Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Adios Fred On Everything

All things must end, and Fred on Everything just has. This will be the last regular column, although the site will stay up and I'll add things from time to time as the mood urges.
My reasons for inditing the sucker were, first, to see whether a web column could work and, second, to get away from the strangling grasp of political correctness. A third reason, common I suppose to most columnists, was the hope that, however minor my voice might be, in combination with thousands of others it might engender pressure for slowing the rush into the high-tech medieval twilight that the culture has undertaken.

This by now is clearly quixotic. The civilizational changes we now see are both irremediable and beyond control. The peasantrification and empty glitter of society, pervasive hostility to careful thought, onrushing authoritarianism, and distaste for cultivation are now endemic. I do not know where these lead, but we are assuredly going to get there. Fuming buys nothing.

Hard to disagree with him.

Take care, Fred. Get better soon. And if you don't write another lick, thanks for what you've done.

As an adios, here is Fred on Playing At Adventure.

I have no fantasies about shooting anyone. I have seen enough of that for one lifetime. I don’t hunt, having no desire to kill anything I don’t have to kill. I don’t need to pose with a rifle. Having carried one in the Marine Corps, I do not regard them as exotic. But when you are far from anywhere, you provide your own security. I am comfortable with the idea. So are a lot of men. In today’s suburban, mall-ridden world security is what answers 911.

Women are realists pretending to be romantics, and men, romantics pretending to be realists. Yes. The male desire is to explore, to fly higher and higher, to invent and dare and go and see. The Apollo landings were not inspired by a desire to know the nature of lunar rocks. A man does not get on a rice-burning crotch-rocket on a desert road in Arizona and scream through the hot vastness, wap-wap-wap through the gears, 95, 105, 120…125 (go baby, get it on, do it for me), because it is particularly practical. It is the sheer glory of the thing, the speed and power, controlled but on the edge.

And now he wakes at five-thirty for the two-hour commute from Fredericksburg to Washington in crawling traffic, then to his cubicle at Agriculture where he tracks soybean yields in North Carolina. For his entire life.

It is not what men are wired to do. We just do not domesticate well. While male behavior is perhaps no more inherently absurd than female, it has little application to the suburbs and bureaucratic salt mines.
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