My wife and I took a great five day break from everything this week to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We went to Glen Ellen (Sonoma County) which only takes about 90 minutes but feels hours away. We relaxed by the pool, had some great meals and plenty of time to read. I'm reading Peggy Noonan's memoirs of her days as a presidential speechwriter and various other thoughts on our culture that occurred to her in 1990 when the book was written. She nows writes a regular column for the Wall Street Journal in much the same sweeping, first hand style.
Under the sub-head "We're all national. We're not local anymore", Ms. Noonan got me thinking when I read
The culture of our country used to be made up of the sum total of local pockets of culture. There was a South and the Deep South and the Breadbasket, there was Out West and Brooklyn, and all these places were different. The people in these places had accents, regional accents, and they read the local paper and listened to the local DJ and got the news on one of the local affiliates and it was read to them by a guy who had been there for years. There was local entertainment, the fairs or the grange or the local Y; you read the local columnists.
But now the sheer weight of national is flattening regional, the sheer weight of network is flattening local.
It struck me this week in Glen Ellen, as it often does when I travel, that there is something special about B'game that merits preserving. Some people say "you preservationists just want everything to stay the same". I suppose that is partially true although no preservationist I know remotely expects it to happen. But as things around us change ("national flattening regional" or more likely in our case "regional flattening local"), my sense is keeping some things the same becomes a key differentiator and has value even in a traditional investment sense. It would be hard to argue our real estate values are suffering even compared to near neighbors. But certainly some regional initiatives can harm our special character.
So now that I'm back on-line, it's back to opining on such things. Judging by the pageview data here, more than a few of you like reading local--even if you don't like what you read about it! Thanks for that.