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11.12.2012

THE SIMPLE LIFE, MY ASS.



I'm English, not Amish.  Just thought you might want to know.  You might be laughing at that statement as if it were so obvious it didn't even need to be said.  I mean really, would an Amish woman write a blog?  Let alone an irreverent one as well.  It's highly doubtful.  Their lines though of delineation for life in a post-modern society are varied, irregular, perplexing, and somewhat blaring contradictory.

I'm not Amish, but grew up around the people and religion of the Amish.  This isn't a lesson in history about the fact that technically the Amish originally hail from a break off from the Catholic Church.  Much of their ritualistic church traditions and rote come from that historical religious lineage.  I will let my friend Big D, a former Amish girl, school you in some of the traditions and inconsistencies of the Amish way of life.  She also has a great sheep story which highlights deviant sexual behavior, a rampant but silent issue in their "simple people" lifestyle.

Their buggies share the road in my part of the country.  Their horse shit splatters the under body of my car causing me to swear as I stop to wash my car before pulling it in the garage.  Their houses dot the countryside intermingled with the English.  Many are warm and inviting.   They are though very much human in every way.  They are not as different as you might think on the inside though their outsides and lifestyle is a bit more archaic than the English (that's what they call us).  Modern times have likewise collided with their simple folk ways.  Wal-mart is a favorite shopping destination.  Many carry cell phones (don't get me started on that one!) now dubbed as "necessary" to conduct business (many are entrepreneurs).   And though they can't own a car, they will pay you to drive them places or pull a wagon with skid-loader to take the kids to school on a cold winter morning. 

Their contradictions are many, greatly annoying while equally irritating to me.  That was highlighted in grand detail last week.  No doubt my failings and short-comings are wide as well.  Their inconsistencies are magnified though with a searchlight with the chasm between what they portray, how they choose to live and some of their choices that color well outside those arenas.

Last week, in conversation with an Amish business owner, myself and another man, the Amish man was commenting about the re-election of President Obama.  Most of what he talked about was in second person - he knows a guy, he heard about such and such on the radio.  Even his reference to voting suggested that he did not vote in the Presidential election.  FYI - some Amish vote depending on what their district church bishop says is acceptable.  Other Amish vote on the sly, not wanting their church to know they have.  Yet others do not vote at all.

People interest me.  All types.  Why people believe, think and then act on things is intriguing to me.  His beliefs, thoughts and then words were a sad commentary on the blatant disregard this man, from the simple people, had for our country. 

He referenced wrong figures for the national debt at the start of Obama's first term and the figure published for the current national debt at the end of the first Obama term.  It was pointed out to him the correct figures ($10.626 trillion at the start of his 1st term and $15.566 trillion at the close of Obama's first term), though the numbers were really not totally specifically relevant to his premise which followed. . .

"What do I care how big the national debt is?  I run a business,
make great money and don't care as long as I am making
a significant amount of income.  It doesn't affect me." 
 
Those were his words as close to verbatim as possible.  He said it in a cold, uncaring, disconnected from humanity and this country sort of way.  For an Amish man, one who hailed from the simple people, he sounded more like Donald Trump, Cornelius Vanderbilt or Andrew Carnegie.  It was an out for self statement.  A turn coat declaration of capitalism from an Amish man whose whole way of life is based around living quietly and simply unadulterated from the world. 
  
I was incredulous inside as he arrogantly and pompously puffed out his chest like George of the Jungle.  The combination of his words, body language, tone of voice and place of perchment from his Amish life made me disgusted.  It made me angry.  It made me sad.
 
Was this an extension of his being a pacifist?  From being removed from the culture that he lived in and the country he abided in? This ruse of the simple people was no better than the English who blatantly drive cars, fly in airplanes, show skin in their attire or who make the news constantly with their capitalistic greed. 
 
We should care about our country, the state of the place we call our nation.   The moral and ethical obligation of our government should  be reflected in its policies, budgets, administration of programs and the debt of our country.  
 
I have to wash your horse shit off my car so you are most definitely a part of this country!

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