Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Most interesting diary, margouillat.  Much food for thought.  This one goes in my hotlist for future reference.

I come from a long line of rural folk.  We have always lived outside the city and viewed it with some suspicion.  As a child growing up, I remember "going to town" with my grandparents.  It was a major event that only happened once or twice a month.  They would get up very early and drive the 15 km or so to the nearest town.  They would try very hard to do all their accumulated business and shopping needs in one day and get back home by nightfall.  

The feeling back then, not so long ago really, was very much of traveling to another country, an alien place where we did not belong.  And that was just the nearest town, not so big as towns go, perhaps five thousand people or so.  The City, Oklahoma City, was perhaps a three hour drive away.  They only went there once a year, if that, in the most extraordinary circumstances.  

Our attitudes about going to town, about The City, have modified somewhat in succeeding generations, but the underlying sense that urban centers are an alien place, somewhere we do not belong, still colors our thinking even today.  I live on a small acreage a few kilometers outside the town where I work.  I have lived in one town or another in my life, though never a real city.  I have never really felt at home there.  Perhaps my perspective is not so far from the Angle or Saxon who travelled to the nearest village only when the needs of commerce demanded it.

I have argued with friends that the Old Testament can be read in a very different, not so religious, context if we think of it from a similar perspective.  If you read past all the angry monotheist themes, it can be seen as the chronicle of a nomadic, tribal, pastoral people coming in from the desert and learning to live in "the city."  Much of the stern moralism that pervades the Bible in general and the Old Testament in particular can be read as the painful adjustment of a close-knit, tribal society to the unsettling exposure to multi-cultural influences of urban life.  Or so it seems to me.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 07:31:17 AM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series