Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Owen over at The Ochlophobist has a long post on the decline of the "common man" that covers sex, professional sports, manual labor, class distinctions, mass media, the ipod, the cell phone, Dostoevsky, stereotypes, rampant consumerism, metal work, male-female roles, the "service" economy, law, drug dealing, G. K. Chesterton, body piercing, Belloc, C. S. Lewis, capitalism, human dignity and, at the end of it all, sanctity. It is uneven, even a bit over the top in spots, but worth your time nonetheless. In the years I have been presenting cases in front of local juries I have been noting a steady decline in common sense as the number of older farmers, craftsmen and small shopkeepers in the jury pool has declined and the number of people who push paper for a living has increased. While some of the first group may not have had much formal education and their experience of popular culture did not extend much past Flatt and Scruggs, their experience of living was far richer than most of the younger folks who only know what they have seen on tv. I miss them. I do not know if Owen is correct in his analysis, but I agree that we will not soon again see their like.