lengths of comfy verdure

i like to sit back, relax and opine.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

why reading is good

jonathan franzen, in an otherwise silly and contorted article in the new yorker that attempts to relate the history of his love life to the history of environmentalism in the US, just provided me with an astonishing insight into decades of difficulty in my relationship with my father. he brings up--somehow the convoluted thinking leads to this--his father's scandanavian protestant midwestern values of unselfishness, industry, austerity and honesty. he has adopted these values--voluntarily or not--he doesn't say--much as i have adopted a similar set of values from my father, who is from a similar background. the problem is, he cleverly points out, that midwestern scandanavian etc. people do not value individualism, which franzen and i do--or maybe must, being the freaks that we are. franzen is absolutely right. that's why his dad doesn't approve of him and why mine doesn't approve of me, altogether. we stand out in a crowd, or maybe we try to, or maybe we just don't try hard enough to blend in. my dad blends. i had always thought that i had acquired all of my values from my dad, but i guess i had always confused his enthusiastic approval of independence, being the good oklahoman from cowboy country he is, with an appreciation for individualism. it is important to note: independent living does not necessarily equal independent thinking. hmm!

don't get me wrong, my dad is not a boring sheep. he just disapproves of flamboyance, naval-gazing and self absorption. or anything close to things like that in the spectrum of decency. like blogs about yourself and your thoughts probably.


Post a Comment

<< Home