Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage
[UPDATE And Joe Bageant is in a bad way in a VA hospital. Send good thoughts his way. -- lambert]
What Joe Bageant said. Read it all! He concludes:
[T]he high technological imprisonment of our consciousness has been fairly recent. There are still those among us who remember when it was not so entrapped. A few of us still know what it was like to experience non-manufactured realities -- life outside our mass produced kitsch culture. ... [I]n my travels to places such as this one, I also meet a new breed of younger people, who get it completely. I meet them in the more advanced psychological venues such as [the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago]. And especially in the ecological movement.
I agree with this!
They seem to already know what it took me a lifetime to learn: that each of us is but one strand in the vast organic web of flesh and blood chlorophyll. All things and all beings are inextricably connected at the most profound level. Any physicist will confirm this. We are bound by its every wave and particle, all of us -- the lonely night clerk at Motel 6 and the leviathans of the deep, the sleeping grandmother in New Haven, Connecticut and the maimed Iraqi child in Kirkuk. It can be understood by anyone though, simply by owning one's own consciousness. And in doing so we find that ownership and domination are both temporary and meaningless. And that the animating spirit of the earth is real and within us and claimable.
The purpose of life is to know this.
Shorter: Turn off your teebee! Go at once and do it now!
NOTE On the headline, a reference to the Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace -- Actually, walls and bars do make prisons, as Bruce Dixon shows us, and not to trivialize that. But those prisons are by no means the only form of incarceration, as Bageant -- and Lovelace, using his poet's license -- show.