Monday, April 18, 2011

Lemming Tracks: The Lemming Gets Transparent

You realize that the Lemming isn't really a flannel-clad rodent. At least, the Lemming hopes so.

The Counter-Cultural Case of the Transparent Lemming

During the last presidential election here in America, the Lemming noticed folks writing about "transparency:" but not the sort that windows are supposed to have. They seemed to be using "transparency" as a sort of metaphor, based on "the quality of being clear and transparent" part of transparency's definition (Princeton's WordNet)

In context of election year politics, "transparency" was what the writer's candidate was for, and the other guy was against. The Lemming is not looking forward to the next election year - and that's another topic.

Election-year slogans aside, the idea of being 'transparent,' in the sense of letting folks get a clear picture of what's happening, seems - for the most part - to make sense. To the Lemming.

Which brings the Lemming to an explanation for that flannel-wearing rodent with binoculars in the upper left corner of this blog:
  • Why call this blog 'Apathetic Lemming of the North?'
  • Who is the Lemming, really?
Now, a little more detail about the Lemming.

Why Write Posts as "the Lemming?"

I generally use the 'third person' tense when writing for this blog because I think it's fun. Also because it's a sort of parody of the old 'this editor' and 'editorial we' journalistic style.

The Man Behind the Lemming

My name is Brian Gill. That's a photo of me, taken in January of last year, for a post in another blog.

I live in a small central Minnesota town, Sauk Centre: which, apart from having paved streets, utilities, and pretty good internet connections, isn't a whole lot like living in, say, Manhattan.

Which is part of why I live here - and that's yet another topic.

I've discussed my household's economic status before:
Back in my teens, which happened during the '60s, I was one of those crazy kids who didn't conform. Except that I really didn't conform. I didn't go along with the long-hair-and-jeans thing, wore white socks every day at high school, and used pocket protectors.


'The American Dream' - and Waking Up Screaming

Like many of my peers in the 'Woodstock' days, I took a hard look at 'the American dream.' I decided that I liked the perks - but not the cost.

I realized that a 'success track' in America didn't necessarily involving 'buying things you don't need, with money you don't have, to impress people you don't like' - but I didn't like the idea of getting into some claustrophobic little career rut, either.

I haven't regretted my choice: particularly during the lending industry and automotive industry meltdowns.

And the Lemming is getting (what else?) off-topic: nothing new there.

Sex, Religion, Victorian England, and Today's Mores

The alert reader will have noticed that I link to A Catholic Citizen in America now and then. It's another of my blogs.

Which isn't another topic.

I'm a practicing Catholic.

I've gotten the impression that here in America, religion is sort of like sex is supposed to have been in Victorian England. People presumably knew that sex existed, but decent folks kept it discretely hidden, inside, behind closed doors. And certainly never discussed sex in public.

Today's 'don't discuss politics or religion' rule makes some sense. Particularly, in my opinion, considering the sort of malignant virtue I've run into now and then. There is, sadly, something to "your Christians are so unlike your Christ," attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. (A Catholic Citizen in America (April 7, 2011; December 9, 2010; July 21, 2010)

'Everything I Don't Like is Satanic?' Hardly

Don't worry, by the way: I am not going to claim that everybody who isn't just like me is condemned to eternal torment. Hating people is out of the question too. Like I said, I'm a practicing Catholic - and there's a rule about that sort of thing. (A Catholic Citizen in America (December 9, 2010)

I'm not going to go along with the mores1 of today's America, either.

Think of it as 'coming out of the closet,' in a counter-cultural sense of the term.

Related posts:

1 "conventions that embody the fundamental values of a group" (Princeton's WordNet)


Brigid said...

I think there's a word missing here: "everybody isn't just like me is condemned to eternal torment."

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...


Ri-i-ight. Just one word missing - but it made a difference. Found it, fixed it: and thanks!

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