Monday, November 16, 2009

Moron Culture

Here's a guy who makes me look like a raving optimist. Plus, he disdains sugar coating when it comes to characterizing the mass of the American people. 
      I'm fascinated by the dominion of moron culture in the USA, in everything from the way we inhabit the landscape - the fiasco of suburbia - to the way we feed ourselves - an endless megatonnage of microwaved Velveeta and corn byproducts - along with the popular entertainment offerings of Reality TV, the Nascar ovals, and the gigantic evangelical church shows beloved in the Heartland. To evangelize a bit myself, if such a concept as "an offense in the sight of God" has any meaning, then the way we conduct ourselves in this land is surely the epitome of it - though this is hardly an advertisement for competing religions, who are well-supplied with morons, too.
     Moron culture in the USA really got full traction after the Second World War. Our victory over the other industrial powers in that struggle was so total and stupendous that the laboring orders here were raised up to economic levels unknown by any peasantry in human history. People who had been virtual serfs trailing cotton sacks in the sunstroke belt a generation back were suddenly living better than Renaissance dukes, laved in air-conditioning, banqueting on "TV dinners," motoring on a whim to places that would have taken a three-day mule trek in their grandaddy's day.  Soon, they were buying Buick dealerships and fried chicken franchises and opening banks and building leisure kingdoms of thrill rides and football.  It's hard to overstate the fantastic wealth that a not-very-bright cohort of human beings was able to accumulate in post-war America.
             --James Kuntsler, "The Fate of the Yeast People"
Harsh, you say? Well, yes . . . but is that the right question? Shouldn't we be inquiring how much truth there is here? Think about it. How many people around you read the signs of our times as something really ominous, and how many read those signs as some temporary setback on their own personal odyssey of consumption? How many don't evince the slightest concern about the state of perpetual war their country is in? Indeed, "moron culture" sounds unfair and mean at first, but all you have to do is watch about six hours of network TV, Fox News--don't miss Glenn Beck--or some randomly selected movie at your local 20-screen film emporium. Go ahead . . .

There. See what I mean?
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