Monday, March 10, 2008
Pride of Baghdad.
I finally got around to read Brian K. Vaughan's Pride of Baghdad, a fictional story based on the escape of some lions from Baghdad Zoo during the 2003 US bombings of Baghdad. (If you don't know the story and you're interested in reading it, don't click on the following news link. It gives away the ending). I remember reading the news story when it happened.
Vaughan explores the true meaning of "freedom" within the context of a country struggling to survive war. Is it better to be "free" but to have only rubble to call your home and no food to eat, or to live under a tyrannical dictator but with less of a chance of dying of starvation? It's all well and good for me to sit here and say freedom is worth a generation or two (or more) for the sake of tomorrow's children, but what about the people suffering in the mean time? If I were in their place, would I see it as such a sweet and honorable thing to die in the hopes that future generations will reap the rewards... Hopefully?
One can draw parallels to various different cultures as they experience the growing pains of emancipation... The pilgrims seeking independence in the new Union, the slaves following the Civil War... In retrospect, the sacrifices are worth it, but that's easily said by an outsider looking in to another culture or time.
After all, we know the truth that freedom isn't free... It cost a buck oh five. (Courtesy of Trey Parker and Matt Stone).