My maternal grandad, a medic in the War to End All Wars as well as amateur doctor of his household, firmly believed in the power of laxatives to cure most of what ailed humankind. It was in that spirit that I was regularly forced in my childhood to ingest Senokot, an extremely nasty tasting laxative concoction, to deal with my various physical maladies.
All of which is to say: I'm familiar with the concept of swallowing gross stuff because its purgative quality is good for me. Which is why I regularly read Rod Dreher's "Crunchy Con" blog on Beliefnet .
My personal take on Dreher is that he is a very frightened man whose screeds on the imminent destruction of Western society seem to fly in the face of the observation in 2 Timothy that God doesn't give us the spirit of fear. And I find it rather sad that he believes Fellow Traveler and I to be among the scariest barbarians banging at the gates of his preferred world. I would go so far as to say that he should probably talk to both his priest and a good therapist about the homophobia which obviously fuels so much of his writing.
But...having said this...as distasteful as I find much of his blog, every once in awhile the man makes sense. And he does, in a way, here.
Hysteria aside, I think he's exactly right in that we have to stop our collective sniveling about the oil crisis and other current financial woes, and instead be proactive in finding solutions, beginning with our own living and consumption habits. This is not a temporary problem; we are in the midst of a major, permanent change in how our society lives and fuels itself. Humankind has faced this before and will undoubtedly face it again. We live in interesting times; may as well deal with it, as bravely and creatively as we can.