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Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 12:46 PM
George Saunders remarking on "Huckleberry Finn":

"It is the great work of our national literature because, more than any other book before or since, it locates itself squarely on our National Dilemma, which is: How can anyone be truely free in a country as violent and stupid as ours?"

seafox
04-18-2010, 01:28 PM
Ian it is not the violents or stupidity that robs people of freedom it is the ever growing government.

the freedom looked for in the book was at the time that of parrents and masters in the case of jim. huck did get free of parental opression. slaves had their masters life long

today with the goverment costing over half our yearly adverage earning we too are slaves

stumpbumper
04-18-2010, 01:45 PM
Government, in itself, doesn't deprive us of liberty. Depending on the nature of it, government can either protect our liberty or deprive us of it. Too little government control will allow ignorance, violence, and stupidity to prevail.

Jim Ledger
04-18-2010, 01:48 PM
Too little government control will allow ignorance, violence, and stupidity to prevail.

Don't forget greed. A lot of that's been prevailing too much lately, to our collective detriment.

stumpbumper
04-18-2010, 01:54 PM
Ofcourse, how could I forget greed.

Nicholas Scheuer
04-18-2010, 01:54 PM
One can live on an island like Robinson Crusoe did, and be perfectly "free", and also be a "prisoner" of that lifestyle.

The so-called conservatives are busy right now telling Obama how we ought not give up on NASA's work with Manned Spaceflight. One would think they might instead be proposing that a few hobbiests building missiles all by themselves in their garage using their own money do what needs to be done.

Meanwhgile, back in the real world, it was our communal decision to follow President Kennedy's program to reach into our pockets for tax dollars that paid for the Space Shuttle and the missile that pushes it up to the workplace. How free was that?

stumpbumper
04-18-2010, 01:57 PM
There have been many examples in history where violence and stupidity were allowed to prevail. Hitler and NAZI Germany come to mind.

Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 03:22 PM
Lot of folk here either didn't read, didn't get, or totally forgot Huck Finn.

Paul Pless
04-18-2010, 03:29 PM
Lot of folk here either didn't read, didn't get, or totally forgot Huck Finn.Sounds like a really good opportunity for you to get totally preachy.

Nicholas Scheuer
04-18-2010, 03:37 PM
Didn't a lot of school systems ban Huck Finn, Ian? They didn't like the language, or sump'm.

Moby Nick

bobbys
04-18-2010, 03:47 PM
George Saunders remarking on "Huckleberry Finn":

"It is the great work of our national literature because, more than any other book before or since, it locates itself squarely on our National Dilemma, which is: How can anyone be truely free in a country as violent and stupid as ours?".

To Time Travel back to 1885 and grab a Novel and use it to claim Our country is Violent and stupid seems a bit of a stretch to me.

Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 03:58 PM
I don't use the novel to claim our nation is violent and stupid. That is a condition that those few of my ancestors who fought for our revolution, the larger number who simply made money from both sides, and the largest number off to the West carving a new land out of the American Indian faced. It's a condition their decedents to this day face.

The novel is not a sociological study proving any such point. Rather, it is among many other things an account of how at an existential level one might confront that reality of our society and still find, or more create, freedom.

Surely that's pretentious enough to give old Sam's ghost diarrhea. And yet, so true.

pefjr
04-18-2010, 04:23 PM
H. Finn is not applicable to any dilemma of violence, dumb ass and freedom today. I don't recall Huck shooting crack, or being a gang member, or "no child left behind", or carrying guns to schools or political town hall meetings. He played hookey and went fishing. I am a jack leg psychiatrist and I would recommend to some of the forumites to follow Huck's example and head off down to the river and do a little fishing.

bobbys
04-18-2010, 04:35 PM
I don't use the novel to claim our nation is violent and stupid. That is a condition that those few of my ancestors who fought for our revolution, the larger number who simply made money from both sides, and the largest number off to the West carving a new land out of the American Indian faced. It's a condition their decedents to this day face.

The novel is not a sociological study proving any such point. Rather, it is among many other things an account of how at an existential level one might confront that reality of our society and still find, or more create, freedom.

Surely that's pretentious enough to give old Sam's ghost diarrhea. And yet, so true..

No Ian i do not accuse you of the statement I know Mr Saunders said it not you but somehow i spect a motive by Him to link a group of people today {Conservatives}to stopping freedom in there somewhere.

Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 05:10 PM
Suspect anything but read the statement. I agree with Saunders and believe you misinterpret to imagine Saunders claims that the novel is evidence of our violence and stupidity. Like me and many others, the novel basicly assumes that though we all remember scenes where it recounts fictional examples. What's not fiction is the individual discovery of how to find freedom, how to shake free in a way uniquely American of the constraints or misfortunes of birth and history and be simply one self.

The dilemma is the violence and stupidity we see all about our society is really a prelude to our unique opportunities for freedom. We all can be, to paraphrase Napoleon about Ney or someone, our own illustrious ancestors.

ishmael
04-18-2010, 05:15 PM
I'm gonna take exception to the premise. Some days I feel nibbled to death by ducks, but for the most part I can come and go as I please, say what I think, vote, love who I love, and a host of other things we take for granted but aren't available to some others. We're far from perfect, but people aren't beating the doors to get out, quite the contrary.

Jim and Huck lived in a different country.

huisjen
04-18-2010, 07:15 PM
I recommend Finn (http://www.amazon.com/Finn-Novel-Jon-Clinch/dp/1400065917). It's about Huck's Pa and how he got to be that way. A very complex, grotesque, and poignant character.

Dan

Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 07:21 PM
Finn is an interesting 'prequil'. Worth the read, especially if like that author you have not only read Huck Finn and some other Mark Twain works, but understood a bit of life on the antebellum Mississippi and how it was an emblem of all America.

ishmael
04-18-2010, 07:29 PM
How are you feeling constrained, Ian? I want to hear, because we can't be too careful. I don't see your obstruction, but I just have a small bit of this.

Ian McColgin
04-18-2010, 07:54 PM
It seems to me that in noting how the tale of Huck Finn confronts the great American dilemma of finding freedom in a land of stupidity and violence, and in noting that the book is an existential account of both the dilemma and of finding a uniquely American freedom, it might be inferred that in a continuing way, I am experiencing that freedom myself.

But it also seems to me that one cannot learn from a great novel without reading it . . . more than once . . . at different stages of life.

So I regret that lacking Clemmens' genius, I cannot provide much more than useful hints. Like, read the book again. Reflect on the oppression of our poor. Determine your own freedom.

ishmael
04-18-2010, 08:13 PM
I've read it, maybe half a dozen times. Great stuff. But I still want to know how you feel constrained, Ian.

skuthorp
04-18-2010, 08:21 PM
The human animal is both violent and stupid, but we breed like rats and are supremely adaptable. That's why we got to the top, and probably why we'll be the instrument of our own destruction. But because of the above a relict population will survive to start again.

ishmael
04-18-2010, 09:09 PM
When challenged Ian can't confront his rhetoric. How are your freedoms constricted? A simple question.

Idealogues, both left and right, are after our freedom. Law, more regulations.

A small, personal example. I was dating a woman and invited her to back pack into a remote beach I knew. It was piping plover country, and you had to be careful, and I was. On the way out I was mildly confronted by Connie. "You should not be doing this, you know!." Yeah, it's against the rules, but if you break them with care the plover still thrives.

pefjr
04-18-2010, 09:10 PM
H Finn is good literature but it does not stand alone as a great work of National pride . It's part of a package, a treasure from Twain. I have read all of his works and can't get enough, even his insignificant articles from a job as writer for weekly news. Without the package H Finn is just a good summer adventure story and I believe Twain would laugh, pull his hat off, scratch his head and say something hilarious funny at the remark by GS.

seafox
04-19-2010, 01:10 AM
Ish you say you can come and go as you want say what you want and vote how you want but can you add on to that trasilor with out getting permission and paying off the government?
its nice who you can vote for but if you work for a company and some people want a union the people in power are working on getting a public insteed of secreat vvoting allowed.
tomarrow morning I should be up and off to work before day light but insteed will have to hand here a bit and do some weedeating to keep the city off my back

yup it sure feels like a free country to me ( very heavy sarcasm here folks)

just have add for all you liberals telling me how great government is and all the advantages we get for all the money they squeeze out of us. in the last week I have heard local news stories about people getting stollen from. in one case the police remind people to lock their doors even when they are home. ( not to mention the theift of a cut off saw right out of the office where I work) and in another case where three homes in the same neighborhood had been burgled in a week the police said " hey you should get burgler alarms" yet we have 4 part time people petroling the city to make sure our grass doesn't get over 6 inches high. to quote yack off smeernof in a completely differnt tone of voice " what A country!"

