On July 14, 1789, the French common people had had enough. The indulgent, absolutist monarchy of Louis XVI and his predecessors had left the nation woefully impoverished, and bereft of freedoms. The state had set up a sly, Stainesque system of spying that allowed a single accusatory letter to place “enemies of the king” in jail for life. Power corrupted – freedom denied. For the people of France, the time had come for justifiable action. And the French patriots did indeed.
The French protestors launched their much-needed revolution by marching on the Bastille prison which stood as a massive stone symbol of their oppression (and of course, held a large supply of needed gunpowder.) But when they flung wide the portals of this state dungeon, people discovered it had only seven prisoners remaining. It was, by 1789, mostly disused.
So allow me to join in praising those courageous French freedom fighters, along with every individual in every land who raises the cry for liberty, equality, and fraternity. And may we also, if I may, add the plea for common sense to select the real targets and come up with practical ways to force the fix we so desperately need, rather than opting to harpoon the largest chunk of marble because it is so convenient. Taking aim at old physical targets is easy and emotive. Digging in to find real solutions is often less glamorous and takes much more work. But that is the path for the courageous among us.
May we all exercise our freedoms and find some fun this day,
Wishing you every success,
- Bart Jackson