Burnin’ Rubber    by Mike Blanchard  |  “I am a child of fortune…and I shall not be shamed… I ask to be no other man than I am.” Sophocles wrote these lines about 2,500 years ago in his play Edipus Rex

What does the quote mean? In plain modern USA American English, I am what I am and I won’t apologize for it.

Of course the lack of shame part rather depends on whether you feel you have lived up to your own standards. I think every observant person has figured out that personal standards vary from person to person, from community to community and from time to time. This is one of the basic truths of humanity.

The predicament we find ourselves in as a country at the moment is plain enough proof of the fact that people have different ideas about what is acceptable.

Of course a standard can apply to objects as well as personal conduct. The difference between a hardened bolt made in China and one made in America will give ample evidence of differing standards in manufacturing.

My wife has a joke at my expense which goes something like: “all your friends are weird asses.” She is, of course, correct. All my friends are obsessed or creative or wildly idiosyncratic or all three and often much more to boot.

I have never been able to get along with people who lead quiet, tope lives. I don’t look down on them. Quite the opposite. Sometimes I wish I could be content with what life has on offer.

They have that thing which will not allow them to accept what they do not feel to be right.

However I prefer people who have a burning desire to create or do something. Even if it is dangerous to themselves or anti social.

My father has always been upfront about the fact that he is only interested in having friends who are excellent at something. People who are accomplished and striving, and if possible, the best in whatever arena they have chosen. They could be anything from a hot rod builder to a seamstress, or whatever, as long as that person is creative and striving for excellence.

These people, and I would have to include my father in the group, have very high artistic, personal and professional standards. They have that thing which will not allow them to accept what they do not feel to be right. They will not quit on achieving their goal.

This is a very admirable trait. I value people like this despite the fact that often they are not easy to get along with. I have found that if you look beyond the crusty exterior these people are worth the effort to get to know.

This is essentially what Rustmag is all about. We cover what moves us. That may not fit with what others might expect, or what may be commercially on point, but it is what we are interested in. We strive for good photography and writing. We look for stories that show you something you will not find in run of the mill places. Sometimes we are not easy to get along with, but we are worth the effort.

Photo Mike Blanchard