Candyfloss
04-19-2010, 01:28 AM
Bloody hell you Americans irritate me.

What makes you think that the wish for freedom, the pursuit of freedom and the tenuous attainment of freedom are uniquely AMERICAN things?

P.S. I too love both Huck & Tom, but I learned recently (on this forum) that Twain never lived on the 'Sippi (unless I've being lied to) but wrote both stories while living in California, where, as we speak, they are having a Tom Sawyer Festival.

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 07:08 AM
For people of other nations allow me a word of comfort that really should have been obvious from the reading - to say that the American dilemma is how to find freedom in a land of stupidity and violence, to say further that that freedom is uniquely American, is not by any means to deny that other nations don't have their own unique forms of stupidity and violence and, we may surmise though the evidence from some snarky defensive posts is scant, that they could have their own paths to freedom.

Samuel Clemmens grew up on the Mississippi and rose to pilot rank. He deserted the South during the Civil War to newspaper in the midwest and west, both in major cities and rough mining boomtowns. He lived his domestic years in Hartford Connecticut and NYC was the place where in his unique suits he was the Great White Presence on the Great White Way. He got President Grant to write his incomperable memoirs, helping in editing and in getting a good publishing deal. His last years were a horror of death of loved ones and increasing pessamism and bitterness about the human condition, leading to his heroic public opposition to our Phillipine imperialism and his stranger allagorical writings.

A great deal more to the guy than the bowdlerized crap people remember through the gauze of high school memory as a nice summer read.

I sometimes think that Huck Finn is like Moby Dick in that everyone claims intimacy with it and maybe five people living have read the real thing.

ishmael
04-19-2010, 07:15 AM
Still can't give specifics of how you are constrained, eh Ian? Put the seminary speak to the side, it's boring. Tell me how you are held up in life's progress. You can't, because you aren't. Not by the state anyway. You do seem a bit coagulated, but that's a personal issue.

downthecreek
04-19-2010, 07:27 AM
I think there are lots of different definitions of freedom. None is definitive and very few people are free in the sense of being uncontrolled and unconstrained in their actions. Anyone living in a developed country, America included, is positively girt about with the constraints of living in, and benefiting from, a complex modern society. Different societies have different constraints and different freedoms.

On the other hand, people living in developing countries may be equally constrained in their freedom of action by poverty, lack of opportunity etc. (Of course, that also applies to large numbers of people living in materially wealthy counties as well)

Many Christians would say that true freedom has nothing to do with external constraints, hanging on to your money etc., but is only found through submission to the will of God (as opposed to slavery to Mammon) There's a lot in that, even though I can only grasp it as a metaphor. It's one of those things you (I ?) can....sort of.....comprehend without really being able to articulate it in another way. However, I do think the greatest freedom is the freedom from fear - of death, of destitution, of humiliation, of failure, of loss etc. That's a freedom that can only come from within. People who have overcome fear may be the only ones who are truly free, no matter what their external circumstances.

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 07:29 AM
I am sorry Ish that I cannot answer your question better than I have. Were you to read Huck Finn and retain it, I would remain unable to answer your questions.

Paul Pless
04-19-2010, 07:41 AM
A great deal more to the guy than the bowdlerized crap people remember through the gauze of high school memory as a nice cummer read.Come off it Ian, the complexities of Samuel Clemens' life, including his political and philosophical views are very widely known.:rolleyes:

seafox
04-19-2010, 08:07 AM
Ish , Ian is the liberal here he loves the government and its controls and fears the people

I seafox is the liberterian here who does not fear people but fears the government that is growing like a cancer ( yes I have been robbed by individuals three times but it is nothing compaired to the regularity that I am robbed by the government) when my property is stollen I have been robbed of the time spent earning that property.

Evidently not every one knows the details of Mr Twains life as shown by candyfloss who was told Twain had only lived in california.

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 08:08 AM
Paul, I hope you're right, but I think the idea of the complexities is better known than the complexities themselves. I mean really, how many read "Mysterious Stranger" or "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" without some serious skimming? And those two make sense compared to some bits.

