Richard Bushman is not a name too many would successfully name drop. It is certainly not a household narrative. Very few outside his circle of influence most likely do not know that he exists. Doctor Bushman probably would not be able to help in a medical emergency or bring you back from anything that afflicts you. He gets the title because he jumped through some hoops impressing a few people who bestowed on him a title. Maybe I should avoid stepping up on my academia soapbox. I can’t say that I know the man, but I have spent a few hours or so being indoctrinated to his view. He got me thinking.
I read. I read a lot compared to those sad statistics in studies that suggest that the majority of us will not pick up another book after high school, a disturbing bit of information. Richard Lyman Bushman authored The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century, A Social and Cultural History. It would be difficult to suggest this as pleasure reading, for me anyway because I don’t do well being blitzed with facts and figures (figures lie and liars figure). For what it is worth, I find myself less in the mind (logical) and more in the heart (emotional). Bridling these are for later columns.
I feel that I am what someone might call Colusa Countian (find that one in the dictionary). The only criteria necessary is to be residing within county lines. Such are prone to endearment and loyalty and are somewhat partial to a rural lifestyle. Some can’t wait to get out of high school to go and scratch dirt, not included are those that can’t wait to finish high school and get out of town. Simply put, we like to farm. I would rather be farming and therefore, my fascination with the textbook.
The easiest way to wrap my head around most anything is to keep it simple (the KISS principle). I lament that my ag training is too corporate; a little fertilizer is good, so much more is so much the better. It was a different time then. It would be naive to say that they were simpler times back in the 1700s. The choice was between life and death. To increase the odds of living, everything centered not too far from where one laid their head for the night. I see my Great-grandmother Edith not far removed from this description of self-sufficiency and self-preservation. One generation is the difference. I question the Girls ability not to starve to death if fast-food was somehow removed from the picture. That’s on me.
This begs the question, “Are we any better off?” If we could take care of ourselves then I might lean toward admitting yes. Over the last few weeks we have experienced, yet again, the abuse of elected power and the trampling of our constitutional rights through Executive Orders. We are no longer in control of those things that we take for granted to live our lavish, have-to-have-it-now lifestyle. Others pull the strings. Gas prices are a case in point. Watch them skyrocket as we rely more on outside markets. As gas prices increase, those costs will be passed on to consumers. Food prices will rise. The dollar just isn’t going to buy what it used to. And the Feds will most likely go down in the basement and just print more of them.
So it is all doom and gloom? Well at least if I were to leave things abruptly hanging here. That’s not me and certainly not where my heart is. I have much more to say in the positive and refuse to run with the in-crowd. What does Bushman have to do with anything anyway? Godspeed until we are here again.