conservatism in my life

Chatting with the young New York based dancer, I remarked to him that Holland was the most conservative place I have ever lived. Then I told him what I sometimes say: “Who wants to live where you agree with everyone?”

This young man was actually raised in Holland. My guess is that he comes from a fairly sophisticated affluent background which enabled his career. He did not, fortunately, attend Hope.

So he whether he himself sees himself as conservative or liberal, he understood what I was saying. He also said that he didn’t think that he and his girlfriend would end up living in New York even though they were buying a place there.

Later I was thinking about this and began wondering if I was incorrect in assuming that Holland is the only conservative place I have lived. Before my father died, he and my mother were invited to Greeneville Tennessee to celebrated some sort of centennial with the church community he served there. I didn’t go, but I did get to see the celebratory video that was made of the celebrations which included a huge carnival on the lawn of the new church building and excerpts of services and communal meals.

The entire thing felt like a Republican advertisement. One thing that struck me was the absence of black bodies and faces. I remember that Greeneville had a black population on the other side of the tracks. I don’t remember seeing many black people as a child. I do remember that at one point I saw a black person and commented, “Look, Mommy, a chocolate person!” So it must have been novel for me to see people of color.

My dad told a story that he heard from the editor of the town newspaper that a national magazine wanted to come in and profile Greeneville in the 60s. They wanted to feature the absence of racial tension. The local editor was dead set against it. He felt that it would stir things up and ruin the quiescent tenor of the place.

I do remember that where to buy cheap diazepam after my Dad and Mom had moved to Flint Michigan in 1963, they were considering joining in the civil rights demonstrations in the south. They said that when they contacted friends in the south about possibly coming and staying with them, they were told that if that was the reason they were coming, they were not welcome.

I don’t remember them mentioning people by name, but I can’t help but wonder if it was some of the people in Greeneville.


My brother was born in Greeneville and I spent my childhood there.

It looks like living in Holland is a bit of a return to the environment of my childhood. It’s just this time I’m a bit more aware of the prevailing tone of so-called conservatism.

I says so-called because I don’t think that many conservative pundits and politicians seem  interested in “conserving” much. By their own description it’s as though they long for a time in America which doesn’t seem to have existed.

Destroying government is a radical notion, not one that “conserves.”

And of course there are the fringe (or not so fringe, see Santorum, Gingrich and Limbaugh) expressions of puritanism, racism and sexism.

The stuff that fires up the base, I guess.  Disturbing to witness.

It’s a weird time to be alive.


Alexandra Harris on Modernism | FiveBooks | The Browser

I’ve just noticed these columns on The Browser. Apparently they ask the person being interviewed to recommend five books.

They’ve just published an ebook of 2011 interviews I am tempted to purchase.


Tony Judt: A Final Victory by Jennifer Homans | The New York Review of Books

Article about Judt by his widow.


Tree-hopping dinosaur had iridescent feathers, research suggests | GMA News Online | The Go-To Site for Filipinos Everywhere

I love it that some dinosaurs might have had feathers.


Saint’s Preserved Heart Stolen From Dublin Church –


Quest to Clarify Bin Laden’s Last Days Yields Vexing Accounts –

Trying to document the last days and hours.


Number of U.S. Hate Groups on the Rise, Report Says –


Reforms for the New Upper Class –

The conservative Charles Murray defends and extends his recent arguments.


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