~ Foreword ~
Since I am one who thinks there are no living humans in America can really remember true FREEDOM in this nation I wonder what that word – FREEDOM – really means to readers when they see it. Unless you were born before Lincoln was Pres. I don’t think you can recall what wasn’t there in reality.
Many today think they are free because they can go to a football game – buy crap food at a fast food joint - go to the local bar for a brew and game of pool – or some may think they are free to worship as they please. All are wrong as each and every thing mentioned, plus any others the reader can mention, have one or more GOVERNMENT restrictions (regulations, licenses, permits, and taxes) attached to each named. The highway/roads you travel are government owned, the airwaves are controlled, your homes aren’t yours as Government collects an annual RENT called property taxes and if you don’t pay it you are out the door even if you have paid the mortgage in full. You RENT from government forever. All our forms of communication can be or are monitored by government agents. I have asked one question for many years and have yet to get an answer: What can you do that isn’t ruled or taxed by government?
That is why I say I wonder what folks think of when they think of FREEDOM. Is a long tether on your government chains what you call FREEDOM? It isn’t what I call FREEDOM. Why do you call it FREEDOM, you are CHAINED – regardless the length of the tether.
August 23, 2009 – It has been written of the biographer of Sir William Wallace, one “Blind Harry,” that he “gives a very full account of the hero; but unfortunately his statements are in some cases self-contradictory, and in many cases improbable.” Though penned in an encyclopedia nearly 80 years ago, that could well be written of Mel Gibson, who produced, directed, and starred in Braveheart in 1995, a movie about Wallace, the Scottish patriot warrior of the 13th and 14th centuries.
But in a cinematic industry dominated by the anarchistic bloodletting of Natural Born Killers and the New Age touchy-feely unhistorical sanitized schlock of Disney’s Pocahontas, we who love liberty ought gladly ought afford Mel Gibson all the artistic license he desires. For Braveheart is a rare film of true courage.
Gibson portrayed Wallace as an unmitigated chivalrous hero in a milieu replete with the anti-heroic, the unfaithful, the rapacious, the murderous. Is Hollywood coming around? Braveheart walked away with five Oscars that year, including best picture and best director.
Simple, Pious People
Braveheart showed Scotland under the heavy hand of the British, who are aided by the collusion of compromising Scottish nobles whose loyalty is bought through lands and titles. Though the Scottish peasants are portrayed as simple, pious people, when their homes are sacked with impunity, their women violated by an arrogant ruling class, the Scots, under Wallace’s leadership, take up arms – with their clergy’s blessing.
Braveheart depicts the violence of medieval hand-to-hand combat in all its gory detail, though such images are fleeting, filmed in the fast-paced chaos of battle. No slow motion closeups of amputations or disembowlings, and no buckets of stage blood as prevails on celluloid today. The bloodless portrayal of Wallace’s execution carries far greater impact than a sanguinary one would have.
Braveheart juxtaposes the gruesome futility of thousands dying to protect a monarch’s egocentric and arrogant ambitions against the deaths of the common Scottish who prefer the grave to slavery under British tyrarmy. As this magazine has quoted Revolutionary War General John Stark: “My men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight, the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow!” (1777)
We might do well to consider the proper pugnaciousness of men like John Stark and William Wallace, placed against the pusillanimous appeasement of so many “leaders” today. Stark won his battle that night near Bennington, Vermont, which was a turning point in America’s own War for Independence. He lived into his 90S. But Wallace died in his 30s, after leading battles that initiated Scotland’s march toward independence. In the film, Wallace suffers silently under the bestial torture ordered by King Edward I, “Longshanks,” who, in a Hollywood stretch of chronology, lays dying nearby. The merciless inquisitor, anticipating a recanting, allows Wallace to say a word to the crowds which are calling for mercy.
The viewer might well guess this word before it leaps from the lips of the tortured, condemned hero. It is a word which strikes terror in the dark hearts of tyrants everywhere, as it did to Wallace’s nemesis, the king. The word is, FREEDOM.
Earlier, before a monumental battle, Wallace stands before the ranks of his fellow Scots, who are preparing to turn tail and run in the face of an English force superior in number, armament, and training. Gibson’s Wallace challenges his men as to what they would do without freedom. Would they retreat to live as slaves and die peacefully in bed? He shouts that “the enemy can take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!“ Emboldened by these words, they stand and fight and win!
In this nation, as government satraps plunder the goods and lands of citizens under capricious and unconstitutional seizure and forfeiture laws; as cameo-clad, jack-booted machine gun-toting thugs use illegitimate warrants to burst into law-abiding homes; as bureaucratic tyrants, upon discovery of some obscure “endangered” arthropod, shut down farms and businesses; as teens and grandmothers are strip-searched and imprisoned for praying against abortion in front of abortuaries; as some demand the “right” to indoctrinate our children to their deathstyle and distribute condoms under “disabilities” laws; as work-weary families spend a third of their income in subsidizing bastardy and keeping lazy “entitlement” apparatchiks comfortably employed; as smiling neo-Hitlers seek to disarm us, under the guise of “protecting” us – a movie such as Braveheart is absolutely timely.
Liberty or Servitude
Braveheart makes clear that if we won’t choose to pay the price of liberty, then by default we shall suffer the cost of servitude – whether it be under the iron chains of a tyrannical oligarchy, or the regulatory chains of unelected, faceless bureaucrats.
When we witness our neighbors abused by tyrants, will we skulk away and hope we’re not next? Or will we stand by them and challenge – as freedom-loving Americans – the tyranny of lawless leaders?
As William Wallace’s words emboldened the Scottish serfs in the closing years of the 13th century, let the stalwart words of Gibson’s Wallace embolden would-be American serfs in the closing years of the 20th – FREEDOM.
SOURCE: Frank Neudecker
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