I have had the hardest time today not writing down the date as the 30th. I am not sure why that is so, other than that I have a book coming out tomorrow. And, I assure you, I shall go buy it tomorrow. Three cheers for John Flanagan, Ranger's Apprentice, and the Brotherband Chronicles!!
Tonight's speaker was Bradley Dean, 'Creative Director' at Billy Reid's. He began with explaining that it is very hard to define his job description, as he wears so many hats. I think it could be summed up with: guy that comes up with crazy awesome ideas that work. Apparently, burning down a small forest counts as a crazy awesome idea, and who am I to argue with such crazy awesomeness?
They also grow organic cotton. That is points in my book any day. He spoke of sustainability, and entirely rethinking the way cotton is grown, harvested, and processed into a finished garment. He spoke of long-term goals, such as possibly reintroducing clothing manufacturing back to the shoals (Tee-Jay's, anyone? That rang bells with me, at least). I can understand that very much.
What I discerned of his talk was that he was led to civic engagement, and participated in it, through both his work and his home and town. When he 'destroyed' his house downtown in order to renovate it, he was surprised that no one asked him what he was doing. He admitted he rather liked that (I am not sure what a libertarian means. I should look up libertarianism. I do not think it is the same thing as distributism, which I adhere to. Distributism is similar in that it is in favor of small government, however) but wanted to ensure that houses on his street had a certain quality. Including putting trash cans away. That prompted a small amount of admitting we were making him feel old, which was amusing. I cannot say much to that however as I was no older than 15 or 16 and talking about 'kids these days' with a couple of friends of mine, however.
And anyone who wants to preserve old things and foster small town growth and hates the tackiness of Wal-Marts (IS ANYONE ELSE SERIOUSLY IRKED AT THE WAL-MART GOING IN NEXT TO THE DARBY DRIVE PARKING LOT????) and parking lots and strip malls is fine in my books.
I really liked Mr. Dean's message. I liked how he admitted that he learned from his elders and continued to educated himself after graduating from college. I believe that a lot of wisdom can be learned from one's elders. I am not a chronological snob, to borrow G. K. Chesterton's words: I do not believe merely that because someone is older than me that they have nothing of importance to say to me. In fact, I think our society should accord a lot more respect to old people. Youth is great and everything- but it really is wasted on the young. Age should be given its credit- it's learned the lessons we're still taking.
I also liked that Mr. Dean predicted that people would shift back to smaller towns with vibrant downtowns rather than the urban sprawl with Wal-Marts and heavy traffic and long commutes. I really do like that. I also think he's right. There's only so much not-big-city not-little-town horrible cookie-cutter subdivisions a soul can take before it rebels and must go either way. (As you may infer, I am of the opinion that subdivisions are horrible. This is because I have seen far, far too much good farmland- and good farmland, properly cultivated, is a beautiful site- sold to land developers by children who didn't want to carry on the family farm and which is then carved up piecemeal and made into subdivisions. Subdivisions can be done right. Older ones with large trees and unique houses are quite nice. But the new ones only have like 4 floor plans and 1 style of brick and 1 color siding and 1 color roof and regulation mailboxes and shrubbery and tacky little anemic crepe myrtles instead of trees. And they are hideous. There is no excuse for them. They are little pits of Gehenna.)
Oh, and that, my friends, was a bit of semi-comic hyperbole. See, I know my rhetoric terms.
Back to the forum tonight, after my mini-rant about urban sprawl and the horrors thereof, Mr. Dean brought up something I have mentioned before on this blog when he showed us a video on YouTube entitled: "First Follower: Leadership Lessons from the Dancing Guy." In short, the message went like this: The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. The second follower turns two nuts into a movement."
Another thing I liked that Mr. Dean mentioned was something he alluded to briefly at the end: some limitations are good. Yes, I believe that kids should tell their parents where they're going and when'll they'll be home (to quote a song called 'Things Like That These Days'). And when they prove they can handle responsibility and behave themselves, the limitations can be relaxed somewhat.
But there are some limitations that should never be removed, because they are written in the natural law and in our very hearts and souls. Some people call the core of them the Ten Commandments.
In Pace Christi,