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The Weekend Eudemon

No, you're not on LSD. We've posted on a non-Wednesday. We're calling it The Weekend Eudemon because (i) it allows us to keep the same initials and (ii) we're too lazy to come up with an entirely new title.

We've concluded that we need to post more than once a week in order to (i) keep readers interested in us, and (ii) post current stories/commentary. In the blogosphere, things move fast. A news story more than 72 hours old isn't news. By adding a weekend supplement, we'll catch those interesting bits that come down between Wednesday through Saturday.

Weekend readers will also see a new feature: "The Punchy Journal." It's an ongoing narration of semis: semi-biographical, semi-factual, semi-humorous, semi-inane, and semi-ribald. Each installment is an excerpt from the diary of Nate Brewer, a young man trekking toward middle age in the corn stretches of the Midwest. "The Punchy Journal" is not part of either TWE. It will merely be "tacked onto" the end of The Weekend Eudemon. Readers will quickly see that it differs in tone and content. Readers of National Review back in the 1980s may remember receiving a free subscription to The University Bookman; other magazines at times glue reader supplements inside their magazines. "The Punchy Journal" is like that. Read it or not; it won't have an impact on your enjoyment of TWE.

There's a new blog in town. Sponsored by a forthcoming magazine called Crux, the blogs offer commentary on a variety of cultural issues. TWE's Eric Scheske will contribute to the blogs a few times each month, but don't let that stop you from checking it out. There's lots of good stuff there, like the following from an entry last week: One of Viacom's major target groups is the "Midriffs" (girls who wear tight shirts that don't cover their stomachs). Midriffs are "Britney Spears wannabes, living embodiments of the Madonna/whore complex–girls who are innocent and slutty all at the same time." That's consistent with what we see (often with craned necks) around town these days.

The midriffs aren't unique. Most people are bifurcated: the professional who tries to be religious but not so much so that he loses clients, the businessman who likes to party but wants to be careful not to lose customers due to a bad reputation, the devoted mother of young children who nonetheless screams to get out of the house for fun evenings, the exercise nut that can't stop overeating. Nonetheless, the midriffs are playing a particularly-dangerous bifurcation game. Bifurcations, if not continuously fought and adjusted, always tilt heavily toward the bad side. When passionate push comes to passionate shove in the front seat of a boy's car, the slutty will beat the innocent, nine sweaty times out of ten. The midriffs can try to cater to both, but the boys they date savor for the slutty and relentlessly push for it, making it appear acceptable and, possibly, necessary for one's emotional survival.

Unfortunately, the decent men who they'll one day seek to marry will respect only the innocent. And once the slutty wins, the innocence can't come back. The second surest way to lose a potential husband is to sleep with him. The surest way to lose a potential husband is to sleep with his friend.

The Punchy Journal
I drove through the countryside the other day. Not hard to do, of course, when you live on the Indiana/Michigan border, where Amish out-number highway billboards three to one.

We got a ton of 'em. (Amish.)

Growing up around here, I've seen lots of people who don't like the Amish.

Maybe people dislike them because of ideological reasons: "Get those bastards into the twenty-first century where you electronically numb yourself through life to an easy death."

Maybe it's because the Amish are different and stand-offish. It's hard to get familiar with an "Amo"; they play their lives and customs close to the wool vest, though a few are willing to display it for economic gain (did you know Amish Heaven–Shipshewana, Indiana and its huge flea market–is the number one tourist attraction in Indiana?).

When a person is confronted with a thing that is unknown, fear creeps in. And when fear comes, so does dislike or hatred. It only makes sense. Fear is an unpleasant state of mind, so the thing that triggers the fear is intuitively disliked.

I can understand fear of the unknown.

But the Amish shouldn't be feared.

The Amish are pacifists and completely non-violent. You can beat on 'em, and they won't beat back. . .

Follower of Jakob Ammann Reunited With Sons Heuters News Agency, Berks County, Pennsylvania Residents around here are crying and celebrating with Jacob Hochstetler today.
"We're real glad to have the boys back," said a tearful Amos Hochstetler, Jacob's cousin by marriage. The boys are Joseph and Christian Hochstetler, Jacob Hochstetler's sons. They were taken captive by Shawnees a few years ago in a fiery and unprovoked raid of the Hochstetler's home that destroyed the family's house and killed three family members. The raid took place in 1757. Jacob Hochstetler, Jr. heard the dogs barking, so he went to investigate. When he opened the door, he was shot in the leg by prowling Indians. His brothers, both excellent marksmen, grabbed their hunting rifles to defend the house, but their father wouldn't let them. "He was committed to the Amish principle of non-retaliation, even in the face of immediate threat," said his kinswoman, Ida Yoder. Instead of shooting back, the Hochstetlers hid in the cellar. When the Shawnees set fire to the house, the Hochstetlers were forced to flee outside, where they were captured. The wife, daughter, and Jacob Hochstetler, Jr. were killed. Jacob Sr., Joseph, and Christian were taken captive. The following Spring, the Shawnees allowed Jacob to hunt the woods by himself. As soon as he was far enough from the Indian settlement, he fled back to Berks County. "He walked and floated by raft for fifteen days to make it back here, but when he got here, he had nothing," said Melvin Miller, a neighbor. "When Joseph and Christian were returned yesterday by the Indians, the rejoicing started and hasn't stopped." The boys were returned after extensive negotiations by Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, James Hamilton. They appear to have been treated well by the Indians.
Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight;
But roaring Bill who killed him
Thought it right.
Hilaire Belloc