Free Thinking and Free Speaking
Written by Tom Ford on Thursday, 5/30/2002
I'm sure everyone reading this has used AIM before. I'm sure everyone reading this has probably created a personal profile on AIM before. But what do people put in their profile? The last thing I ever find in anyone's personal profile is personal information. Instead I find poems or song lyrics or quotes or other bits of text that the person could cram into their profile without going over the character limit.
The point I'm trying to make here is that everyone has something they want to say. Everyone has a message to send. Everyone has a point they want to get across to the rest of the world. But our society and culture encourage us to repress our free thoughts and follow the rest of the herd. In the words of Bad Religion:
"The person sitting next to you is dismal and deranged
On the bus ride home from work to end your day.
And the food on your table is more plastic than protein,
And your intellect depends on your TV."
(It Must Look Pretty Appealing)
As young children we are taught that it is painful to be singled out and isolated from the crowd. So we turn on our tv and look for comfort their, learning how we should act to be accepted, absorbing behavioral patterns unconsciously. We watch the most popular shows and then find some common ground that we can relate to others when we go back to school the next day. Then we can all talk about last night's Simpsons or something and all get a good laugh. We can all think the same and feel comforted.
But it is all bullshit and when you put the same people in an environment where they can express their thoughts limitlessly and anonymously, people begin to open up more. And what we find is that under all the superficial crap we tell each other everyday, we have deeper repressed thoughts that most people share and don't even know it.
At the university I attend, there has been some interesting activity happening. This school I go to is in a really rich, conservative, sheltered environment where most people think freedom of expression is deciding what designer clothes you are going to buy at the mall.
But obviously not everyone is like that... because lately people have been chalking up messages all over the campus. Just like the internet, people have been anonymously expressing their thoughts for everyone to read the next day. Me and my friends have contributed and as more and more people chalk up the school, more and more people read the thoughts and start thinking themselves... until everyone has something they want to say. People respond by writing messages to other messages they don't agree with. In other words, the campus lately has become a huge internet message board in a way. A bunch of anonymous people communicating with each other by expressing thoughts.
That is why I support this site and am glad to be a part of it and enjoy contributing to it. My words hold power. So do yours. Everyone can influence. Everyone can change the world.
I have a lot to say and I know you do to. So start expressing what you think. Free thoughts alone won't do much, but once you start to set them free they'll do a lot more than you ever imagined. And now, I'll end this article with a Bad Religion song called "Change of Ideas"
"well the sheaves have all been brought,
but the fields have washed away
and the palaces now stand
where the coffins all were laid
and the times we see ahead
we must glaze with rosy hues
for we don't wish to admit
what it is we have to lose
millennia in coming
the modern age is here
it sanctifies the future
yet renders us with fear
so many theories, so many prophecies
what we do need is a change of ideas
when we are scared
we can hide in our reveries
but what we need is a change of ideas
change of ideas, change of ideas
what we need now is a change of ideas"