Monday, June 25, 2007

Land of the Free in Chains

This was an article that I wrote one day after watching the news. It's self explanatory, I should think. As an American who firmly believes in the principles of freedom, I became outraged everytime I saw the national news. If you have an opinion, let me know.

Land of the Free in Chains
By B.C. Brooks

You are an American. As an American, you grew up in this country styled by men such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These are names that became household words. You know them all as great men, founders, forefathers and leaders. They wrote and firmly established the documents that made the United States what it is today. Or did they?
Is the country outside your window representative of the one they dreamed of? Are you as free as they hoped you would be? Did you get the education these great men entrusted for you? You did have the opportunity. You still do. But what drives your decisions? Do you make them wisely? Do you take responsibility for what you do? Are you ready for freedom?
Yesterday, I watched the news as I do every day. And once again, Paris Hilton made the headlines from jail. The ability to maintain her sense of fashion while in the county lockup was in question. What? This was national news. And she’s been national news for quite some time now. Why are we hearing about this seeing as how our brothers and sisters are, at this very moment, giving their lives for our forefather’s ideals? How does Paris Hilton’s sense of fashion compare with a bombing at a roadside checkpoint in Iraq?
It occurred to me that the media functions primarily on providing what we, as Americans want to see. That’s American business in action. Supply and demand… basic high school economics. That means that while they are doing their job, while supplying the actual news, they are also forced by us to report on silly, pedantic, meaningless dribble, too.
And, despite their best efforts, this desire for news that’s not really news has influenced their reporting styles, turning most news channels into entertainment nexuses. They tend to show footage on the Middle East in short bursts between shots of blondes posing amidst flashes on a stage. They’re afraid of losing our attention with the actual news… showing something important might bore us. And that would mean fewer viewers, fewer viewers catching the commercials and not buying products from their sponsors.
Now, I’m not a party-pooper. I like to have fun, too. But, seriously, aren’t we losing sight of what’s really important, here? We’ve put some scantily dressed bimbo on a pedestal and left our soldiers to rot in the heat of the desert… alone. There’s a problem here, folks. We point our fingers at Fox news, Congress, the President, everywhere but where the actual responsibility lies. It’s understandably painful. And nobody likes pain. But, the solution to our problem lies with us. Not the government, not the media, not anyone else but that familiar face in the mirror… the one we’ve grown to adore, even idolize. The one that thinks that “Nail Technician” describes a career.
Yes, we’re spoiled rotten. We’ve lost the ability to govern ourselves, we’ve lost our true freedom. And, in its place we have our favorite musician of the week, our favorite movie star of the summer, our favorite sports personality… we’ve taken sidelines, hobbies and made them a way of life.
Our whole world is playtime now. It’s difficult for us to see what’s really important out there… even scares us out of acting on those issues. We allow legislators to enact laws that remove even more of our freedoms because we are simply scared little children and don’t want the responsibility ourselves. They’re only doing what they think we need.
Do you want to live like this? Or would you prefer to get out of the sandbox and take hold of your future?
You can change your life. You can. You still have the chance to make this country the one our forefather’s dreamed it could be for us. You have to do the hardest thing you’ve probably ever done in your life, though… take responsibility for your own actions. Quit blaming everyone else. CNN and Fox News only respond to our whims. George Bush is only a man in a job… an important job, yes. But, he answers to us. We are his boss… we’re Americans.
This country can work, it can. Tell the telemarketers that call you at all hours of the day and night that you are tired of them. Most importantly, don’t buy their products. Eventually, they’ll stop calling. That’s our power, folks. The power of the consumer. But, be a responsible consumer. Don’t buy crap or hype. Don’t buy into what’s taking our country away from us and you can save America.
Save it for you, your parents… your children especially. Are you confident that their life is better than yours was as a child? Will they contribute to the world and feel good about what they do in life? Did you think about that while Paris Hilton was being blinded by flashes in L.A.?
America’s in chains… our whims form the tightest bond around our freedoms. And we’re slowly losing them through neglect. Let’s not… ok? Let’s tell the news programs that it’s a shame about Ms. Hilton but get on with the real news. Your neighbor risks his or her life everyday in a foreign land for your freedom. Support them. Be a land of responsible neighbors once again… make George Washington proud.
Help make America the land of the free once again.

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