Calling Out Freedom

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What is real freedom? And how do we get it?

I was recently asked if there were any early indications of what my “spring break jam” for this year might be. I thought maybe it was going to be Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” since nothing says spring break like the sentiment of Winehouse’s catchy little tune: “I know what’s good for me and I just don’t give a crap.” But then I heard Adam Bianchi’s song “Calling You Out.” I think this song might have just taken the lead. In the song Bianchi calls out his old boss, the world and even death. Now that is some serious spring break sentiment.

The video for this song, directed by Glenn Harris , is as subtle and quiet as the song. There’s something so freeing about the sentiment of this song; calling out those things that have held us prisoners. Bianchi strolls confidently through the scenes of this video while everyone else sits quietly in their place. He’s free of the constraints that seem to be keeping everyone else in their place (the office workers working and the mourners in their pews). But the video ends, after Bianchi calls out death, with a hand hold and a “rewinding” that leave Bianchi alone with a/his own empty coffin. These images are fairly cryptic, but something about them seems to give me the impression of dependence in opposition to aloneness and all of that somehow related to the freedom Bianchi has found in “calling out” different entities.

Since Monday was Presidents’ Day a friend of mine was discussing all things presidential, which of course includes freedom. This was on the same day that Andy Pettite, the Yankees pitcher who admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, quoted, in his apology, the biblical passage “the truth will set you free.” Freedom seems to be a hard thing for us in America to grasp as the term gets thrown around so frequently by people like Pettite.

Freedom is also something difficult for me to appreciate, as I’ve never really seen myself as a “slave.” As Bianchi seems to be pointing out in his song, freedom isn’t something that just “is,” but rather something that must be chosen and something that must be taken hold of and accepted. But Glenn Harris’s video seems to be painting a even wider picture. The video ends with the consequences of accepting freedom, the walking away that real freedom might mean. What do “calling out (fill in the blank)” and freedom really mean?