Anyway, "Huck Finn" as available in high schools is a joke. Even the abridged versions rouse school board wrath. It's been a while but some years back I called HS English teachers and learned that they had edited versions of "Tom Sawyer" for ninth grade but none had the real "Huck Finn." There were school systems that had a single volume bastardization for middle school that combined the two into an antebellum fantacy about as good for kids as Confederate History Month.

But that was not by any means a national survey, just some idle questions of a set of very good teachers at well regarded public schools.

ishmael
04-19-2010, 08:22 AM
If the original Twain, Huck and Jim, is censored that's wrong. It's Twain's masterpiece, and it should be read as such. The use of nigger, a part of the book, should be viewed in context.

I hate people trying to rewrite things to make them friendly.

Jim Ledger
04-19-2010, 08:31 AM
Ian, I wouldn't worry too much about those high school texts because most of us got our taste of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn from those Walt Disney '50's classics. :D

That scene with Tom Sawyer trying to thread the needle...what a hoot...or was that Huck? I sometimes get them mixed up, I know that Huck had the cool raft, though.

Tom Montgomery
04-19-2010, 08:47 AM
Ish you say you can come and go as you want say what you want and vote how you want but can you add on to that trasilor with out getting permission and paying off the government?
its nice who you can vote for but if you work for a company and some people want a union the people in power are working on getting a public insteed of secreat vvoting allowed.
tomarrow morning I should be up and off to work before day light but insteed will have to hand here a bit and do some weedeating to keep the city off my back

yup it sure feels like a free country to me ( very heavy sarcasm here folks)

just have add for all you liberals telling me how great government is and all the advantages we get for all the money they squeeze out of us. in the last week I have heard local news stories about people getting stollen from. in one case the police remind people to lock their doors even when they are home. ( not to mention the theift of a cut off saw right out of the office where I work) and in another case where three homes in the same neighborhood had been burgled in a week the police said " hey you should get burgler alarms" yet we have 4 part time people petroling the city to make sure our grass doesn't get over 6 inches high. to quote yack off smeernof in a completely differnt tone of voice " what A country!"

It sounds to me that your problem is not so much with govenment as with living in civilized society.

If you live in my neighborhood you had better maintain your property responsibly (that includes mowing your lawn regularly) or you will come to grief with both me and law enforcement.

You can whine all you want about your loss of freedom. If you wish to live like a pig you are perfectly free to settle in some remote area where your weeds and trash and strange taste in construction techniques and architecture will not ruin other people's property values.

Right-wingnuts often sound just like a three- year- old who believes he should never be forced to do anything he doesn't want to do. And who screams "I hate you!" when made to obey the rules.

BrianW
04-19-2010, 08:48 AM
Sometimes reading Ian is like reading Ish on steroids.

No insult meant to either party. :)

BrianW
04-19-2010, 08:50 AM
Right-wingnuts often sound just like...

Left wing nuts.

Tom Montgomery
04-19-2010, 09:04 AM
seafox: Taxes are not "robbery" when they are legislated by legitimately elected representatives forming a legitimately constituted government.

Neither is the federal government a "gangster government" despite the delusions of folks like Michelle Bachman and Glenn Beck.

The sheer amount of hyperbolic demagoguery is stunning. The American people put a black Democrat in the Whitehouse and 18% of the population proceeded to become unhinged.

LeeG
04-19-2010, 09:22 AM
.

To Time Travel back to 1885 and grab a Novel and use it to claim Our country is Violent and stupid seems a bit of a stretch to me.

indeed, 2003 and 2004 are far enough

LeeG
04-19-2010, 09:31 AM
Bloody hell you Americans irritate me.

What makes you think that the wish for freedom, the pursuit of freedom and the tenuous attainment of freedom are uniquely AMERICAN things?
.

HTFU, you are operating under some kind of insecurity to interpret Ians post this way.

pefjr
04-19-2010, 09:47 AM
The way Ian is talking about Huck Finn makes me think I did not read the same book. BTW the wife is a Librarian in Clark County Schools and these books are not censored here or anywhere else she says(maybe Canada). Oh and one my favorite of all Twain writings was "The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg". Said a lot about human nature.

