First of all, I want to thank the Rev. Dr. King for that terrific warm-up. I only just met Dr. King, but I was proud to march briefly with him prior to the whole ugliness with the cameras and the water cannons turning up, and will be thinking of his brave (if wrong-headed) statements later this afternoon as my chauffer, Lewis — who regrets that he was unable to march with us today, as he was occupied washing my limo — drives me back home. Dr. King, thank you, and speaking as an acknowledged master of the arts of oration and rhetoric, I must say that you’ve really come a long way in a short while, and should absolutely keep at it.

My friends — and I call you my friends, as opposed to my employees or lessers, because today that’s what you are — we stand here at a moment of decision. We share the same goals: that the freedom to luxuriate in wealth and privilege be extended to all of those with the talent and perspicacity to achieve them, insofar as that freedom does not impinge on the freedom to luxuriate in wealth and privilege that I am superior enough to already enjoy. All of us know that the greatest burden a man can carry is to be free when others are less free, or to know that others who might wish to be free might make he who is currently free feel less free in certain ways. But I think I, as a man who has carried the great burden of freedom his whole life, might be able to help you find a freer path to that freedom which you desire, and which I believe that you should generally be able to seek, as long as it does not affect my laudably free lifestyle in any meaningful way.

What I have to tell you, my friends — and again I call you my friends, even though I’ve never met most of you and would likely find you boring or repellent if I were to do so, because part of my burden is my tremendous magnanimity — is this: freedom is hard. Freedom doesn’t just happen. It’s not something you can legislate. It’s not something the government can attempt to provide. You can’t gain freedom by working diligently to remove an entrenched political and social structure explicitly designed to prevent you from having freedom. No. Freedom is something you have to patiently wait for the free market to provide.

Now, I understand that this may sound foreign to you, noble people who have never been free. But believe me, I’ve been free all my life, and I know you can’t achieve what I was born into just by working for it. You have to look deep into yourself and find the strength to fail to take any affirmative action whatsoever. Only then, by avoiding any attempt to use the levers of power to achieve your ends, will you gain the freedom that is my cross to bear. Or you may not, but in a way, that’s just as well, because if you did gain that freedom by some means it might be problematic for me in an unspecified way. But the key thing is for you to stop actually working for freedom. That’s number one. Unless it’s my freedom to pay less taxes, actually. That would be quite noble of you.

And the truth is, my friends — can you believe I said that again? I’m a prince — that you may not even want the freedom you think you do. Because — and again I speak as someone painfully familiar with the affliction of freedom — freedom is hard. Freedom is suffering. Freedom is knowing that somebody you vaguely acknowledge as human will never have the advantages you do. Freedom is staring in the face of total selfishness and realizing that someday that will — must! — be you. Freedom is walking among the poor, the downtrodden, the disadvantaged of this world and keeping your eyes firmly shut, your fingers in your ears, lest they turn you from your lonely course. To quote the male songwriter secretly employed by Janis Joplin’s record company, freedom’s just another word for my never losing anything.

Thank you, and knock it off.

… addendum by Sifu: I can’t believe imaginary Rand Paul didn’t know that “Me and Bobby McGee” wasn’t actually written for Janis.

About these ads