Freedom is a state of mind

Freedom is the ability to choose what to do, what to say and what to think. Most people take freedom for granted, especially in England; at the heart of western democracy. But in the past decade freedom has been under increasing threat. I’m not talking about the 42 days detention or even stop and search, I’m talking about the simple freedoms we enjoy, without even being aware they are some sort of privilege, to be taken away on a whim.

Freedoms like going on holiday for instance. A few weeks ago a man was about to go on holiday with his family. He was checking through security at the airport when he was pulled to one side by the staff. He was told that he couldn’t board the aircraft because his t-shirt may cause offence to other passengers.

Now then, you might feel that the shirt had foul or racist language on it, or perhaps it was obscene? No, it was a promotional T-shirt for the blockbuster film ‘Transformers’, depicting one of the cartoon giant robots, wielding an unfeasibly large and stylised gun. It seems that the gun was deemed threatening by the security staff.

This would be funny if it were a sketch on a satirical comedy show, but no, the man was told that unless he removed the shirt, he’d be arrested. Now call me old fashioned but I thought you had to stretch personal freedom to the extreme before you could be locked up. Drunk and abusive, threatening or raving mad, then fine, lock ’em up until they calm down. Wearing a shirt with a cartoon robot on it may be childish, but so is flying half way around the world to lay on a beach and splash about in the sea, but no one’s getting arrested for it…yet.

I have to admit that I openly scowl at those morons who wear those FCUK (French Connection United Kingdom) shirts, with their oh so witty and unoffensive play on phrases like ‘fcuk you’ or ‘good fcuk‘ or even the very clever ‘get fcuked‘. I wince, seeing young children reading the grown-ups’ shirts, learning how to deport themselves in public from parents who’ve no idea to start with, but it’s a free country and if they’re dumb enough to buy them, and insensitive enough to wear them in public, well fine. No doubt they will think my growing collection of t-shirts with guns on is moronic too. I’m not calling for Fcuk wearers to be arrested, embarrassed or inconvenienced in any way. In fact, from now on, I’m not going on holiday without a t-shirt with a gun on it – the bigger the better.

Is there any chance of a moratorium on the employment of minimum wage jobsworths and their gormless managers, who seem to be under the impression that they are running a police state? If not then alas, freedom really is fcuked.

Copyright © 2010 Preservation Expert. Legal Stuff: All the advice and information in the posts on my blog is made in good faith and is based on my experience and knowledge at the time of writing. However, nobody is infallible and whilst I’m confident that most of what I write about preservation issues is accurate, there’s a good chance there’ll be an error or two somewhere. I do change my mind about stuff, as I gain more experience. In view of this you must make your own decisions on whether to follow any advice I write and think about this; I could be wrong. No responsibility will be accepted by the author for any losses anyone may suffer as a result of any mistake or for the consequence of any action you take as a result of reading this blog. If you do suffer a loss, resulting from anything I’ve written, a verbal heartfelt apology will be your only compensation.