The America of Mom, baseball and apple pie has died and yielded its place to an America of divorce, video games and fast food. This is not particularly new information.
Mom was the first to die... killed off by safe, consistent birth control, the liberation of women, selfish romantic dreams of happiness and perfection in relationships, and broad changes in the economy.
Baseball is no longer the national pastime... computers are. It has been killed by the click of a mouse, 64 million colors and surround sound. What little trace remains wears too loudly the crass touristy clothing of a huge monopolistic business and filters down to overdriven children and egotistical, angry parenting.
Apple pie is no longer a simple baked dessert, fresh and natural, it is prepackaged, preservativized and convenient. Baking is no longer a habit and a skill but merely a hobby or an interest.
Kids spend hours mastering the latest iterations of digitized "realities" no broader than some development and marketing teams imaginations. Adults live on the internet, jokes are read and forwarded rather than told, love is an ever retreating illusion searched for farther and farther afield by the lonely and shy.
Food more and more is sourced from factory farms, homogenized, sanitized and denutrified; all for the convenience of those too pressed for time by their jobs, their hobbies, and their ambitions for their children to actually live anymore. It is a potpourri of chemicals, ones we are so used to seeing that they do not even make us wonder. We are squandering our wealth on saving time by living poorly, so we can spend more time earning that useless wealth...
Teams are no longer the forges of socialized personalities, networks of compromise and acheivement... they are what management seeks to coerce employees to feel like they are a part of. Sports are a route to college scholarships, gratuitous and desperate parental pride and dreams of stardom and wealth for the underclass.
The lazy, hazy, dusty summer afternoon has been replaced with an endless rush to make arrangements to have fun...
I think so long as we do not pretend we are the old, quaint America, there is nothing so bad in all this - but so long as we attempt to live in an illusion built on the past, we will not know ourselves and it will kill... us.
© Huw Powell