Country Boy

Living in the country has not affected me one bit.

Now, now, stop with the screaming. I’m just playing with you. I’m still the vaguely liberal high-tech geek with a degree in philosophy. Hell, I’m even wearing sandals at the moment. But I bet I had you going there for a minute.

Although for the record, people in these here parts are no more dumb than the folks you meet anywhere else. They do tend to have quantitatively and qualitatively less schooling than the people in, say, the Washington DC area, where I lived prior to coming out here. But as I’m fond of noting, just because you’re educated doesn’t mean you’re smart, and the converse is equally true as well. The folks around here are the same mix of people you get anywhere in terms of intelligence and common sense. Of course, I don’t blame people who think other people are stupid for how they look. I feel much the same way every time I see grownups dressing like they’re taking their fashion tips from the Bratz line of dolls. Which is, alas, happening with increasing and distressing frequency.

I’ve been a rural American for two and a half years now but I don’t feel especially changed by the experience, probably because my professional life is still deeply immersed in a techy and (yes) urban experience. My primary work contacts are in New York, DC and San Francisco, so when you spend eight hours a day communicating with people in those areas and on their pace, the slowpoke rural life is somewhat leavened. I do like the contrast, though. Occasionally when I have a phone meeting I’ll take my notes and sit on the porch and watch the tractors go by as I discuss marketing or financial brochures or whatever. It’s not a bad balance.

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