Thursday, May 20, 2010

America: The Freedom to be Awkward

I often wonder about the things I'm wondering about in the world around me. Much of these concerns could likely just be labeled "worrying", which is a sort of old-fashioned phrase for "anxiety attacks."

Here in the modern now-a-go-go times, many achieving Americans would advise me to drop the worries, make sure I carve out a long-lasting and hefty slice of the American Dream pie and "worry" about keeping that safe.

And there are surely times I wish I could do just that - buffered by a large enough slice, I could let everyone else figure it out for themselves, bask in my domain and revel in whatever it is large slice owners revel in.

All of which directly affects this blog and what appears in it. Who wants to read droning dreads and worries of corruption, greed, disaster, politics, etc etc? I might spend some time reading of such things, but repeating it for you, dear reader, could be most tiresome. Negativity begets itself.

Since day one of this blog, I have included this sub-title under the main - "Being an American requires constant vigilance". It's a warping of another far more famous comment often attributed to Thomas Jefferson - "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" - but Jefferson never said such a thing.

It was instead an Irish lawyer and politician named John Philpot Curan who said "
It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

As a writer and wordsmith of some leisure, one must dig into words and their origins and meanings, so it is worth noting a few things ... "Vigilant" is taken from the Latin "
vigilāre" which means "to be watchful". But one the addition of one letter, the seemingly keen "vigilant" becomes the criminal act of one who is a "vigilante".

Curan, as the above link details, had a rather troubled and complicated life for his tireless devotion to principle and a refusal to compromise and was prone to dueling. Perhaps it is the condition of those who hold fast to principle to venture into troubled waters.

That all said as a forward and preamble for what follows as the actual topic of today's blog post - which is that much of what we do as individuals arises from our families, those we are born with and those we create for ourselves. And really, even that is not the actual point here today - it's that blogging and the internet offers far more than dreads and dire warnings, or at the least, they offer us some humor and less serious (far less serious) considerations too.

Today's Google Trends note that searches for "awkward family photos" are pretty huge. That's because the long-running blog of the same name has now been collected into book form for consumers and has already landed on best-seller lists.

Some examples of what you can see via

Ah, America!

1 comment:

  1. That pic has traumatized me well beyond the point of no return.

    I need bong loads and I need them bad.