Sunday, May 14, 2017


This post is a riff on a post written by Harry Flashman.  He embedded the video Country Boys Can Survive.

Some folks look down on "common".  They think "special" is always better.

Kids in middle school and high school want "special" because they are seeking identity and need to shore up the fragile, healing tissue.  Special shoes, clothing with special logos, special music...

I look around and see much that is common.  I like it.

Common usually implies a wide range of adaptability.  You will see the "common" pickup truck from the Equator to Point Barrow and everywhere in between.

Common suggests a lack of total conformity.  Common has not been inbred and selected to slavishly reproduce near-clones.  Cross two "common" dogs and you will get a wide range of many, many attributes.  Some big, some small.  Some with short fur others with long fur.  Long legs, short legs.  A wide range of colors and patterns.  Some visually oriented, some sound oriented, some nose oriented.

At least in biological organisms, the scatter of attributes means that the population can undergo rapid genetic shifts to adjust to environmental stresses.  If you have a decade of wet weather, the organisms exhibiting resistance to drowning and diseases will increase as a percentage of the population (within a given species).  If you have a series of dry years you will see an increase in the percentage of individuals within the population with longer roots and more efficient stomata.

Looking at the ground I see common bluegrass, common daylilies, common violets and common white clover.  Those are defaults that I can override if I want to expend the energy.  Usually, there is little profit in fighting Mother Nature.  I may salt in improved genetics.  Often it seemingly disappears, diluted by "common" but I suspect those genes are lurking...waiting for their moment.
The common, 12" crescent wrench.  Suitable for turning bolts, hammering in tent stakes and thumping bad guys in the head.

I drink coffee with common men: Mechanics, farmers, factory workers, builders, custodians, worked in sewers, dug graves and drain fields, washed dishes, worked salvage, drove trucks and helped in daycares.  If something needed doing, they were the guys who could do it.

1 comment:

  1. And they will still be doing it when the 'special' people are long gone...