Sunday, November 4, 2007

Remebrance Day - Is Silence Truly Golden?

This topic is one of particular controversy in the world of Facebook (which, to be fair, says very little for its credibility); however, I feel that The Freedom Manifesto has an obligation to at least discuss the topic in a dialectic atmosphere, where it can be expressed freely and discuss as such. So, without further ado, the dish.

Recently, I expressed an opinion that, while I plan on wearing a poppy on November 11th to support the troops who have died in the previous wars and the sad excuse of a war that we are currently "fighting" (more like "perpetrating" but that is a topic for another day), I do NOT plan to remain silent for a period of 60 seconds at 11:11 am. (I can feel the pitchforks growing tense in your hands; please contain your apprehension until it is approporiate)

The day is one to remember the "senseless death" of the soldiers in the current wars, and their sacrifice (made by both sides) of any war previously fought. I appreciate the fact that the soldiers gave up their livelihood so that future generations could express their freedoms in such a place as this, and that some of them could have just said "No" and relinquished that responsibility. The fact that they fought is, at very least, admirable. I salute you.

The point is, why do we remain silent NOW? Of course...we're remembering everyone involved in those wars, from a Canadian perspective. Nothing wrong with that at all, says I. However, not only do we refuse to recognize the reasons why they were fighting, or the fact that both sides suffered (oh, that's right....all the Germans were Nazis, and the Russians were cold-blooded killers....I nearly forgot, they weren't human! How silly of me!) but we also pass up one of the most advantageous opportunities in our political realm, at least on a basic level - the gathering of a generation that was, to the best of my knowledge, once vehemently opposed to war in general (try looking up Vietnam for example).

Silence is all well and good - but what was ever accomplished through silence? I personally believe that we, as a democratic society, have a right to stand up for our future, and the future of others, and protest the war that is occurring as we live and breathe. I happened to politely mention this in passing, and received a barrage of negative feedback. I do believe that my favourite was this post:

"The soldiers do not want to be pulled out of Afghanistan, as they have already accomplished so much, and the people of Afghanistan need much more help before they can function properly."

Besides the fact that he called me a high school student (which, I must admit, I enjoyed - my looks must be deceptive), I find myself at a loss for words. What has the War on Errorism ever accomplished? Oh right - it provides employment. Checkmark! Let's check the other team's scoreboard....most of the deaths in this "war" have been from friendly fire? The fact that innocent villages are bombed without regard to political position or location? The fact that these countries practice different religions, but that groups such as al-Qaeda are independent of political affiliation? The fact that the military/peacekeepers feel the need to call their form of terrorism by a different name? Well, let's see....that starts us off right now. As an intellectual, I must admit that there are obviously flaws in every theory....which I welcome, by the way. And, also, I must register that some wars were necessary - anyone who has read anything on the World Wars or the Gulag, will know what I mean.

On November 11th, if nothing else, I'd like everyone to think to the future as well as the past....just because war was "justifiable" and "honourable" in the past, does not mean that we can keep ignoring the fact that our current fratricidal conflicts are going nowhere. On November 11th, I beg you to speak for peace - not for the weak-willed, hipocritical peace of the U.N. - but for a world focused on its unity, not its differences. If you think I'm crazy, feel free to let me know - this is, after all, democracy.

- The Freedom Manifesto

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Freedom Manifesto

As humans, we experience life as a series of delicate choices and consequences.

We live our narrow experience of a vast world between the horizons of sunrise and sunset.
We tend to live the same monotonous lives, day in and day out
While the world as we know it collapses around us, we smile and politely relinquish responsibility.
And yet, somehow, in all of this organized chaos, there comes a light, shining through darkness.
A wake-up call, to a generation that has lost interest.
A reminder that, as much as we live by our own choices, others live by them too.

This is radical. This is revolutionary. This is reality. Are you ready for it?

The Freedom Manifesto is not just a blog. It is a collection of thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams.
It is a collection of the words and phrases of a generation, in its purest form - dialogue.
As a single voice, our choice means very little in the Grand Scheme of Things.
Only by cohesion and peace can we advance; rise, to the occasion, to new heights.
This is the time to speak up. This is the time the speak out.

This is....The Freedom Manifesto.