What did you celebrate independence from yesterday, if anything?
I asked one of my African-American friends how he spent the day.
“Working,” he said.
“Bummer,” I said.
“It’s a holiday, man.”
He shrugged. “It isn’t my Independence Day.”
Free at last?
That made a pretty good impression on me. There were a whole bunch of people who Thomas Jefferson didn’t have in mind when he said “all men are created equal,” not to mention 100% of women.
At the same time, there were a few things to celebrate yesterday, some hard won freedoms that were worth reflecting on.
- Freedom from drunkenness. A few nights ago I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party at one of my old haunts, Naja’s Place. They have about seventy beers on tap at all times, and the menu that night was lights out. Mmmmmm. Yummmmm. But I walked out of the bar having spent a nice time with friends, and reflected that it was one of the only times I’d ever walked out of there sober. Still got my demons, but that ain’t one of ’em.
- Freedom from cages. I got up early, made pancakes, then rode with my wife and Major Bob to Dogtown Coffee in Santa Monica. We watched a parade, then pedaled back to Manhattan Beach, hung out with some friends on the beach, then made our way to a party. After an hour or so we rode home. I can’t imagine a day like that in L.A. if we’d had to do it in a cage. No parking anywhere, traffic everywhere. But unchained from the cage we spent several hours on our bikes, saw lots of places and more than a few friends, and still called it a day by 2:00 PM. Dollars spent on gasoline and parking: Zero. Fucks given about traffic: None. Satisfaction rating: Off the chart.
- Freedom from shitty bread. This needs a long explanation but basically once you start baking your own bread you stop eating pretty much everything that’s commercially made. Industrial bread in all its forms tastes like a mouthful of sugary dirt. And when you make bread yourself, you’re not depending on anyone to do it for you. Bread is called the staff of life for a reason, a reason that I’d never really understood before.
- Freedom from chain oil. Really, ditch the chain oil and wax that puppy up.
I think that’s enough to say it was a pretty independent day.
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