Saturday, October 29, 2005Contrary to my expectation, I am able to blog today (obviously). In part this is because there is a pause in my family obligations, but also because my father in law has this spiffy cable modem and I can't force myself to quit using it.
I'm in Atlanta right now, catching up with old acquaintances. Everyone I talk to who used to work in a small indepedent store - a bookshop, a paint company, whatever - is now working for some huge megacorp. The old places they loved to work have all gone out of business. When we drive around, every few blocks we see the same conglomeration of chains: McDonalds, Home Depot, Walmart, Blockbuster, big national banks, etc. It's all the same, and it makes for a very dreary monotony.
We have bleached our communities of any individual character or charm. Every small business has a "for sale" sign on the front, or at best is just empty of customers. Every big chain store has huge parking lots full of foreign-made cars and SUVs, with people honking at each other as they fight for parking space. Every street is blocked up with traffic and angry, frustrated commuters. Every worker is unhappy, uncooperative, insecure, and underpaid.
This is the America we have made. No connections, no opportunities, no community. We are all just little sharks scavenging an empty ocean.
Is this really what we want? Is this the society we meant to create? Or have we allowed ourselves to drift into an inhuman society of crass commercialization and hypocritical moralizing out of simple intertia?
It's not like we didn't have a choice. We made it this way. We chose it.