Saturday, December 29, 2007

Preserving the Small Things

Have you noticed that almost any appeal for preservation of the small things - the Main Street in the small town - runs into the buzz-saw claim that one's memories are fraudulently idyllic? Weary and worldly put-downs are made, you will begin to notice, by people whose only knowledge of Middle America comes from the TV screen, which is why they frame their arguments with Hollywood referents. They know nothing of America's Mt. Angel's, only the parodies of small-town life they have watched on the idiot box. To them, our fathers are Robert Youngs and our mothers are Donna Reeds. "Aha!" they shout, in a case-closed voice. "Your idyllic little world is a lie! Robert Young was a suicidal drunk, and Donna Reed's life was the same blur of abortions and divorces and infidelities as that of the next starlet slut. So cut the pastoral crap!"

The problem with the above defense is reality: the simple fact is that Mt. Angels do exist. Yes, with all their failings, but THEIR failings.

1 comment:

M. Jordan Lichens said...

It's interesting you mentioned Mt. Angel, which has an authentic small town feeling right down to the Neo-Gothic Church that is quite possibly the most amazing Church in Western Oregon. Plus, who doesn't love an Oktoberfest!