March 24, 2015

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Anyhow, the second most popular answer in their survey was “€œbeing an American,”€ which, even though I”€™m Canadian, makes more sense to me. The United States surely possesses the most stirring (not to mention long lived) civil religion in history “€” David Gelernter called “€œAmericanism”€ “€œthe fourth great Western religion”€—although in fairness, the ancient Romans weren”€™t fortunate enough to have Schoolhouse Rock at their disposal.

Barna’s respondents then placed “€œmy religious faith”€ (#3) slightly ahead of “€œmy ethnic group”€ (#4). That’s when I realized what this survey was missing: Had it included the option “€œMy political affiliation,”€ surely that would have placed second.

Rounding out the results, “€œMy State”€ and “€œMy City/Town”€ came in at (#6 and #7) respectively. Again, I cannot comprehend the passion some individuals place on “€œrepresentin”€™”€ their area code or boasting about their state. Your home town is an arbitrary intersection of longitude and latitude. At nineteen, I was escorted to the city limits and, for the crime of using words with more than two syllables, ordered never to return.

Which reminds me: I still own a burial plot my mother bought me for $50 when I was a baby “€“ we were a VERY strange bunch “€“ and I need to unload it, because I never want to go back to Hamilton permanently, even as a corpse.

Which brings me around again to #5 on the Barna survey: “€œMy career.”€ Finally, a few folks after my (rather hard) heart.

I never really “€œloved”€ my estranged father per se “€“ he never paid child support and was (see above) clearly put out by his rare Sunday “€œturns”€ with me “€“ so perhaps this isn”€™t the best example of Storr’s principle in action.

But when my father died (as my mother always predicted he would, miserable and alone) I told the undertaker “€“ even though I sure as hell wasn”€™t paying for the funeral “€” to put his body on ice for a few days.

I had a big project to finish at work.


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