Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Day America Died

The following is an article I submitted to the 
NYTimes Editorial section this past December (2010).  

They decided not to publish it, 
so I decided to publish it here... on my blog.
One thing is clear in the current state of affairs: This cannot go on much longer.  The illusion of progress through technology and convenience has only served as a distraction from the dissolving of traditional family life and the continuing contamination of our natural habitats.  Our society cannot go on this way for long.  Already our currency is failing (as well as our housing markets) and the price of gold (and oil) keeps rising.  People are losing faith in the American Dream, and losing their jobs as well.  Why should we live within our means and plan for the future when our own government is bankrupt and our National Dept is an unfathomable number?  We are tired of paying taxes to special interest groups and pork-barrel spending.  Our President promised us "change" and we each dreamed of the specific changes we would want... but they never happened. 
Looking back at the history of this great nation makes modern man wonder, 'Where did we go wrong?'  Did it start with computers, cell phones and the internet?  No.  Was it microwaves and fast-food replacing hour-long family meals?  Maybe.  Could cars and planes replacing boats and trains be to blame?  You're getting warmer...
The day America died was the day the first assembly-lines replaced hand-crafted products.  When "Coke" replaced "Soda-pop."  America lost its values on the day that washing machines replaced scrub-basins.  We took appliances into our homes, and the factories building them decided to make us completely reliant upon them.  We do not own our products, our products own us.  Not only do we depend on our refrigerators and dryers, but most of us cannot imagine a life without them.  That's when the appliance manufacturers turned radios into televisions.  Our daily lives are consumed by a voyeuristic fascination on daily disasters and celebrities.  Most people can name each winner of American Idol, yet have nobody in their lives to idolize.  We aspire to achieve financial and material prosperity, but the value of our principals is falling quicker than the value of the dollar.  It's time to start paying attention to the man behind the curtain.  The machine has won, people, and we didn't even go down with a fight.  What will you do when your power fails, the satellites that control your cell phone stop working... and you can't post a Facebook status about it?  The Angry Birds will crush the pigs in their comfy structures, but what will it take to make the angry people jump into the slingshot? 
Unplug your appliances before the power goes out on America.

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