Montreal, September 15, 2001  /  No 88  
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Scott Carpenter is a freelance writer who lives, works and plays in Dawson Creek, BC.
by Scott Carpenter
          My pickup rattled down the gravel road along the upper Sukunka river as dust blew out behind me in a cloud so thick the only thing thicker in existence was the bullshit coming from my dash: 
          Rebel Alliance MP's opposed to blah blah blah... met with conservative MP's blah blah blah... Joe Clark says he welcomes their input and looks forward to more cooperative question periods and blah blah blah...
          I turned off the radio and popped an AC/DC tape into the deck of my truck. Hells Bells blared across the speakers and I began to dream of « dirty deeds done dirt cheap... » Like for instance: where was I gonna find a trophy bear this fall? In the hills or in the fields near the river bottoms? Certainly – in my opinion – a much more pressing issue than what must be running through old Stock's mind right about now, i.e.: « Why Me? » Well Stock, I guess, as the old saying goes: when you play with fire your fingers tend to get a little fried. 
          And such is the state of the nation. One big ass pit of fire just waiting to burn the fingers of whoever reaches too far inside. For you Americans that's a metaphor. Power – or what passes for it north of the border – is a strictly Liberal domain. Has been for as long as this youthful mind can recall.  
          But I've come to reckon in the last little while – much to the disappointment of our elite and some close friends and family – that power really doesn't matter all that much anyway. In fact I figure « power » as we know and understand it may be the damn blasted problem all together. 
          Yep. What matters most is power over the self. I guess you could call it « self control ». Interesting concept ain't it? It's something I wish our so called leaders would learn a little of. Maybe then they wouldn't be so fired up and ready to run the lives of the rest of the country. But I digress. Ya, I know what your thinking, digressing is a nasty habit. Well... it could be worse. 
          So anyway, I was thinking about this book I was reading called Handbook for Liberty – by a guy named Reiben – and he says (basically) that the reason we don't really have Liberty is because we're afraid of it... we don't really want it. At first I'm pissed. Then I start to thinking maybe he's right. Maybe Liberty is something we just play a lotta « lip service » too. 
     « Maybe the reason we don't really have Liberty is because we're afraid of it... we don't really want it. »
          So I started thinking about what liberty is really all about. Like social and economic anarchy for starters. If people aren't free to, say, choose their partners, are we really actually free? Then I start thinking about gays getting married and all and I figure maybe the problem really isn't whether or not they have a right to wed but maybe the problem is that the government has a say in the situation to begin with. Then I figure that if gays aren't free to wed on their own terms then am I really free? If one person's Liberty is jeopardized then how can the rest of us truly claim freedom?  
          Then I wonder what the hell got me thinking about gay guys and I give my head a bit of a shake. 
          I think too damn much. 
          I guess the point of all this is: do we really want Liberty and if so why do we give a rat's ass about Rebel MP's, the Liberals, lobby groups and all the other varmints that suck up good clean air? More to the point, why would we want a piece of the pie for ourselves? 
          I mean for crying out loud! if human beings are really sovereign why does any of it matter at all? I reckon' maybe it doesn't. Which may very well be the first real moment of clarity I've ever truly had. Well, lately anyhow. 
          I rolled up the window of my pickup as I passed a truck loaded with moose hunters – rifles in racks – on their way up the mountain. They waved friendly like as I pulled to the side to let them pass. I wonder. What would those boys have to say about gay marriage? I reckon not much. All I know is I ain't gonna ask. 
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