Osborne Russell
04-19-2010, 09:54 AM
"How can anyone be truely free in a country as violent and stupid as ours?"

How could any country founded and fed on racist imperialism be anything but violent and stupid?

After the government eradicates the aborigines and ousts the competitors, it's a free-for-all. How to mythologize one's ancestors and legitimize one's title under such circumstances? The transition is from a myth of racial superiority to a myth of national-character superiority. In any case, there has to be rationalization of the original murder, theft and slavery, or else intellectual honesty itself must be abandoned, and that movement is well underway.

What I like about Twain is when he talks about his boyhood dreamworld inspired by Sir Walter Scott, and how bitter was the realization that it wasn't just false but harmful and somewhat shameful even in a boy. I think that gave him a sharp hunger for reality that made him what he became.

Osborne Russell
04-19-2010, 10:00 AM
Bloody hell you Americans irritate me.

What makes you think that the wish for freedom, the pursuit of freedom and the tenuous attainment of freedom are uniquely AMERICAN things?

The need to believe that America's uniqueness (however defined, however real or however delusional) has a metaphysical, religious origin and purpose which justifies what we have and what we take. Others may want freedom but being
American carries the duty of giving freedom to them, which implies the rightful possession of all necessary powers, natch.

Keith Wilson
04-19-2010, 10:03 AM
How could any country founded and fed on racist imperialism be anything but violent and stupid?Oh, please. :rolleyes: Countries founded and run by angels are rare on this planet. Everyone lives on land that was taken by force from someone else at some point, generally multiple times.

Some people are violent, some people are stupid, some people are both. Most of us are capable of both under the right circumstances. Human beings are capable of both the greatest virtue and the most appalling vices; Twain knew that and wrote about both.

Freedom, unless one lives out in the wilderness alone, has to be balanced by responsibility to one's community. Reasonable people may argue where the balance lies, but the fact that there has to be a balance, only the unhinged will dispute.

Captain Blight
04-19-2010, 10:27 AM
Ish you say you can come and go as you want say what you want and vote how you want but can you add on to that trasilor with out getting permission and paying off the government?We've been through this before, Jeffrey, and you still don't listen. MOST (90% and up, I'd wager) agree that well-enforced building codes are a public good and should be adhered to. If you don't think that this is something Government should be involved in, may I suggest a walking tour of first Santiago, Chile and then Port-Au-Prince, Haiti? The difference in outcomes will astound you, and that is a direct result of governmental intervention. Santiago had very strict building codes, Port-Au-Prince didn't. Which one fared worse in their recent earthquake?

its nice who you can vote for but if you work for a company and some people want a union the people in power are working on getting a public ,instead of secret, voting allowed.This statement is so badly wrong, I'm tempted to label it an outright lie. It's not, but if you wrote this in good faith that it is true, Jeffrey, you are so badly misinformed as to be incapable of participating in a reasoned discussion on the role of the union in the modern workplace.

Tomorrow morning I should be up and off to work before day light, but instead will have to hang here a bit and do some weedeating to keep the city off my back

yup it sure feels like a free country to me ( very heavy sarcasm here folks) Yes, everyone knows that being allowed to let your yard look like hell is the cornerstone of a free society. Why, if you can't have your front lawn all thinning and scabbed with the crabgrass evolving into an active, trading civilization, then we might as well just go ahead and have Hillary turn the keys to the country over to the UN!!



Have you tried just going along to get along? Have you ever thought that the reason the city's always on your back is because you're always screaming and frothing at city employees? Maybe if you weren't such a PITA, the city would get off your case.

Jeez, dude. Let it go. There's more to being a good citizen than just keeping an eye on government spending. Has it occurred to you that the city's just trying to do something about all the complaints your neighbors lodge? What makes you think you are above the law?

Captain Blight
04-19-2010, 10:54 AM
Twain was mostly a Lower river pilot, he doesn't talk much about getting too much further upriver than Peru, Illinois where the Illinois River comes in. There were some pretty hefty rapids at Des Moines; and until after the war, there wasn't much in the way of commerce to support a riverine shipping trade. Some passengers, but their crops were overwhelmingly grain, more cheaply and efficiently (for the time) shipped by the rail industry to the industrial centers in the East.

bobbys
04-19-2010, 11:43 AM
indeed, 2003 and 2004 are far enough.

