Monday, November 24, 2008

The Oxford project

Cool documentary of somebody photographing the residents of a small town.

Isn't it interesting how apparently you'll be forever a stranger in a small town if you were not born there. I don't get it. I grew up in a small town, and it never, ever occurred to me to think differently about people according to whether they were born there or not. What, you're supposed to keep a big mental file which reminds you? What a strange mentality.
I am guessing it stems from a deep, intense mistrust in everybody. So they decide that being "native" is a way you can let up the mistrust a little bit.

My younger sister is a very local girl, she lives a stone's throw from our childhood home. Which I might do one day too. But she has a talent for knowing people that I don't have. I just don't have the willingness to invest all that time it takes to get to know a lot of people on a personal level, I find ideas more interesting.

I can get a little stab of the attraction of that kind of small town life sometimes, knowing everybody. But then I think maybe there's a parallel to the "high school popularity" game: it's something you want into, but is it really as valuable as all that? Just because somebody knows your name and says hi for thirty years, do they really know you better or understand you better?


Gordon Buck Jr. said...

What we say here in the southern United States is "Well, he's not really _from_ here but he's lived here a long time."


Ray said...

Most of my working career was spent in small little communities, usually out in the boonies, and there's a downside to knowing everybody and having them know you. They all know your personal business, and almost all of them feel better qualified to manage it than you do.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Ah yes, didn't even think of that.

Anonymous said...

Personally I prefer the anonymity of a big city.