I was lamenting my lack of blog-worthy thoughts this morning when I read a book review in October 23 issue of New York Magazine that made my head spin. (Forgive my lack of a link here - I'm still working out my Mac/Blogger issues).
The book in question is Andrew Sullivan's "The Conservative Soul." Not typically something I'd look at, but the author picture featured a man in a beard and plaid flannel, and the incongruity grabbed my attention. The book sounds somewhat interesting; Sullivan apparently makes a living trying to reconcile his multi-faceted life (Irish Catholic, gay, Generation X) in print. I do much the same thing (although I'm quite heterosexual, even when wearing plaid) so I can appreciate the effort involved when your faith and your life seem to point in two different directions.
But what made this article blog-worthy had nothing at all to do with Sullivan himself. What got me was a pithy comment tossed off by the reviewer, who says:
"A name comes to mind for the conservative Utopia Sullivan would like to see built. It's called Massachusetts, though actually the Netherlands would serve just as well."
Apparently, I live on the east coast of conservative Utopia!
Now I've heard Massachusetts called many things in my lifetime - heaven knows we leave the door wide open with our tax structure, the Big Dig, and the 1700 times the Red Sox have blown sure-win situations and gone home before the World Series. But I've never heard ANY part of this state - even downtown in Boston's financial district - called a conservative Utopia. I'm not even sure what the reviewer means by this comment (he clarifies his point by saying, "both places have fetishized their history while making themselves open to any sort of liberalism but in reality supporting the most bourgeois societies imaginable") but it makes me feel, at the very least, like my state is suddenly a much more interesting place to live. What does this mean, I wonder? Are we destined to become the new destination hotspot for conservative politicos who secretly adore JFK? Will Rush Limbaugh buy a home here and enroll in comparative religion classes at the Harvard Extension School?
I'm headed out to run errands now. I'll have to look around more carefully, just to see what conservative Utopia looks like :)