- Who am I?
A blogger whose home state is north of the flyover states, and whose state of mind is far from the coastal trade routes
- What am I doing here?
Sharing anything on the Web that interests me: with micro-reviews, observations and opinions.
- What's my name?
I call myself "the Lemming" on this blog: but here in central Minnesota, I'm Brian Gill
- And, like so many others, I'm profiled on Google
I made a quick explanation, in "Rise of Apathetic Lemming of the North," the first post in this blog. It wasn't very complete, since I was eager to go out an find interesting blogs to blog about.
Now, it's time to go back and do a more polished job.
Lemmings are rodents that are so stupid, they blindly follow their leaders in mass suicides. At least, that's what 'everybody knows.' The facts are a little more complicated. ("Why We Should Always Question.." is a pretty good place to start, if you're looking for the lemming behind the lens.)
The suicidally stupid lemmings of contemporary folklore led to the rodents' name being applied to classes of people.
"Lemming" meant "narrow-minded, biased fans" in the 1980s. Apparently fans of wrestling's WWF were the first to carry the label, but it spread.
I remember it being used as a label for those who didn't agree with people in the anti-war movement at least as far back as the 1970s. "Lemming" still seems to mean "easily-led dupe who doesn't agree with me" to this day, as its use in at least one comment dated October 21, 2006, demonstrates.
I've heard "lemming" used to describe folks who are so dull and boring as to actually work for a living. "Lemming" in that sense may even be a mainstream word by now, as this blog name hints: "Smart Lemming (manage your career or it will manage you)."
Apathy, of course, was anathema to the anguished campus activists of the sixties and seventies. The cultural pressure to care - deeply, passionately, hysterically - led to the slogan "Apathy is Rampant, But Who Cares?" I still treasure the sight of those words, emblazoned on a bumper sticker. Or maybe it was in a magazine.
That's where I come in.
I'm apathetic. I must be. I think that
- The spotted owl will flourish, as long as there are virgin ponderosa pine forests and K-Mart signs for them to nest in.
- It's not necessary to retrofit everyone's home with wheelchair ramps and/or elevators to upper floors
- I'm not making this up: it could have become a plank in one party's platform
- Protecting union members from plutocratic oppressors who tear bread from the bleeding lips of the starving masses isn't quite the issue that it was a century ago
Lemming is an epithet meaning a stupid, easily led person. Given that a "lemming" is someone who is so un-Timothy-Leary-like as to not "turn on, tune in, drop out," and has been known to have a job, I must be a lemming.
I can live with that.
Apathy can be defined as not caring about what is supposed to be important. What is considered important, and what's not, in America seems to be determined in the coastal cultures. Since my priorities don't even come close to the stereotype Starbucks-frequenting, Armani-wearing, New York Times reader, I must be "apathetic."
I can live with that, too.
So, I'm an "Apathetic Lemming."
I thought "of the North" is pretty obvious. Minnesota was as far north as America got, before Alaska became a state, and my home state is still the most northerly of the contiguous states, thanks to that surveyors' hiccup, up by Lake of the Woods.
When I started this blog, I decided to have some of my qualities reflected in the name. "Apathetic Lemming" appealed to me.
Then I discovered that there were quite a few "Apathetic Lemmings" out there: although I submit that none were as apathetically lemming-like as I am.
"Apatheticest Ultra-Lemming" sounded silly, so I called this blog "Apathetic Lemming of the North," instead.
- Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski
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- Brian Gill
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