I am a muller. I like to mull. If you went to a movie with me, and you asked me, as we were leaving, what I thought of the movie, I would say “Hmmm…”
And then two or three hours would go by.
And then, quite suddenly, usually without prompting, I would start spewing forth on the film. Then the momentum of my opinion would be quite unstoppable. It just takes a little while to get started, is all. I guess it is the last remnant of my Hoosier reticence.
And so I’ve been thinking quite a bit these last couple of days about
You know how you know you are in the
BECAUSE NO ONE EVER ASKS FOR HOT SAUCE.
The best part is when she looked at my sister, who had not ordered yet, and asked “Are you going to be wanting taco sauce, too?” As if something about our (decidedly non-familial) resemblance to one another, perhaps our expensive eyewear, or the studied dishevelment of our hair, marked us as exotic condiment aficionados.
Somewhere in between the famous stubbornness of Iowans, and the “show me” obstinance of Missourians are the Nebraskans, who seem to me, at least in the rural areas, to have a unique talent for ignoring their own self-interest in the most perverse and infuriating ways.
I remember sitting watching tv with my stepdad several years ago, and there was a health alert on the local news warning people not to drink water from the garden hose, on account of the dangerous chemicals that leach into the water from the hose when it sits in the sun. “That’s ridiculous!” he blurted out. “Everyone I know’s been drinking outta the hose their whole lives. Nothing ever happened to them.”
I remember the moment like it was yesterday, because at the time, my stepdad had begun to take pills so that his stomach could digest food properly. It was a medical condition I had never heard of before, and yet there were several people living in his area that were all suffering the same affliction.
I’m sure they didn’t get it from drinking from the garden hose, and yet my stepdad’s attitude was a typical one, both for him and for most residents of
No agency is more hated in that part of the country than the EPA, and the EPA is seen as an invention and instrument of the Democratic party. Farmers, and the myriad of economic systems that support the farming economy, are of the opinion that a man ought to be able to do what he wants with his own land.
That sounds like a fine and patriotic sentiment, except that in order to stay afloat, farmers will put just about anything on their crops in order to bring them in with a profit sufficient to keep them going. And if, in doing that, they also, say, poison the water table that supplies the entire community, their reaction generally is to stick their collective heads in the sand. The water table’s not poisoned, you sissies. We’ve been drinking out of this water table our whole lives, and nothing’s happened to us.
Nothing except that they’re all fucked-up physically. All of them. My stepdad died still sucking on the nebulizer that had kept his respiratory system functioning for years. And if you’d asked him, I’m sure he would’ve denied that it had anything to do with any of the herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or other crop-enabling poisons that he handled over the years.
But there has been progress. My mom told me that, so far, her community had successfully kept a feedlot from opening less than a mile from where she lived.
“Hold on,” I said. “You just told me yesterday that if everyone went vegetarian like me, that
But of course she doesn’t. Because it would ruin the value of her land. Because feedlots stink. They stink for miles and miles and miles. And if you think the chemical cocktails that farmers use are bad, you should see what a couple thousand gallons of cow piss per day will do to your groundwater. So of course she’s all NIMBY on that issue, but in a state like
I am not from
And like those gigantic WalMarts that obliterate not only local businesses, but also acres and acres of countryside, big agribusiness is turning
Like I said, it’s sad. I hope my mom’s little corner of