TIME TO TAKE THE FREMONT PLEDGE OF INDEPENDENCE
by Kirby Lindsay
Originally published, with slight variations, in The Seattle Press, June 15, 2000
Take a minute and declare your independence – from everything!
Stand up. Or don’t. Far be it from me to tell you what to do. Sit down, if you like, or lean against the wall with fingers spread on the floor and your feet aimed at the Solstice sun.
Are you comfortable? Not that I am saying you have to be comfortable. Make yourself uncomfortable if that is your bent. After all, one of the unofficial mottos of Fremont is “Don’t tell me what to do!”
So do as you wish.
You might, at this point, put your hand over your heart, or on your head, or under your foot. I don’t insist, unless you put it over someone else’s heart. That might interfere with their independence.
Once you’ve selected appropriate hand gestures, you might choose to recite the Venerated Fremont Pledge of Independence:
Forever unshackled, independent, uninhibited and free. To keep my spirit unfettered and unencumbered is key. Where we follow the spirit of a troll, and where everything is whimsical and droll, in Fremont, I choose my own path and just Be.
Of course, if this pledge isn’t for you, might I suggest the Ceremonious pledge – Liberty always! Liberty always! (repeat as necessary, or until ejected from the room.)
I’m not going to put words in your mouth. You might find the Absolute pledge more to your taste:
To he who would shackle my spirit, to her who would imprison my mind, to they that would tell me how I might live, to them that might attempt to lead me without my wish or will, I say, “No way, dude!”
The Sacred pledge might be too religious for some:
Upon the sacred ground under which the beer reserves flow, under a sky full of laughter, in the time-honored tradition of our Fremont forefathers (and earth mothers) I do avow never to waiver from a well-trod path of self-government and pure autonomy. Unless I want to.
Of course, this pledge can only be said while actually standing in Fremont (and while having fun but, let’s get real, if you are here it goes without saying!) I do not want to imply that these pledges can only be taken while in Fremont, or by a Fremonster. I’m not in charge here. You are.
The Sacrosanct pledge goes something like this:
Iay romisepay otay lwaysaay ollowfay ymay wnoay athpay – ndependenceiay oreverfay ndaay legieceaay otay onay neoay.
It isn’t my style. I’ve never been good with foreign tongues.
The Traditional pledge has a long history. It was written three years and twenty minutes ago.
Whims and the wind may lead me, my spirit forever free, I do hereby swear my unswerving loyalty to that within me which leads and that without me that lends the freedom to find my own trail.
It has been around about twenty minutes more than the Inviolable pledge.
In Fremont did the citizens a stately (if slightly silly) pleasure dome decree, Where under the Rocket, the sacred beer reserves ran, into mugs measureless to man along the Hall of Giants Street. Within the hallowed circle of this vaunted fearsome and frolicsome fiefdom, I do avow my ever-vigilant determination to set my own course.
You might want to recite the Standard pledge while lying curled in a ball on the bottom of your hall closet.
Harketh oh the winds of change. Harketh oh the Troll. Here me now pronounce my name and state my intended goal. I, (insert anything here), do swear to uphold the time honored tradition of Fremonsters past and listen only to my own whimsical nature.
Of course, you might need to craft your own pledge, in your own words, to state your independence. Remember, the Fremont Pledges of Independence can be recited any time, anywhere and simultaneously by any group of people in need of the Freedom to Be Peculiar.
If you like, you may submit your original, custom pledge, to The Fremocentrist at firstname.lastname@example.org. The very best written Fremont Pledge of Independence wins freedom from tyranny and the right, of the writer, to self-determination, but only if you want it.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.