I’ve seen Hidden Figures, I know how NASA got to the moon. Women. Really sharp, highly motivated women. I’m floored – absolutely […]Read More
Vermont is a Harsh Mistress
As I’ve alluded in past blogs, Farmer Bob is fairly easygoing, live-and-let-live. Except when he’s not. A consistent “not,” in addition to making sure mail-order ice cream gets out the door each week, is anything to do with education about and perceptions of the world – past, present, and future – as experienced by the Sisters of Anarchy. While the Sisters slowly grow into young adulthood, exploring their impressions and thoughts about the world and their place in it, there are increasing, and increasingly firery, bouts staged across the kitchen table, Farmer Bob and frequently myself ranged on one side, the Sisters and their sometimes goofy education and pervasive internet culture on the other.
A consistent strategy employed by Farmer Bob in this mostly Cold, sometimes Hot War is to suggest/encourage certain books be read, both because they are well-written and considered cultural classics, and because they offer compelling food for thought and lots of fairly neutral territory for discussion. (This cuts both ways – we read their books, too.) Farmer Bob is convinced, as the old saw goes, “Those who cannot remember (or do not read original, contemporary source material for) the past are condemned to repeat it”. A recent example is the Heinlein classic The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, released in 1966. Upon re-reading it and talking about it, it became clear that creating and running a business in Vermont, even one based on mail-order ice cream to out of state customers, has much in common with living in a penal colony on the moon.
You live at the end of the tracks.
You have limited access to resources, supplies, and expertise.
You suffer – both locally and at the state level – from overbearing, punitive government.
Lots of people empowered to tell you what to do and where to do it.
Lots of people absolutely sure they are qualified to tell you what to do and where to do it.
Lots of people completely unqualified to tell you what to do and where to do it, but they tell you anyway.
As one character states, “A managed democracy is a wonderful thing for the managers … and its greatest strength is a ‘free press’ when ‘free’ is defined as ‘responsible’ and the managers define what is ‘irresponsible.’
Ah well, you can’t have everything, even in Vermont. Good technical skiing? Check. A natural affinity for social distancing? Check. An appreciation for great ice cream? Double check. So we will keep plowing our own furrow, keep our heads down, keep sending mail-order ice cream to 40 states and counting, and hope for better days, more rational governance, and an ever expanding population of enthusiastic customers, both in and out of state.