Also Sprach die Zwiebel

Alternative title: Ecce Cepa:

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Wednesday that Jessica Paulsen, a 15-year-old who went missing last month, has been freed from the home of two men accused of kidnapping her, although isn’t freedom itself, as both a figurative concept and a state of being, merely another kind of prison, one that entraps us all?

Paulsen, who disappeared on October 10, is reportedly in good health and has returned to her family’s home, where she will begin the process of healing and where, though she will no longer be held in physical confinement, she will nonetheless remain a prisoner to the uncertainty, doubt, and inexorable agony of existence, insofar as these emotional states are universal constants of the human condition.

“This rescue was made possible through the coordinated efforts of law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels,” said Sheriff John Montague, who, yes, helped to rescue Paulsen from the torment of her human captors, but is she not still subject to the psychological imprisonment we all experience as beings endowed with moral agency? “We have arrested two male suspects and are questioning them at this time.”

According to police reports, officers searching a home on the 1400 block of West Depot Street in Bedford found Paulsen locked in a bedroom in which she was allegedly held against her will, although of course this inevitably begs the question as to what kind of “will” she possesses now that she has been released, beyond the unwanted, unasked-for burden of self-determination? Moreover, how is “will” defined in a greater universal sense, and how is it altered in light of the vagaries of life in a secular, post-industrial Western civilization?

“We’re just happy our little girl is alive,” said Jessica’s father, Michael Paulsen, as though the state of being alive were itself a sufficient cause for happiness and not a prison of its own, at least in a phenomenological sense. “There were some days when I honestly thought I would never see her again.”

Read on for the Nietzsche citations. Well done, Onion. Well done.

%d bloggers like this: