This article says Americans are taming their wanderlust. I find that highly doubtful. It’s a lamentable trait, but one that has marked American since at least Tocqueville’s visit. “In the United States a man builds a home in which to spend his old age, and he sells it before the roof is on; he plans a garden and rents it just as the trees are coming into bearing; he brings a field into tillage and leaves other men to gather the crops; he embraces a profession and gives it up; he settles in a place, which he soon afterwards leaves to carry his changeable longings elsewhere.” Second Book, Chp. XIII (Yes, dear reader, I keep a copy of Democracy in America at my elbow. Nerd me.)
The author of the piece doesn’t even believe that wanderlust has been conquered. The wandering is down, yes, but the lust is still there. “The mobility rate is lower than it has been in years,” said Robert Lang, a demographer with Virginia Tech University. “There’s a recession and a housing bust. People can’t sell their homes in California and move to Las Vegas or sell their condo in Florida and move to North Carolina.”
Date My Daughter?
I don’t link to Newsweek any more than I link to The Daily Kos because both are hopelessly left wing (but at least TDK is honest about his predilections, whereas Newsweek colors itself objective). But a friend sent this nifty little article to me about fatherhood and a dating teenage daughter. It’s an entertaining piece, with stuff like this: “One of my friend’s fathers used to greet all of her dates with a simple but effective line: ‘Tonight, you should treat my daughter as if your life depends on it. Because it does.'” It’s worth a look.
Nerd alert: I’m going to try to start a new feature: “Jouvenel Corner.” Its theme: Notes and essays triggered by the ideas of Bertrand de Jouvenel, the great modern French political philosopher (1903-1987). It’s not often that I use the adjectives “great,” “modern,” and “French” in the same sentence, so hopefully I have your attention.
My goal is simple: To keep my brain from atrophying further. My hope is to read some Jouvenel every week, then put together a handful of thoughtful (or at lease something short of derisory) mini-essays based on what I read, then post them here. I’m trying to instill some discipline into my studies and writing, while at the same time applying some modern philosophical wisdom to the current milieu. I’m entertaining myself more than anything. My apologies at the self-centeredness. If it helps at all, feel free to read the essays like a voyeur who has found someone’s diary.
Books I’ll be using: