Big big news in Michigan today: The pets are having an uprising.
I don’t mean to be flip. Three people are dead in two separate dog-maulings. I mentioned one yesterday — a four-month-old baby killed by a Rottweiler. Worse was one that followed, in which two adults were killed by the same pack of roaming curs in an adjacent rural county rapidly going exurban.
Here’s the story; note the photo. I wonder what that sign means, the “if you don’t like it, go away” part. Clashes between long-established rural concerns and newly arrived suburbanites have been going on for years, but it usually involves issues like hog-farm smells or slow-moving combines on rural section roads. Even country people would consider the maintenance of a free-roaming pack of killer dogs to be a bit un-neighborly, but you never know. There’s a strong streak of antisocial libertarianism that runs through rural Michigan, of the fuck-you-it’s-a-free-country variety. Remember, Tim McVeigh spent a spell here, along with his close pal, Thumb native Terry Nichols.
That said, I know nothing gets a posse of farmers to take their rifles from the wall faster than a wild dog pack. Freedom’s one thing, but livestock-killin’s taking money out of pockets. I guess the question to raise is whether two people constitute livestock.
Man, I’m under-caffeinated today. The thing about sleep deprivation is, it builds up. I once heard Bob Edwards interview an expert in these things, who studied people who had jobs that put them out of sync with normal circadian rhythms. It was really more of a conversation, as Edwards was one of those people whose alarm is set for 1 a.m. By Thursday, he said, he was snapping at people for the crime of having squeaky shoes. Dr. Frank once observed that he’d gotten three voice mails overnight from a cardiologist friend doing the all-night on-call shift, an action-packed one in artery-clogged Indiana. The 1 a.m. call was merely terse and grouchy, the 3 a.m. message clouded with increasing shittiness, and by 5 a.m. the voice was screechy and enraged — and these two were fast friends.
I get bitchy, too, but more often I just get tired. If I were that cardiologist, I’d be trying to insert an angio balloon into the patient’s appendix.
So let’s call this a draw and skip right to the bloggage. New chick-blog for bookmarking: I Am Bossy, which I only discovered this week, after Weingarten linked to her ever-so-helpful tampon test (note: safe for fainthearted males; all fluids are a color other than red). Just earlier that day I had been admiring the Simply Vera by Vera Wang ad insert in my morning newspaper, thinking maybe I’d mosey over to Kohl’s and see if anything caught my eye, and then Bossy just…destroyed it. In a highly amusing fashion. I wonder how I’d look in that Liberty Bell cozy.
Fidel Castro writes a newspaper column, and fellow columnist Eric Zorn has a few questions. No. 4: Is he able to take one of life’s minor indignities or insults — a crooked crease the dry cleaner left in the pants of his camouflage suit, say — and spin it into a 700-word tirade on the overall decline of society? I can!
Finally, if you missed it in the comments of the previous post, our own Brian Stouder vexes the help in Logansport, Ind., via that community’s splendidly named Pharos-Tribune.
I’m awake now. Just in time for lunch.
Marylou said on September 14, 2007 at 11:29 am
Maybe youmean Bob Edwards? I think John Edwards is just running for presidnet and an expert on expensive haircuts!
nancy said on September 14, 2007 at 11:50 am
I TOLD you I was undercaffeinated! Yikes, yes. Fixed. And thanks.
LA mary said on September 14, 2007 at 11:51 am
I was wondering about that too, but I figured John was keeping busy between the 2004 campaign and the current one by doing interviews.
4dbirds said on September 14, 2007 at 12:30 pm
I was in Kohls just a few days ago and noticed the Vera Wang collection. Nothing in it appealed to me.
Danny said on September 14, 2007 at 12:33 pm
Wait just a sec. I thought John Edwards was talking to the vague, dead relatives/acquaintances of his TV-seance guests.
Danny said on September 14, 2007 at 12:45 pm
Mary, about the OJ news. I’m off today and have been listening to Jim Rome’s radio show. He said Johnny Cochran’s ghost is probably right now conjuring quips for the defense.
BOSSY said on September 14, 2007 at 1:43 pm
Hi Nancy – thanks for the linky love. Come on over to Bossy’s place anytime and make yourself at home.
Dorothy said on September 14, 2007 at 2:35 pm
I saw some Vera Wang nighties at Kohl’s this past Tuesday evening. They were very soft to the touch – but very pricey for the wallet! I like getting things at decent prices at Kohl’s. I think I’ll wait for the VW sale.
Danny said on September 14, 2007 at 3:11 pm
Hey, Bossy’s kitchen (bottom of her page) looks substantially like ours. The layout is almost identical and I do believe that is a Frigidaire refrigerator and oven she is sporting. And in the same locations (hence layout) as ours. And here is the real kicker. The empty wine bottles. I
live onoccassionally enjoy a glass of nectar of the godsYellowtail shiraz. I am almost positive that one bottle is the same.
Bossy, my wife is aka bossy, though I never dare mention it. You and her should probably bowl together or something.
On second thought, never mind.
harry near indy said on September 14, 2007 at 4:39 pm
There’s a strong streak of antisocial libertarianism that runs through rural Michigan, of the fuck-you-it’s-a-free-country variety.
any comparison and contrasts of this phenomenon among michigan, indiana, and ohio? i’d like to know.
alex said on September 14, 2007 at 5:18 pm
It’s very much alive around here in northeast Indiana, Harry. I’m kind of glad to have them in my corner as regards all this talk of local government going unigov and Fort Wayne reaching its taxatious tentacles into my township.
Otherwise, can’t stand ’em. As Kim pointed out so astutely yesterday when quoting Hermann Goerring, these are exactly the sort of rabble who are suckers for demagogues telling them they’re being persecuted or screwed over, and there’s no shortage of demagogues around here keeping the level of discourse about as low as it can go.
As you may know, the mayoral candidate favored by the antisocial libertarians got busted for campaign finance shenanigans and the paranoiacs are all atwitter about it. It’s a conspiracy by the Dems, the “RINOs” and the entrenched power structure, and probably some men in space suits as well, to destroy their man, who apparently has been doing a great job of it all by himself.
Danny said on September 14, 2007 at 5:28 pm
Whole Lotta Love: Led Zeppelin Crash Internet
Promoter claims 20 million fans have tried to register online for tickets to the reunion show, causing an internet service provider’s network to collapse
Wow. Very cool. Just highlights the fact that the music biz sucks nowadays. It’s run by Harvard lawyers and Yale MBA’s as opposed to music lovers like Ahmet Ertegun.
nancy said on September 14, 2007 at 6:33 pm
Excellent question, Harry. I’ll give it a try. Keep in mind I’m talking out my ass here, as well.
A wise student of political history (Paul Helmke, if anyone cares) once told me Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are three states, although not carved along the existing borders of longitude, but of latitude. Whack them in thirds from north to south, and you have three distinct places — the northern industrial third, the middle rural/state capital third and the southern/Appalachian third. Columbus and Indianapolis are clone cities. Chicago/Gary/Cleveland are likewise. And the Ohio River, and its link to the southern-border states of Kentucky and West Virginia, colors the bottom third more than any state’s capital city.
You can lump Michigan in with the northern-third state. The manufacturing economies made each place richer than the rest of the state, at least when manufacturing was strong. I look around at the vestiges of the old blue-collar lifestyle that still exists here, and it’s just astounding — Detroit really was the city where mere willingness to put in an honest day’s work could make you a good living, and a genuinely good idea could make you a fortune.
Then, of course, the whole thing fell to pieces, and people in places like Gary, Detroit and Cleveland started to resemble their brethren in southern Ohio and Indiana — pissed-off, suspicious, with the deeply held belief that the good times were gone for good, and so why should they give a shit about anyone? Technology allows us all to build comfy wombs. Our shortwave radios and internet connections let us find community not in the same neighborhood, but fellow travelers in Idaho and Tennessee. I once interviewed a Y2K paranoid in an absolutely unremarkable house in an absolutely unremarkable neighborhood, the rooms stacked to the ceiling with 50-gallon barrels of dried beans, powdered milk and toilet paper. The guns were hidden, but of course they were there.
All these people drive on roads that get repaired eventually if not immediately, turn on the faucet to find potable water, flush toilets into sewers that work more or less as advertised, have electricity 24/7/365 except when falling trees take down wires, get their streets plowed of snow in all but the worst storms — you can lengthen the list all night, and still they feel government can’t do anything right, is in fact their enemy and that they owe it, and their community, nothing other than the taxes they pay, which are always too high.
Some of them move to the country, buy farmette-size parcels and raise killer dogs.
This makes no sense, I know. I suspect you could write a dissertation on the threads of this, but the best single short essay I ever read was in Hunter Thompson’s “Hell’s Angels,” when he takes apart the Okie roots of biker culture. They’re second cousins at least.
alex said on September 14, 2007 at 7:17 pm
Another read that buttresses some of what Nance talks about is Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer. It’s an otherwise dry academic read, but incredibly well written—dryly humorous, in fact.
It discusses the four distinct British subcultures that colonized America and the cultural contributions of each to their respective regions and the nation as a whole.
It mentions linguistic belts and how these were spread across the continent with pioneer migration, and the midwest is indeed striped by three of the four.
As regards Appalachianfolk, their origins were in the far north of England, a very hardscrabble and militaristic environment in the mid to late first millennium. This is both the cultural and genetic birthplace of the resentful poor. And their language ways and habits of mind are actually the most dominant and can be found in large numbers everywhere these days, but most thoroughly throughout Appalachia, the south and the west.
Otherwise there were the Puritans, known for maintaining order through ritual human sacrifices that rival those of the Mayans; the Friends, forebears of multiculturalism; and the Cavaliers, who gave us oversexed males and immodestly modest women also known as southern belles.
A vast oversimplification here. So go read it.
Jeff said on September 14, 2007 at 8:46 pm
Alex — thanks, that’s the book for a long weekend to understand broad swaths (if not all, but at least most) of America.
As for the phenomena Nance describes, a clergy friend of mine coined a phrase about these folk: “they’re trying to privatize their utopia.” “Privatizing my utopia” is exactly what they want, on four acres and septic, and “don’t even try to send a health inspector to check my well water — i’ve got a gun and i’m not afraid to use it to defend my right to e. coli.”
It happens that they don’t buy much in the way of Girl Scout cookies, either, or so we’ve found.
MichaelG said on September 15, 2007 at 3:20 pm
Well, I’m taking the train to Bakersfield Monday. Wish either me or Amtrak good luck.
By the way, I was at Trader Joe’s this AM and Two Buck Chuck was still priced at $1.99.
basset said on September 15, 2007 at 5:43 pm
>the best single short essay I ever read was in Hunter Thompson’s “Hell’s Angels,” when he takes apart the Okie roots of biker culture.
I remember that one, back before he fried his brain too badly… even then he was exercising his Faulkner fixation, going on about the Linkhorns.
plenty of them here in Middle Tennessee (speaking of another state that’s really three… we even have three stars on our state flag symbolizing the “grand divisions”), no Two Buck Chuck that I know of though.
Jolene said on September 16, 2007 at 4:25 am
Sen. Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America covers some of this same ground. Despite his education, wide experience, and wealth, he still carries some of that resentment, and it’s reflected in his politics. Can’t vouch for the book, but it would likely be interesting. Couple of interesting brief reviews at the link above.
LA Mary said on September 16, 2007 at 8:17 pm
Trader Joes can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. Even if you don’t drink. Good coffee and a tub of Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip cookies can transform an afternoon.
I spent my weekend repairing a sewer line. Successfully, I might add. The guy at Home Depot explained how to cut out a piece of pipe and replace it, and hot dang if it didn’t work exactly as he said. Thank you, Javier. My skill set has increased.