Country Mouse - City Mouse: A Reply To Scott Cramer.

On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 19:10:15 GMT, Scott Cramer

It has usually been the case that a culture is described to itself by those who live in metropolitan areas. The cities are the traditional loci of the, allegedly, most highly valued cultural activities and most histories of past cultures deal with the denizens of the urban spaces and the activities of those who live, work and, in many instances, are born into the most densely populated areas.
As we have come to live in the period of time that has produced the megalopolis, this paradigm is ever more the reality.
The unfortunate result of this is that a vast segment of the population is not represented in the expression of culture that spews out of our cities. The city mouse knows not of the country mouse and, all to often, could not care less.
The problem with this is that the urban and, increasingly, suburban expression of culture becomes self referent to the degree that it blindly excludes a large and vital sector of the culture that it pretends to explain.
Essentially, the city boys assign a null value to those who do not share their experience and consign those of us folks who do not share this confined version of reality - to the minor religion of Bubbaism.
This is a great tragedy for both parties.
In so far as America can be said to have a shared cultural experience, its historical antecedents are in the hardscrabble world of the rural and semi rural environs, rather than the allegedly more refined venues of the great cities or, more recently and, with more effective damage, the suburbs. To ignore this reality is to transgress reality itself.
Many of us who grew up in this country had fishing rods and guns as common household implements that shared the same level of familiarity and availability as shovels and corn brooms. In a very real sense, they were part of the furniture of our lives.
To state that many of us countrified folk hunt and fish is to state the obvious. To imply or infer that we must therefore be less intelligent or are more lacking in refinement than our metropolitan brethren is to misstate and misunderstand.
I would refer you back to Jefferson's ideal of the American. I would ask you to hearken to the message of Teddy Roosevelt and his appeal to "The Active Life".
Those who eschew hunting and fishing are not my enemy. Those who insist that their values are superior to and must supersede the values of those who do not share their view, to an exclusionary level, are everyone's enemy.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Tom Watson responds:

I agree. True Believers, whatever their beliefs, are dangerous.
Charlie Self
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.combleah says...

was an old saying about electing crooks vs do-gooders. Something like "a crook can only steal so much, there's no limit on what a do-gooder can screw up".
I'm sure that's not a correct quote, but you get the idea :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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<snip>

Go get 'em Tom.
Reminds me of a Wall Street Journal TV commercial they were running oh, say, 3-4 years ago about the orphaned twins separated and adopted, one by a family who hunted & fished, read Field & Stream, etc. The other was adopted by a family who taught him to read what else? The Wall Street Journal, and when they grew up he was a great financial success, while his brother still lived @ home with his parents, still reading fishing magazines.
The whole concept really burned my A**, and I e-mailed them and let them know it. Don't know if it made any impression or not, but helped MY blood pressure!LOL Nahmie
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Nahmie responds:

That kind of goofiness abounds. Do it my way and you're a super person. Do it another way, and you're a failure (especially financial). My bias: I don't hunt and fish. No real reason, except that growing up it didn't interest me, and now my wheels are so bad, they wouldn't take me far enough into the woods to help. But the best friend I've ever had is an avid shooter, hunter and was almost world class in fly fishing (did some super fly tying to, back in the "old days" when he augmented his freelance writing income tying flies for Abercrombie & Fitch).
It is stupid to limit oneself because of such asinine differences when there is even the possibility of other interests that coincide with exceptional strength.
Charlie Self
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison
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<misc. snippage>

This is a *bias*? I enjoyed both when younger, but was never what you would call an avid hunter or fisher. Still enjoy fishing, but not as much, because the best spots are too far & ground too rough. I'm now same as you, SWMBO wanted to go to county fair, so I had to come up with $232 for new set of batteries for my *Rascal* so I could get around the fair.