I spected this wuz what this was really all about.....

Captain Blight
04-19-2010, 11:58 AM
The American people put a black Democrat in the Whitehouse and 18% of the population proceeded to become unhinged.Overall, the number of out-and-out racist morons in the country seems to be about one in five. So this number makes sense.

LeeG
04-19-2010, 12:24 PM
I thought the number was 10% with 1% doing 50% of the total bonehead or psychopathic maneuvers.

Captain Blight
04-19-2010, 12:27 PM
Still far, far too many people. I don't get it.

bobbys
04-19-2010, 01:03 PM
seafox: Taxes are not "robbery" when they are legislated by legitimately elected representatives forming a legitimately constituted government.

Neither is the federal government a "gangster government" despite the delusions of folks like Michelle Bachman and Glenn Beck.

The sheer amount of hyperbolic demagoguery is stunning. The American people put a black Democrat in the Whitehouse and 18% of the population proceeded to become unhinged.. .

18percent?.

Could you please post the chart that shows this?.

I would like to compare the percentages of unhinged people to Ethnic Democrats.

For example how many become unhinged when a Pacific Islander, Asian, Or Mulattoes becomes Democratic Prez?.

Do you have a chart showing how emissions to Mental Hospitals increased on the day he took the Oath?..

Or are you confused with the 18 percent of people that"Cant Jump"?

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 01:06 PM
The 18% of the population is easy to derive. 82% of the guys lost overboard and drown had their flies open. The remaining 18% heard about Obama and pissed in their pants.

Tom Montgomery
04-19-2010, 05:25 PM
. .

18percent?.

Could you please post the chart that shows this?.

I would like to compare the percentages of unhinged people to Ethnic Democrats.

For example how many become unhinged when a Pacific Islander, Asian, Or Mulattoes becomes Democratic Prez?.

Do you have a chart showing how emissions to Mental Hospitals increased on the day he took the Oath?..

Or are you confused with the 18 percent of people that"Cant Jump"?

I seem to have pushed your buttons.

I recently saw 18% reported as the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as tea-partiers.

Then I realized that 18% was an accurate percentage of my family who are outraged, FoxNews viewing, Beck and Limbaugh listening, racist, right-wingnuts.

I figure mine is a fairly typical American family.

ishmael
04-19-2010, 05:59 PM
I don't figure Beck or Limbaugh are racist. The US Left has lost it's way when it resorts to such epithets.


The weird culture that has grown around these radio yackers is just that, weird. Who in their right mind calls themselves a "ditto head?"


I like some of what is said. We do need to think about the role of the goobers running things, from the Statehouse to the Whitehouse. It may not be pleasant.

I think of Ian McColgin and myself, very different presis. Yet, somehow, we come to an agreement, this is how we are going to govern.

The loss of that compromise is what led to our last civil war. As divisive as I sense things at the moment, I don't sense that.

atmartin
04-19-2010, 06:35 PM
Building codes are nice, in some respects, they keep me employed. However, needing a permit in order to add an electrical outlet is excessive (and unenforced). Also, many building/improvement permits are over-the-counter deals, so it's essentially revenue collection.

When I register my boat with DMV, I pay a fee, there is no checking over the condition of the boat or its safety. It's revenue collection.

It's petty and not a 'slippery slope', but having an HOA or municipality dictate your landscaping or what you can keep in your driveway (no boats/trailers/rvs regardless of condition in mine) is a limit to your freedom.

By 'freedom' here I mean the very basic 'I get to do what I'd like to do', I'm not invoking some heavy ideological code.

If you go about your life 'normally'. Pay your bills, watch TV, go out for dinner and movies, you won't run into any problems. But once you start getting a little too adventurous, barriers start popping up (not all of them government):

This here is private land, this over here is closed for migratory waterfowl, no sir you cannot skinny dip in your own backyard, you cannot water your lawn on tuesday, you can't drive on this fire-road without a state-park fun pass, no fires except in marked areas, no swimming past the buoys, no 2-stroke motors in this lake, no smoking the dope, no untreated stormwater discharge, no renting this house without credit report (oh? you have no credit cars?), no renting this car because you're under 25.

Sometimes it does feel like the walls are closing in on you (I do live in CA), but the more of us there are and the closer we live together, it seems the more protection we need from ourselves and each other.