This proclivity to study drama rather than its origins — prevalent I think — is one result of our metamorphosis from a nation of can‐do optimists with a healthy suspicion of government into a nation of miserable cynics who ironically embrace the influence and beneficence of government no matter the cost.
We are, many of us, walking around with a veteran consumerist’s thousand‐yard stare, which can be seen clearly in the aisles of any Target or WalMart, where the shell‐shocked and emotionally flat‐lined queue up daily to buy mostly disposable products manufactured by sweat‐shop slaves in Chittagong and Rangoon. Especially when there is a “Fire Sale” or its cousin, the infamous “Year End” sale, and my personal favorite, the “Blowout Sale
Those of us making a deliberate choice to resist these pernicious influences in our lives had better accept that we will, eventually, be made into outlaws and Indians. Our insistence on remaining reasonably self-reliant—and vigorously defending the benefits of independence–is ultimately threatening to those who would exploit us for profit and notions of progress.
We have so much, we are so virtually surrounded by the abundance of our success, and yet we are among the least satisfied, ardently unhappy, and in some ways spiritually destitute people on the planet. Since 1957, the median income of Americans has risen some 85%, while the average assessment of our own happiness has decreased by 5%. That’s no accident.