Stopped by the Lake County Fair earlier this week. Our neighbor is quite the gardener and had a bunch of flowers and vegetables entered in competition so we rode our tandem over to the grounds and scoped things out.
Now, I’ve got to admit – I am no big fan of county fairs. They’re dusty, dirty, and stinky plus carnies just plain creep me out but we went early before the midway opened, cruised around the barns checking out all the animals and then found the vegetable and flower competition where our neighbor cleaned up.
This got me to thinking about all the mini sub cultures that add some semblance of meaning to our daily existence. I am a writer, an occupation that divides itself into more subsets than a Kafkaesque government agency but I also consider myself a triathlete a designation which comes with its own series of near clinical obsessions and I make my living interacting with teachers and educators, another tribe. My parents raise and show dogs, and anyone who has seen the Guest film Best in Show understands the parallel universe where those folks reside.
So at the Lake County Fair we had – the flower people (not to be confused with the unwashed summer of love contingent) the horse people, the fowl people, the rabbit people, the sausage sandwich people, the political party people, the take the folks from the assisted living facility out to see alpacas people, the guys who wear t-shirts with wholly inappropriate messages for public in public people, the very creepy carnie people ( who really are unwashed), etc. etc. etc…
Each of these folks identify with their subset, finds some sort of feeling of belonging via separating themselves from the unfathomable mass of humanity by raising chickens that look like they are wearing fright wigs or growing tomatoes the size of basketballs.
Hey, more power to them – separate to belong - an oxymoron that seems to work. I’ve read sociological studies that posture humankind cannot handle groups over a couple dozen without dividing them into further manageable subsets resulting in approximately the numbers which comprise those of a lowland gorilla troop.
Who woulda thought the desire to hang out with other folks interested in raising guinea pigs with seemingly no front or back is a genetic and evolutionary predisposition?
So – what clan do you belong to?