My Advice

Please do yourself a favor and go read this Wendell Berry interview. It is full of wisdom and good sense.

Time spent reading it will be much better used than reading anything I could generate this morning.

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19 comments on “My Advice

  1. Joanna says:

    The American Conservative is not necessarily something I would have thought of reading, but thanks for that article. I am coming late to Wendell Berry’s gentle wisdom

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    • Bill says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Joanna. Mr. Berry is a refreshing voice and a great inspiration to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff says:

      Here’s an interesting article about The American Conservative. I’d hazard a guess that the magazine is much more in the Burkean tradition of conservatism rather than what passes for conservatism these days.

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    • Jeff says:

      Well, it helps if the link is included, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joanna says:

        Thank you for that. It is very interesting. I lived for two years in America and one of the things I came away with was a more nuanced view on politics. I am still, certainly by American standards, left in my politics, but I could see how the right can work, as long as people took Jesus’ words very seriously to take care of the poor, the widow and the orphan and not just as a project or when they are the “deserving” poor, but because they are God’s creations too and should be cared for by their communities. I also saw more clearly that the left leaning politics is also fine, as long as people took responsibility for themselves more clearly.

        The article about the American Conservative seems to at least be addressing some of the issues I had by holding some much needed debates on those issues. I find that very encouraging

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  2. Bill, Wendell Berry, interesting interview. He seems to be a really independent thinker. He has some pretty good thoughts on different subjects and I have to agree with most of them. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t think as he does. It’s always difficult to get large groups of people to agree on any thing. His comments about wars were some what interesting and I’ve always known that war will produce technological advances and will improve medical techniques but at the same time it’s a bad way for it to happen. I’m not sure that any one will get the world to agree to never go to war. Unfortunately, I have to agree with him in that religion has produced some of the biggest and bloodiest wars in mankind’s history. He doesn’t seem to care much for media or technology in general. I can’t say that I blame him or even think he’s wrong. Face to face conversation is always better than media conversation, don’t you think? I also know that media friendships are liken unto the old school penpals which in some cases have been windows of history preserved better than any history book could do. I have envisioned my personal blog would be a history of my life for future family generations to be able to see what life was like for old Grandpa Dave. Well, that is if world still exists in future generations.

    Have a great Wendell independent thinking day.

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    • Bill says:

      He doesn’t fit neatly into any box. That’s refreshing.

      I don’t know if you read the comments (not something one should normally do these days), but I enjoyed this one:

      There are so many important things to comment on (great questions, Ms. Olmstead!), but I would like to comment on this from Wendell Berry:

      “I don’t, on purpose, see much television, and my acquaintance with social media is at secondhand. What I know is that when neighbors replace local stories with stories from television, and when they sit in the house and watch television instead of talking on front porches, a profound disintegration has taken place. And I know it is impossible to talk to somebody who is “telecommunicating” with somebody who is absent. The usefulness of electronic communication to cultivate community, I think, is tightly limited. It may be useful in emergencies, useful to people who are sick and shut in, etc. But community is not made just by communication. It is a practical circumstance. It is composed of people who have a place in common. But it is made by people’s willingness to be neighbors, good and faithful servants, to one another.”

      I grew up in a small town in Virginia in the ‘50s and early ‘60s. Up until the ‘50s, from early spring until late fall, neighbors sat on their front porches or front steps after supper and “visited” with other neighbors out for a walk who walked up into the yard. It was incredible! You knew everybody on your street and nearly everybody for blocks around!

      But in 1953 my father bought a TV set and the following year he bought an air conditioning unit for the dining room. The TV and the air conditioning unit changed everything. We and other families with TVs and air conditioning started going inside early “to get cool” or “to watch TV.” By the end of the ‘50s almost everyone on our street but the old people had pretty much given up sitting on the porch after supper – or taking a walk down the street — and talking with neighbors.

      So when Wendell Berry tells you, Ms. Olmstead — “What I know is that when neighbors replace local stories with stories from television, and when they sit in the house and watch television instead of talking on front porches, a profound disintegration has taken place” — he’s right about the awful thing that happened — about the “profound disintegration.” Even now, reading your interview with Wendell Berry, I think back and it makes me sad to remember what we lost.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In enjoyed this a lot! 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      I’m glad. 🙂
      I try to put up posts that are nothing more than links to some other site, but I liked this interview so much I made an exception.

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  4. Jeff says:

    Wendell Berry rarely uses the “C” word (capitalism), but if you know what capitalism is and how it works, you will discover that everything that Berry writes about is consistent with an anti-capitalist stance. If you want to understand Berry, read Marx.

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    • Bill says:

      I don’t find him to be shy about criticizing capitalism. He’s done so frequently.

      He has been critical of socialism and communism as well as capitalism and is grounded in agrarianism, as it stands in opposition to industrialism. I would say the Southern Agrarians are as much his intellectual ancestors as anyone.

      He also champions local economies in opposition to globalism. He has written so much on these subjects that it’s difficult to pick just one thing to read, but this essay is good I think:
      http://home2.btconnect.com/tipiglen/localecon.html

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  5. This is an outstanding article. I think the magazine tried to lean him into Burkean conservatism with the title, even though Mr. Berry stated that he doesn’t wish to fit into any category. Despite that, he comes shining through, as always. I don’t call many people my hero, but he definitely is one.

    I recall our families first television, when I was eight, and it changed things dramatically, and not for the better. I am hoping to slowly shed the flat screen culture.

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    • Bill says:

      He is definitely a hero for me as well. My life began to change radically after Cherie gave me a copy of “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” That has made all the difference.

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  6. EllaDee says:

    I really enjoyed the article. I often feel alone in my views, but I find good company via blogging, and it leads me to think I need to read more Wendell Berry because much of what he says I’d like to be able to articulate similarly.

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    • Bill says:

      I’ve found him to be a great inspiration. He writes beautifully and always makes good sense. He’s a poet, a novelist and an essayist, so there’s plenty to choose from.

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  7. I took your advice – thanks for sharing. The world sure could use more independent thinkers like Mr. Berry. Too much “us vs. them” going around for our own good. He is so well grounded – not “dug in”. I like that. A lot.
    I’m adding “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” to my wish list 😏

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  8. Leigh says:

    Another Wendell Berry fan here. I so agree with everything he said about politics and political labels. But then, politics as a pastime never appealed to me.

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    • Bill says:

      Me either. But if Wendell Berry should run for office, I’d vote for him. Of course Wendell Berry would never run for office, so that I’ll never have the chance…

      Like

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