July 9, 2017 (Sunday)

by Yule Heibel on July 8, 2018

Tomorrow is Monday, and our “vacation” schedule ends. We’ll return to the stress of catching early morning trains, etc. Yesterday was Saturday, and for me the day started with tears. I found myself very depressed at breakfast, and told W. so. A. was there and took the whole thing in, too. Then he said something very interesting, which really characterized my problem(s) with being here and why I can’t seem to find my “tribe.” He pointed out that everyone here is very past-oriented (as contrasted with being future-oriented), and this results in people who once were somebody or something – maybe they went to one of the colleges which are regionally renowned (yet unknown everywhere else – who has ever heard of Colby College outside of New England, for example?, yet here it has”status”), or they’re related to one of the “old New England families,” as if that conferred something on them personally – who now fiercely squat on and defend their bit of past historical turf …at the expense of future cultivation. There is no forward-moving energy here.

The energies that are forward-moving are derided merely as ignorance – of the past. I remembered meeting the custodian-historian and preservationist-in-residence of one of Salem’s historic houses saying, “Salem has forgotten more history than most other places ever had.” This from a guy who lives in a town whose economy depends on past-orientation, i.e., tourism centered on Salem’s colonial past, specifically its infamous witch hunt. It’s incredible. I think it also explains why it’s so difficult for outsiders to gain acceptance here. Letting them in might chip away at the foundational wealth of protected (and elevated) past history. It all happens at the expense of future energies, though.

I think Victoria has many of the same problems, but they’re not exactly the same as this region’s. It’s much bigger and more insidious here. Past-orientation, killing or nipping in the bud future-orientation. The insight illuminates the damnable parochialism of this place, its hostility to change and proper urban development, too. It explains why a majority of its young people who stay (vs. leave to live elsewhere) become ingrained bores and conventionally traditionally people.

And weirdly, past-orientation as a mental mindset also helps me see why I’m so allergic now to the Democrats and most of the Left. Since the 2016 election, they have proven themselves to be thoroughly past-oriented, too, unwilling to move past their Russia obsession, to accept their defeat, to move on. They are stuck. It’s a terrible disease. They’re now history, as in “toast.”

I hope I feel better today. The bug still has its claws in me – yesterday I did laundry (again), ran a couple of car-errands, and went with W. to Market Basket: that was it. I was sweat-soaked from those simple exertions, incapable of exercise (going for a walk, for example). W. is still pretty off-color, too, and he has to go to work tomorrow. Not great. A. leaves for Berlin on Tuesday, 7/11, returns on Friday 7/21. Since E. and Ax. fly in the next day, that means two airport runs.

Back to politics: it’s dangerous when the allegedly future-oriented party (the Democrats) become blatantly past-oriented. The future, like “life” in Jurassic Park, will find a way, and it might be a heck of a lot more radical than anyone envisioned. Not that anyone is any good at predicting the future. Those who claim to do so are all either charlatans or deluded. Look at all the nonsense I grew up with – The Population Bomb, e.g.: didn’t happen, turns out we might have the opposite problem.

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