Posts Tagged ‘welcome to struggleville’

“they are building a new gallows
for when You show up on the street”

– Bill Mallonee

I’m at a crossroad.  My choices are:

  1. Go down the familiar road I just traveled
  2. Move forward.

All my life, I’ve been told that there’s security in numbers.  The umbrella of “Authority” is for your protection.  Rebellion is “witchcraft”.  Stay in line and conform.  Don’t rock the boat.  Safety is in the group.  Parents, teachers, friends, institutional church, and especially the State promote the myth of security.  They all want you to lead a normal life.

There is no normal life…There’s just life

Français : Val Kilmer au festival de Cannes

I'm your huckleberry.

In Tombstone, one of my all-time favorite movies, Doc Holliday (played by Val Kilmer) is laying in his death bed and offers this advice to his friend Wyatt Earp, “There is no normal life Wyatt.  There’s only life.”  Honesty is a scarce commodity.  Most folks aren’t honest because the truth, once seen, hurts.  Do you really want a “normal” life?  My “American Dream” will look different from yours.  At least I hope so.  At some point, we all must make the choice to go back or move forward.

I had a difficult time deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up.  When I was 5, I wanted to be the guy who rode on the back of the garbage truck.  My wealth of experience at age 5 told me that it looked pretty fun.  Wind in my hair, dodging dangerous traffic, and fending off yard dogs.  That dream died…thankfully.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important job.  Imagine your world with no garbage pick up. Not pleasant.

I declared four different majors ranging from economics to corporate fitness during my college days.  Education stuck.  Which brings me to my crossroad.  My fear, as a teacher in the State’s public school system, real or imagined, is that openly expressing my views, coming out of the closet, will adversely affect my situation.  Yes, I’m familiar with the 1st Amendment; and no, I’m still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Why not just keep my thoughts to myself and maintain the normal life?  I’m not really sure why I’m sharing this leg of my journey as if anyone would be interested.  We’ve all got our own demons to slay.  My choice is to start doing the stuff.  What stuff?  Freedom stuff.  Specifically, taking education into my own hands, filtering the propaganda to find truth, and promoting self-ownership and individual liberty.  Will it be difficult?  Yes, so…

Welcome to Struggleville

Cover of "Welcome to Struggleville"

Cover of Welcome to Struggleville

Those not familiar with Bill Mallonee’s late band, the Vigilantes of Love, I recommend his music.  Here’s a sample of his lyrics from “Welcome to Stuggleville.”  Listen here.

“they are building a new gallows
for when You show up on the street
polishing the electric chair
they’re gonna give You a front row seat
heard a sneer outside the garden
salutation so well heeled
“final stop no points beyond struggleville
welcome all you suckers to struggleville”

Written by Bill Mallonee for Russachugama Music and CyBrenJoJosh (BMI) ©1994

I’ve always been a sucker for the struggle.  My family moved to America, before it was America,  in 1735.  They fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of Northern Aggression.  I can’t help myself.  It’s in my genes.  I’m comfortable in my genes.  Being a southern son taught me the meaning of struggle.  Struggle is good.  Life begins with a struggle and gets worse from there.  Learning to walk.  There are no manuals with illustrated guides.  Born as rational being, we figure it out with each failure. We fail forward.  Freedom is in our genes.  Personal liberty is our nature.  Our job is to avoid the chains of servitude.

English: A black & white illustration of a Per...

Who's your owner?

“Who owns you?” 

I asked the above question to a student the other day.  His face wrinkled with thought.  “My parents…I guess.”  He’s twelve years old.  I could tell he’d never been asked this question.  I dug deeper.  “Do you have a right to talk or get up and go relieve yourself when you want to?  Do you have a right to direct and control your own actions?”  Tail-spin!  We’re gonna crash!  Pull up!  Pull up!!!!  “Not at school,” was his quick response.  No deep thinking needed on this one.

To avoid the nasty wreckage in his mind, I asked, “If you don’t have self-ownership, who owns you?”  Even though slaves were sold and “owners” held a bill-of-sale, did a slave still possess self-ownership?  “No.  The owner owned them,” he said.  Clearly, the logic of self-ownership was virgin territory in his mind.  So, I hooked the turning plow to my tractor and fired up the diesel engine to disturb the soil a bit.

He struggled to wrap his mind around his right to self-ownership.  I explained that there had to be legal transfer of property.  Could a young, kidnapped African on the selling block give up his self-ownership?  Even if he was willing, he could not give up self-ownership.  He’s a human being and has a natural-born right to own his life.  By owning himself, he’d be free to decide what to learn, when to learn, and how to learn.  He’s an individual and not the property of another or a collective group.  No one, or group, has the right to impose, through force, their will on you.  Your body and mind is owned by you.  The things created through your mind and actions are your property. Property is life.  Without it, there is no life.  Period.  You are the proprietor of your life. 

Again, his response, “Not in school.”  What a cruel joke…

Welcome to Stuggleville, USA!

“There is no normal life Wyatt, There’s just life.”

“There is no normal life Wyatt, There’s just life.”

“There is no normal life Wyatt, There’s just life.”

“There is no normal life Wyatt, There’s just life.”