it will) then I will have amassed about 50TB of computer life of which some poor idiot intern or college student will have to sift through to find any of my "significant" writings. So, it's better that I just put it in here, that way 1) I Don't have to give it another title, 2) I don't relinquish it to the chyme of my computer bowels along with blurry naked pictures of my ex-girlfriends and my millions of gifs of black girls making "Uh-uh!" faces from various talk shows, and 3) I can espouse these things here where it might be read by like the three people who feel sorry for me and still read the things that I write just to make sure I'm not dead, and they might see it and go, "Oh good, Justin hasn't killed himself yet... and that one thing kinda makes sense... I'm gonna call and tell him I read it that way I won't have to actually read all of this."
I've probably been thinking about that freedom-thing since it's an election year and that means that my brain is going to start pondering all of this bullshit that everyone on the news keeps talking about until I don't go vote on voting day. Mostly I've been thinking how ludicrous it is that we are even allowed to use the word "free" at all in any of our legal/political discussions. And I know that it's become, like, a thing, you know, that we at least know that we are not anywhere near as "free" as say Canada, or France, or the Netherlands, but then, why do we even say that they are free?
You know I know all the stuff about how people aren't "allowed to be free" that we are "born that way" as some of the philosophers have stated. Like the freedom of speech, you are born with vocal chords ergo you are free to speak, etc., etc., and that's all cute and good and all, but no matter how "free" they are, even in the Netherlands, I'm sure they still have to do things that they don't want to do. And I'm not talking about the bullshit stuff of life, like paying taxes and shit, I'm talking about, still going to jobs. Does everyone in the Netherlands want to go to work every time they go to work? If even one Nederlander says that they don't feel like going to work one time and they still go because they'd get fired if they didn't, or because their husband/wife would be upset with them if they didn't go, then they are not free. Or, do they still have prescription drugs vs. OTC drugs? If so, then the State is saying that even though you, as a literate individual of an extremely progressive society are not free to buy your very own medicine and to be trusted (or not trusted to, it shouldn't matter!) to take it as it says on the package because we need the Doctors to still be able to wear their white coats and feel special about themselves.
And that's not even getting into the purely physical aspects of occupying the human form, like having to eat or take a shit. I mean, sometimes you want to do those things, but other times you just don't, but you still have to, right? So as humans we are torn away from freedom simply by being born human. So I guess I am disagreeing with some of the most famous philosophers of history... It's just been driving me crazy all day to think that we've been so hammered into thinking that that is something that is extant at all that we start to argue about which countries are "freer" than other countries, when shouldn't we really be worrying about the absolute, greatest extents of what that word could possibly mean? And what are things that should be guaranteed to everyone, because I think anything that is necessary to be alive should be monetarily free just to start things off in a promising direction, and then we can start arguing the more philosophical aspects that are already "guaranteed" in our Constitution. Like a home, should be free with a determined amount of square-footage allotted to every individual. Food, should be free. Water, yes, that, too. And now that we are in the internet-age I think electricity, and wi-fi should be included. And things that nobody ever in the world fucking wants to pay for like toothbrushes, toilet paper, toenail clippers, all of that fucking bullshit should be free, because nobody ever wants to pay for these things, hence to make someone have to purchase them makes them unfree.
How did we even get duped into using that word in the first place? That is one of the great GREAT cons of all time that has been pulled on the public, to even get them using the word in reference to an animal called human being is a fucking farce of the highest order. And then we still to this day use it in conversations and politicians say it all the time like it's just something that's been here since 1776 when in reality it's not something we're likely to see in our lifetimes. I mean, can you envision, not even a world, but let's just say a United States, where not one single person ever has to go to a job that they don't want to go to for one second?
And if they were using the word "free" in 1776 to very literally mean free in 1776, then it was very well because they knew that they could be free because they held others as slaves. Because for humans to be free, any humans, would mean that other humans would have to be doing all the labor on their behalf. Therefore negating freedom entirely because of that whole existence of slavery thing in there. But, if we were to be able to automatize every last bit of labor conceivable then—then and only then—would humans even have the chance of anything like freedom. So that should be our highest priority in the world, either that or we have to start quantifying freedom if we allow governments (doesn't the word "government" just by being itself negate freedom?) use it in binding legal documents, you know, like Constitutions which determine every law we are governed under.
And look, I know I'm not blowing anybody's minds with these ideas if they've read any books they were supposed to read by the time they were sophomores in high school (outside of class of course), I just can't believe this stuff isn't talked about more. And I also know that this is utopianism, but... how did that get to be a bad thing again? But really really, all this is just to say that we should not be allowed to use the words "freedom" or "free" anymore because they are completely abstract and relativistic and have no place in law, and especially not in the U.S. where people can put it on shirts and yell at the rest of the world about it... so I guess what I'm really saying is that using these words should be illegal... and punishable by death... by toe-stubbing... the worst of all death-bys... because it's really hard to stub someone's toe enough to kill them... I'm done... I promise...
