Freedom is made into a day as a reminder to the people that it’s limited, it won’t last forever, just this day you can remember and smile and be grateful it hasn’t been erased completely. Freedom Day, where you can take your dog on a walk, or you can meet up in the park with someone you love and look at one another’s masked faces, look as long as you’d like, assume they are smiling because they are required to do so on Freedom Day.
Or perhaps you can go see a movie at the theater. Your choices are limited on this special Freedom Day, because the only showing is the documentary of the manufactured hero, the one who appears on camera day in and day out, he whose eyes glimmer when asked how long until we get back to normal, the hero whose edicts have led to such a thing as Freedom Day for which we are all grateful.
And on this Freedom Day a free man walks into the theater and watches the film in silence, the image and sound pressed into his face, until it comes to an end, and he stands up. He sends in an unfiltered review: no one wants the propaganda, it’s not to be celebrated, the score is ZERO not ONE HUNDRED like the newspaper columnists say. They say it is a perfect score, a brave documentary, a film about a giant of our time, just what we have all been waiting for, a triumph, the one film you must see this year, on and on until the real men and women watch on Freedom Day. ZERO! ZERO cries out the free man and the free woman, ZERO is the score because there is nothing less than ZERO, Zero, what you think of me is what I think of you, Zero, if I am nothing to you, if my children are nothing to you, then you are not to be celebrated no matter how much I am told to celebrate you.
I hate Freedom Day because I am already free and do not need a day to tell me so. The wind tells me so. My skin and my beating heart and the glory that fills my eyes tells me so. The love I have for my fellow man tells me so. The song that pours out of my hands and from my lips tells me so.
Freedom Day, granted by the manufactured hero. Feel the sunshine filtered through the trees. Taste the ice cream as you lower your mask and then lift it up once more. Explain to your child that the playground is only closed for a little while, there are other ways to be free, you can do jumping jacks right here all by yourself, you can form an imaginary friend to do them with you.
This is Freedom Day.
And the man who scores the film with a zero goes to see that his score has not been counted at all, none of the zeroes have been counted. Only the columnists count, and so the film is a triumph, a mighty force, a brave voyage into the heart of a modern-day hero.
And as the day comes to a close, you are expected to be grateful.
You’re expected to say thank you.