6 Aug 2009

Andrew Peterson on Facebook as "Small Town"

Submitted by Paul Brown

Andrew Peterson said something interesting in his interview over at Between Two Worlds:

I think Facebook is our culture's answer to the disappearance of the close-knit, small town community. Finding out on Facebook that so-and-so has a cold, or stubbed their toe, or is reading a certain book is the 21st Century equivalent of strolling the town square or having pancakes in the diner. It's small talk. And small talk is okay. You wouldn’t necessarily call your friend to find out if his toe got stubbed; it's just nice to know. The thing is, even small towns have secrets. I know because I grew up in one. There were murders. Suicides. There was bigotry and alcoholism and despair. Beneath the surface is the same darkness you see on the news in big cities and war-torn countries. Small talk doesn't address that secret loneliness. Neither does marriage, for that matter. Only Christ can. Only he has the power to step in and throw back the curtains.

I never would have thought of it that way, but maybe he's on to something.

Comments

Interesting. I think that's a great analogy.

I meant "provoked" in the nicest way possible :) Thanks for sharing this.

I don't keep up in the music scene any more. I had never heard of Andrew Peterson. Your post provoked me to read both interview pages and also check out his site and watch a video. Good stuff.

A quote from the interview that stirred me was "The story of one of us is the story of us all - Frederick Buechner". Before tweeting the quote, I did a quick lookup on Buechner to see who I was quoting. That Wikipedia article compelled me to check out a book of his from the library.

So I was provoked by what stirred you to hear some new music, read an interview that stirred me and eventually be introduced to a new author. If you lived next door, we could have done it over the fence. Blogging is a good alternative.

By the way, your capcha asked my to type the digits 5 1/2 (only the 1/2 was a fraction). Wasn't worth looking up the ASCII code for the fraction character, so here I am again.

Let me know what you think of AP's book when you've read it. I've been listening to Andrew Peterson since I heard him at a small concert in Nebraska when I was doing one of my co-op terms there. I really like his lyric-writing creativity but haven't read any of his fiction yet.

Holly pointed out that I misunderstood your comment to be referring to AP's book rather than Buechner's. Regardless, I'll be interested to know what you think of it. :)