Now, how did all this death and dying and shit get me to New York? Well, the Japanese have a word for it... sorta. I learned it watching that show on Netflix Chef's Table, the episode with Niki Nakayama. She talks about the overwhelming feeling you get to prove someone else wrong, she said they call it "kuyashii," which, is sorta what I feel but I'm also sure I could dig somewhere in my German ancestry (yes, I am German and Jewish... and my Dad is Polish Catholic, so... have a field day folks! You tell me what the Hell it means (besides that I'm made enormously hairy) and I'll be glad that somebody else did some digging into it besides me for once) for another word that means "I'm gonna prove you wrong mit meinem verdammten Blut!!!" but in one word, I know there's one word out there... it's probably in Russian actually—Anyway, that's where you get from your girlfriend fish-breathing and death-farting in a hospital room that you are verboten from entering to New York, because "Fuck. You." that's why.
She was rich. Her Dad worked for one of those bailout companies (if I've mentioned that 20 times already I don't care because it should be known that he's one of those assholes, and if you knew it already, well, now you know it some more which is good), and as we all know from Smokey Robinson, that I may love you but I don't like you one fucking bit you spoiled piece of shit—Anyway, I was not so... fond of this woman I found myself in love with. And you don't really have to believe in signs or omens to notice that the shit that we were going through might possibly mean that we were no good for each other. But it's really the ignorant-ass shit that rich people do and say in front of not-rich people that can just push someone into that light—even someone you love so, so, so much—just push them right into the right place where you can go, "You know what, that's just too rude for me to tolerate." And I'm sure that us less fortunate people do all sorts of things that they don't like, they just don't have as large of an audience to bitch about it as we have. I'm sure she hated the way I held my 24kt gold grapefruit de-membraning utensil when I'd visit her Country Club, or how I didn't kiss my sister on the mouth like rich people do with their sisters when they greet, or how I would sometimes express an emotion in front of her father knowing full well that showing emotion in front of WASP men makes their sphincters flap uncontrollably in the direction of their favorite banking institution—ya know, things of that nature.
But it's really the little, tiny, diminutively-suffixed linguistic "switcheroos" that rich people try to put past you that'll really drive you up the fucking wall. Because they know there are certain things that they can't say (if they're even that aware), like when Brooke got out of the hospital and had been living with her parents for like four days when she said, "I just can't live with my parents anymore, it's making me feel awful." Now, were you able to spot the unnecessary word in there? YES! You got it! It's "can't." What she should've said was "don't have to" because she would always, and will always, have enough money to not have to live with them. To move at the drop of a hat because she can always afford movers and moving and down-payments and security deposits, and all that shit without having to work for years to save up to do that once in a lifetime, she can do that as often as she pleases. Or, when she was at her rehab for fucked up skanks halfway house for those with love addiction (serious), and I wasn't sure if I could make it out there and she said, "What, like you really don't have the $400 for a ticket?" Um, yeah, really. Some people don't have $400. A lot of times I don't have $20. And that's not $20 in the entire world. But rich people can not understand that. It actually does not make sense to them, they think that we are being hyperbolic when we say things like that, so how can you expect to have a life (I mean, not that I'm "expecting to have a life" at all, but, figure of speech and stuff) with someone who thinks like that?
And not that I am at all free from saying dumb shit. I mean, if you've read this far then you might have noticed that I say plenty of incredibly stupid things all the time, it's just that when things come down to money, it starts to mean everything. And it shows the most about who you really are. I used to think that it was two things that really showed what a person really was, and that was how they drive and how they fuck. And, I still do very much think that those are two of the best indicators of who a person "really" is, but I'd now add a third thing which would be how someone talks about money.
I had a manager (an Israeli, who, I think are the most loathsome people on the planet, and maybe I hate them so much because being Jewish means that they represent me in the world, and their disgusting, pig-headed pride mixed with their greed, which they proudly wear on their sleeves, makes them the most contemptible people in the world to me... not to mention that they are using the Bible as an argument for why they even have a place to live—I better get off this topic until I'm ready to fully dive into that one...) at this nightclub I worked at in New York called the Cafe Wha? (you may have heard of it, it's a tourist trap in the middle of the Village famous for being famous like 70 fucking years ago, and morons from all over the world still go there to hear "live music" thinking that it will conjure the ghost of Bob Dylan or somethi—Yes? Excuse me? Bob Dylan's not dead? But then I'll have to go back and erase all that! No! Get out! NO!
So during a meeting once he said to all of us how he didn't understand why we couldn't all bring our own $100 worth of small bills every night to make change with. "Well," someone said, "what if that's because we don't have $100?" Which—he stopped this waitress before she could even finish her question because he was so pissed that she would lie about that—and then said, and I do quote, "I find it extremely hard to believe that any one of you wouldn't have an extra $100 to bring to work every night!" (You also have to put that disgusting accent of theirs on that last quote to make it sound every bit as über-disgusting as it really sounded to get the full effect.)
I mean, that's how these people think, so what are you gonna do? And Brooke was no exception when it came to all this money shit, I mean, her dad is one of those assholes who has how much money he makes up on Forbes.com and shit! He's one of those assholes.