Monday, July 30, 2012

Dr. Fleming's Latest Piece in Chronicles

Escapist Fantasies
A really happy man in the Aristotelian sense would probably not need to travel very much except to see old friends. It would be enough to lead a useful life in company with family and friends within a community worth defending and even worth dying for. A little travel in one’s youth is often instructive, and, if a reader takes delight in the novels of Anthony Trollope or the poetry of Dante, an occasional excursion to Hampshire or Tuscany is a source of pleasure. But why would a perfectly contented man in his 60’s be willing to endure all the discomforts of travel just to drag himself from one vacation spot to another?

The only obvious answer is that far from being happy or contented, he is profoundly dissatisfied with the life he has created for himself. Rather than spend time with his children and grandchildren, he prefers to risk melanoma, lying out in the sun in some seniors’ paradise; instead of assuming the role of the cracker-barrel philosopher in his hometown, he rushes off to Disney World or Vegas—the two destinations one can always reach by direct flights from Rockford. Instead of finding beauty and meaning in the hills of Arkansas or the plains of Iowa, he takes a cruise around the world without ever leaving Arkansas or Iowa behind. Caelum non animum mutant, indeed.

Some talk about women and their vacations in exotic locales, attributing to them the motive of finding a casual lover. I suspect that so many young women enjoy "travel" and going on vacations because they lack a proper identity as a woman and are seeking to fill an existential vacuum. (Just as they like to get cute pets instead of having children.) Others no doubt enjoy the novelty and the "relaxation" (i.e. laziness and consumerism) of vacations, being free of what little responsibility they have. Just one more luxury of the entitled Uhmerican princess made possible through cheap energy.

Unmasking Feminism on women having cats.

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