Tuesday, December 13, 2011
A country was once accused of being a "Nation of Shopkeepers" by a bad man. This sobriquet was not well thought of at the time, but, like most unwanted nicknames and descriptions, it rang pretty true. But what causes my gorge to rise even more is that we are now a nation of poseurs and consumers. A nation of shopkeepers at least had some value, we cannot even claim that.
Russell has been somewhat somewhat fascinated recently about my admission that I am a "person of mass". He seems to have misconstrued my being miffed at Cuntsler (sic) for his ongoing denigration of anyone who likes their vittles a bit too much. He mistakes my distaste for Mr. Kunstler's ongoing tirades describing his revulsion for the less-than-svelte who inhabit his perfect world for the self-flagellation for being a big ol' corn-fed boy.
But Russell did make me think, and for that, I am truly grateful. His links to Chuck Robb's articles about dentistry made me think even more. Seeing my documented distate for cosmetic orthodontia
Our consumer driven economy, with Madison Avenues flickering images of perfect people laughing merrily in perfect settings are now part and parcel of our national self image. When you read Mr. Robb's description of the prerequistites for the "Global Middle-Class", it reads to me as a lengthy infomercial for the American Dental Association. I do agree heartily with his recommendations about taking care of one's teeth yourself, but the description of teeth the size and color of white porcelain saucers rang quite true.
For some reason, as a country and a culture, we are so shallow as to believe that what a person looks like is somehow indicative of their worth as a person. Actually, it is a two-headed monster, with the other head being the idea that wealth is a indicator of a persons value. I have recently been indoctrinated into the cult of the Kardasians with a hysterical laugh-filled primer by Rita, the clerk at Safeway's on Main Street. No wonder these bimbos are so popular, they are rich, shallow, and beautiful. Everything that the bulk of America strives to be.
I am now coming to the conclusion that the things that Mssrs. Kunstler and Robb speak of are our biggest problems. Where the Brits may well have been a nation of shopkeepers, we are a nation of shallowness, with our needs and desires defined by people who wish to sell us shit and enslave us with debt\, with success being defined by appearances.
I doubt if our descendants will think too highly of us when they review our actions and our morals. But, I think that they will be too busy trying to put back to right the extraordinary mess we are leaving to obsess too much over our shallowness
at 8:43:00 AM