I interrupted his weed-pulling to gently rebuke him for perceived carelessness regarding his health, but like the mother of Christ, I was the one needing correction—for Pastor was simply “about his Father’s business.” As if to act out our philosophy, he was a “good shepherd,” and I an “honoring” daughter. Perhaps we both would live long on the land and finish our heroes journey, our pilgrim’s progress, at the “lighted inn.”
For many Americans, especially those on the coasts, in cities, and with advanced educations, life has improved in recent decades. Meanwhile, in many rural and interior parts of the country, economic growth has stagnated or declined, along with the population. While America has improved for a certain type of American, many towns and places inhabited by multigenerational Americans, whose existence is linked to one community across centuries in some cases, have declined.
The majority of Americans want peace and prosperity and cooperation. The biggest question is—and this is a question that The Batman does not answer, except by implication—where are the heroes willing to build this honest, just, and prosperous society?
On return trips to Illinois, or when talking to relatives on the phone, I can tell the difference. Life is a little slower where I grew up, and the people are often more polite and considerate of others. I know from experience how considerate they can be.
With this love and materiality, these two films express the pure reality to which their protagonists are so devoted. In a world of frictionless unreality, endless abstractions, and tepid and timid loves, these films impress upon us resistance, difficulty, attachment, and the dire risk that attachment brings
A final benefit of the liturgical lifestyle is its uniting force. Liturgical and sanctoral calendars vary among Christian confessions, echoing more divisive pieties and doctrines. But when the things Christians have in common include commoner things—walks and bonfires, buns and roses—we have one more point of connection.
There aren’t easy answers to the problems fracking creates, and, like many industries, fracking generates losers and winners. But by spending time up close with the issues, Jerolmack models a good approach to complex problems.