Jun 8Liked by Michael David Cobb Bowen

Granted I occupy a dot on a speck of a fraction of the world, I've yet to have anyone who identifies as a minority and has passed through my circle of the world (friends. co-workers, acquaintances, or strangers) accost me for my "whiteness" or "white privilege." There are, however, a number of white people who have done so. For a few years, the very white neighborhood in which I live sprouted "We believe" virtue signaling yard signs like dandelion weeds. Those signs are all gone now. One can only hope their virtue is more durable than the dandelions.

Have the endless string of teachable race moments begun to fad into the background noise? Probably not. But my gut tells me, as far as the culture wars go, we've unlearned more good than bad about each other.

I could find a place within a community with the cultural values reflected in the Conservative Brotherhood, as long as I wasn't expected to attend church services. While I have faith in God, I have none in religion. So I can't speak to that. But this resonates:

"Yet I think Kingsnorth understands, as must more of us, that there is something already well-evolved in Western civilization which surpasses and transcends such schismatic mind virus attacks as we have suffered. America may be new and its flowers may be wilted or shorn, but its roots are in the right place."

"Old school" calls forward a time when reasoned choice had more of a toehold. A time when phrases like "common sense" and "use your head" inspired responsibility and accountability rather than dull facial expressions as if speaking a foreign language.

Present day formulations for what counts as a community strike me as at odds with reasonableness and are designed to support those who have an interest in the divisiveness these definitions create. Like a sacrifice made in the temple of some mostly peaceful indigenous race, reasoned choice is to be pulled out of the chest of anyone who dare suggest it doesn't matter how many genders can dance on the head of a pin.

But maybe that's starting to change. Maybe. There are signs that Big Business is fearing being struck by Bud Lightning. Not because people generally want to strike out against people who identify differently, rather they no longer want the core of *their* identity attacked as somehow aberrant from a new State sanctioned standard.

This past week I watched the sequel to "Fisherman's Friends" titled "Fisherman's Friends: One and All." The preview suggested it might have been a PC rehab effort of the first movie, but I was pleasantly surprised that the plot reflected more of a reassertion and affirmation of the small fishing community's culture and history in the context of their global success. All the better the story is based on true events experienced by actual people.

Maybe it's just the kin and kindred I've rolled with all my life, but to a person there was a belief there is room for everyone. There is much more that's common to all of us than is different and if we allow for space and dialog, we can work things out.

Expand full comment