Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I occasionally come across quotations that snag my attention like a needle-hook to yarn.  I may or may not agree with the writer's perspective, I may find them derivative or vulgar [as a person, I'm much closer to an Edwardian ne'er-do-well than I am to a 21st century tech-infused social microbe], but they represent something that stirs my thinking and, sometimes, imagination.

From time to time, I'll share them and their source, but caveat emptor.
Of all the cultural myths, the farm boy who became something greater may have been the most powerful. Ye gods, we once practically worshiped this idea. It was one of the enduring features of American culture, as distinct from the various European cultures that spawned it. You see, if our farmers and fishermen could throw out the British, of all people, was there anything truly beyond us? We didn’t need noblemen, you see. We had farmers. We didn’t need warriors, we had soldiers. There was no need for great nobles, or learned men of haute culture. We could bootstrap it all ourselves.
The farm boy might become a great philosopher, or an astronaut, or a general. He might become a President or a Congressman. Perhaps he would be the next great scientist or engineer. He didn’t need the pedigree of an aristocrat, or the brand name of some noble house. He didn’t need to go to the grandest of colleges, or know all the right people. He didn’t need to have the correct political opinions if, indeed, he even bothered much with politics at all. If you could do the job, you could do anything, and it didn’t much matter what dusty mid-western farm you crawled out of.