Don't know about "limiting", but spent most of adult life maintaining large scale mainframe EDP. My "outlet" was USNR Seabees one weekend/mo., 2wks./yr. gettin' "down in the dirt" as an Equipment Operator. If it runs on diesel, has BIG wheels or tracks, moves dirt, & makes dust, I'm happy! Sadly those days are gone forever too. but that's life. Now I depend on *wood* dust when I get the chance. Nahmie
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On 29 Jul 2003 08:45:00 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.combleah (Charlie Self) wrote:
...snip

If the current Abercrombie and Fitch isn't a perfect example of what Tom's origianal was illustrating, I don't know what is...
The current A&F sells nothing that cannot be used by urban-teens-with too-much-money to adorn themselves with clothing that looks like it used to be worn by someone who loved the outdoors before _they_ got ahold of it.
True story... The time: Just-before-Christmas, two years ago. The place: The local Mall-for-the-self-absorbed.
My daughter tells me that what my teenaged son would probably reeeeeely love for Christmas is a sweater from Abercrombie and Fitch. Fine. I hate malls, but love my kid, so off I go to retail hell in search of said sweater. Now, since I'm a GUY, I don't really shop all that well, so I did what I always do-- I looked around at all the manequins and grabbed one of the "I-always-wear-my-A&F-baseball-caps with-the-frayed-brim-on-backwards" sales dweebs to set me up with the clothes on the mannequin. Gave him my son's sizes and got ready to unload the credit card on the counter, when the kid says:
(Are you ready? You need to be sitting for this...)
"Sir, we don't actchowally haaave those clothes."
I swear to God, I am not making this up. I asked; "What do you _MEAN?_ How can you _not_ have the clothes you're advertising on your displays???"
He looked at me like I was from the land-of-the-tragically-unhip, and informed me that "Corporate has someone dress all the mannequins, so that we have a consistant image. We don't necessarily have the clothes we show on the mannequins."
I looked at him like he was from the land-of-the-soon-to-be-unemployed and informed him since I was IN marketing, I'd love to inform the manager that I was NOT pleased to be duped into entering their store for what turned out to be nothing more or less than false advertising.
The fact that he used the word "corporate" in a sentence should have been a clue... He _was_ the manager.
Like lathes, I'm telling you, Mssrs. A&F must be spinning in their graves like lathes.
Michael Baglio (who now shops exclusively at the tragically un-hip Land's End.com) Chapel Hill
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Michael Baglio relates:

snip of funny tale
Yeah, well...something like 25 years ago, I moved from NY to VA, and Don moved from NY to Utah. Something like 8-10 years after that, he was no longer fly tieing for A&F, and a few years after that, I started getting their yuppified calendars.
Weird transition.
As I recall, there was an A&F bankruptcy in the middle of all this, though that may be failing brain cells. My guess is they resurrected in the largest market arena they could identify. Pity.
Charlie Self
"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." Dan Quayle
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Talk about weird transitions:

That's supposed to be catalogs, not calendars.
Charlie Self
"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." Dan Quayle
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(Charlie Self)

A&F used to be a great store. Bought all my Kahki's from them. Damn - they would last *years*. Usually my waist busted the fit long before any seams would give or the fabric wear thru.
So, like you, I don't shop there anymore.

But, no denying their success. I think the shareholders must be happy.
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The Wall Street Journal, and

Gee, my boys read hunting and fishing magazines as well as the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Boy's Life, Wood, Discovery, National Geographic, and a plethera of other magazines, as well as the classics and even comic books! I wonder how they will turn out!!!
Indyrose
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Probably better than the bunch of PMSing crybabies that get their collective tit in a wringer whenever someone makes the slightest little comment that bruises their fragile little egos. AKA 10% of the Wreck.
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See, I *knew* Hillary Clinton was the enemy... I just couldn't put it as eloquently as you did.
-Chris
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Tom Watson wrote:

Tom, That's an excellent comment. Is it yours origionally or a quote? If yours, may I quote you?
It reminds me of the woman who was the spokesperson for the Baltimore censorship board in the 1950s and 60s. She was on the radio, television, and in print many times saying that she most qualified to decide what we could see, read, or hear. Her reason that she was the so well qualified? She was a housewife and mother. I was in junior high and high school during those days, but I had enough brains to know that a good percentage of hookers and strippers where mothers and home makers, so her reasoning did not obtain. Please note, before someone flames me: I've since traveled much of the world and have met quite a few strippers and "ladies of the evening" that I found to be quite religious and moral. Morals and mores are two very different things.
ARM
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Tom Watson wrote:

DOH!!!! I just re-read the paragraph preceeding the one I triggered on.
Now that I see the source it's obvious T.R. was the kind of man I would vote for. ARM
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He was a genius, that's for sure. Can't figure, save the party label, why he isn't regarded as even the equal of his cousin as president.
Teddy Roosevelt and his appeal to

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