Sunday, July 31, 2011


One man's prudence is another man's suffocation. What was security and peace becomes a cause for dissatisfaction and war ... which leads in turn to a newly-shaped sense of prudent peace and a revised sense of choked-off limitation. Is it wise to inflict this on others? Is it wise to inflict it on ourselves? I don't know, but it certainly strikes me as common enough.

In Delhi, a rally similar to the "slutwalk" rallies in other parts of the world was held to "challenge the notion that the way a woman looks can excuse sexual abuse or taunting - "Eve teasing" as it is known in India."

In the mind, there is an insistent sense of freedom: I can do anything I want. The exercise of this freedom is not without consequences, good and bad. What I sometimes think of as the rise of Ho Couture in the United States speaks of a prudent and repressive past. Its implicit challenge to the prurience of the culture I live in is delicious and warranted from one point of view. Simultaneously it has a sad-making aspect in the sense that by wearing revealing clothing, there is an invitation to view the wearer as predominantly a tantalizing body ... and set aside the person who may inhabit that body. Of course none of this is just one thing or just another: It's all mashed together in a multi-faceted blob.

I can do anything I want.

I am free.

Oh really? Is someone who is honestly free at pains to assert that freedom as it relates to others?  And to what extent do expressions of such a freedom only help the nourish the walls behind which that freedom has been caged? Does a daisy roam the field of flowers, asserting its daisy-ness because roses and dandelions might not understand or agree?

I am not a fan of a sloppy, suffocating prudence. I am not a fan of sloppy, suffocating freedom.

I am a fan of investigating what it is that asserts its freedom or repression, its prudence or imprudence. As far as I can figure out, such an investigation is the only thing that stands a chance of finding out what it is to breathe freely.

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