I puked all this into a file as a retort on a mailinglist
I infest with my lurking presence and even at times torture with
some senseless dribble and lo and behold I also have the nerve to
stray into some grotesque parody on meaningful communication.
As such the collection of bytes below reflect some flickering neural
pathway activity completely in correspondence with me and as such
wobbling from the real path of the intended storyline nibbling at some
sidebars, lines and kicks with which I could easily fill someones ear
until the grey material in ones head comes oozing out the other side
or in this case of my choice of medium will make the eyes water to the
extend where Noah would walk away shamefully (possibly in tears too.)
However, on with the cruft.



I think one of the values of friends is that friends can hold up a mirror to
reflect oneself and to be able to reflect upon oneself. Sometimes it needs
to be a distorted mirror to enhance or slacken certain aspects. But all in
all it's always wise to consider the complementing aspects of friends or
even just other people. If you don't want to hear their opinion, not want to
respect that, at least ask yourself why you don't.
Try to watch the world with a 'helicopter view' sometimes. It's not good to
see everything in macro but it certainly isn't healthy to keep living with a
micro lens connected to the brain. Then again: ignorance is bliss *grin*

As I stated before: it's very important to keep asking questions, to be
critical about luxuries gained. Freedom is a very precious one. I know that
most Americans throw around the word as one of the major aspects of their
society. I also know for a fact that for most Americans it stops there, they
don't question whether their precious freedom changes or if there are
different ways to experience and communicate freedom. Like so many other
things there is _not_ a definite and ultimate form of perfection in complex
concepts. Especially not when the concept is lived through many minds.

Me, I try to question where we're going (especially with election time
coming up in the Netherlands :). This also means that I question a lot of
the influences on our society and thinking, the American influance not in
the least. A lot of issues I will mention below are true for most of our
societies. We mustn't forget we are more alike than we know at times.

Americans have always been very loud mouthed (some people say the same about
the Dutch :) about their superiority, the land of the free, the unlimited
possibilities, the American Way, One Nation Under God, God Bless America -
Home Of The Free, USA: Love It Or Leave It.

As an individual one should consider every now and then exactly what freedom
means. Noone is beyond rules, ruling, legislation, control, governmental
manipulations, corporate lobbying and trickery.

So in light of being critical and to the further cause of enlightment of the
Americans (joking :) here I go and feel free to dump your findings regarding
my window on reality on me....

For a lot of people it's hard to stomach the touted superiority expressed by
the USA on most occasions. For me, I question things like the freedom in the
USA but mostly because it's so vehemently and unconditionally defended so
very often.

I can't help but wonder from my point of view that a lot of that freedom is
void in the onslaught of the brute force of capitalism (aha, that should get
certain peoples' hackles up). Capitalism isn't a thought-through concept,
it's something that grows. In it's right thats a good thing because it
implies a certain sense of evolutionary track crossed, a path trodden, a
consensus for all the people involved. However it also tends to strangle a
lot of social aspects (alarm bells anyone ? i said social, not socialism and
even socialism as a concept isn't wrong, it's the people that preach
something and bend ideas to their benefit, thats where things start to go
whacky).

The USA is the ultimate commercial society. People live with corporate
endorsement like it's something natural. Independence becomes something
unattainable, or should I say: not making enough cash. I can remember when I
could watch a TV program or movie without it taking 3 times the amount of
time the program/movie lasts and where one wouldn't acquire an attention
span of 10 seconds to cope with all the advertisement cruft poured over one.
Anyway, thats a whole other issue, back to the money.

It's quite possible to express one's opinion in the USA and subsequently
being sued by a corporate entity with way much more resources. It happened
and will keep happening, I only have to refer to Scientology. People have
been ground down this way.
It's one thing to fear socialist regimes, it's quite another thing to have
to worry about putting a suitcase somewhere, someone tripping over it and
then sueing you for a billion dollars.

Everyone is rushing to comply with the wealth standards, inter-human
communication becomes a luxury. To save time everyone has their own shrink
to relief issues that possibly could have been resolved by some real Quality
Communication. As a lil side bar: a French guy who moved to the USA once
told me he threw a party in his garden, BBQ and all. To get to know his
collegues and neighbours. Everyone was networking, exchanging bizcards,
talking about income, fringe benefits and luxury articles. And of course I
know that it's a large world, we're not all alike, but it's just something
that I see happening and hear about.
Right.. lets get back: everyone has their own lawyer, just in case. It might
suprise some Americans but this is not how it works everywhere else. And i'm
pretty sure there are a lot of Americans where it doesn't quite work that
way yet either. Be proud of it ! We're not for nothing (maybe) the only
species that can communicate in the way we do, we can express our feelings,
if yes, words are mostly an unsuitable carrier for feelings and emotions,
but we can share if we want to.

Jumping from that to music... the language of the soul. It's almost a crime
to touch on certain subjects or to say certain words in a song. One gets
censored, no airing, labels being put on media (yes CDs and such, parental
advisory anyone ?).

At the same time kids watch about a gazillion murders and violent scenes
through TV where live gets reduced to visionary and sound bites just enough
for everyone to consume, intermittent commercials urge us to embrace our
freedom of choice of 30 flavours of icecream, teach us to be insecure about
ourselves to be able to control our needs, our wants. Seeds for needs that
never existed get planted. Teaser campaigns usher us onto a bandwagon of
meek sheep, ready to be picked.

Don't be to over-confident about freedom of choice: we've never been as
gullable as when we all started to wish for our own individual identity,
signaling to the public at large how cool we are, morphing existing islands
in society seperated by religion or other beliefs into a wasteland of
fractured interest groups. Divide & conquer still stands.

I picture all this in a negative way on purpose. It's GOOD that we have
choices, it's GOOD that we have that freedom. But it's BAD if we take it for
granted, if we don't question if our freedom is being used to manipulate and
control us in ways we wouldn't altogether like too much.
I embrace the freedoms our forebears fought for. The fact alone that i can
express my doubts is something I cherish more than you could possibly
imagine. I'm a pain in the ass and luckily for me there not a surgeon
standing by right away to remove my cancerous ramblings from the stream of
institutionalized and corporate truths.

People are allowed to carry fire arms because "there's idiots out there who
carry fire arms: protect yourself, you've got the right to".

America is not a melting pot, it's a salad where every individual ingredient
can be observed. This is increasingly true for most countries nowadays. It's
also a good thing. We should however keep in mind that people also obey a
fundamental rule: we do disagree with too many changes or new things. It has
taken us ages to accept a certain degree of man and woman being equal in our
own distinct races. It had taken us ages to kind of live together with all
our religions. And even these aren't up to really co-existing-friendly
standards, not quite yet.

One should always question the motives behind governments, the lobbies, the
manipulation, the paranoid moves.
Never should one accept dictatorial actions on behalf of "National
Security". Acceptable losses, collateral damage often refers to real people.
Gruesome, nazi-reminiscent experiments conducted on unsuspecting civilians
and soldiers alike should NEVER be felt like something that is needed in
light of protecting ourselves.

To conclude, regarding freedom there is a LOT of information on Internet. We
should always keep fighting for our freedom, our privacy. But not fighting
as in a means to play with out new toys, to re-unite ourselves, to be able
to distract attention from our own problems by pointing an accusing finger
outward.
Fighting in a friendly and warning way within our society.

chillingeffects.org
EFF

Ah this has become quite lenghty even when I desperately tried not to derail
on all kinds of issues that are related very strongly to the ones I
mentioned.