Frank Wilson, at books, INC.—The Epilogue, has a post titled Paging Jim Ament…, which links to an essay called “Country Music, Openness to Experience, and the Psychology of Culture War” by Will Wilkinson, a blogger (and “recovering Washingtonian”) on American politics. (I formerly read his work, but moved on from politics to less depressing matters.)
Frank says some interesting things—and he does know a few things about me, my background, what I’ve written—beginning with this reaction to Will Wilkinson’s article:
This strikes me as mostly crap. I get pegged as a conservative often enough, probably because I think government should live within its means, not within mine, and I think practically anything the government undertakes — from delivering the mail to selling liquor — can be done better by almost anyone else. But I also think everybody should leave everybody else the hell alone. I lose patience with people who seem concerned over what God thinks of other people. I worry about what God thinks of me.
I would have to concur with that…and would add that I also lose patience with people who claim that if I do not agree with the solutions to their conspicuously compassionate concerns (an unending list) that I must be an uncaring rube. Jonah Goldberg said pretty much the same thing about Andrew Brietbart (who recently died to the glee of many liberals who hated him):
One thing that he [Breitbart] and Bill [Buckley] shared was this basic contempt for the premise that the mainstream liberal elite institutions in the United States are in a position to judge and adjudicate the worth of conservatives. That they are in a position to judge our souls. That if we disagree with liberals, that proves that we are somehow wanting or lacking in compassion; lacking in humanity. That is a fundamental thing that enraged Andrew, this idea that if you disagreed about public policy, if you disagreed about how to organize society, that proved you were a racist. That proved you were a fascist. That proved you were a homophobe. It was the fundamental bad faith of the leading liberal institutions that controlled the commanding heights of this culture that infuriated him. And he refused, at the most basic level, to give them that authority over him or his ideas, and that is was fueled his Righteous Indignation, as his book title called it.
Now to this “openness to experience” drivel that apparently only liberals have. Baloney. My family was conservative, but when I went out into the world, they encouraged me to experience it, which I did, having traveled throughout North America, South America, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, and Europe over the years. But they also suggested that I remember who I am, where I came from, and what I know to be true. Depression people, their idea of my having a good life was to have one better than theirs, which was not measured in possessions, but living, that is, being open to experience and learning from those experiences.
As for country music, I mostly like the old stuff, but my preferences lean toward jazz, the old torch songs, classic rock and roll, gypsy music, classical, church music written before 1930, and guitar players like Monte Montgomery.