Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 1 and 2 "Springtime"

Day One
A beautiful day for a drive, the rain had stopped and the sun reflected sparkling light on the drops of water it left behind, a sign of a blessed journey.  I drove the 1998 Subaru Outback south down the I-5 Freeway until I reached the bucolic landscape of southern Oregon and the farms filled with newborn spring lambs. A short detour was necessary to take some photos.  Here on the back roads I saw the evidence of a new spring day. I felt the reaffirmation of life.  Soon I was off to Grants Pass and a well deserved nights sleep.
Day Two
Now I will try not to labor you with all the details that make up each day of my journey but rather give just an overview of the events, sights and enlightenment's to make it interesting to follow.
Day two was nothing like the sun filled day before. Rain fell in large drops driven sideways by the wind. I left Oregon for California and Crescent city. The land of the Redwoods lay before me and the highway quickly was traded for a potholed and poorly traveled dirt road. As I drove deeper into the forest the trees grew larger and more magnificent, a splendor in the rain.
Tonight I am in Eureka and it will be several days before I reach the next National Park.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Freedom to Choose

Freedom is a relative thing, it isn't the same for everyone.

Many places in the world say they offer freedom of choice but then there is only one thing to choose, so I guess you could say that for real choice to exist there needs to be more then one or even two things to choose from.

So many things effect the choices we make, but do we really have a choice? No one is twisting our arm, no one has a gun to our head, but our perceptions are shaped by our reality and that is shaped by all the input we get in all the media types; the internet, the never ending bombardment of advertising in every form possible as well as the influence of our friends, coworkers and family. 

There is no doubt that we are consuming beyond our needs because we are told that we must do so in order to justify our search for happiness. We think we are in charge of what we opt for, we think we know better then most who seem to need every new toy or support every political or religious bias or just replace the old with the new, even if it is unnecessary. The truth is we are them. We want to be right, we want  to play for the winning team, we want to win, so we can find that happiness pill that will let us belong to something more then what we are and fill up our hole of self doubt.

Isn't it obvious that we are constantly being manipulated by either the political right or the liberal left. (Where have all the moderates gone?) We are asked to support truth twisted into lies, one side says that the other side is out to ruin us or tax us to death. The other side says they are fighting for us but are so weak in fortitude they become ineffective and get nothing done. 

If there is a truth in politics it is that we are force fed the agenda of elitist self-serving ego centered politicians who's interest is not in public service but in acting in a way that will insure success in the next reelection campaign by appeasing the deepest pockets. All this would change if congress would only be allowed to serve a single term, then they could go home and do something else. Politics should be a temporary privilege not a career!

Today we only have two choices, bad or worse and both are either gutless or incompetent. But we must choose because this is freedom at work and we must participate. It's a big joke and it's on us! That said, I still think America is a great country, a place of tolerance, a place of compassion and hope, a caring moral society, just like Canada only not, eh.

On another note of choice: Is it me or have drug companies in the past years become more interested in the direct marketing of powerful drugs directly to the consumer? They tell us that we are sick with every newly discovered or fabricated disease... but not to worry, because they have a drug that will fix us. They say your sinus headaches, airway constriction, weak bladder or restless legs can be cured with their drugs, they say you will feel better and may find yourself walking in a field of flowers on a sunny day without a care in the world... unless of course you are one of the very few people that have the side effects that could cause blindness, bleeding, heart attack or stroke in which case that walk in the flowers means you are already dead.

What kind of a drug cures a minor problem but causes a major one? 
I am not a doctor and I don't want to choose what medications I should take... that's not my job, that's what I have a doctor for! I don't know about you, but I don't want to be telling my doctor what heart medication or blood thinner I should be taking. I wish they would stop airing this crap!

These are the choices of our freedom to be given to much information or not enough. To bombard us with irrelevant and meaningless facts to the point of nausea. Where is my pink Pepto... or should I take Tumms, or is it Prilosec or Prosaic? Oh, I cant decide it's all too much, if I get ill just get me to my doctor?

I now understand the freedom to choose and the sham it is to the distractions of a healthy free society. Everyone wants a peace of us, our vote, our choices of home and car, our investments our money and how we should spend it. 

In the end all we should want is for everyone to do their best work and to not take more then they need. If we could do that we will begin to trust one another and to take care of each other. What I know for sure is that there are far to many places in this world that have no freedom and have no choices, no matter how bad it gets here... I am one of the lucky ones blessed with the illusion of the freedom of choice.