As I am between blogging projects and involved in some temporary church responsibilities, I want to share a few links that interest me instead of writing a post on a book.
Trying to imagine life in ancient times is one of my interests. Here is an amazing article and video about Roman life in 79 CE. This was during the time the New Testament was being written.
We get a video of a digitally reconstructed Roman familia home from Pompeii. It is the home of Iucundus, a moderately wealthy Roman. The video is short a 3-D tour.
Jumping forward 2000 years we have the much-to-be-desired end of the American election campaign approaching. As I have said before, I am utterly alienated by both major party candidates. I don’t plan to vote for either of them. I have tried to filter out posts and ads about the election on television and social media. But I like this caption:
Since I decided months ago not to vote for either of them, the debates, ads, and scandals don’t interest me.
What does interest me is the situation I see around me. I live where there is much open support for Trump and much quiet loathing of the Clintons. Many are proudly adopting the “deplorable” label.
A lot of people are perplexed by our divided country. We see similar divisions in other countries as well (Brexit).
So I am calling attention to two links that speak to this.
The first is by Chapman demographer Joel Kotkin. He goes beyond the red state/blue state theory. He says that America is divided between the Ephemerals who live in enclaves mostly on the coasts and make their livings off of “ephemeral” things like digits, images and clicks. I would add that today money is one of these ephemeral things, largely being digital. So tech, entertainment, higher education and finance fall into this category.
His other America he calls the Heartland. This is what I have sometimes called pickup truck country. It is the America that still makes some kind of a living off of tangible things like food, fiber, energy and manufacturing. This article is The New War Between the States.
The other article is by David Wong and appears on the humor site, Cracked. This article is How Half of America Lost Its F**kng Mind. I do not like the title, not because of the profanity, but because Wong shows how half of America is having an understandable reaction to what is happening to them. The better title, perhaps the author’s first choice, is “6 Reasons for Trump’s Rise That No One Talks About”.
So Wong is saying much the same thing that Kotkin is saying only his article is more of a rant. It is full of images and examples. It is funny and it is true. For instance, he says:
It’s not just perception, either — the stats back up the fact that these are parallel universes. People living in the countryside are twice as likely to own a gun and will probably get married younger. People in the urban “blue” areas talk faster and walk faster. They are more likely to be drug abusers but less likely to be alcoholics. The blues are less likely to own land and, most importantly, they’re less likely to be Evangelical Christians.
So this is somewhat about religion. It is a lot about how people relate to each other.
Kotkin is more optimistic about his Heartland than Wong is about his “blue America”. I don’t know. I live in that part of the world and I am sensing great loss no matter what happens on election day.