Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gigs, Gags, Liberty and Maybe the Kitchen Sink

With my brother Alfred and his son Jessie, I played a gig last night at my nephew's high school. Jessie introduced us by saying: "Hi, my name is Jessie. The two old guys with me are my dad and my uncle Sieg."

Old guys!

I take these gags in the humorous spirit in which they are uttered. After all, my own twelve-year-old son calls me a geezer. There is no denying it. Compared to my son and my nephew, I am old. I am a geezer. In July, I will turn sixty. There is the proof.

Being a geezer doesn't mean that I have to relegate myself to being irrelevant. Never having been someone who is content to leave wrongs unrighted and necessary battles unfought, I still try to do what I can. But I can't solve every problem in the world. Frankly, some things that annoy the hell out of me don't appear to bother most other people, so I know I am going to have to get used to them. I'm thinking here about things like bad manners, inconsiderate behaviour, vindictiveness, spite and especially discrimination under cover of politically correct rubrics. These behaviours appear to be so entrenched in our society that it will take generations to reverse the trend.

Someone once advised me with the pithy and useful imperative: "Don't sweat the small stuff." I took that to mean that there is no point on spending emotional capital on worrying about things over which I have no control and which really aren't worth the effort anyway. A longtime friend, who had more than a little experience with adversity, encouraged me when times were tough, with the very useful: "Don't let the bastards grind you down."

They haven't. The bastards, whoever they have been over the years, haven't ground me down. I'm still standing, bloodied but unbowed, bruised but not broken. Thank you, Frank, for that advice. Maybe I should have those words tattooed on my buttocks, so when I invite someone to kiss my a**, while they are down there they might gain some understanding of why I won't let them trample my right to live my life on my terms.

I doubt that I have ever actually uttered those words. I am too polite. I am too considerate of others' feelings. I have thought the words, though, and meant them.

In trying to protect my own freedom and whatever else I think should be preserved in the world that my son and his eventual offspring will inherit, I have sometimes felt like Don Quixote de la Mancha, ineffectual and frustrated. But life's battles do not always end with decisive victories. That doesn't mean that they weren't worth fighting.

We must choose our battles. Any threat to our freedom must be fought. Any intrusion into our privacy must be fought. Anything that interferes with the raising of our children as we alone see fit must be fought. Our children are not cogs in the wheel of the state. They are individuals. They must retain the right to follow their dreams while still accepting responsibility for their actions and most especially for their mistakes.

If you feel, as I do, that we are running out of time and that there is a real and present danger to the liberty to live our lives as we choose, I invite you to visit the website of International Society for Individual Liberty. ISIL is headquartered in California and is headed by my friend Vince Miller. It has a vast array of information available on virtually any subject which might be of interest to lovers of liberty and haters of tyranny. Check it out.

I know that occasionally someone stops in to visit this little blog of mine. Say hello by leaving a comment, even if you disagree with me. I promise I won't bite.

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