This week, I started reading a graphic novel called The Unwritten. Its landscape is huge and its ideas are even larger. It's not a super new series but it may be the second greatest comic book sequence I've come across. Daytripper being the best if you're interested - which is, frankly, flawless.
Anyway, in the last instalment I read, our hero - Tommy - happens to have found himself in the company of Josef Goebbels and things are looking rough to say the least, but there's a point at which Tommy says to him "Do you believe that shit or do you just peddle it?", to which Goebbels answers (nicely scripted and not in real life one would assume): "I believe that others should believe it. Beliefs are collars to which leashes can be attached."
I really had to chew that over. I don't think I've ever read something quite so true in my life. There are millions of examples of this being how people react to the world. Religion and politics are the two obvious examples, but it drifts right down to everything you do, everything you own and everything you believe to be valuable to you - be that material or immaterial. It strikes me that the only road to being your true self is not to 'believe' in anything aside from your own heart (and even that will have a good attempt at betraying you before you learn to trust it).
The more I thought about it, the more it became so incredibly easy to see that nothing more than the way the world is has us shackled to a post. I'm not suggesting each and every one of us go all V for Vendetta on the world's ass because that's also a collar, but there's always somebody wanting something from you.
Some guy rang the house this morning peddling some junk or other but I hung up on him before he got too far into his script. It might be rude but nobody forced him into getting a soul destroying, waste of time job and try to sell people things they don't want or need. Those are my minutes you're chewing up there mister. What you do with your own time is your own collar.
Freedom is a complicated beast. Sometimes it makes you want to sit in a corner and do nothing more than read a comic book, but apparently there's no escape in that anymore either.