“The American Dream Is A Lie” is the title of a Rod Dreher blog yesterday.
That’s pretty blunt. So was “The Emperor is naked!” Truth: it’s a nasty thing, but somebody’s got to tell it.
Do read the Dreher piece. And if you’re ready to get off the Great Treadmill to Nowhere, I recommend Dreher’s book Crunchy Cons, Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft, and the gangs at Front Porch Republic and Distributist Review. I’m sure if I’d read The Little Way of Ruthie Lemming (I have bought it), I’d recommend it, too.
In a similar vein, sometimes, I wish we could just get on with the inevitable collapse so I could be around to see how we joyously rebuild. That’s why I’m not really a Doom and Gloomer.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know there’s one very current Culture War issue I just have trouble leaving alone, despite a general foreswearing of The Culture Wars. I just know, in ways both articulable and ineffable, and partly because of my professional training, how radical the implications are of the change in question.
You’ll also catch a jocund tone at times about those who are still fighting the other skirmishes.
For the record, Tipsy is getting up in years, and he fully appreciates that some of the younger “best,” not just the “worst,” are “full of passionate intensity.” Those best who do not lack all conviction, and who can’t resist the full spectrum of issues, I salute. The world would be a worse place if everyone was as world-weary as yours truly.
But I won’t promise not to jest occasionally, if only as a reminder:
- Don’t take yourself too seriously; you’ll never get out of life alive.
- Don’t immanentize the eschaton.
I like eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill partly because they get as much of their meat as possible from humane farming operations. (I’m sure there are folks who’d be glad to tell me the other half of the story, whatever it might be.)
Conventional agriculture of recent decades (I believe the euphemism is “progressive agriculture”) has migrated toward CAFOs and such. I’ve heard hints of how those operations can be defended and I’ve seen with my own eyes how, for instance, one can collect, er, certain byproducts of CAFOs, digest them, and generate electric power with the resulting gas. It was kind of cool.
The wrong way to defend them, though, is by laws making it a crime to photograph them, as did a bill in Indiana this year that mercifully died.
If there’s a photo that makes you feel defensive, Agribiz, pull on your big girl panties, get out there and tell us how such apparent cruelty is really a great kindness and how it’s really, really necessary to boot.
Sheldrake’s own theories might prove to be every bit the hokum that his critics claim. I have the impression that he wouldn’t much care. If experiment and argument prove him wrong, well, that’s the way science is supposed to work. What he objects to—and quite rightly—is a commitment to materialism that determines what kinds of answers are possible before questions are ever asked and before any evidence is examined. And along the way he gives a tantalizing, mind-altering taste of what science might look like once materialist assumptions are shed.
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)