As a society, we are obsessed with this image- a person who is not bound by the shackles of ordinary daily politesse, an honest person, free from pretence and hypocrisy. This person -let us give it a gender- he, he pops up in literature, from the low to the high, in movies, and in songs. He is brave, usually he is rich (after all, how else could he be free to speak his mind anywhere?) and he does not give a damn what any one says or thinks about him. He says and does as he pleases, and refuses to engage in any action merely because it is (considered to be) the right or proper thing to do- no, if he does something, you may be certain that there is only one reason behind, that he really wants to do it, to please himself and no one else. This relentless focus on his desires gives him an authenticity, an honesty which is refreshing and forbidden to us, the poor minions of every day life, engaged as we are in a hundred little subterfuges and negotiations, for the sake of our children, our jobs, our parents, of having sex and security. We twist and turn and perform a hundred little and large mental and emotional acrobatics to keep the wheels of our lives turning, but these men, no, they just open their mouths and speak as they please, when they please, if they please. And sex and security just fall to their feet, dumbstruck with amazement and admiration at their lack of inhibitions, their strength, their beautiful open hearts and minds.
I suppose this lies behind our insane celebrity-worship, or indeed, more generally speaking, our disgusting rich-man worship. Celebrities and rich men are apparently impervious to making any social concession, they don’t need to lie to please their in-laws and their bosses. It is they who are, as James Hetfield sings, “free to speak their mind anywhere”.
Not anywhere, for I am no celebrity or rich-man. But I have my space where I may speak freely, with candour, a portal to my heart. Granted, “I’m free to speak my mind on my blog” does not have quite the same ring as Mr. Hetfield’s proud declaration. But it will do me. It will have to.