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Within The Gated Subdivision Of The American Mind: A Monument To My Comfort Zone

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Message Phil Rockstroh
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"Mrs. O'Kelly, do you believe in fairies?" "No, I don't -- but they're there." -- Irish aphorism

There is something missing in The Oakdale Estates subdivision. Oak Trees. Years ago, they were cut down to clear the property for development.

Is it possible the gated walls of Oakdale Estates are fitted with impenetrable irony shields?

There is something missing, as well, here in The United States of America -- Land of The Free. Freedom.

Where are our much-vaunted freedoms in the present day United States? Are they, perhaps, hidden among the phantom oaks of Oakdale Estates?

Sadly, it appears, for a depressingly large percent of our citizenry, the loss of our rights and liberties are missed and remembered to the same extent as the felled trees of Oakdale Estates.

At morning, during their commute to work, the residents of Oakdale Estates sit, stranded in traffic, on ever more congested "freeways"; they, as is the case with most of us, remain steadfast in our fantasy that automobiles provide us with freedom. Rarely do we consider the fact that, in all likelihood, a bank or finance company owns the vehicles, while, in order to meet our loan payments, we must continue to work ever-longer hours and spend evermore time stuck in those self-same vehicles, in order to reach the jobs that devour evermore of our "free time," so that we can afford to pay the exorbitant price the "freedom" to "own" an automobile allegedly bestows upon us.

If this is our standard of freedom: Is it any wonder far too many Americans still believe that our soldiers are dying daily in Iraq to "keep us free?"

Perhaps, if we look closely, we can catch a glimpse of the freed souls of the war lounging in the cool shade of paradise beneath the trees of Oakdale Estates.

For we Americans will think of our war dead, often. Yes, of course, we will...about as often as the residents of Oakdale Estates think of the dispatched oaks.

And we Americans will mourn the dead of the war in the same degree we mourn the loss of our right to dissent. But rejoice: We're free to continue working for the freedom to be owned by the corporate class.

Moreover, our soldiers are free to continue to kill and be killed for our right to be oblivious to their deaths.

This is the best of all possible worlds, in the best of all possible lands -- why would anyone ever raise a harsh voice in protest against it in the first place? If you lament our losses, then the terrorist will have won. Can't you see: Unlike the terrorist, we have the freedom to choose to lose our freedoms and not give a damn. And that is why they hate us.

It's the reason we must hate them, in turn. It's why our soldiers must find them, face them, and then kill them, without question, doubt nor equivocation. It's why George W. Bush, when it was his time to serve, went, with unwavering resolve, and faced down (make that: went face down into) blizzards of Columbian babble powder. It's why we must never cease to mindlessly labor for the benefit of the corporate classes and never question the sanity of why we believe the act of living far beyond our means is a meaningful way of life. It's why it's our patriotic duty to seek perpetual distraction within the media hologram.

In the end, it's because: If we were to feel the sorrow of the world, then our soldiers will have died in vain. They must die so that our comfort level can be maintained. In turn, we must do our part and strive to remain comfortable.

They should erect war memorials in honor of us Americans here on the home front: a statue depicting us...sprawled on our sofas, TV remote fixed in our hands, steely in our resolve to remain distracted.

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Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at Facebook:

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