Home is Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head

My own life has been the globalist dream.  I grew up in the New South in the Reagan Years, in one of the zillions of prefab “communities” that sprang up during the local tech boom.  Change was constant.  My parents’ work-friends were throwing around the term “starter home” long before it hit national circulation.  If you stayed in the same house for five years, you’d get three different sets of neighbors — Susie’s house became Prajneet’s house became Quantavious’s house, and then it was time to move yourself.  You could ride around with your buddies on lazy afternoons after school, pointing out all the houses we used to live in (this was back before the Internet, you understand).

But a funny thing happened: Even though nobody was from there, and nobody expected to stay there — I bet half my graduating class transferred in, to replace the other half that transferred out  — everyone was fanatically loyal to the football team.  It was the South, yeah, but that Friday Night Lights bullshit is the OLD South, the rural South.  In the New South, the South of Prajneet and Achmed and Kung Pao, all the White kids have just moved in from Massachusetts, where high school football is nonexistent.  And they sure as hell weren’t getting their die-hard Puma Pride from Prajneet and Achmed and Kung Pao…

Even funnier: Military recruiters had the run of the place.  Every fall we were “encouraged” to take the ASVAB; every spring there’d be a big assembly where Uncle Sam’s spit-shined hucksters gave you their best pitch.  And lots of kids signed up.  Again, I can’t stress enough that this place was middle class to the core — upper middle class, actually, in lots of cases, since tech booms involve stock options.  These days, one whiff of Brasso would send that kind of parent to the fainting couch, but back then it was no big deal.  Nor was it any big deal to sign up.  Several of my friends did, and again, these were middle-to-upper-middle class guys — the son of our family dentist went on to a long and classified career in the Special Forces; a few other guys with uber-white collar parents joined the Marines.

Those who weren’t called to the colors shipped off to college (or didn’t bother, since “computer science” wasn’t really something one majored in back then.  A guy I knew in high school was the CTO of a giant company, probably pulling seven figures, and well into middle age before he finally bothered to pick up a college degree).  And again, a funny thing happened: Though Prajneet’s and Achmed’s and Kung Pao’s parents were obsessed with getting them into the Ivy League, the other kids’ parents didn’t really care.  The kids who applied to the pricey engineering schools did so because they really wanted to be engineers.  Prajneet wanted to go to Berkeley because it’s Berkeley, but as a White kid you’d get laughed out of the room if you said you wanted to go to Cal Tech because it’s Cal Tech — unless you really want to design missiles for the DoD, what’s the point?

Even funnier: Though schools were chosen pretty much on a whim, once there, the same fanatic loyalty to the football team kicked in.  I knew a guy who literally made the choice between Big State and its hated rival Directional Tech by doing eeny-meeny-miny-moe with the acceptance letters, but by Christmas Break this dude’s loyalty to Big State was nearing Heaven’s Gate levels.  He’s still that way decades later, and he went several mortgages’ worth into hock to make sure all his kids could be Big State Fightin’ Farmers too.

The point of this little trip down memory lane is that for all of us — the rootless cosmopolitans of the globalist dream — whatever success we may have had in life has come through the process of identity-construction.  Lacking anything on which to build a truly personal identity, we jumped at the biggest, most all-consuming prefab identity we could find.  Those guys that joined the army out of high school are almost to a man still in the army, or involuntarily separated (they used to have an “up-or-out” promotion system; if you didn’t make the next rank in a certain time, they’d retire you).  Even if they’re out, they’re still as rah-rah-sis-boom-bah in their way as the guy who still flies back to Big State every year to tailgate at the homecoming game.  Look at all those “US Army Retired” bumper stickers that proliferated in the past few years; note how many of the drivers of those cars are middle-aged.

If Our Thing ever hopes to turn things around, it has to start with a sense of place.  It doesn’t have to be a physical place — those Army guys are loyal to the Army as a whole, not Fort Bragg or whatever —  but it has to give a sense of rootedness.  Otherwise, people will take whatever prefab identity is most all-encompassing… and that, of course, is “Liberal.”  Everyone needs a home, and home has to mean something.

Loading Likes...