Thanks to FPR reader and my fellow Hoosier Brandon Seitz for pointing us to The Daily Yonder, a webzine dedicated to writing about and analyzing what’s going on in rural America. I’ve only begun to poke around, but it certainly looks like a site worth keeping tabs on. And I note that it is coedited by Bill Bishop, whose book The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of America Is Tearing Us Apart I’ve been meaning to check out, as it is directly related to the meritocracy conversations we’ve been having here. Yes, “The Rural Compact” promoted by the webzine’s publisher, The Center for Rural Strategies, may not quite get at the heart of what’s ailing folks out in the country. But at least they give a rat’s ass (to use one of my rurally embedded father’s more pungent terms). Give them partial credit, at least.

I post this in the full knowledge that merely to talk about rural life seriously is to invite accusations of “romanticizing” it. The Romanticism Police, like the Nostalgia Police, enjoy full employment among the blogospheric classes.

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Jeremy Beer
Jeremy Beer is a philanthropic consultant. He lives with his wife, Kara, in the Willo neighborhood of her hometown: Phoenix, Arizona. Although he likes Arizona and the land west of the one hundredth meridian generally, Jeremy is from Kosciusko County, Indiana, and considers himself a Hoosier patriot. He believes that Booth Tarkington was one of our greatest novelists, that Jean Shepherd was one of our greatest humorists, that Billy Sunday was our one of our greatest (and speediest) orators, and that Larry Bird is without a doubt our greatest living American. Jeremy obtained his doctorate in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. From 2000 to 2008 he worked at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware, serving finally as vice president of publications and editor in chief of ISI Books. He serves on the boards of Front Porch Republic, Inc., Mars Hill Audio, and Catholic Phoenix. A more complete and much more professional bio can be found here. See books written and recommended by Jeremy Beer.


  1. . . . and what they misunderstand about Romanticism is exceeded only by their daft conception of Nostalgia. Their got their badges from a box of Cracker Jacks.

  2. Heaven forfend that anyone should romanticize anything that might have occurred before the Great Technocratic Circular Onanism. Nostalgia and Memory is anathema to those who confidently manufacture reality in accordance with the Mission Statement.

    But, to be sure, to ponder the injury rates of the Farm worker puts a bit of a damper upon any nostalgic tendencies.

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