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While I’m at this photo-posting bit, here’s one of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, as seen from my roof this past weekend. It seems an appropriate image, on the cusp of the upcoming holiday.  I looked the word “liberty” up, and among various definitions my favorite was “freedom from arbitrary or despotic control.” This may be easier defined than reached, and those believing they’ve achieved it may simply be more adept at self-delusion. And yet, despite my innate cynicism, I’ll still make an argument for this country. In one of my favorite films, The Verdict , Paul Newman makes a great summation speech (penned by David Mamet) to the jury. He tells them that the lawyers, the marble statues, and the books are all just “trappings of the court” and “symbols of our desire to be just.”  “They are, in fact, a prayer : a fervent and frightened prayer.

This is also the way I see the of the Statue of Liberty, and have imagined what it represented to my great grandfather and the thousands like him who continue to pass through this harbor. It’s not about some imaginary Land of Milk and Honey, but  simply about having a shot . I’ve been born in to much good fortune and probably shouldn’t even be allowed such a fat-headed observation.  But I could expound some on the likelihood of being “free from arbitrary or despotic control,” even after other basic needs are covered. Despite such insight, it’s probably a good thing that I’m not running the show. There’s something not so euphonious about a July Fourth celebration with overhead images of the Statue of Having a Shot in the New York Harbor.

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  1. dick wrote:

    Actually the Statue Of Liberty was donated by France eleven years after your great grandfather arrived in New York.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    Well, I’ve never been one to let a little thing like factual inaccuracy stand in the way of my constructing a blow-hard diatribe ..

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

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