in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

White Pine Hollow V

White Pine Hollow V

Forgive me for this rant. Sitting by the wood burning stove with the dogs in the old hog house for several hours is not something I recommend—actually, I never recommend anything. No future in recommendations.

My point is this. It is discouraging, to say the least, to be so alienated from the culture of one’s own country that one begins to wonder whether everyone else is insane or you yourself are insane. I contemplated the choice of adjective for this culture we enjoy in the United States of America for some time. The first term that occurred to me was “vapid.” That term was somewhat unsatisfying, Then I hit on the term “vacuous.” “Vacuous” felt right. I felt a sense of accomplishment having come up with “vacuous.” This is a vacuous culture.

Should you feel this also, then there is no need for me to detail the problem.

What is the proper response to a feeling of such profound alienation from one’s own culture—for lack of a better term? Hide. Hide from it. That is the only solution I can suggest. There is no future, for example, in imagining a more satisfying culture.

Perhaps the best thing would be for the resident artist to come home from her art show two states over and cheer me, which I understand she will be doing tomorrow.

5 Responses to “White Pine Hollow V”

    • StephenBrassawe

      As a matter of fact, Michel, I just purchased “The Labyrinth of Solitude” (and other writings) a month ago. (I am lazy. I am reading an English translation.) That is probably the source of my problem. As for you, please purchase “The Ongoing Moment” by Geoff Dyer. Then read it. Trust me.

      • StephenBrassawe

        And when you are done, we can argue about “The Ongoing Moment.” Nothing would give me more pleasure.

  1. Mary Lou (Dolan) Cook

    Look forward to you new photos and “rants”. Keep up the good work!!!

  2. calitexan1949

    Know that feeling of alienation and wondering if you’re the one who’s crazy. I’ve pretty much felt that way since I was ten or eleven… Good luck with your lady artist friend. James

    Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 03:01:12 +0000 To:


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