Every so often, one reads something that puts words to an ill-defined feeling one has had for some time. An epiphanous moment like this happened to me this morning, when my friend Teri sent me an article by Jesse Kornbluth, which was published in MediaBistro.com last week:

"Or maybe it's something else: American culture has stalled. "They" make movies we don't want to see, publish books we don't care to read, release music we can't bear to hear. The answer to every American cultural question is "nothing applies," because there is a schism between the government and the people. The government is crazy and -- belatedly -- most adult Americans seem to know it; the people have no power and the government knows it. Somewhere ahead we sense there's a reckoning, which makes us uneasy if not outright terrified. "
-- From "Innocent Abroad" by Jessee Kornbluth, http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a4739.asp, 6-JUL-2005

Reading this was an "A-ha" moment. American Culture has stalled. The Empire is now in decline. It's like the rocket has reached it's zenith, the engine has quit, and now we're in free-fall, plunging back to Earth-- and while some of us can sense the danger, many of us can't.

Me, I've always been in the former camp. When Mr. Kornbluth writes, "Somewhere ahead we sense there's a reckoning, which makes us uneasy if not outright terrified," I see myself since the 2000 election. I see my paranoia at 9/11, not that I might be attacked by Terrorists, but that I might be attacked by Americans. I see the pattern of my life being a long run for the Canadian border, because I don't want to be here when that rocket reaches the ground.

I've mistrusted the U.S. media for a long time. Ever since I realized what was going on back in '96, during the sordid Richard Jewell affair, when I was interning for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and I began to realize I could never be a journalist. That was when I realized that the American media wasn't interested in the truth, it was interested in sensationalism, and I experienced "herd mentality" from the inside. (I'll tell you that story some other time).

Thanks for sending this to me, Teri. It reminds me of why it is so important to spend time outside the toxicity of American culture.


kevyn: (Default)


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