Looking For Freedom
1989 | Pop
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“I've been looking for freedom. -- I've been looking so long. -- I've been looking for freedom. -- Still the search goes on. -- I've been looking for freedom, since I left my home town. -- I've been looking for freedom. -- Still it can't be found.”
- The song was written by German music producer Jack White and originally released by singer Marc Seaberg and again by by Tony Marshall before Hasselhoff released his version a decade later.
- Gary Cowtan was the lyricist for the English language version of the song and actually completed his lyrics before the german version.
- Hasselhoff performed this song at the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve 1989, after the wall had begun to be taken down.
- The song can be heard in Cloud Atlas as Jim Broadbent's character flees a nursing home in a segments directed by German Tom Tykwer.
THE HOT TAKES
What do the wealthy--those that seem to have everything--still lack? Freedom. Certainly, we are all still thralls of the states we live under. Imagine having a private island, a yacht, a hovercraft. Multiple profitable companies. An enormous investment portfolio. Multiple homes. A private jet. A vineyard. A personal assistant. A dedicated driver for your car. A security detail. Imagine having all of that, and still knowing that there were thugs with armed guards who command the threat of throwing you in prison if you don't follow their rules. Maddening, to say the least. This actually brings to mind the recent news regarding what I have considered one of our best hopes for true freedom: Seasteading. The first floating platform home set up in international waters, which should have been the beacon to attract many more freedom-seekers. What happened? The jealous local government of Thailand has called this "treason" and the couple who had decided to live there are potentially facing the death penalty. Just for the crime of looking for freedom. The audacity to call such a thing a crime is uniquely evil.
This song, cheesy as it is, brings to mind something that I’ve often thought is a really interesting juxtaposition that has often crossed my mind. That of the two opposites that seem to give a person a maximum of freedom in the society that we have today. On one end are the ultra wealthy who are basically outside the law because of their power and influence, or just that they have the means to live wherever they want and the money to have lawyers make everything ok for them. They have what the song calls “the freedom money buys.” On the other, are the ultra poor. The travelers, and hobos, and homeless. Those that the system doesn’t care about because there is nothing they can take from them. People who aren’t tied to an address that essentially becomes their tax farm. Represented in this song as “I'll be searching door to door And given some time some day I'm gonna find the freedom I've been searching for.” What is interesting to me is that he already has the kind of freedom where he can travel and go door to door and make his way. Of course both positions have their pros and cons, but essentially they each have more freedom than those in the middle that are the target of State predation simply because they have enough money that The State can rob them, but not so much money that The State has no power over them. I will admit that this idea is not fully formed, but there does seem to be something to it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little foray into the abyss that is my mind.
I wasn't sure which way to go with this until I looked up the history on it. My initial thought was why on earth did someone suggest a song where The Hoff is talking about running from money? Does the word freedom trigger things in people? I'm sure Toby Keith has used the word endlessly with no concept of what it truly means...but I digress. This song should be thought of as a symbol of freedom and Mr Hasselhoff as well simply for its historical presence at a new years celebration during the toppling of the Berlin Wall. I don't care how silly the lyrics might get. It's presence at ground zero of one of the single worst demonstrations of collectivism falling into oblivion is tier one hall of fame for me. Now Germany may be ground Zero for the worst idea of collectivism ever enacted in the EU but for a brief moment we hoped they had learned their lesson and not fallen prey to the mirage that is socialism. It always looks beautiful on the coming but on the going its just desert behind.