In honor of America’s favorite unsanctioned holiday, I figured I’d do a little free writing today.
Disclaimer: No cannabis was harmed in the making of this blog post.
I stopped by the Circle K this morning to pick up my morning breakfast of carbonated high-fructose corn syrup and caffeine. I decided I should get some dessert as well but I had a hard time choosing between Red Vines and Twizzlers. I went with the Red Vines because they make better straws than Twizzlers and then I don’t have to use a plastic straw, which seems like the right thing to do, you know for the environment. I mean, I’d already put a plastic straw in my styrofoam cup, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
Anyway, I saw this dude panhandling and started thinking, why are we all expected to “earn a living”? Do we not have an “inalienable” right to life? If we have to earn it, it’s clearly not inalienable. So, is it just the life we have a right to, but not the living of that life? It would seem so. The living of our lives is very much controlled and the right to that living can and is transferred to new owners all the time.
I’m not talking about a one-time effort either. No, one must continue justifying their existence to an increasingly uncaring, callous society until the day they retire or die. Retirement only happens when you’ve managed to accumulate enough justification that you can be said to “have earned” a living.
So absorbed was I by these thoughts that I forgot to feel bad about not giving my change to the panhandler as I drove away. Then it occurred to me that Twizzler Straws are a thing, and I could have gone with those instead of Red Vines. Of course, the Circle K didn’t have Twizzler Straws, so I guess it didn’t really matter, but still I chastised myself for not really considering all my options.
Speaking of options, is the social contract optional? Not really. I mean, you can technically refuse to work but in most cases this will result in the revocation of your basic human needs. You will have trouble staying fed, clothed, hydrated and sheltered. Though you may manage to stay alive you will be shunned, viewed with suspicion, often harassed by law enforcement and generally seen as “less than” by those who uphold the contract. In other words, you will be punished.
Which reminds me, I couldn’t really have used the Twizzler Straws. I have a sensitivity to most food coloring. Red 40 seems to be fine, but yellow 5 or yellow 6 are a sure ticket to canker sore hell. So I guess I really made the right call with those Red Vines after all.
This food coloring thing is something I was born into, kind of like we are all born into a social contract that demands our labor, that punishes us for refusing to give that labor and that we call freedom.
Tomorrow I think I’ll go to 7/11 instead.