It’s been two weeks since I moved home. The rain is falling and the sky is grumbling. A soothing start to a sunday. I’m sitting in my basement room, drinking coffee and listening to the storm, observing the elemental power of nature from the safety and comfort of a sturdy dwelling.
I didn’t build this house or pay for it but I’m grateful to have been born into a family that could provide a stable home for its children. Even now they take care of me while I sort things out. A supportive family is of inestimable value and I take care to remind myself whenever possible. Despite my gratitude I don’t want to tarry here and become shiftless.
I visited my girlfriend and her family in northern indiana, a place of flat, straight roads disappearing into the horizon in every direction. There are no curves or hills. The atmosphere is serene and there’s little noise. Population density is low and the psyche has room to expand without getting engulfed in anonymous crowds. Fields of corn and soybean connect scattered silos and barns.
The people move a little slower but they love fast, gleaming cars. Motorcycles and scooters, too. They’re farmers and mechanics, masters of crops and cars. They build and fix things with their hands. The culture celebrates and ensures technical competence and production, family and cohesion. It’s a wildly different environment from a place like dc.
My girlfriend’s dad, my girlfriend and I went to a scooter show in a nearby town. It’s not something I’d seek out on my own but I try to be a good sport about other people’s interests these days. And it was fun. The sun was ferocious and the humidity stifling. The air was a rancid mix of hot mud, brackish standing water and gas fumes from sputtering motorbikes. There were concession stands selling buttered corn on the cob and elephant ears. Tents and campers and rv’s lined the roads and dirt paths snaking through the fairground.
Sometimes people say whites don’t have a culture. But white culture is real, rooted and multifaceted, and I saw one side of it at the scooter show. There are many white cultures that spring from different regions and economic classes. These people love their machines and their manufacturing prowess. They love trading old pieces of equipment, rifling through scraps and parts, customizing and restoring, buying and selling.
And they love the communal, festive aspect of these events. Sitting in rocking chairs under the cover of canvass and nylon, drinking miller lite and talking cars with relatives, friends and affable strangers. There’s an inherent trust and comfort in these communities. It’s a product of familiarity and homogeneity. There are no blacks in these parts, no inscrutable browns and yellows, no conniving jews and atomized urbanites.
There are no foreign, questionable elements, no racial and ethnic tension. The landscape is seamless and the population is unified. Recognition among similar stock is automatic and effortless. There are no whores and hobos sullying the streets because the environment doesn’t permit that sort of vice and dysfunction. Not that these people are perfect. Some of them have drinking and drug problems. There are probably instances of abuse and neglect. But the rhythms of life, the web of relations and material conditions preclude many forms of degeneracy and squalor.
The people here stick together. They stay where they were born and raised and take pride in their habits and customs. They protect and care for each other. So you don’t see the blight of selfish indifference or the garish extremes of wealth and poverty evident in tumultuous cities. The ugliness of segregation and stratification, the eyeball searing disparity and soul crushing density have no place here. Mixed populations and chaotic urban environments lack the aesthetic coherence and simple beauty of homogenous, small-scale communities.
We went to a famous ice cream shop. When I looked around the room I noticed how white and friendly everyone was and it took me a second to process. I’ve lived the last two years among poor blacks and individualist strivers of varying ethnicities and orientations. But that evening in the ice cream shop I saw nothing but intact, unblemished, pristine white american families, moms and dads and well behaved children spending another evening together in a quiet, sparsely populated farming town. It was a wholesome and restorative vision. Just what I needed.