Will Meinen | The Omaha Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. – Since when does a serious demeanor brand you an ill-fated sour puss? My great grandfather, Alowicious, was valued by village elders for being serious, meaning one who considers issues carefully. Perhaps rather than being a conscientious steward of the land I could tweeter about Nan’s Sunday roast. Or maybe I should use what time I have that isn’t laboring to help feed the country to tend to a digital plant in some cockamamie “garden” in a township called Facebook. Social networking doesn’t hold a candle to sitting around the kitchen table drinking weak Folgers from coffee cups handed down from your grandmother discussing commodity prices and irrigation.
If social networking is not how you choose to numb your instincts there is always celebrity gossip media. You know what’s even more impossible than staying current with the private lives of people I hardly know? Answer: doing the same with people I will never meet. I read the Bible, which is full of tales more salacious than a John Mayer interview. At least in the Good Book moral reasoning is challenged and reassured by the steady hand of the almighty in the context of universal struggles. For the life of me I can’t see how the story a 21-year-old starlet with an eating disorder getting drunk at the club and wrecking her Escalade translates to my life.
Some call me provincial, small minded, or simply unwilling to keep pace with the modern world. I counter such accusations with the supposition that I am more attuned to the experiences of the majority of the planet than those anesthetized by CSI and processed food. Most people don’t have enough to eat and drink or 300 channels of pabulum to entertain them, let alone a way with which to post photographs of their roommate passed out at a College World Series game.
I am part of a brotherhood, farmers, of which all members have a sacred purpose. Farming fulfills man’s most basic needs; as an occupation it operates above petty party politics and culture wars. All of us adhere to basic principles of hard work, community, and reliance on God to nurture seed to plant.
Much can interrupt that process, be it flood, hail, pests. The success of the farmer more than any other occupation is subject to factors outside the control of man. No accountant has every blamed rain on his inability to balance the books in a timely manner.
You might accuse me of being serious but why the hell shouldn’t I be? I am serious about my responsibility to my community, by which I mean my physical neighbors not the “friends” on whose status I’m expected to comment (Betty is bummed out 🙁 that her boyfriend didn’t call after softball practice). I am serious about my calling as a farmer, about my marriage, my role as a father, and my faith. It occurs to me that the problem these days is not that there are too many serious people in the world, but not nearly enough.
Now if you will excuse me, Glen Beck is on the venerated Fox network- that man sure can preach.