I admit it. There are a lot of things in modern, suburban America that I just don’t get. I have recognized that my blog readership increases if I discuss politics. Mark Shea’s good at this. He rumbles on about Mitt Romney and Republicans who torture and Democrats who want to change marriage and abort babies. I’m interested in those issues, but I’m not interested in politics. Is that a crime? It’s the Amish man in me. I know I’ve written on this before and more extensively, but it’s still there–this Amish man in me.
The Amish man in me thinks that all politicians are crooked, so why are you surprised? It’s common sense. Who wants to be the most powerful person in the world except a creep? Why would he want to do that except to extend his power and his wealth even further than it already is. How is he going to do that? By selling his soul and saying whatever he needs to say to whoever he needs to say it in order to win their vote. “Elect me! I promise to you solemnly a promise I vow to keep! I promise to never keep my promises!” They’re skunks. So why all the hype? Why all the cute Facebook pictures telling me how evil Obama is and how Romney give so much money to charity?
It’s the Amish man in me who also doesn’t give a hoot about the Mall. I don’t care about getting a new SUV every other year. Do I really have to go to A Night to Remember– a glittering gala fundraising dinner? Can I just write a check instead? I’m not interested in facelifts or boob jobs or botox or the women who have them. Second (third and fourth) holiday homes for people who are already, by world standards, obscenely rich? Why not just rent a cabin in the woods? Friday night football? I don’t like to rain on anyone’s parade or tailgate party, but it doesn’t do anything for me. I’d just as soon sit at home in my farmhouse reading a good book by the light of the kerosene lamp.
OK. I’m exaggerating to make my point. If you have a beach house don’t be offended. If you like wearing pretty earrings and going to glittering gala events you enjoy it. If you need to have a speedboat in your driveway that you use twice a year–don’t let me stand in your way. If Friday night football is something you’d die for. More power to you. If you are passionate that Romney or Obama or anyone else is the savior of the free world–don’t let me spoil your fun.
What I’m digging at is that I long for simple values and a simple life. The problem is, if you go out and try to live that kind of life it’s all rather artificial. I know! I’m going to build a cabin in the woods and grow my own turnips and have a goat and a generator in the stream and a two pigs named Samson and Delilah and some chickens and say Mass every day in a little chapel in the woods with two old women and a dog and write the book I really want to write. But somehow that would be well, contrived.
So I carry on living in a house in a very pleasant suburb, buying my plastic wrapped frozen food from the supermarket and spending way too much time looking at screens and driving around in one of my cars. This is reality for me, and about the only thing Amish about me is a little attempt at a beard, a tendency to wear black and a fondness for hats.